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Morning Edition is your perfect morning companion: gentle, but straightforward, news and information, with local weather and traffic reports.

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Latin America
3:39 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Cuba Views China, Vietnam As Economic Hope

People, one holding an image of Cuba's President Raul Castro and his brother Fidel Castro, wait in line at a bus stop in Havana last month.
Franklin Reyes AP

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

Cuba is one of the world's last remaining communist states. Cuba's allies in China and Vietnam also maintain firm one-party rule, but have prospered by introducing market principles to their economic models. With Cuban President Raul Castro easing government controls on property rights and private enterprise, many are wondering if the struggling island is looking to Asia for a way forward.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:29 am
Tue August 21, 2012

High School Daze: The Perils of Sacrificing Sleep for Late-Night Studying

It may not be the best strategy to stay up late and cram. A new study finds that when teens don't get the sleep they need, all kinds of things can go poorly.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

High school students with heavy academic course loads often find the demands of homework colliding with the need for adequate sleep.

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Middle East
2:29 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Don't Charge That Electric Car Battery; Just Change It

Better Place is building a network of electric car battery changing stations throughout Israel. The idea is to make changing a spent electric battery as easy as pulling into the gas station for gasoline. Here, Better Place CEO Shai Agassi is shown in front of a cutaway model of an electric car at the company's showroom in Tel Aviv earlier this month.
Tara Todras-Whitehill for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

It looks like a bright new car wash, but it's a battery swapping station for electric cars in Israel. When a vehicle pulls up, it is slowly pulled through a conveyor. The spent battery is taken out and replaced with one that is fully charged. The entire process takes less than five minutes.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:28 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Health Law Gives Medicare Fraud Fighters New Weapons

With help from the Affordable Care Act, government fraud investigators will make more use of computer programs to detect Medicare and Medicaid scams.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

Fighting health care fraud in the U.S. can seem like an endless game of Whack-a-Mole. When government fraud squads crack down on one scheme, another pops up close by.

But the fraud squads that look for scams in the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs have some new weapons: tools and funding provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Medicare and Medicaid pay out some $750 billion each year to more than 1.5 million doctors, hospitals and medical suppliers. By many estimates, about $65 billion a year is lost to fraud.

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Business
12:50 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Aetna To Buy Coventry Health Care

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Changes in the health insurance industry are at the top of NPR's business news.

The giant insurance company Aetna plans to get a little bigger. It's buying Coventry Health Care for more than $5.5 billion. Now, if you want to know why, consider the changing landscape in which Aetna does business. Medicaid is expanding under President Obama's health care law, Medicare is expanding as Americans grow older, and those government-run plans include many opportunities for private insurance companies.

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