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Gen. Dempsey Disputes Gates' Characterization Of Obama

In an interview with NPR, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the nation's top military officer, said he never questioned that Obama "trusted me." In his controversial book, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Obama felt the military was trying to box him into decisions.
NPR

Christie Delivers Statewide Address Under Increased Scrutiny

Embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address on Tuesday. The address came at an awkward time for Christie, who faces a widening investigation into politically-motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Christie acknowledged the scandal but tried to steer the conversation toward education and other second-term priorities.
NPR

In California, Alarm Grows Over Shrinking Water Levels

The drought in California has become so severe that cities are preparing to impose restrictions on water use in homes. In Northern California, the water level in Folsom Lake is so low that remnants of Gold Rush life, which have long been underwater, are now exposed and being collected.
NPR

Hopes Dim For Long-Term Extension To Jobless Benefits

The Senate is still struggling to find a way to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits for those out of work for 26 weeks or more. Majority leader Harry Reid agreed to bring up five Democratic and five Republican amendments in hopes to winning enough Republicans over to get to the 60 votes needed for passage.
NPR

Drug Tests Don't Deter Drug Use, But School Environment Might

Drug testing might keep kids on the straight and narrow, but it remains controversial. Students said their drug use was more influenced by their school's environment than by the threat of drug tests, according to a survey. But neither seemed to affect teenage drinking.
NPR

Federal Judge Rejects The NFL Concussions Settlement

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a preliminary settlement between the National Football League and retired players and their families over concussion-related injuries. The judge doubted that the $765 million settlement would adequately cover all of the retired players potentially eligible to be paid.
NPR

Amid Resistance, Iranian Nuclear Deal Goes Into Effect

A six-month deal to negotiate a limit to Iran's nuclear program and loosen Western sanctions is set to go into effect on Monday. But resistance from hardliners in both the U.S. and Tehran could mean trouble for negotiations. Melissa Block talks with Iran analyst Robin Wright. Wright is just back from a reporting trip to Iran.
NPR

Mistrust And Miscommunication Stand In The Way Of Afghan Deal

The U.S. and Afghanistan are mired in an ongoing standoff over a proposed long-term security agreement. Analysts say that part of the reason the two countries can't close the deal is because of a trust and communications gap. Despite 12 years of fighting the Taliban together, the two countries still have trouble understanding each other's politics and interests. And that could result in the U.S. withdrawing all troops by the end of this year.
NPR

The Young And Restless May Cause Drama For ACA

Young people account for less than one quarter of those who have enrolled in the health care exchanges. Their participation is considered crucial for the success of the Affordable Care Act, and so far it's low. The administration had been hoping for a higher figure, but it predicts that more 18- to 34-year-olds will sign up in the next three months. If that doesn't happen, insurers will likely raise premiums for 2015, and that could spell deep trouble for the health care program.
NPR

Obama's NSA Panel Testifies Before Senate Committee

Members of a special panel of advisers assembled by President Obama are testifying on Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In December, the panel recommended changes to the way that the National Security Administration conducts surveillance.

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