From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Chemical weapons experts are working on a tight timeline in Syria to document and dispose of that country's stockpiles. The director-general of the chemical weapons watchdog group calls the effort an unprecedented mission. And so far, he says Syria has been cooperating. And the U.S. has even praised Damascus for going along with the plan.
The government shutdown is starting to hamper trade. More than 40 federal agencies involved in trade shipments — from the EPA to the Commerce Department — have trimmed their staffs, resulting in a slowdown or halt of goods.
The longer the government shutdown continues, the more sectors in our economy are being affected. More and more, the housing market is feeling the pinch. Most economists think if the federal government reopens in the next few days, the damage won't be too bad. But already, some home sales are being delayed and even derailed, as NPR's Chris Arnold reports.
As Congress looks for a way out of the current crisis, many Republicans are hoping for a big budget initiative to make worthwhile the pain of a government shut down and threatened debt default. Toward that end, House Budget Committee chairman and former GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan floated a plan in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. He makes the case for President Obama to negotiate with House Republicans on a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.
For a view of the partial government shutdown across the country, Melissa Block talks to Felice Belman, opinion editor of the Concord Monitor in Concord, N.H.; Patrick Malone, political reporter for The Coloadoan based in Fort Collins, Colo.; and Brian Pearson, managing editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph in Tyler, Texas.
Janet Yellen is President Obama's choice to replace Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve. The announcement came Wednesday afternoon. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen will be the first woman to lead the Fed.