The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Guardian: U.S. Monitored Calls Of 35 Foreign Leaders

German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:29 pm

The United States spy agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders, The Guardian reports today, based on a classified memo given to the paper by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The paper reports that the NSA encouraged others in the U.S. government to share their contact numbers for world leaders, that way the agency knew whom to target. The Guardian adds:

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It's All Politics
3:01 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Texas Vs. Utah: A Tale Of Two Government Shutdowners

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah (left), and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walk to the Senate floor on Oct. 16 to vote on a bill to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government.
Evan Vucci AP

Two Tea Party-backed, defund-Obamacare-or-we'll-shut-down-the-government Senate leaders. Two very different outcomes.

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Shots - Health News
2:55 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Slaying 'Little Dragons': Guinea Worm Moves Toward Eradication

Hawah Alhassan, 5, contracted Guinea worm in a village near Tamale, Ghana, in 2007. The country eliminated the parasite in 2011.
Wes Pope MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 1:22 pm

The world has eradicated just one human disease: smallpox. But another illness is getting tantalizingly close to elimination.

No, we're not talking about polio; that virus also has its back against a wall. But a report Thursday puts a parasitic worm ahead of polio in the race to extinction.

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Peoria Public Radio News
2:44 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Former EP High School football coach arrested

East Peoria police say a six month investigation has led to the arrest of the city high school’s former head football coach. Doug Martin was arrested in Springfield for allegedly stealing more than 33-thousand dollars from community donations, fundraisers, and school organized football camps over the last several years.The school filed a complaint against Martin in April. An audit found the discrepancies in the various school funds. Martin is being held at the Tazewell County Jail.  

Around the Nation
2:13 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Is Eastern State Penitentiary Really Haunted?

Inmates once were hooded so they would not be recognized by guards or other inmates, allowing for anonymity upon release. Eyeholes were allowed in hoods circa 1890, but prisoners were still not allowed to communicate.
Courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 2:25 pm

With its looming, gloomy high stone walls, crumbling corridors, and stark cells that once housed thousands of hard-core criminals, Eastern State Penitentiary certainly looks haunted. Its 142-year history is full of suicide, madness, disease, murder and torture, making it easy to imagine the spirits of troubled souls left behind to roam its abandoned halls.

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Shots - Health News
1:46 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

What's The Real Deadline For Buying Health Coverage?

Which date should be circled on your insurance calendar?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 8:56 am

Under the Affordable Care Act, nearly everyone will be required to have health insurance. If they don't, they'll have to pay the federal government a tax penalty.

But it turns out this is a case where there are deadlines, and then there are hard deadlines.

And with the federally run health insurance exchange at HealthCare.gov so mired in technology problems, figuring out the what counts as a real deadline has become a very hot topic.

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Health
1:21 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

State Sen. Rose: conspiracy to shut out Health Alliance

State Senator Chapin Rose says state regulators conspired to shut out Health Alliance on a technicality.  The Mahomet Republican was among the lawmakers in a legislative hearing Wednesday, questioning the decision to choose four other providers of Medicare Advantage retiree contracts.  

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State News
1:17 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Il Congressman grills health care website developers

During a Congressional hearing Thursday Collinsville Republican John Shimkus grilled the private contractors tasked with building the new federal health care website. Technical glitches continue to disrupt the rollout of the online health insurance exchanges.

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Parallels
1:04 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars

A mechanic repairs a bike at Calmera bike shop in Madrid in September. As car sales slump across Europe, bicycle sales in Spain are outpacing cars — a trend seen across much of the Continent.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 3:11 pm

We know that Europeans love their bicycles — think Amsterdam or Paris. Denmark even has highways specifically for cyclists.

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Parallels
12:56 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Are Afghanistan's Schools Doing As Well As Touted?

An Afghan child writes on a blackboard at a school built by German troops in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Mazar-e-Sharif. The number of students enrolled in Afghan schools has skyrocketed since the fall of the Taliban at the end of 2001.
Farshad Usyan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:25 pm

It's one of the most touted "positive statistics" about Afghanistan: Today, there are 10 million Afghans enrolled in school, 40 percent of them female.

Under the Taliban, about 1 million boys and almost no girls were attending schools. Western officials routinely point to the revived education system as a sign of success and hope for the future.

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