10:19am

Thu February 9, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

KY Coal Head Raps EPA Regs

Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett said eastern Kentucky coalfields are being held to a higher standard than others in the state. Bissett said he believed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates Appalachian coal mining under a different set of regulations than other coal fields.

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10:17am

Thu February 9, 2012
State Capitol

House Panel Reverses Self, Approves 'Cooper's Law'

Cooper and his mother, Tiffiney Veloudis, walk back to the family home after playing in the playhouse (background) on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. Cooper's sisters Ally, 4, and Jordan Wade, 22, are on the playhouse porch.
David Perry Lexington Herald Leader

A House committee reversed itself Wednesday and approved "Cooper's Law," which would nullify deed restrictions on small outdoor structures deemed medically necessary for children 12 and younger. House Bill 160, which proceeds to the full House, is named for a Lexington boy whose parents are feuding with the Andover Forest Home owners Association. 

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10:14am

Thu February 9, 2012
Education

Kentucky Granted "No Child Left Behind" Waiver

Kentucky has been granted a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind standards. NCLB has been criticized the past few years as having unreachable goals for education. Kentucky was one of 11 states that applied for the waiver last fall and 28 more states have announced they plan to seek waiver later this year. In the first round ten states, including Indiana, were granted a waiver.

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10:05am

Thu February 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Women In Combat: Inevitable?

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 7:43 pm

American soldiers Kris Kuntz (left) and Hayley Barner in Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, last October.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Tom Bowman reports

The word that Pentagon rules may soon "catch up a bit with reality" as the military considers formally allowing women to do something that they've already been asked to do in Iraq and Afghanistan — serve close to the front lines but technically not "in combat" — raises a question.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reports, the new rules still wouldn't allow women to serve in front line combat jobs such as infantry, armor or Special Forces.

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9:42am

Thu February 9, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

International Meeting On Controversial Bird Flu Research Draws Near

H5N1 avian flu viruses (seen in gold) grow inside canine kidney cells (seen in green).
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

The World Health Organization has just one week left to prepare for a highly anticipated meeting on controversial bird flu research. One official says that 22 invitations have gone out and the WHO is still waiting to hear back from some of the invitees.

Recent experiments involving the H5N1 bird flu virus have caused a furor in the science community, and the WHO was urged to convene an international discussion.

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8:51am

Thu February 9, 2012
It's All Politics

With Lull In GOP Race, Candidates Fan Out And Regroup

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 9:38 am

Mitt Romney took his campaign to Newt Gingrich's turf on Wednesday with a rally in Atlanta.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /Landov

After a surprise sweep of Tuesday's three election contests by Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney headed to Georgia on Wednesday for a fundraiser and rally in Atlanta.

As NPR's Kathy Lohr reports on Morning Edition, heading to Georgia — Newt Gingrich country — was "a bold move" for Romney. "Before a packed crowd at a local tile and flooring company, Romney talked about creating jobs and reducing government spending — and he also took aim at his GOP opponents," Lohr reports.

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8:38am

Thu February 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Drop By 15,000

The number of Americans who filed first-time claims for jobless benefits dipped to 358,000 last week, down by 15,000 from a revised 373,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

At 358,000, claims were the lowest they've been since March 2008.

The "four-week moving average" number of claims was "366,250, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week's revised average of 377,250."

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8:10am

Thu February 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Settlement Reached With Banks On Relief For Some Homeowners

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 12:46 pm

"After negotiating through the night," NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, states attorneys general, federal officials and five major banks have agreed on a plan that will provide about $26 billion in mortgage relief and aid to homeowners who got crushed when the housing bubble burst.

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7:35am

Thu February 9, 2012
The Two-Way

More Deaths Today In Syrian City Of Homs, Residents Say

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 8:23 am

A Syrian rebel runs for cover during an exchange of fire with army troops in Idlib, Syria.
AP

"Syrian forces fired mortars and rockets Thursday in the rebellious city of Homs, the latest salvo in a weeklong assault that has killed hundreds as President Bashar Assad's regime tries to crush increasingly militarized pockets of dissent," The Associated Press reports.

Relying on reports from activists and residents in Homs, the AP and other news outlets say it appears that a brutal crackdown continues.

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7:15am

Thu February 9, 2012
State Capitol

Congressional Redistricting a 'No Go'

Efforts to redraw Kentucky's U.S. House districts are dead in the General Assembly.  State House Speaker Greg Stumbo made that declaration after the state Senate could not agree to the latest compromise on district maps. “I think that ship has sailed, that bell’s rung," Stumbo said. "I think the Secretary of State will have to certify those folks as the candidates and so the current status of law is that in my opinion they would run in the current Congressional district.”

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