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U.S. Judge Says NSA Phone Data Program Is Legal, Valuable

A federal judge in New York ruled Friday that the National Security Agency's huge telephone data collection program is legal. In a written opinion, U.S. District Judge William Pauley said the program is a valuable tool to combat terrorism specifically because the records collection is so broad.
NPR

To Make Intersections Smarter, We Need Cars To Be Smarter, Too

Anyone who has waited endlessly at a red light at an empty four-way intersection knows traffic signals are not the most efficient way to keep traffic flowing. Computer scientists have figured out a way to utilize the space in intersections far more efficiently. The problem is the solution will have to wait for a day when cars can drive themselves.
NPR

After Major Comeback, Is The Gray Wolf Still Endangered?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list. The wolf had been extirpated from the West and had dwindled most other places in the U.S. The great canine has rebounded since it was reintroduced to the northern Rockies in the 1990s and is continuing to spread into the Pacific Northwest. But biologists warn that if these wolves loses federal protection, they will not be able to return to some places, such as Colorado, where the ecosystem sorely needs them.
NPR

On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands

As baby boomers retire and drilling increases, energy companies are hiring, adding 23 percent more workers between 2009 and 2012. But the hiring spree has come with a terrible price: Last year, 138 workers were killed on the job, twice as many as in 2009.
NPR

Oil Company Looks To Great Lakes As Shipping Demand Booms

North Dakota and western Canada are producing crude oil faster than rail cars and pipelines can take it to refineries. Now, one company wants to ship it by barge across the Great Lakes. That worries environmentalists, who say a 2010 tar sands oil spill near Lake Michigan has yet to be fully cleaned up.
NPR

5 Achievements Of The 113th Congress (So Far)

The 113th Congress has come to be defined more by what it failed to do than what it did. But the two warring parties controlling either end of Capitol Hill managed to accomplish a few things in 2013.
NPR

Stories Merge As 'Duck Dynasty' Fans Plan 'Chick-Phil-A' Day

Last year, conservatives rallied around Chick-fil-A's president. Now, some are doing the same for Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, who was briefly suspended from his show for things he said about homosexuals. And they're planning a similar show of support.
NPR

Judge Rules That NSA Collection Of Phone Data Is Lawful

Rejecting a challenge by the ACLU to the program, U.S. District Judge William Pauley said Friday that the collection of data represented "a government counter-punch" against al-Qaida. The ruling comes less than two weeks after another judge said the program violated the Constitution.
NPR

Concussions May Increase Alzheimer's Risk, But Only For Some

Head injuries have long been considered a risk factor for Alzheimer's, but the evidence on that is mixed. A study finds that people who have memory problems decades after a concussion are more likely to have the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's.
NPR

Harlem In Photographs: Troubled Neighborhood To Source Of Pride

Camilo José Vergara says documenting a "world of losing ... a world where things diminish" is "awfully good training for life." His new photo book, Harlem: The Unmaking of a Ghetto, shows the neighborhood's transormation over 40 years.

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