A bill to allow civil unions in the state gets its first hearing in the senate later today. The measure would give same sex couples the equivalent legal protections as heterosexual couples. It touches on issues such as division of assets, hospital visitation, and end of life decision making. Bente Birkeland examines its chances of passage as part of our weekly capitol conversation series.

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News

April 1, 2015 | NPR · The Education Department says it’s keeping a close eye on 556 colleges and universities that do a poor job of complying with federal regulations and handling federal financial aid.
 

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April 1, 2015 | NPR · Omar Shekhey left engineering to found a nonprofit that helps refugees navigate their new lives near Atlanta. He also drives a cab — and often gives the money to families to help them settle in.
 

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April 1, 2015 | NPR · The product is called Snus — a tiny bag of tobacco that users slip between the lip and gum. Its Swedish maker claims the product is safer than cigarettes, cigars, dip and chewing tobacco.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Flatiron Books
April 1, 2015 | NPR · “There are some lessons that only grief and responsibility can teach us,” says Weekend Edition host Scott Simon. His new memoir, Unforgettable, is about the life and death of his mother.
 

Courtesy of Sammy Edwards
March 31, 2015 | NPR · British colonialists brought lamb ham to America, where a sugar-cured, smoked variety became popular. Easier-to-cure pork ham eventually took its place, but now two Virginians are bringing it back.
 

TV Land
March 31, 2015 | NPR · Sutton Foster stars in a new comedy about a woman who learns that there are a lot of ways to be hassled over your age.
 

Music

WXPN
March 31, 2015 | WBGO+JAZZ.org · It was in Philly where Jimmy Smith first took a church instrument and made it swing. Years later, the city’s jazz community gathers to salute its many soulful pioneers of the Hammond B-3 organ.
 

Courtesy of the artist
March 31, 2015 | WBGO+JAZZ.org · One of today’s great singers celebrates the centennial of a jazz icon. Wilson brings her fresh arrangements of classic tunes to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
 

Courtesy of the artist
March 31, 2015 | NPR · Hear an epic new tune from Actress, a mbalax workout by Mark Ernestus of Rhythm & Sound, and four more cuts we loved from March.
 

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