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Gulf States Set Plan For Spending Coastal Restoration Funds

Federal and state officials voted Thursday on a plan to restore the Gulf Coast. The meeting in New Orleans is intended to set a course for recovery from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.
NPR

Treasury, IRS Debut New Tax Rules For Same-Sex Couples

Officials of the Treasury Department and the IRS announced new rules allowing same sex couples who marry in states with gay marriage to file jointly if they move to other states.
NPR

Fast Food Workers, Activists Protest For Higher Wages

The fast food industry has become the focal point in the drive by organized labor and its supporters for so-called living wage laws. Union members and activist groups staged another round of protests Thursday at restaurants and retail stores, calling for a minimum wage of $15 an hour. How are the protestors playing with consumers and what would happen to workers and the industry if organizers achieved their goal?
NPR

NFL Settles Players' Concussions Dispute For $765 Million

The NFL has agreed to a $765 million settlement with more than 4,500 former players and families over concussions. The money will fund medical exams and treatment and provide compensation to players and families.
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Leaked Documents Reveal Budget Breakdown Between CIA, NSA

Details of the top secret budget of U.S. intelligence agencies have been made public — revealing not only that the nation spends more than $50 billion a year on intelligence but also some detail about how that money is spent. The Washington Post published excerpts of a 2013 budget justification obtained from the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. In the past, the total amount spent on intelligence has been declassified by the U.S. government. The document reveals not only which agency spends the money but also what missions are top priority.
NPR

DOJ Won't Sue To Overturn Recreational Pot Laws

The Department of Justice issued new guidance Thursday on enforcement of marijuana laws. The move comes after two states — Colorado and Washington — legalized marijuana for recreational use. The department said it would not sue to pre-empt those laws as long as the two states follow the new policy, which applies to all 50 states. The government's priorities for prosecutors include keeping drug profits away from gangs and cartels, and keeping marijuana away from children.
NPR

Syrian-Americans Encourage U.S. Strike Against Assad Regime

The recent chemical attack on civilians in Syria galvanized international condemnation against the supposed perpetrator, Bashar al-Assad's regime. The U.S. is expected to take some sort of military action. But what should be the goals of the U.S. and its allies? Experts, diplomats, world leaders are weighing in — but, perhaps, nowhere else are these questions felt more deeply than among those in Syrian-American community.
NPR

Lady Houdini's Escape Act Breaks Through Not Just Handcuffs

Kristen Johnson, also known as Lady Houdini, goes far beyond the role women usually play in escape acts. "It was important for me to be a strong example for young women in particular," she says.
NPR

Federal Court Backs Calif. Ban On Conversion Therapy For Minors

California's pioneering law that prohibits treating young gay people with psychotherapy in an attempt to change their sexual orientation has cleared a constitutional challenge in federal appeals court. The law was put on hold after its opponents won an injunction last December.
NPR

Your Kitchen Spices Can Often Harbor Salmonella

Spices may add more than flavor to your food: Some harbor dangerous bacteria. Contamination has caused big outbreaks in the United States, and the FDA is looking into how to reduce the risk.

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