Corruption and the Sochi 2014 Games | The Obamacare Signup Deadline | Duck Dynasty, Examined

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. October 27, 2010 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Shutterstock)

Elizabeth Warren Explains Bill to Stop Credit Checks for Job Applicants | Sochi 2014: Putin and the Corruption Behind the Games | The Obamacare Signup Deadline | Duck Dynasty, Examined |Conflict Brewing in South Sudan | Merchants Gain Say on Cost of Credit Cards | Filibuster Reform to Complete Shutdown: Congress in 2013

Elizabeth Warren Explains Bill to Stop Credit Checks for Job Applicants

After almost a year in office, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren tells The Takeaway she knows she can make a difference. “For all the things that are broken around here, the truth is there are a lot of tools in the tool box to make change,” she says. Helping the unemployed is high on Warren's agenda. The Massachusetts Democrat recently introduced a bill that would prohibit companies from checking the credit history of potential employees. Warren argues that an individual's credit rating does not accurately reflect his or her potential to do a good job and often discriminates against women, seniors, students and minorities. Her legislation could face opposition from certain business groups, though.

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Filibuster Reform to Complete Shutdown: Congress in 2013

Members of Congress are enjoying their first, full Christmas recess since President Obama took office. Over the last five years, the legislative branch has delayed its holiday break or returned early for major votes over Christmas and New Year's, on divisive issues like health care, the fiscal cliff and unemployment benefits. In 2013, Congress managed to fight its battles earlier in the year. Gregory Downs, professor of history at the City University of New York, reviews of the highlights of the year in Congress and looks ahead to changes in 2014.

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The Obamacare Signup Deadline

In the last month, there's been a huge uptick in people signing up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In New York, about 4,500 people have been signing up each day. In California, that number is 15,000. By tomorrow, the numbers will likely be much bigger. That's because tomorrow is the last day to sign up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov, for coverage beginning January 1st. Mary Agnes Carey, Senior Correspondent for Kaiser Health News, explains more about today's deadline and other crucial Obamacare facts.

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Duck Dynasty, Examined

Phil Robertson, star of the A&E reality program "Duck Dynasty," became part of the political landscape last week after GQ published a controversial interview with him in which he called homosexuality "not logical" and implied it was a step away from bestiality. Conservative Republicans like former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and current Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal rallied to Mr. Robertson’s defense after A&E suspended Roberston. Dante Chinni, director of the American Communities project and a blogger with the Washington Post, explains the details of the ongoing Duck Dynasty saga and why it's hitting a nerve with so many.

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Conflict Brewing in South Sudan

A group of American citizens were evacuated from an area under dispute in South Sudan on Sunday, leading President Obama to note that he might take "further action" to support American citizens and interests in the contested region. Freelance journalist Hannah McNeish explains what is at stake between the two sides here and how Americans have become caught in the middle.

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Merchants Gain Say on Cost of Credit Cards

A federal judge has ruled that retailers can now institute a surcharge on consumers who pay by credit card, creating what some fear may become a two-tiered pricing system for shoppers. Joining The Takeaway now to weigh in are Mallory Duncan, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Retail Federation and Dawn Casale, owner of One Girl Cookies in Brooklyn, New York.

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Sochi 2014: Putin and the Corruption Behind the Games

While Olympic Games often attract critics -- as London and Beijing residents can attest -- the road to Sochi may be the most corrupt yet. The new BBC documentary "The Putin Project" examines the corruption and disruption in Russia as the country prepares for the 2014 Olympic Games. Lucy Ash, an investigative reporter for the BBC, and Anastasia Uspenskaya, BBC Russian Service reporter, discuss the documentary and what lies ahead for Russia and the world as the Sochi Opening Ceremonies approach.

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