National | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio


RSS Feed

Miners Weather The Slow Burn Of Coal's Demise

For decades, coal represented half of the nation's electricity generation, but it dropped to only 34 percent in March. Technological breakthroughs in fracking have led to a gas boom that's caused prices to plummet, and now hundreds of coal miners are being laid off as the nation shifts away from the oldest and most plentiful source of electricity in the U.S.

Pennsylvania Cuts Medicaid Coverage For Dental Care

Pennsylvania used to have broad coverage of dental care for Medicare beneficiaries. But cuts to the state budget have led the Medicaid program to cover only basic dental services.

Two Governors, Two Approaches To Solvency

The National Governors Association holds its annual meeting this weekend in Williamsburg, Va. Revenue in most states has been steadily decreasing, and weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with Massachusetts' Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick and Georgia's Republican Gov. Nathan Deal about the different approaches they're taking to help their states recover from the recession.

Challenges Ahead For Oregon's Health Exchanges

Oregon is one of the states that's furthest along in setting up its health insurance exchange. But the exchange's executive director, Rocky King, still has much work ahead if that state is to meet the federal deadlines that are part of the Affordable Care Act. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz checks back in with King about the challenges Oregon faces to finish its exchange by 2014.

Starry-Eyed In Arizona Observe The Heavens

Tucscon, Ariz., is probably the best urban area in the country for viewing the stars. Tucson's clear, cloudless skies attract all sorts of astronomy buffs, professional and amateur. NPR's Peter Breslow takes a look at the astronomy culture of the region.

$6B Deal Eases Credit Card Surcharge Restrictions

Credit card companies Visa and MasterCard along with major banks have agreed to pay several billion dollars to settle a lawsuit brought by retailers. The deal is one of the largest anti-trust settlements in history. The retailers claimed that Visa, MasterCard and the banks conspired to fix the fees that stores pay to accept credit and debit cards. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

Black Lung Makes A Deadly Resurgence

NPR and the Center for Public Integrity reported this week that black lung, the deadly disease that strikes coal miners, is a growing problem again. NPR's Howard Berkes tells host Scott Simon that weak regulation and industry deception thwarted efforts to control the coal mine dust that causes black lung.