National and World News from NPR

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Europe
9:08 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Bulgaria Links Hezbollah To Deadly Attack On Israelis

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 5:51 am

Bulgarian authorities say they have evidence the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah financed and carried out a bomb attack at a Black Sea resort town last year, killing five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian citizen.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov said it was an extremely intensive investigation.

"The results of that investigation leads to a number of persons who are connected to the military wing of Hezbollah," he said.

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U.S. Citizenship
5:01 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Northwest Immigrants Take The Oath Of Citizenship

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:53 pm

SPOKANE, Wash. - As Congress prepares for a debate over immigration reform, one group of immigrants in the Northwest quietly completed their paths to citizenship Tuesday. Fourteen people became U.S. citizens at a ceremony in Spokane, Wash.

One of them was Mukti Ryan. She wanted to be able to travel more easily with her American husband and daughter, even though she had to give up her Indian citizenship.

“India doesn't allow dual citizenship, so I can't call myself an Indian citizen anymore," Ryan says. "It's a bittersweet feeling.”

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Paid Medical Leave
4:59 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Washington Lawmakers Consider Expanding Paid Time Off For Families

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:25 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Paid medical leave benefits would expand for employees under a measure in the Washington legislature. The measure would allow workers to take up to 12 weeks to tend to new babies in addition to 12 weeks for other medical issues at home.

Proponents of increasing paid time-off for families filled a hearing room in Olympia Tuesday. Don Orange owns a small auto repair shop in Vancouver, Wash. He testified he would gladly pay extra for the new benefit.

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Guest Workers
4:30 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Northwest Farmers Plan To Bring More Mexican Guest Workers North

Washington Apple Commission

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:29 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – A group of Northwest farmers plans to bring in thousands of legal Mexican guest workers to their fields and orchards this year. Last season many farmers were scrambling to pick their crops because of a worker shortage.

The federal H-2A guest worker program is so cumbersome and expensive, that most farmers haven’t wanted to use it. Employers have to pay for transportation, approved housing and usually more money than the going wage for workers already in the U.S.

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Business
3:36 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

S&P Lawsuit Puts Ratings Firms Back In The Spotlight

In a lawsuit, the Justice Department alleges Standard and Poor's misled investors with fraudulent credit ratings. The agency could seek more than $5 billion in damages.
Henny Ray Abrams AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:17 pm

The Justice Department said Tuesday it could seek more than $5 billion in damages from Standard & Poor's, the nation's biggest credit ratings company, a day after it sued the company, alleging that S&P defrauded investors by giving triple-A ratings to risky subprime mortgage investments.

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Middle East
2:33 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

For The First Time In Decades, Iran's President Visits Egypt

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits an Islamic shrine Tuesday in Cairo. He became the first Iranian leader to visit Egypt since the 1970s.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:36 pm

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday became the first Iranian leader to visit Egypt since the 1970s, the latest sign of the thawing of relations between the rival Muslim nations.

Ahmadinejad received a red-carpet welcome as Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi greeted him on the tarmac at Cairo International Airport with a kiss on each cheek.

Under Egypt's former leader, Hosni Mubarak, a visit like this would never have happened.

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Shots - Health News
1:59 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Aggressive Care Still Common For Dying Seniors, Despite Hospice Uptick

Joe Takach comforts his friend Lillian Landry, as she spends her last days in the hospice wing of a hospital in Oakland Park, Fla., in 2009.
J. Pat Carter AP

Although federal data show that fewer Medicare beneficiaries are dying in hospitals that doesn't mean they're getting a lot less medical care in their final days, new research suggests.

Even as deaths in acute-care hospitals declined between 2000 and 2009, the use of intensive care units in the final 30 days of life increased, as did short-term hospice use. The rate of changes to care for these patients, such as transfers within the last three days of life, also increased.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Did Ninjas Use Throwing Stars? A Conversation About Ninja Realities

An authentic master of ninjutsu martial art, Kazuki Ukita poses in Ninja costume at the Ninja museum's Ninja residence in the small ancient city of Ueno.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:31 pm

Our friends at On Point had a fascinating discussion today with the author of a new book about ninjas.

Here's what Sam Gale Rosen, On Point's producer, told us:

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It's All Politics
1:49 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Even When They Qualify For Citizenship, Few Mexican Immigrants Seek It

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:02 pm

While a path to citizenship is a central component of proposed changes to the nation's immigration laws, most Mexican immigrants now eligible for U.S. citizenship don't obtain it, according to a new study.

The Pew Hispanic Center report found that only about 36 percent of eligible Mexicans take the steps to become U.S. citizens, compared to 68 percent of all other immigrants.

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Business
1:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Why Is It So Hard To Make A 100 Percent American Hand Dryer?

The Xlerator hand dryer is made almost entirely of American components and assembled in Massachusetts. But the company's owner says it's simply not cost-effective to use an American-made motor.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:17 pm

Fifteen years ago, Denis Gagnon bought a company that made a product nobody really liked: hand dryers. But he quickly managed to turn Massachusetts-based Excel Dryer into an innovator with the Xlerator — a high-speed dryer that cut drying time from more than 30 seconds to less than 15.

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