12:32pm

Wed December 14, 2011
All Tech Considered

Voyager Probes Aim For Interstellar Space, Four Decades Of Travel

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 12:57 pm

Artist's concept of NASA's Voyager spacecraft. For 35 years, the probes have been beaming images and information back to Earth via a 23-watt transmitter.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA is on the brink of putting a man-made craft into interstellar space for the first time, as Voyager 1 speeds toward the outer edge of our solar system. The Voyager program's chief scientist, Dr. Ed Stone, spoke with NPR's Steve Inskeep about that feat, and what it means for NASA.

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12:08pm

Wed December 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama To Troops: 'Welcome Home'

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 1:12 pm

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama with troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., today (Dec. 14, 2011) after his address.
Gerry Broome AP

"On behalf of a grateful nation, I'm proud to finally say these two words and I know your famlies agree:

"Welcome home."

With that, President Obama began an address today at North Carolina's Fort Bragg, where he continued to mark the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq by talking with some of the troops who served in that nearly nine-year conflict.

We updated this post with more from his address.

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET. "Because Of You":

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12:02pm

Wed December 14, 2011
Religion

New York Hasidic Women Want Separate EMT Unit

A Hatzolah ambulance crew at the scene of a fire at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun synagogue in New York City last summer. Some Hasidic women want to form their own EMT unit within the Orthodox Jewish ambulance service to help women keep their modesty during emergency baby deliveries.
Daniel Barry Getty Images

If you live in New York City, you will often see the Orthodox Jewish ambulance service known as Hatzolah on the street. Hatzolah has some 1,200 volunteers — all men — in New York City and is known for its quick response time.

Now, a group of Hasidic female EMTs wants to create a women's division within Hatzolah, to help deliver babies in emergencies.

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12:00pm

Wed December 14, 2011
Music

Young Writer Looks To Ladytron For Dance Beats

Nigerian-Ghanaian author Taiye Selasi splashed onto the literary scene with her story, 'The Sex Lives of African Girls.' As part of Tell Me More's occasional series, In Your Ear, Selasi talks about the music that inspires her, including Ladytron single, 'White Elephant,' and a cover of REM's, 'Losing My Religion' by Nina Persson.

12:00pm

Wed December 14, 2011
NPR Story

Tips On Hot Gifts For The Tech-Lovers

The clock is ticking on holiday shopping, but it's not too late to buy this year's top gadgets. Host Michel Martin gets the dish from AOL's LaToya Drake. Some of the items on her list include an interactive dancing toy robot for kids, and for adults, a device that measures the amount of deep sleep a person gets each night.

12:00pm

Wed December 14, 2011
NPR Story

Why Do So Few Women Have Mentors?

A good mentor can steer you to professional success. But according to a survey by LinkedIn, nearly 1 out of 5 women say they've never had a mentor at work. Host Michel Martin discusses the findings with Linked-In's Nicole Williams.

12:00pm

Wed December 14, 2011
NPR Story

GOP Frontrunners Spar In Lead Up To Iowa Caucus

Newt Gingrich has surged in the polls, but will trading jabs with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney pay off? In this week's political chat, host Michel Martin speaks with journalists Joy-Ann Reid and Mary Kate Cary about the race to win the GOP presidential nomination.

11:35am

Wed December 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: Afghan Rape Victim Freed, Unclear If She Must Marry Attacker

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 11:37 am

Burqa-clad Afghan women wait to buy chickpeas from a shop in Kabul earlier this year.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Gulnaz, the young Afghan woman whose story has spread around the world because she was imprisoned after being raped by a relative, is now free, CNN and the BBC are reporting.

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11:34am

Wed December 14, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Medicaid Takes Growing Slice Of States' Spending

Medicaid enrollment climbs.
Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicaid sure is popular. And that's a big problem for state budgets.

These days the health program for the poor is claiming a bigger slice of states' spending than even K-12 education, says a report from the National Association of State Budget Officers.

All told, Medicaid is expected to grab 23.6 percent of states' spending in fiscal 2011, up from 22.3 percent the year before.

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11:29am

Wed December 14, 2011
The Salt

Putting Farmland On A Fertilizer Diet

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a document yesterday that got no attention on the nightly news, or almost anywhere, really. Its title, I'm sure you'll agree, is a snooze: National Nutrient Management Standard.

Yet this document represents the agency's best attempt to solve one of the country's — and the world's — really huge environmental problems: The nitrogen and phosphorus that pollute waterways.

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