Today's Takeaway | January 31, 2013

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

N.F.L. Players Association and Harvard Collaborate on $100 Million Health Study | Could a Lawsuit Spell the End of the N.F.L.? | Hagel's Confirmation and the Secret Donors Out to Foil the Nomination | Meet Massachusetts's Newest U.S. Senator | Defense Industry Warns of Economic Plunge with Sequestration | The Fall of Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubry McClendon and the Future of Natural Gas

Harvard to Conduct $100 Million Study to Make Football Safer

The N.F.L. players union is teaming up with Harvard University in a $100 million study that will be conducted over ten years, to research, treat, and attempt to prevent injuries and other long-term health problems for its members. Dr. Lee Nadler is co-director of the study.

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Could a Lawsuit Spell the End of the N.F.L.?

The National Football League is at the center of a legal case being brought by 4,000 former football players and their wives. The claim? That the N.F.L. covered up life-altering brain injuries. Paul Barrett is covering the case, and the attorney who's arguing it, for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Hagel's Confirmation and the Secret Donors Out to Foil the Nomination

The opposition against Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense, has been building. The attacks are coming from several groups of anonymous donors, on his side of the aisle, who have spent millions of dollars funding ads to put the breaks on his appointment. Takeaway correspondent Todd Zwillich is following the story from Washington, D.C.

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Meet Massachusetts's Newest U.S. Senator

Yesterday a new day dawned on Massachusetts, as John Kerry bid farewell to his post as U.S. senator. His replacement, William "Mo" Cowan, will serve until a permanent successor is chosen in the June 25th special election. Callie Crossley, host of Boston Public Radio, shares more about Cowan and his selection.

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Israeli Airstrike Launched on Damascus Target

Israeli warplanes launched an attack on a convoy in Syria early Wednesday morning in what was believed to be a strike targeting a convoy carrying weaponry intended for Hezbollah's militia. Isabel Kershner, reporter for our partner The New York Times, explains what's behind the attack.

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Defense Industry Warns Cuts Will Lead to Economic Plunge

This week we learned that the U.S. economy contracted in the fourth quarter of last year, in large part because of severe defense spending cuts. If Congress and President Obama fail to reach a spending deal by March, those cuts will continue, with potentially disastrous effects for cities dependent on the defense industry.

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The Fall of Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubry McClendon and the Future of Natural Gas

Aubrey McClendon, the beleaguered C.E.O. of Chesapeake Energy, stepped down this week from the company he founded 30 years ago. His departure marks the culmination of months of spiraling losses for the company. Russell Gold, energy reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has been following the story.

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