"Although individual employees have engaged in misconduct or inappropriate behavior, we did not find evidence that misconduct is widespread," concludes a report from the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general. The IG's investigation was launched after the 2012 scandal over some agents' behavior while they were on a mission in Colombia.
NPR's business news begins with some good news on the economic front.
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GREENE: The U.S. economy grew by 4.1 percent in the third quarter of the year, and that's significantly higher than the earlier projection of 3.6 percent. The upward revision comes mostly thanks to stronger consumer spending, and it is the fastest jump in growth in almost two years. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Maybe it all started with ugly Christmas sweaters. Or with cheesy inflatable Santas. Or hideously inappropriate tree ornaments. But Christmastime – at least its visible trappings and accoutrements – seems to be getting tackier.
David Schulte, a marine biologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, developed a small reef area to provide a habitat for oysters in one of the Chesapeake Bay's tributaries. It's one of several public-private efforts aimed at restoring the bay's oysters. Read more about that project.
Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:44 am
The history of the Chesapeake Bay oyster hasn't always been a pure one. So you could forgive a chef for being skeptical about the big bivalve comeback being staged in D.C. and the surrounding area this winter as oyster season gets underway.
But many mid-Atlantic chefs are actually cheering. That's because a major public-private effort to re-establish the oyster as a quality local food product — as well as a weapon against water pollution — seems to be working.
Confirming one of the week's less-secret secrets, the White House announced Friday morning that President Obama intends to nominate Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., to be the next ambassador to the People's Republic of China.
The 72-year-old Baucus has been in the Senate since 1978. He is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Aaron Swaney helps Jeannie Wyble with her application for insurance through the online health marketplace at Family Health Center on Dec. 5, 2013. Wyble's application was stuck in "in progress" limbo for weeks.
On an afternoon in early December, 60-year-old Columbia resident Jeannie Wyble sits in a small cubicle at Columbia’s Family Health Center, telling Aaron Swaney, a HealthCare.gov application counselor, about the heart attack she suffered in 2002.
“I quit smoking when I had my heart attack,” Wyble said. “Smoked my last cigarette on the way to the ER, never smoked another one.”
At the time, Wyble was still insured through her husband’s union plan. But after the heart attack, the insurance company began increasing her monthly premium. Wyble says at one point, she had to pay almost $500 a month.
“And then when we found out they were going to jump even more again the following January,” Wyble said. “It was very clear to us that we couldn’t pay my premiums anymore and that mine would just have to be dropped. In effect, [the insurance company] decided to get rid of me, and it worked. They did. They got rid of me.”
Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 1:09 pm
Politicians in the Dominican Republic have long courted Dominicans in the U.S. for votes. That relationship has strengthened in the past couple of years; in 2011, the Dominican government established seven representatives for its communities abroad.
And that influence means activism in the U.S. matters back on the island.
Loretta Moss, 62, helps stack boxes to take into the post office in Vandalia, Mo., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Moss worked for the post office as a city carrier for nearly 22 years. She was required to retire from the postal service in September due to her prognosis of stage 4-breast cancer.
Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 12:04 pm
Among the memorials to Nelson Mandela put up across India is a billboard in Tamil Nadu that features a photo of actor Morgan Freeman, not the iconic anti-apartheid hero from South Africa who died earlier this month.