All Things Considered

Monday-Friday 3-5PM
Michele Norris & Robert Siegal
Melissa Block
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6:28pm

Wed November 20, 2013
It's All Politics

What A Bitcoin Political Debut Could Mean For Transparency

Bitcoins have gone from an Internet oddity to much more. The FEC is now considering allowing the virtual currency to fund some political campaigns.
Rick Bowmer AP

Bitcoin, the virtual currency that exists as alphanumeric strings online, is on the verge of getting into politics.

The Federal Election Commission is expected to vote Thursday on a proposal to allow bitcoin contributions to political action committees — even as skeptics say that bitcoins could undermine the disclosure standards of federal law.

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6:11pm

Wed November 20, 2013
It's All Politics

With Nominees Stalled, Democrats Reprise Filibuster Threat

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (left) with Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley on Capitol Hill in July. Both senators favor curtailing the minority's right to filibuster judicial nominees.
Jose Luis Magana Reuters/Landov

For the third time this year, the Democrats who run the Senate are threatening to change that chamber's rules on the Republican minority's most potent weapon: the filibuster. They say the GOP's obstruction of President Obama's nominations leaves them no other choice.

Democrats say that this time, they're ready to pull the trigger on what's known as "the nuclear option." Doing so would amount to altering the rules not with the traditional two-thirds majority but a simple majority of 51.

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5:57pm

Wed November 20, 2013
Shots - Health News

Medicaid Enrollment Is Brisk Despite HealthCare.gov Troubles

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 10:16 pm

Low-income adults formerly had few options for free health care. Leah Sessor had her blood pressure taken on April 14, 2012, during a free clinic at a racetrack in Bristol, Tenn.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Buried in the paltry enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act that were released last week was something that came as a surprise to many — the success states are having signing people up for the Medicaid program, which provides health care to low-income people.

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4:00pm

Wed November 20, 2013
The Salt

Food Stamp Cuts Leave Rural Areas, And Their Grocers, Reeling

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 5:23 pm

The recent cuts in federal food benefits may be felt most in rural areas and the grocery stores that serve them.
USDA

One recent evening, some shoppers at the Countryside Market in Belvidere, Ill., were loading up on staples, like milk and eggs. Others, like Meghan Collins, were trying to plan Thanksgiving on a newly tightened budget.

"My work has been cut," says Collins. "I'm working half the hours I used to work. So yeah, I'm making half of what I made last year."

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3:52pm

Wed November 20, 2013
All Tech Considered

Video Game Creators Are Using Apps To Teach Empathy

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 8:06 am

A screenshot of the iPad game If, which aims to teach kids how to navigate interpersonal challenges and failures.
NPR

Much of the modern education reform movement has centered around the drive for data. Standardized tests now gauge whether children are at grade level seemingly every few months. Kids are observed, measured and sorted almost constantly.

In Silicon Valley, a $20 billion industry does much the same thing — but for a different purpose.

Video game design has become a data-driven industry where games evolve depending on how they are played.

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