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NPR Story
4:33 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Security Clearance Checks Under Scrutiny After Shootings

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:36 pm

A defense contractor’s deadly shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard is raising questions about the adequacy of the background checks done on contract employees who hold security clearances.

Navy and White House security reviews have begun as a picture emerges of the gunman as an agitated and erratic figure whose behavior and mental state had repeatedly come to authorities’ attention but didn’t seem to affect his security clearance.

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Ecstatic Voices
4:24 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Sacred Strings Guide Gospel Through Thunder And Steel

The Sacred Steel tradition is an integral part of worship. From the House of God Keith Dominion Church, Aubrey Ghent (pictured) helped revive the style in 1990s.
Brad Gregory Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:01 pm

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Shots - Health News
3:57 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Americans' Upside-Down View Of Medicare's Problems

Medicare is big. And as America gets grayer, the health insurance program for seniors and the disabled is going to get a lot bigger — and more expensive.

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Iran Frees Political Prisoners

Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh smiles at her house in Tehran on Wednesday, after being freed from prison.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 5:17 pm

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was among several political prisoners released by Tehran on Wednesday, just days ahead of a visit by Iran's newly elected moderate president to the United Nations in New York.

Sotoudeh, who had been held since 2010, was one of eight women and three men released, according to the BBC. Reformist politician Mohsen Aminzadeh was also among the prisoners freed.

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It's All Politics
2:43 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Sen. Mitch McConnell's Newest Headache

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters following a Republican caucus at the Capitol Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 3:36 pm

As House Republican leaders acquiesce to their Tea Party faction and tie a government spending renewal to the defunding of Obamacare, don't look for much cheering from the Senate minority leader's office.

That's because what had largely been House Speaker John Boehner's problem now becomes Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell's problem — at least for the next steps of this drama.

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