U.S.
4:02 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Firefighters Struggle To Contain Colorado Fires

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

While fires don't affect us here in Aspen, other parts of Colorado face dire conditions. In Fort Collins, firefighters and the National Guard have been attempting to contain the huge High Park Fire burning for two weeks now. It's destroyed hundreds of homes and scorched tens of thousands of acres. A lightning-sparked wildfire erupted near Boulder yesterday, but the focus right now is in Colorado Springs where fire swept into the city and forced more than 30,000 people to evacuate their homes.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:56 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Medicaid Expansion Goes Overlooked In Supreme Court Anticipation

When the U.S. Supreme Court rules Thursday on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it will also rule on whether the expansion of Medicaid is an unconstitutional infringement of states' rights.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:20 pm

When the Supreme Court announces its long-anticipated decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, all eyes will be on the so-called individual mandate. That's the section of the law that requires most Americans to either have health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.

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Election 2012
3:28 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Influx Of Puerto Ricans Changes Fla.'s Voter Calculus

A sign lets voters know they can cast early ballots for the Florida primary election in January at the South Creek Branch Library in Orlando.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 8:51 pm

Florida is a perennial battleground state in presidential elections. And within Florida, the area around Orlando is a battlefield where the terrain has changed radically.

It used to be a tossup. But four years ago, Barack Obama won in Orlando — or technically in Orange County — with 59 percent of the vote, a margin of almost 80,000 votes.

What happened in Orlando?

There were several things: The Democrats registered a lot of black voters. Obama ran well among independents. But the biggest difference was the number of new arrivals to the area.

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Around the Nation
3:27 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

The State Of Affairs For Veterans Seeking Jobs

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:20 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, retired Army General Eric Shinseki, is attending that job fair in Detroit and he joins me now. Welcome to the program.

SECRETARY ERIC SHINSEKI: Well, thank you, Melissa. Great to be joining you.

BLOCK: When you talk with employers, what do they tell you about the hurdles or the challenges of hiring veterans? What are the problems there?

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
3:21 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Chris Thile's First Musical Memory

Chris Thile says he was only a year old when he first heard "The Girl from Ipanema."
Danny Clinch

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 8:54 pm

It's clear Chris Thile has an ear for music: The 31-year-old mandolinist, best known for his bands Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers, has been playing music his entire life.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Chicago City Council OKs Fines Instead Of Arrests For Pot Possession

The Chicago City Council voted overwhelmingly to approve a new policy on marijuana possession.

The policy gives police the option of giving a fine to those caught with less than 15 grams. The fine could range between $250 and $500 and doesn't apply to minors or those carrying pot on a park or school grounds, reports The Chicago Tribune.

Previously, law required police to arrest the person and charge them with a misdemeanor.

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Presidential Race
3:09 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Translating The Veepstakes

David McNew Getty Images

Running for president means spending a lot of time convincing the public that you really want the job. Not so if you're seeking the No. 2 spot.

The road to the vice presidency, history shows, is paved with feigned disinterest.

"If you're going to be vice president, you're going to be in the president's shadow," says Jody Baumgartner, a political science professor at East Carolina University. "If you appear to be seeking the vice presidency, drawing attention to yourself, that's not really a quality that a presidential candidate is looking for."

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It's All Politics
2:27 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Obama Saw Immediate Fundraising Spike After Same-Sex Marriage Announcement

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 2:53 pm

In the days following President Obama's announcement that he supports same-sex marriage, anecdotal evidence suggested that the political position had a financial payoff.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Google Introduces Tablet And Streaming Device

Hugo Barra, product management director of Android, introduces Google's low-cost computer tablet Nexus 7 during the keynote speech at Google's annual developer conference on Wednesday.
Kimhiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Today's a good day for gadget enthusiasts. During its I/O event, Google announced that like Microsoft, it was jumping into the tablet market. The search giant made three big announcements: The Nexus 7, its tablet; the Nexus Q, a streaming device; and a new version of its mobile operating system called Jelly Bean.

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Europe
2:23 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Months After Protest, Russian Rockers Still Jailed

Women in a Russian punk rock group briefly perform a protest song at Moscow's main cathedral, Christ the Savior, in February. The singers criticized the church and Vladimir Putin, who is now president. Three women have been arrested and jailed for months, and the church is demanding harsh punishment.
Sergey Ponomarev AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 9:45 pm

The Russian government is facing a growing chorus of criticism over its harsh treatment of three women from an all-female rock band who staged a "punk" prayer service last winter in Moscow's most prominent cathedral.

Back on Feb. 21, two weeks before Russia's presidential election, several members of the band Pussy Riot, wearing brightly colored balaclavas, rushed onto the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

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