It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Each recent mass shooting in this country has provoked an outpouring of sorrow - and cash: Sandy Hook Promise, the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, now the Navy Yard Relief Fund. What the shootings has not produced is a consensus about how to prevent future tragedies. Congress has been unable to pass gun safety laws for almost two decades.
The president of Sudan wants the U.S. to give him a visa so he can come to New York next week to attend the U.N. General Assembly. For most heads of state, no problem. But Omar al-Bashir faces arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court, accusing him of genocide and crimes against humanity in Sudan's Darfur region. So the question of whether to grant President Bashir a visa has put the U.S. in a diplomatic bind.
With us now is Colum Lynch. He covers the U.N. for The Washington Post and Foreign Policy.com. Good morning.
Hassan Rouhani ran on a promise of getting his country out from under the weight of sanctions, embargoes and other financial weapons from the West that have crippled that country's economy. Since taking office, he has been striking a more conciliatory note than his predecessor, especially toward the U.S. For more, Renee Montagne talks with Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
JPMorgan Chase will have to pay more than $900 million in fines for the way it handled the London Whale trading scandal. Last year, the company revealed that its traders in London had lost $6 billion, and then concealed the losses from executives.
While large fines aren't unusual, it is unusual that federal regulators forced the bank to admit to wrongdoing. But this is exactly what happened. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 4:47 am
Wells Fargo has told 1,800 employees their services will no longer be needed in the bank's mortgage unit. The bank already cut more than 2,000 jobs in that unit last month. Wells Fargo cites lower demand for refinancing because of higher mortgage rates.
German voters are expected to elect Chancellor Angela Merkel to a third term on Sunday. Now, if she wins, Merkel, who is a former physicist, will be on the path to becoming Europe's longest-serving female head of government. The prospect of another four years of Merkel unsettles many Europeans outside Germany. But she is respected at home. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson sent us this profile from Berlin of the woman the German media call Mutti, or mommy of the nation.
Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis has stunned the Catholic world. In a long and blunt interview, the pope said that the Catholic Church should not be - as he put it - obsessed with abortion, contraception and gay marriage. The interview appeared yesterday in Jesuit journals across the world. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us on the line from Rome. And Sylvia, do the pope's comments change church policies on issues of sexual morality?
A close view of the packaging of Grand Theft Auto V at the midnight opening at the HMV music store in London on Tuesday. It made history with a record $800 million in sales on its first day. This version continues to generate controversy over its glorification of violence, drugs and its demeaning portraits of women.
Grand Theft Auto made video game history this week: The latest version of the game had a record $800 million in sales on its first day. As with past versions, the game is generating controversy over its glorification of violence and drugs and its demeaning portrayal of women.
But around 15 percent of its fans are women, who find much to like about the game, even if they do have some ambivalence about it.
There's big money in fantasy sports. Last year, alone, people paid $1.7 billion to play in fantasy leagues. With all that money sloshing around, a fantasy economy has sprung up, giving rise to real businesses. Here are four of them.
The Insurance Company
Henry Olszewski founded Fantasy Sports Insurance in 2008 — the year the financial system nearly collapsed. And, more importantly, the year New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady suffered a serious hit to the knee.
The Republican-controlled House is set to vote Friday on a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open for business through the middle of December. And the White House has already said if it makes it to the president's desk, he'll veto it. That's because the bill also would defund the Affordable Care Act.
When Dan Miller was growing up, his family lived about a mile away from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc. He had eight siblings and the family was poor. His father, Robert, supported them by working at Consolidated Papers Inc.
Want to visit Paris and Venice in the same afternoon?
You can, if you're in China.
Chinese developers have for years built residential communities that mimic famous European cities and towns. They are the subject of a new book, Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China.
Lawmakers in California have called for an internal audit after an investigation revealed that women were receiving sterilization procedures improperly at several state prisons, including the Valley State Prison for Women, pictured here in 2000.
Sitting in her San Francisco living room, Kimberly Jeffrey is combing her son Noel's hair. He groans, but she meets his energy with calm — and adoration.
Noel's birth was not an easy time. While Jeffrey was pregnant, she served a six-month sentence for petty theft at a state prison. When it came time to deliver Noel through a caesarean-section, Jeffrey was also confronted with the prospect of sterilization.
Backing a losing NFL team isn't just bad for your pride.
It's bad for your waistline.
