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NPR 2014-03-20
03-21-2014, 11:24 AM
Post: #1
NPR 2014-03-20

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From NPR News in Washington, I'm Jack Speer.

Russia has annexed the Crimean Peninsula, the news was met with fireworks and fears in Crimea. NPR's Gregory Warner reports from Simferopol.
It was only moments after President Putin announced that he would sign a draft agreement to annex Crimea to Russia, that Crimeans learned that they would get their new Russian passports within a month. Many in this majority Russian peninsula celebrated, but those who want to keep their Ukrainian passport will have to make a special application. Some worried that could mark them for discrimination, and worse, their houses and jobs could be taken. Several activists and journalists have reportedly disappeared in the last two weeks. Crimean self-defense forces are said to be increasingly aggressive towards Ukrainians that they see as traitors to an expanded Russian empire. Today, unknown forces fired on unarmed Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea, killing one. Gregory Warner, NPR News, Simferopol.

In an independent review of 12 killings last fall, the Washington D.C. Navy Yard has found a number of problems with security. NPR's Tom Bowman reports Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering changes in how the government protects facilities and screens workers.
It was last September when government contractor Aaron Alexis drove into the Washington Navy Yard, flashed his ID and then proceeded to shoot a dozen people. The review found that no one reported Alexis' growing mental health problems. Here's Secretary Hagel.
The review's identified troubling gaps in DOD's ability to detect, prevent and respond to instances where someone working for us, a government employee, ember of our military, or a contractor decides to inflict harm on thism institution and its people.
Hagel has ordered better background checks and a system that will handle employees who pose a threat. Tom Bowman NPR News Washington.

Seattle police has now released identities of two people killed in the helicopter cash at the city's famous Space Needle. The fiery crash happened this morning as TV news chopper was taking off. Dennis Hogenson with the National Transportation Safety Board described what witnesses reportedly seeing.
Shortly after the refuel they departed. Witness described as the helicopter lift off, lifted off a building and began to rotate, counterclockwise and subsequently crash.
Chopper went down on a busy street hitting three vehicles and setting them ablaze. A 38-year-old man was in one of the vehicle, suffered extensive burns with hospitalizing critical condition. Killed in the crash were the helicopter's pilot and a former long-time news photographer of the station KOMO TV, who is working for the helicopter leasing company.

The nation's CEOs are more upbeat heading towards the spring. That's based on the latest survey from the Business Roundtable, a group that represents the nation's chief executives. According to Roundtable, the CEO Outlook Index rose to 92.1 in the first quarter. That's the highest level in two years.

On Wall Street, stocks move higher today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 88 points. The NASDAQ rose 53 points.

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New reports of a data breach at a Federal Agency responsible for handling a lot of your personal financial information. While it appears the breach involves employees' rather than customer information. According to the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, as many as 20,000 IRS workers, former workers and contractors may have their personal information accessed. IRS commissioner John Koskinen says that's after an employee apparently took a computer home with the information. Koskinen says there's no evidence the information was taken besides the computer was plugged in with employees' unsecure home network.

In a ceremony 70 years in the making, President Obama presented the nation's highest military honor today to 24 veterans of the World War Ⅱ Korea and Vietnam. NPR's Scott Horsley reports the medals were an opportunity to atone for decades of discrimination.
This was the largest presentation of medals honors since the second world war. And it comes after the military reexamine the service records of black, Jewish and Latino soldiers, who might have deserved the honor but been passed over due to prejudice. 24 army veterans were recognized for heroism on the battlefield. President Obama says that many previously have been decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest military honor.
But ask their fellow veterans, ask their families, and they will tell you that their extraordinary deeds merited the highest recognition. And today we have the chance to set records straight.
Only 3 of the honorees live to receive the reward in person. The other 23 were honored posthumously. Scott Horsley NPR News the White House.

Crude oil futures prices closed higher. The price of oil was up $1.62 a barrel today. The end of the session is 99.70 a barrel in New York.

I'm Jack Speer NPR News in Washington.
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