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With Nominees Stalled, Democrats Reprise Filibuster Threat

With Republicans blocking the nominations of one African-American and two female judges to a key appeals court, Senate Democrats are again pondering a rules change to curtail the minority's ability to filibuster judicial appointments. But even Democrats themselves are split on whether to proceed.
NPR

What A Bitcoin Political Debut Could Mean For Transparency

The Federal Election Commission is expected to vote Thursday on a proposal to allow virtual currency contributions to political action committees.
NPR

Illinois Joins Growing List Of States With Same-Sex Marriage

After months of wrangling among lawmakers and opposition from powerful religious groups, Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law on Wednesday.
NPR

How A Vitamin D Test Misdiagnosed African-Americans

By a standard test most African-Americans have low levels of vitamin D. But most African-Americans also have strong bones. It turns out that the problem is with the test, which was looking for a form of D more common in Caucasians. The variation is a result of human evolution.
NPR

Medicaid Enrollment Is Brisk Despite HealthCare.gov Troubles

If you advertise it, they will come. Sign-ups for Medicaid are brisk, even in states that haven't expanded their programs with an infusion of federal dollars. Experts call that the "woodwork effect" — getting the word out to people who were already eligible.
NPR

Justice Says FISA Was Used To Help Crack 2010 Oregon Bomb Plot

Prosecutors acknowledge they built their case against Somali-born U.S. citizen Mohamed Osman Mohamud partly with secret surveillance information — an admission that could delay his sentencing.
NPR

Rival Plans In Senate Aim To Change Military Rape Prosecutions

The Senate is debating rival plans on how to prosecute cases of sexual assault in the military. The problem is vast: 26,000 military sexual assaults last year, with only 3,000 reported and 300 going to trial. Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have competing proposals for dealing with the issue.
NPR

Obama Awards Medal Of Freedom To Bill Clinton, Others

President Obama bestowed the highest civilian award on an array of stars Monday. The 16 recipients of the Medal of Freedom — from former President Bill Clinton to country singer Loretta Lynn, from feminist Gloria Steinem and legendary college basketball coach Dean Smith to Judge Patricia Wald — assembled at the White House.
NPR

Food Stamp Cuts Leave Rural Areas, And Their Grocers, Reeling

In communities grappling with high unemployment, grocery stores serve many customers who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to get by. Some stores are estimating that their sales might fall between 5 and 10 percent now that the government has reduced the benefits.
NPR

Amid HealthCare.gov Troubles, Medicaid Enrollment's Been Brisk

Enrollment in private health insurance has been slow to grow since the health exchanges opened Oct. 1. But new enrollment in the Medicaid program has been brisk, including in states that are not expanding Medicaid under the health law.

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