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One of the nation's largest school systems has been pushed to the brink of insolvency. Not long ago, Philadelphia was touted as a "laboratory of innovation," a promising model for urban public education. But something went wrong. So who is responsible for the district's descent into academic and financial ruin?

The disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov is giving an otherwise wonky piece of legislation new momentum. It's called the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, or FITARA, for short. And its two key sponsors are among the most unusual bedfellows in Congress.

Many organic farmers are hopping mad right now at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Their reason? Fertilizer. The FDA, as part of its overhaul of food safety regulations, wants to limit the use of animal manure, which organic farmers call a precious resource and a basis of their farming practices.

The Federal Election Commission is expected to vote Thursday on a proposal to allow virtual currency contributions to political action committees.

With Republicans blocking the nominations of one African-American and two female judges to a key appeals court, Senate Democrats are again pondering a rules change to curtail the minority's ability to filibuster judicial appointments. But even Democrats themselves are split on whether to proceed.

If you advertise it, they will come. Sign-ups for Medicaid are brisk, even in states that haven't expanded their programs with an infusion of federal dollars. Experts call that the "woodwork effect" — getting the word out to people who were already eligible.

In communities grappling with high unemployment, grocery stores serve many customers who rely on the SNAP assistance program to get by. Some stores are estimating that their sales might fall between 5 and 10 percent now that the government had reduced the benefits.

Typhoon Haiyan, like many disasters that preceded it, created a critical shortage of gasoline. This hampered ordinary Filipinos trying to rebuild their lives, as well as aid organizations trying to help them. One U.S. group has made it its mission to provide free gas.

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele each have a white mother and black father, and a lot of the jokes on their Comedy Central show are about race. Peele tells Fresh Air that their backgrounds allow them to do characters others would feel uncomfortable doing.

"Selfie" is the new word of the year, chosen by Oxford Dictionaries. Tell Me More and NPR's Social Media Project Manager Kate Myers talk about why people love sharing "selfies."

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