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Week In The News: Obamacare Blowup, NSA Fury And A Year After Sandy

Obamacare hullaballoos. NSA snooping fury still rising. Superstorm Sandy, one year on.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP)

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP)

Rolling thunder on the big issues this week.  On Obamacare, more rollout problems and now some Americans losing their old insurance and not happy about it.  The President’s old words replayed and a new argument:  this is better, get with it.  NSA surveillance still roiling Europe and now Google and Yahoo too.  The spymasters making no apologies.  We’ve got abortion battle and shutdowns in Texas.  Chemical weapon shutdown in Syria.  A plea for help from Iraq.  And electronic devices cleared for airline takeoff.  Up next On Point:  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Siobhan Gorman, intelligence correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. (@Gorman_Siobhan)

Julie Rovner, health policy correspondent for NPR. (@JRovner)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Europeans Shared Spy Data With U.S. — “The revelations suggest a greater level of European involvement in global surveillance, in conjunction at times with the NSA. The disclosures also put European leaders who loudly protested reports of the NSA’s spying in a difficult spot, showing how their spy agencies aided the Americans. The phone records collected by the Europeans—in war zones and other areas outside their borders—were shared with the NSA as part of efforts to help protect American and allied troops and civilians, U.S. officials said.”

NPR: Congressmen Berate Sebelius For Cancellations, Website Woes — “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius headed to Capitol Hill Wednesday for a date with lawmakers frustrated by the rocky rollout of the HealthCare.gov website. What she got at the House Energy and Commerce Committee was four hours of venting from Democrats and Republicans alike.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: Sandusky Settlements Cost Nearly $60M – “The university’s board of trustees had approved paying up to $60 million earlier this year, and the tab came to $59.7 million, the university said in a news release. The first multimillion-dollar settlement, with a 25-year-old man who was abused in a campus shower, was announced in mid-August. University officials predicted at that time that 25 more settlements would soon follow as part of a global agreement.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

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Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

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Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

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