Countries in Europe have been struggling for some time to find a fair balance when it comes to immigration, and those efforts took on more urgency last week. A ship packed with African migrants sank off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. Hundreds of people drowned, including children and pregnant women. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley begins her report with a reminder that this incident at sea was sadly, not anything new.
For two and a half years, Syria has been at war with millions of civilians on the move. U.N. agencies tracking the exodus say about three quarters of the children forced to flee their homes are under the age of 11. A team of child psychologists in Amman, Jordan, make house calls to address the needs of families who do not live in refugee camps.
NPR's business news starts with worry about American debt.
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INSKEEP: Fidelity Investments has sold all of its short-term U.S. government debt. That limits losses for the country's largest manager of money market funds in case the U.S. Treasury run out of money on October 17th and Congress does not do something about the federal debt limit.
Fidelity's president said this move was precautionary. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Because of the partial government shutdown, most of the monumental core in Washington, D.C. is not being maintained. But on Wednesday, Chris Cox of South Carolina bought an old lawn mower and a leaf blower and got to work.
And a similar offer of money has propped up some Head Start programs. Laura and John Arnold, of Houston, Texas, pledged up to $10 million to keep the program running in six states.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Head Start is a preschool program for kids from low-income families. And on Friday, it closed down in many places when the government partially stopped. This is how the parent of a Head Start child, Laura Bastion, heard the news.
OK. You might already know this if you spend some time on the Internet, but revenue for online advertising is way up - reaching more than $20 billion in the first half of 2013 - that's an almost 20 percent hike from the same period last year, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
As NPR's Laura Sydell reports, ads on mobile devices are growing the fastest.
For weeks, economists and bankers have been warning that there will be catastrophic consequences if Congress fails raise the nation's borrowing limit.
They say it will mean the nation will default on its debt, which could rock U.S. and global markets. The Treasury has warned that it will exhaust the "extraordinary measures" it has been using to keep paying the nation's bills by Oct. 17.
More than 400,000 federal workers remain on furlough. That's the situation even after many Defense Department workers were called back to the office. And then there are federal contractors. These are private American business owners and workers who've taken over more and more government functions in recent years and who are now feeling the pain of a shutdown.
Now, the partial shutdown prompted angry debate across the country. But at the center of that debate, we found quiet yesterday. We dropped by a Senate office building where the halls were empty. Papers taped on doors read: We regret that due to the government shutdown our office is closed. *