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Environment
5:52 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Natural Gas Boom Cuts Into Pennsylvania's State Forests

An oversized truck load slowly moves equipment along an icy mountain road in Pennsylvania's Tiadaghton State Forest.
Marie Cusick WITF

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 7:36 pm

On the side of a mountain road in Pennsylvania's Tiadaghton State Forest, I'm trying to avoid a steady stream of heavy truck traffic. Acres of freshly cut tree stumps stretch out in front of me.

Kevin Heatley lives in the area and has come to these woods for years to hike. He's an ecologist by trade and he's concerned about what he's seeing.

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It's All Politics
5:16 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Gates Memoir Could Prove Helpful To Hillary Clinton In 2016

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates writes in his new memoir that Hillary Clinton "is a superb representative of the United States all over the world."
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 6:34 pm

In his new memoir, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a fairly serious charge against Hillary Clinton that likely will hound her if she decides to run for president in 2016: that she admitted in his presence that there were political considerations in her opposition to the U.S. military surge in Iraq.

As soon as the first excerpts of Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War surfaced, many Republicans pounced on Gates' recollection of the Obama-Clinton Iraq surge conversation.

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Remembrances
5:16 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Amiri Baraka's Legacy Both Controversial And Achingly Beautiful

Amiri Baraka, shown here in 1972, was a renowned poet whose politics strongly shaped his work.
Julian C. Wilson AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:31 am

One of America's most important — and controversial — literary figures, Amiri Baraka, died on Thursday from complications after surgery following a long illness, according to his oldest son. Baraka was 79.

Baraka co-founded the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. His literary legacy is as complicated as the times he lived through, from his childhood — where he recalled not being allowed to enter a segregated library — to the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. His poem about that attack, "Somebody Blew Up America," quickly became infamous.

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Around the Nation
5:14 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

It's Not Magic On The Mountain, It's A Rain-Making Machine

A ground-based cloud-seeding tower at Alpine Meadows ski area near California's Lake Tahoe. It spits out silver iodide particles that are the right size and shape to help precipitation form.
Lauren Sommer KQED

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 7:36 pm

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From Our Listeners
5:14 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Letters: Toxic Leaders In The U.S. Army

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 7:36 pm

Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel read letters from listeners about the leadership in the U.S. Army.

The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

FBI Director 'Confused' By Reports Calling Snowden A Hero

FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 14, 2013. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Comey said he's "confused" by reports that characterize NSA contractor Edward Snowden as a "whistleblower" or a "hero."
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 6:47 am

FBI Director Jim Comey says he's "confused" by reports that characterize NSA contractor Edward Snowden as a "whistleblower" or a "hero" because, he says, all three branches of America's government have approved the bulk collection of U.S. phone records, one of the most important revelations in Snowden's cascade of leaks.

"I see the government operating the way the founders intended," Comey said, "so I have trouble applying the whistleblower label to someone who basically disagrees with the way our government is structured and operates."

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NPR Story
4:53 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The Real Philomena

Actress Dame Judi Dench and Philomena Lee attend the 'Philomena' American Express Gala screening during the 57th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 16, 2013 in London, England. (Zak Hussein/Getty Images for BFI)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:13 pm

Philomena,” the movie starring Dame Judi Dench, has been both a critical and commercial success.

The film is based on the story of Philomena Lee, who as an unmarried pregnant teenager, went to a Catholic-run home for unwed mothers in Rosecrea, Ireland in 1952.

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NPR Story
4:53 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Chris Christie Runs Up Against Bully Reputation

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:13 pm

The New Jersey governor now in the middle of a political scandal over George Washington bridge lane closures has a reputation for hardball politics.

He’s stripped a former governor of his police escort, he’s pulled funding for a political scientist who declined to endorse Republican redistricting plans, and his office has pressured prosecutors who were investigating a Republican sheriff and fundraiser.

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NPR Story
4:53 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Obama Picks 'Promise Zones' To Fight Poverty

President Obama will announce the designation of five "promise zones" today, including one in Philadelphia. (coia.nac/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:13 pm

The Obama administration has designated five regions around the country as “promise zones” — areas where the administration will focus on closing the gap between rich and poor by creating jobs and strengthening existing poverty-cutting programs.

This comes 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty.”

Derek Thompson, business editor for The Atlantic, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain how “promise zones” work.

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Nuclear Missile Officers Reportedly Implicated In Drug Probe

Undated handout photo of the inside of the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wall, S.D.
Anonymous AP

Two U.S. Air Force officers with authority to launch nuclear-tipped Minuteman 3 missiles, have reportedly been implicated in an illegal-narcotics investigation.

The Associated Press, citing an unnamed official, says the officers are based at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana and work for the 341st Missile Wing.

The report comes on the same day that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is scheduled to visit a similar base in Nebraska that also houses underground missile silos.

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