Nation/World

New VA Smoking Ban Celebrated, Criticized

Jan 21, 2020

The recent smoking ban at all Veteran Administration medical facilities has been lauded for creating a healthier environment for veterans and federal employees. But the new smoke-free policy has been difficult for some veterans and staff.

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We revisit Robin Young’s conversation with Awkwafina, who won a Golden Globe for her performance in the 2019 film “The Farewell” and debuts a new show “Awkwafina is Nora from Queens” Wednesday night on Comedy Central.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Trump's Impeachment Trial Begins To Unfold

Jan 21, 2020

President Trump’s impeachment trial is set to unfold at the Capitol in a contentious proceeding to render judgment on his actions.

On the eve of the trial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed a condensed, two-day calendar for each side’s opening arguments. The rules package will be one of the first orders of business when senators convene about midday Tuesday.

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Wednesday

After a long day and night of dueling between the House managers calling for impeachment and attorneys for President Trump declaring the articles of impeachment "ridiculous," the Senate adopted a set of rules that will govern its impeachment trial, in which opening arguments will get underway Wednesday.

The resolution, put forward by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calls for each side to receive up to 24 hours to argue their case, spread over three days.

Many people think of the economy as following a set of fairly scientific principles.

We buy more if things are cheap. We buy less if they're expensive. Companies hire more people if it looks like the economy is growing. They cut back if it looks like things are going to tank. Or say you're in charge of the Federal Reserve. Economic indicators help decide whether to raise or lower interest rates.

All of this seems very rational, very mathematical.

Attorney Bryan Stevenson’s book, “Just Mercy,” has become a central text in changing how Americans discuss the issues of incarceration and capital punishment.

The book tells the story of Stevenson’s attempts to free a wrongly-accused black man in Alabama named Walter McMillian who’s on death row.

Since that case in 1993, Stevenson has founded a nonprofit, the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and has advocated for the release of over 140 prisoners facing capital punishment.

Is January actually “Divorce Month?” Well, the facts are complicated.

But regardless of when it happens, the way divorce happens is changing. More couples are turning to mediation. Long and complex court cases are less common. And arrangements like half-and-half child custody are becoming more popular.

A member of the 1A Text Club says:

Emma Copley Eisenberg's The Third Rainbow Girl is a true crime tale as thoroughly researched and reported as it is perplexing.

The book offers a deep-dive into rural Appalachia, a region of the United States that is little understood, and it digs into questions of how deeply misogyny and bias can run inside a community. It is also an honest and endearing coming-of-age tale — one that will leave readers curious to know what Eisenberg will write about next. However, like any good true crime story, The Third Rainbow Girl starts with the facts.

The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump is off to a raucous start — taking 13 hours to approve the trial rules. At the trial's conclusion, senators will decide whether Trump should be removed from office.

The former president of Interpol has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison. Meng Hongwei, the first Chinese national to assume the presidency of the France-based international law enforcement organization, received his 13 1/2-year sentence for corruption Tuesday in a Chinese courtroom.

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Sinister and piercing, with a heavy lilt of Puberty 2 grunge — if you need a "gui

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Proof That A Good Sandwich Knows No Borders

Jan 21, 2020

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William Gibson does not write novels, he makes bombs.

Careful, meticulous, clockwork explosives on long timers. Their first lines are their cores — dangerous, unstable reactant mass so packed with story specific detail that every word seems carved out of TNT. The lines that follow are loops of brittle wire wrapped around them.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

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Some sad news from the music world now - renowned Americana singer-songwriter David Olney died on Saturday at the age of 71.

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Good morning on what will be an historic day in Washington, D.C.

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Today, the U.S. Senate begins the third presidential impeachment trial in American history. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has laid out his plan for how the proceedings will go, and this is what Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had to say about it.

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RORY STEEL: A man by the name of Rory Steel finished an important project this weekend.

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STEEL: So, Ava, how is it? Is it good?

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Hackers linked to Iran are probing American companies for vulnerabilities, cybersecurity researchers and U.S. government officials say.

The warnings suggest that the next phase of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran, following the Jan. 3 killing of a top Iranian general in an American drone strike, is likely to play out in cyberspace.

Updated Jan. 22 at 3:41 p.m. ET

Near the iced-over Bering Sea, parka-clad workers for the U.S. Census Bureau are gathering in a remote fishing village along the southwestern rim of Alaska to resume a U.S. tradition seen only once a decade — a count of every person living in the country.

"I'm not anti-hospice at at all," says Joy Johnston, a writer from Atlanta. "But I think people aren't prepared for all the effort that it takes to give someone a good death at home."

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