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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Official In Charge Of Creating HealthCare.gov Steps Down

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 4:28 pm

Michelle Snyder, the official who oversaw the creation of the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov website, is retiring.

In a statement on Monday, Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, announced Snyder's departure from the agency, saying she had originally planned to retire at the end of 2012 but had stayed on at Tavenner's request to help "with the challenges facing CMS in 2013."

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Al-Qaida's Receipts: From 60-Cent Cake To A $6,800 Workshop

This receipt for groceries, which includes prices paid for tomatoes, onions, charcoal, meat and a light bulb, was retrieved from a building occupied by al-Qaida's North African branch in Timbuktu, Mali.
AP

The Associated Press has posted images of more than 100 receipts believed to have been left behind by al-Qaida operatives in Timbuktu, Mali, that show how "the extremists assiduously tracked their cash flow, recording purchases as small as a single light bulb."

According to the wire service:

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Report Details NSA's Alleged High-Tech Tricks For Snaring Data

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 3:52 pm

Intercepted packages. Custom-made cables that steal data. Towers that mimic a commercial cellphone network. Those are a few of the tricks used by elite units of the National Security Agency to monitor potential threats, according to Germany's Der Spiegel. The magazine published those revelations Sunday and Monday, detailing what it calls a catalog of the NSA's high-tech spying products and methods.

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Monkey See
12:40 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

What Monkeys Eat: A Few Thoughts About Pop Culture Writing

iStockphoto

When I was first explaining what I wanted this blog to be like in 2008, I shared with some folks at NPR a theory I have had for some time about writing about popular culture. It goes like this: If you think monkeys are fascinating and you want to understand and be of value to them, it's not enough to be an expert on what monkeys should ideally eat. You have to understand what monkeys actually eat.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Test Sites Chosen For Commercial Drone Testing

The Federal Aviation Administration's map showing the locations of the six "unmanned aircraft systems" test sites it has chosen.
FAA.gov

The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday unveiled the names of the six applicants who have been granted the right to test the commercial uses of "unmanned aircraft systems" — drones.

The FAA's approvals were highly sought after because the test sites are expected to bring high-tech jobs and investments to the states where they're located. The six winners are:

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Music News
12:16 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Another Fleetwood Mac Album That's 'Worth A Damn'

The 1969 album Then Play On, Peter Green's last with Fleetwood Mac, signaled a spiritual quest already in progress.
Jan Persson Redferns

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 4:38 pm

This year saw the reissue of two vintage albums by Fleetwood Mac: the hugely popular Rumours,and the last album to feature the band's founder, Peter Green, called Then Play On.

"I think it's one of the most beautiful records and exciting records ever made," Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke says. He wrote the liner notes for the reissue.

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Interviews
12:11 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Vince Giordano: The Fresh Air Interview

Boardwalk Empire features music by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.
Abbot Genser HBO

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 1:39 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 06, 2013.

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Interviews
12:11 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Sales Take Center Stage: To Boost Morale, Companies Burst Into Song

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Steve Young learned about industrial musicals when he started coming across compilations, like this one, in used record stores. (You definitely want to click to enlarge this.)
Courtesy of Blast Books

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 1:39 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 05, 2013.

Why would someone write a sentimental ballad about a bathroom? For the same reason someone would write a rousing song about tractors: So the song could be used in what's called an industrial musical.

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Africa
11:52 am
Mon December 30, 2013

South Sudan Violence: 'The Stories They Tell Are Horrible'

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 11:09 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Happy holidays to you, and thanks to my colleague Celeste Headlee for sitting in for me while I was away. With New Year's around the corner, you might be thinking about New Year's resolutions. We'll meet a young man who's made keeping his promises a year-round commitment. We'll hear from him and how he's inspiring others to do the same thing. That's later. But we want to start the program today by bringing you up to date on developments in the world's newest country, South Sudan.

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Music Interviews
11:52 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Muslim Pop Star Yuna Climbs The U.S. Charts

Yuna doesn't just make music but also runs a fashion boutique where she sells funky but modest clothes.
Autumn de Wilde

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 4:43 pm

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