Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:40 am
We had a complicated problem on our kitchen table in Jerusalem. A stack of homemade birthday thank-you notes, tucked in brightly colored envelopes, ready to be whisked off to friends in the U.S. And a commemorative packet of Israeli stamps in all sorts of different denominations, none of which added up to the 6.20 NIS (6 New Israeli Shekels, 20 agorot, or $1.74) it took to mail a letter or postcard from here to the States.
Malala Yousafzai, 16, speaks in New York last month. Yousafzai was shot a year ago by the Taliban for her outspoken advocacy in favor of girls' education in Pakistan. She is considered one of the favorites for the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced Friday.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 9:03 am
It hasn't been a great year for peace. War is raging in Syria, grinding conflicts drag on in Afghanistan and Iraq, and assorted insurgencies plague nations from Asia to Africa.
Yet the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced Friday, and one of the favorites would be a striking choice: Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban last year for her outspoken advocacy of girls' education in her native Pakistan.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:58 am
If Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling soon, the U.S. government won't be able to pay its debts. Here's who the government owes money to — all the holders of U.S. Treasury debt, broken down by category and by how much government debt they hold.
Sachin Tendulkar celebrates scoring his 100th century during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka on March 16, 2012. He said Thursday that he will retire from test cricket after his 200th test in November.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 7:02 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies. It's Day 10 of the federal government's partial shutdown. And while it's a dreary, rainy day in Washington, there did appear to be more glimmers of hope this morning than in recent days.
Today's theme is movement, as in, there seem to be some tentative steps towards resolving the current fiscal impasse as President Obama and House Republicans are scheduled to meet at the White House later Thursday.
Five years ago, a listener looking for a lonesome song anywhere near Arkansas might have heard a voice she still can't forget. Christopher Denny was 23 when he released Age Old Hunger, introducing the world to a high Southern warble that doesn't defy gravity so much as play with the tension that force creates – an androgynous, time-jumping instrument. Denny was learning to control his singing then, a process he says is more about instinct than craft. "I have to say...
The Swedish Academy, which gives Nobel Prizes out this time of year, calls for master of the contemporary short story. Canadian writer Alice Munro is the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature. The announcement was made earlier this morning in Stockholm. And joining us to talk about the selection is NPR's Lynn Neary. Lynn, good morning
LYNN NEARY, HOST:
Good morning. Good to be here.
GREENE: So we have an editor at MORNING EDITION from Canada, and he literally jumped out of his seat when he heard this news.
Spam brings two things to mind: unwanted email or that gelatinous pre-cooked meat product you find at the store. Well, some people would rather see both in the trash. But many people like eating Spam and now there's a new way to do it. The Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company has a new flavor: Spam. The flavoring is meat free. Good news for any Spam-loving vegetarians who might be out there. The president of the Hawaii company, Richard Schnitzler, said Spam has a cult following in his state.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:38 am
Sequels: 2, Tragic life events: 1, Daniel Cleaver guest appearances: several (v.v. good)
Yes, Bridgeteers, your favorite British flibbertigibbet is back — but this time, there's bit of a suprise: She's grown up, at least a little. Now 51 and a widow (the shocking death of Mark Darcy was revealed recently in The Sunday Times magazine), Bridget is struggling to take care of her two young children and still make time for her hot young boyfriend.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 1:21 pm
The world of Jane Austen — gracious country houses, empire-waist dresses, card parties and suppers and genteel raillery and a touch of social anxiety — is familiar literary ground. And no house is more familar and comforting than Longbourn, home to Elizabeth and Jane Bennet. But what goes on behind the scenes? Who irons those dresses and prepares those suppers?
A survivor of the shipwreck of migrants off the Italian island of Lampedusa looks out over the water Tuesday. The tragedy has bought fresh questions over the thousands of asylum-seekers who arrive in Europe by boat each year.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:21 am
Top officials are calling for a change to the European Union's immigration policies after a boat filled with African migrants caught fire and sank off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa on Oct. 4, killing hundreds.
As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports on Morning Edition, the accident shocked Europe.
When Egypt's democratically-elected president was ousted from power, there was a lot of speculation that the United States might cut off some, if not all, aid to that country. And now the Obama administration has told the interim government in Egypt that it's holding up hundreds of millions of dollars. The message from the United States boils down to this: No Apache helicopters until you can show you're getting back on a path to democracy. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
The Libya State News Agency has announced Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been freed. Earlier it was reported that gunmen kidnapped him from a hotel in Tripoli where he resides. The abduction came amid anger among Libya's powerful Islamic militant groups over the U.S. special forces raid that seized a Libyan al-Qaida suspect.
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.
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. *
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NPR's business news starts with worry about American debt.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
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.
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.