A study that links sports outcomes with the eating behavior of fans finds that backers of NFL teams eat more food and fattier food the day after a loss. Backers of winning teams, by contrast, eat lighter food, and in moderation.
Mississippi Power's Kemper County energy facility near DeKalb, Miss., seen under construction last year. Carbon dioxide will be captured from this plant and used to stimulate production of oil from existing wells.
Credit Rogelio V. Solis / AP
The gasifier facility, still under construction last year at the energy plant. Under the EPA's proposed rules, new plants that run on coal would have to find ways to emit less than half the carbon dioxide current coal plants emit.
The Environmental Protection Agency's second stab at a proposal to set the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants would make it impossible for companies to build the kind of coal-fired plants that have been the country's biggest source of electricity for decades.
Under the proposal, released Friday, any new plant that runs on coal would be permitted to emit only about half as much carbon dioxide as an average coal plant puts into the air today.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 6:19 pm
It was a day when most in Congress were obsessed with an increasingly likely government shutdown that would be of lawmakers' own making. But not the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The GOP-controlled panel held a marathon six-hour hearing on what South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy called the most important issue of all to the folks back home: the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead just over a year ago.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 6:00 pm
USIS, a private company that performs thousands of background checks annually for the federal government, said it was responsible for a 2007 background check on Aaron Alexis, the man police say killed 12 people during a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 6:51 pm
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to slash $40 billion from the federal food stamp program.
GOP lawmakers cited what they said was widespread abuse of the program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which is intended to help poor individuals and families buy groceries.
The vote to cut food stamps came on a party line vote of 217-200.
"It's wrong for working, middle-class people to pay" for abuse of the program, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 4:25 pm
By the middle of the century, the number of older people suffering from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia will nearly triple, severely straining caregiving resources, the charity Alzheimer's Disease International says in a new study released Thursday.
Currently, some 100 million people globally suffer from the potentially fatal disease. That number is expected to increase to 277 million by 2050, as the graying population increases, The World Alzheimer's Report 2013 says.
If President Obama has his way, he will get to fill three more of the 11 slots on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second most powerful court in the country. Obama already has filled one vacancy with Sri Srinivasan, who was confirmed back in May.
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved another nominee for the D.C. Circuit, law professor Cornelia "Nina" Pillard.
Potential changes in economic policy from Washington have sent tremors throughout emerging economies. In Turkey, where growth in recent years has put Eurozone economies to shame, the signs are troubling: The Turkish lira has fallen to its lowest value in years and private sector debt is soaring. Economists say continued liquidity and foreign investment remains crucial if Turkey is to avoid a hard landing.
JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay a $920 million fine. It comes in response to the bank's handling of the so-called London Whale trading debacle. Last year, J.P. Morgan said that rogue traders in its London office had lost $6 billion in a failed hedging strategy, and then concealed it from executives for weeks.
In addition to the fine, regulators forced the bank to take the unusual step of admitting wrongdoing, as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
The wild population of the golden lion tamarin, which lives only in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, fell to just 200 in the 1970s. Conservationists have helped the species rebound, but the monkeys are still at risk as development encroaches on their remaining habitat.
Credit Mehgan Murphy / Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution
Power lines, roads and agricultural development in Rio de Janeiro state have isolated golden lion tamarins in forest fragments, leaving them vulnerable to inbreeding and other threats.
The tiny, copper-hued golden lion tamarin is so beloved in Brazil that its image graces the country's 20-real bank note. But this lion-maned monkey is in peril.
There's only one place on earth where the golden lion tamarin lives in the wild: in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlantica, just north of Rio de Janeiro. Deforestation in the region has reduced the monkey's habitat, once a massive ecosystem stretching for a half-million square miles, to just 2 percent of its original size.
Hurricane Manuel made landfall early this morning, striking Mexico's northern pacific mainland. It uprooted trees, downed power lines and continued a week of nonstop rain, high winds and deadly landslides. Officials say the death toll from a series of storms this week has risen to 80, and more than 50 people are still missing after a landslide consumed nearly an entire village north of Acapulco. NPR's Carrie Khan reports.
Iran's nuclear program and the civil war in Syria are both matters that figure prominently in U.S.-Israeli dealings. And joining us to talk about those issues is Israel's outgoing ambassador to Washington, the American-born writer Michael Oren. Ambassador Oren, welcome back.
MICHAEL OREN: Robert, always delightful to be with you.