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2:52 am
Fri April 11, 2014

What's The Right Size For The U.S. Army?

As the U.S. winds down the Afghan war, the government is eyeing a much reduced military force — to its lowest level since World War II. Here, soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, salute during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" during a homecoming ceremony Feb. 27 in Fort Knox, Ky.
Luke Sharrett Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:14 pm

With the U.S. military out of Iraq and winding down in Afghanistan, the U.S. Army, which peaked with a force of around 570,000 a few years ago, was supposed to drop to around 490,000 troops.

But U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that's still too big.

"An Army of this size is larger than required to meet the demands of our defense strategy," Hagel told a news conference in February.

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Shots - Health News
2:51 am
Fri April 11, 2014

The Ebola Survivors: Reborn But Not Always Embraced

Rose Komano, 18 and the mother of three, was the first Ebola patient to overcome the virus in southeastern Guinea, the epicenter of the outbreak. On April 3, she posed at a health clinic in the Gueckedou region.
Misha Hussain Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 2:32 pm

They call them the "Lazarus" cases, after the Biblical character who died but was revived by Jesus. They are survivors of the latest outbreak of Ebola.

Ebola often grabs global headlines as the killer virus that can result in a death rate of up to 90 percent. But in Guinea, the death rate in the current outbreak has been about 60 percent. So there are survivors — to the delight of the overworked doctors, health workers and, of course, the patients who have recovered.

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News
6:09 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Sebelius, Leader Of Rocky Health Care Rollout, Resigns From HHS

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:12 pm

Kathleen Sebelius has resigned from her position as secretary of health and human services. President Obama accepted her resignation, and he plans to nominate Sylvia Matthews Burwell to replace her.

The Two-Way
5:53 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Judges Appear Divided In Case On Utah's Gay Marriage Ban

Plaintiff and gay rights activist Derek Kitchen (left) and partner Moudi Sbeity stand with relatives after a hearing at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Thursday.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 1:55 pm

A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals appeared divided on Thursday as they listened to arguments in a case on whether Utah's same-sex marriage ban is constitutional.

The ban, approved by Utah voters in 2004, was struck down by a lower court in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year against the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

At the hearing in Denver on Thursday, the appeals court judges voiced support for a "fundamental right to marriage" but said Utah might have the right to define marriage as only between men and women.

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The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Is Resigning

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from her post after serving for five years.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 6:35 pm

Health Secrerary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning after a five-year term that will no doubt be remembered for the calamitous implementation of President Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

If you remember, when the federal government unveiled HealthCare.gov, where Americans could buy health insurance mandated by Obamacare, the site was essentially useless for weeks after it launched in October.

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It's All Politics
4:47 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Ryan Budget Vote Produces 'Win' For Both Parties

J. Scott Applewhite AP

The House of Representatives saw a rare win-win day on the floor with passage of this year's Ryan budget.

Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Democratic ranking member Chris Van Hollen both thanked the committee staff for all its hard work. Democrats made lots of speeches about how horrible the budget is; Republicans made lots of speeches about how wonderful it is. They took a vote, and then adjourned for a two-week break.

The actual effect on public policy?

None.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

German Fears About U.S. Spying Could Hurt Trade Deal

A carnival truck caricatures President Obama and the NSA spying scandal during a parade through Frankfurt, Germany, last month.
Frank Rumpenhorst EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 9:52 am

Most Americans and Germans agree: More trade between the United States and the European Union would be a good idea.

But when you get down to details of a possible trade pact, suspicions pop up, according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in association with Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation.

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Monkey See
4:33 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Stephen Colbert: The End Of One Joke, The Start Of Many More

Stephen Colbert has made a name for himself, literally, as the host of his own show. Now, he will succeed David Letterman as the host of The Late Show.
Scott Gries Picturegroup

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 6:37 am

CBS just ended the longest-running joke in TV history by naming Stephen Colbert to succeed retiring late-night host David Letterman

That's because Colbert, who has won all kinds of acclaim playing fictional right-wing cable TV news host "Stephen Colbert" on The Colbert Report, will now play a new character when he takes over Letterman's Late Show:

Himself.

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Book Reviews
4:21 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

After A Disaster In 'Family Life,' Relief Never Comes

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:12 pm

Some things in life are just too painful to accept, and the same is true in novels. Family Life is the story of the Mishras, who immigrate to the U.S. in the late 1970s from India. Their departure is such a big deal that townspeople gather around just to have a look at their airplane tickets. Expectations of the life that awaits them start to build. "Americans clean themselves with paper, not water," says a classmate of the younger Mishra brother, Ajay, who narrates the novel. "In America, they say 'yeah' not yes," the boy goes on. To which Ajay replies, "That's nothing.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

What's A Breath Of Fresh Air Worth? In China, About $860

Beijing artist Liang Kegang poses in a Beijing art gallery earlier this week with the jar of fresh air he collected in Provence, France.
Didi Tang AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 11:37 am

It's a classic example of supply and demand: How much would you pay for a bottle of fresh air in one of the world's most polluted cities?

When Beijing artist Liang Kegang returned home from a vacation in France, he brought with him a jar of clean air he had collected from Provence. At auction in a group of about 100 fellow artists and collectors, the jar of air fetched the equivalent of $860, according to The Associated Press.

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