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Increased Payroll Taxes Pinch Some Middle Class Families

Even though Congress struck a last minute deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, taxes are still going to go up for millions of Americans in the new year. That's because payroll taxes are scheduled to revert to where they were in 2010. Most workers will see an increase of two percent, which could mean up $100 less each month for some families.
NPR

After Suspenseful Vote, Boehner Recaptures House Speaker Seat

Ohio Congressman John Boehner held onto his gavel after winning re-election as speaker of the U.S. House. Many conservative Republicans had been unhappy with Boehner for going along with the recent fiscal cliff compromise, but in the end most voted for him.
NPR

Aurora Theater Reopens, Angering Some Family Members Of Victims

Less than six months after a lone gunman shot up a theater at the Century Aurora 16 theater in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and injuring at least 58, the movie house is slated to reopen. Several family members of victims, after being invited to participate in reopening events, wrote a letter to Cinemark, owner of the theater, expressing their shock as the company's lack of sensitivity. Audie Cornish speaks with reporter Ryan Parker who has followed these events for the Denver Post.
NPR

White House's 'We The People' Petitions Find Mixed Success

The retro way to get the attention of the White House was to write an op-ed in a high profile newspaper, lobby Congress, or maybe even stage a march on Washington. Today all you need to do is click a few buttons. In 2011 the White House created a petitioning website called "We the People." Petitions that gather 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days receive an administration response. After more than a year in operation, Audie Cornish checks in with Jim Snider, a Harvard fellow who studies democratic reform in the information age, about the site's effectiveness.
NPR

Drought Puts The Squeeze On Already Struggling Fish Farms

The year's dry, hot weather forced aquaculturists to spend a lot more to keep their fish healthy and fed. For US catfish farmers, though, already suffering from competition with Asia, the drought has been an especially hard blow.
NPR

For Many Kids, Winter Break Means Hungry Holidays

Most kids look forward to their school's winter break. But millions of students in the U.S. get free or reduced-price meals at school, and when school is closed, many of those children eat less until classes are back in session.
NPR

Hit-And-Run Deaths Increase, But Culprits Hard To Capture

In Los Angeles, where the car is the major mode of transportation, hit-and-run accidents involving pedestrians occur almost daily. But these crimes can be the most difficult for law enforcement to investigate and solve.

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