A year ago, newly re-elected President Obama got promises of cooperation from chastened GOP congressional leaders. Since then, Senate Republicans have delivered on some key issues. Ditto for the GOP-led House, at least initially. Then came the partial government shutdown.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, leaders of the once-powerful rebel group M23 announced they are giving up their insurgency. Renee Montagne talks to the U.S. Special Envoy to Congo Russ Feingold about the hopeful signs that peace may come to the eastern part of the country after decades of war.
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:15 am
In the essay "The Myth of Sisyphus," philosopher Albert Camus — who would have turned 100 on Thursday — explored the nature of boring work. There's new psychological research into why people end up in boring jobs.
Some Swedish movie theaters are introducing the system. The scale grades films based on a concept introduced by the feminist cartoonist Alison Bechdel. Whether a film passes or fails depends on whether any of its named female characters have conversations with one another about something other than men.
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:57 am
Twitter goes public at $26 per share on Thursday. That's up from an earlier planned offering in the $17 to $20 range — and it may signal increased demand from institutional investors like hedge funds. Twitter is valued at just over $18 billion even though it has never turned a profit.
Negotiators from Iran and six world powers resume talks Thursday in Geneva on Iran's nuclear program. Iran's Supreme Leader says he's not optimistic, and U.S. officials say "no deal is better than a bad deal." Still, Iran's desire to get out from under crippling economic sanctions may drive progress forward despite the long odds.
Algeria-born Albert Camus poses for a portrait in Paris following the announcement that he is being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957. Camus' views on his birthplace still stoke controversy.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
This photo from 1920 shows 7-year-old Albert Camus (center, wearing black suit) in the workshop of his Uncle Etienne in Algiers.
President Obama's poll numbers have hit just about the lowest point of his presidency.
They started sinking after the Obamacare website's miserable debut last month. Now, only around 40 percent of Americans think Obama is doing a good job. More than half disapprove of his performance. (A year ago, the numbers were the opposite.)
It seems obvious to say that a high approval rating helps a president, while a low approval rating hurts him. But here are five reasons Obama's numbers might not be as troublesomeas they sound.
We tweet. We text. We email. But how often do we really write anymore? Not much, if you look at the business of selling pens — or "fine writing instruments," as shop owners call them. With their writing tools becoming obsolete, pen stores have folded, including a century-old shop in New York.
But despite the tech-heavy trends, a few old-fashioned pen stores are still holding on.
Shonda Rhimes says the Washington she's created for the political drama Scandal is a dark, amoral one — and "a little Shakespearean," in the way it's a place where big themes play out among powerful people who aren't afraid to make bold moves.
"In the world of the show, [our] America sees Washington as this fairy-tale-beautiful place, and everybody who works there is really helping keep that illusion alive," the series creator tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.
The new health care law will provide around $1 trillion in subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans over the next decade to help them pay for health insurance.
Johanna Humbert of Galien, Mich., was pleasantly surprised to discover that she qualifies for an insurance subsidy, since her current plan is being canceled. Humbert makes about $30,000 a year, so she'll get a subsidy of about $300 a month. The new plan is similar to her current one, but it will cost $250 — about half of what she pays now.
But where will the money come from to pay for subsidies like these?
This story is part of a project on commuting in America.
Cities across the country are investing in old-fashioned streetcars to solve what's known as the "last mile" problem. The hope is that trolleys will make it easier for people to get to their final destination.
Atlanta is one of the latest, laying steel rails for a 2.6 mile line. The tracks will run downtown from Peachtree Street to the Martin Luther King Jr. historic district on the east side of the city. Some see this as a big step forward.
Election Day has come and gone, but your vote can still make a difference. That is in choosing a name for a new giant panda cub. The National Zoo here in Washington has put forth five possible names for the female cub born this summer. You can vote on the Smithsonian National Zoo's website.
And we want to make sure you have everything you need to make an informed decision, so we've called up our Beijing correspondent Anthony Kuhn for some help understanding the choices. Anthony, ni hao.
Virginia Tea Party Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost a closer-than-expected contest for governor Tuesday to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a weak but well-financed and well-connected candidate.
By Wednesday morning, the political world was busy debating the meaning of the outcome in Virginia, where exit polls showed that voters expressed increasing antipathy to the Tea Party, and that it was women — particularly unmarried women — who propelled McAuliffe over the finish line.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is celebrating an impressive reelection victory but he also suffered a defeat. Voters handily approved a measure to raise the state's minimum wage. That's a measure Christie had opposed.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, New Jersey is the fifth state this year to raise the minimum wage.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block in Washington, D.C.
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And I'm Audie Cornish in California this week.
Political junkies are poring over the results of yesterday's governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia. But they may also want to take a look further south at a special congressional primary in Alabama. There, a moderate Republican candidate beat out his Tea Party-supported rival.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
The peace talks between Palestinian and Israeli officials appear to have hit their roughest patch since the process restarted last summer. Secretary of State John Kerry spent today in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
As NPR's Emily Harris reports, Kerry met with leaders from both sides in an attempt to keep the talks on track.
Rarely does canceling a conference cause so much anger, but the nixing of a major soccer convention in Brazil has the government and organizers pointing fingers at one another. Known as Soccerex, the conference was intended to bring clubs, sponsors and business leaders together before next year's World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports the cancellation has pushed them farther apart.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Welcome, 2014 to the country Brazil.
Western states have led the way in the legalization of marijuana, first with medical marijuana, and then with the legalization of recreational pot in Colorado and Washington last November.
It's been quite an adjustment for the police. Washington State Patrol is adapting to the new reality in a variety of ways, from untraining dogs that sniff out pot, to figuring out how to police high drivers.
There's a nationwide search underway to find former students who don't know they've already done all or most of the work needed to earn a credential that might help them land a better-paying job.
In Michigan, several hundred community college dropouts were recently surprised to learn they had enough credits to qualify for an associate degree. There are also ex-students who apparently didn't know they're just a few credits shy of a two-year degree.