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The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. To help coax people to buy a health plan, the federal government now subsidizes premiums for millions of Americans.

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This is the first of four reports this week about the National Guard.

The Army spent billions of dollars getting the National Guard ready for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But now that the money has been spent and troops are coming home, there are questions about the Guard's mission.

Julia Wolfe, a composer associated with the New York music collective Bang on a Can, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields.

The U.S. Navy has dispatched an aircraft carrier to waters off the coast of Yemen.

As NPR's Jackie Northam reports, the vessels are joining others in the region in an increasing show of force. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The U.S. Navy says it's deploying the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the guided-missile cruiser Normandy to the Gulf of Aden to ensure the vital shipping lanes in the volatile region remain open and safe.

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Fifty years ago this week, a chemist in what is now Silicon Valley published a paper that set the groundwork for the digital revolution.

You may never have heard of Moore's law, but it has a lot do with why you will pay about the same price for your next computer, smartphone or tablet, even though it will be faster and have better screen resolution than the last one.

An Argentine prosecutor moved on Monday to dismiss accusations leveled against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner by the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

If you remember, right before he was found dead in his home, Nisman was about to tell lawmakers that he wanted to charge Kirchner for allegedly thwarting an investigation into the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

"They're running a little late," chides an elderly gentleman, tapping his watch at 12:02 p.m. He's come to this farm near the Danish city of Ikast, along with about 1,500 others, to celebrate what has become something of a national holiday in Denmark. It's the Sunday in mid-April when thousands of organic dairy cows at 75 farms across the country are released into the green fields of spring. At exactly noon. Eh hem.

Ah, but here they come!

In 2009, I was among the scrum of reporters covering the controversial advice from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that women in their 40s think twice about regular mammograms. The task force pointed out that the net benefits in younger women were small and said women should weigh the pros and cons of screening before making a decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears legal arguments next week in the legal battle over same-sex marriage. It's an extraordinarily high-stakes clash, but the men and women at the center of it see themselves as incredibly ordinary. The 12 couples and two widowers include doctors, lawyers, an Army sergeant, nurses and teachers.

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After a full year spent in purgatory, suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs, Alex Rodriguez is back with the New York Yankees, and his bat is blazing.

(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL GAME)

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In the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. Forest Service is set to open more than 80,000 acres for potential geothermal power development. Companies would then be able to apply for permits to build power plants that would harness the heat beneath the surface to spin turbines and generate electricity.

All of this would be taking place in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington state.

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Saudi airstrikes in Yemen began almost a month ago, targeting rebels who have taken over much of the country.

Internationally, there are concerns about increasing casualties and questions about the strategy in the Saudi operation, which is receiving help from the U.S., among others.

But at home in the kingdom, the war has sparked a patriotic fervor that's noticeable just about everywhere you turn.

In the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, Phyllis Omido knew that industry could pose a danger to the surrounding communities. She'd worked on environmental impact assessment reports for several factories.

But when her 2 1/2-year-old son, King David, got sick with a mysterious condition, it didn't occur to her that it might be from environmental toxins. He had a high fever that wasn't responding to medication. He couldn't sleep. He was plagued with diarrhea, and his eyes became runny. He spent two weeks in the hospital, and still no one could figure out what was wrong.

The first wave of millions of homeowners who lost their home to foreclosure may soon be on the market to get back into buying real estate.

These so-called “boomerang buyers” are now past the seven-year window they need to begin repairing their credit to qualify to buy a new home.

CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger tells Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins about these boomerang buyers and how they may change the housing market in the next decade.

In 2010, just after the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, seafood restaurants were bombarded with questions from concerned diners: "How bad is the spill?" "Is this from the Gulf?" "Is it safe?" Demand for Gulf seafood tanked.

"You have to remember, that was literally weeks and months on end when you could turn on the TV at any time of day and see an oil well leaking unabatedly into the Gulf of Mexico," says Brett Anderson, feature food writer for Nola.com.

Time magazine just released its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. One of the names on the list is China’s premier Xi Jinping.

That comes as no surprise to former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who writes in Time that Xi looks like he’s on track to pass Chairman Mao as China’s most powerful leader.

But what about beyond China? What influence does Xi have on the global stage – especially with the United States?

Patricia McNamara, 75, of Orange County, Calf. started skating in her late 40s, and she’s participated in every one of the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships since the Adult Nationals event started in 1995.

“I feel like the best of myself is really being expressed.”

She says skating helped her recover from breast cancer, and she’s hoping it helps her fully recover from a stroke seven years ago, in which she lost some muscle control on her left side.

Updated at 3:21 p.m. ET

The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., has been awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize award for public service for Till Death Do Us Part, a series the award's panel said "probed why South Carolina is among the deadliest states in the union for women and put the issue of what to do about it on the state's agenda."

If you're being treated for cancer, an iguana might not be the pet for you.

Ditto if you're pregnant, elderly or have small children at home.

Pets can transmit dozens of diseases to humans, but doctors aren't always as good as they should be in asking about pets in the home and humans' health issues, a study finds.

Now that she's in her mid-80s, celebrated author Toni Morrison feels aches, pains and regret.

She tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "When I'm not creating or focusing on something I can imagine or invent, I think I go back over my life — I don't recommend this, by the way — and you pick up, 'Oh, what did you do that for? Why didn't you understand this?' Not just with children, as a parent, but with other people, with friends. ... It's not profound regret; it's just a wiping up of tiny little messes that you didn't recognize as mess when they were going on."

The water is exceptionally clear in Lake Michigan right now, and a Coast Guard helicopter crew used a recent routine patrol to capture striking images of some of the area's many notable sunken ships. Some of them date from the 1800s.

Photos from the flight out of the Coast Guard's Traverse City, Mich., air station show a variety of ships resting on the lake bottom, including the James McBride, a 121-foot brig that sank in 1857.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET: Twitter responds to harassment questions

"Communicating with people you may or may not know in real life just got easier," says Twitter Senior Software Engineer Nhu Vuong in a blog post announcing a change to Twitter's direct messaging system. The new feature gives users the ability to receive messages whether the user follows them or not. Vuong used an example of an ice cream shop and a fan to show what's changed:

Remember that Deadline article from a few weeks back? In which the writer pointed out that Hollywood is diversifying — and claimed that's a bad thing?

At least one good thing may come of it:

Iran is charging a Washington Post reporter with four crimes, including espionage, the newspaper said today. This is the first time the precise charges against Jason Rezaian, the Post's bureau chief in Tehran, have been made public since he was detained by the Iranian authorities nine months ago.

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