There are just about 30 days — and 30 nights — left in South Florida's rainy season. That will not deter a monumental building task being attempted by a group of people near Miami.
The Hidden Ark project was originally planned for a 5-acre spot just outside Hialeah, Fla., not far from the Everglades. In the spring, builders worked to create a one-tenth of a full-scale Noah's ark — imagine a 150-foot-long bathtub made of wood.
As Democrats and Republicans continue to blame each other for being unwilling to negotiate, a small group of House conservatives have driven the debate in Washington. Even though polls show the public is not happy about the government shutdown, conservative media outlets have provided plenty of support for Republicans on Capitol Hill. And they've rallied their community through TV, the radio and social media. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports.
For now, though, we turn to the other big story of the day, and that's the government shutdown. We're in day three, and there's little sign of a compromise at this point. Republicans insist they're willing to negotiate on a spending bill to fund the government. Democrats say a short-term spending bill is no place to negotiate the new health care law.
Now we're going to sort through the various interpretations of what is or isn't going on to resolve the government shutdown with NPR's congressional reporter Ailsa Chang. Hi there, Ailsa.
AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Hi there.
CORNISH: So we heard the congresswoman mention these various bills the House is pushing to fund different popular departments of the government. But at the same time, Senate Democrats are saying no to a partial government reopening. So how are they justifying that position?
Before the shooting this afternoon, President Obama used an appearance at a construction company in suburban Maryland to press Congress on both the government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling deadline. He warned that if the debt ceiling is not raised, the country would face an economic shutdown. President Obama again called on Republicans and specifically House Speaker John Boehner to act swiftly to end the government shutdown.
Among the casualties of this week's government shutdown is one pretty big economic indicator. The Labor Department confirmed today that it will not release September's unemployment report tomorrow as scheduled. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles the report, says it doesn't have enough people on hand to crunch the numbers.
NPR's Jim Zarroli looks at the impact of the decision on markets.
International weapons inspectors have begun the process of verifying Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons. A team of 19 inspectors, plus staff, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday. New York Times reporter Anne Barnard is also in the Syrian capital, and I asked her how the inspectors' mission will work.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
The secret online drug market known as Silk Road was brought down this week when federal agents arrested the man behind the enterprise. He's charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit drug trafficking. The man accused of running Silk Road is 29-year-old Ross William Ulbricht, who's also known as Dread Pirate Roberts. From member station KQED, Aarti Shahani reports.
When states and the federal government rolled out online marketplaces to help people buy health insurance on Tuesday, you'd think that old-fashioned insurance brokers would have been worried.
All told about $200 million is being spent on a new army of people to help consumers find their way. These navigators, guides or assisters, as they're called, would seem to threaten the business of traditional brokers.
Many brokers work for small independent businesses. So are brokers at risk of becoming the next travel agents, whose ranks were thinned by online shopping?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill was the scene of a car chase today that ended not far from the halls of Congress. A Capitol police officer was injured and is being treated at an area hospital. Police say it was an isolated incident with no links to terrorism. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang was on the scene after the shooting and sent this report.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. This afternoon, a car chase through the heart of Washington D.C. ended with shots fired near the Capitol. Details are sketchy, but we know that around 2:00 this afternoon, authorities began pursuit of a suspect by car near the White House. That chase ended on Capitol Hill with members of Congress in their offices hearing shots fired outside.
Here's Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine, speaking minutes ago.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 4:52 pm
(Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET with RNC numbers)
The government shutdown might be bad for federal employees, but it's turning out to be a boon for political fundraising.
Party committees and outside groups on both sides of the aisle have latched on to the latest Washington budget crisis, using the moment to rile their bases and fill their coffers for the 2014 campaign.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 3:58 pm
When federal agents made their bust of Silk Road, the Internet's largest and most sophisticated underground illicit goods market, they unmasked its mastermind and owner, who went by the alias "Dread Pirate Roberts." According to the FBI, he is a 29-year-old Texan named Ross Ulbricht.
Rick Najera doesn't remember his wife Susie dialing 9-1-1. She came home six hours after Najera had taken a fall that left him bleeding on the floor of his home. The Hollywood actor/writer/producer had pneumonia and ended up in an intensive care unit in a coma.
Rick Najera told NPR's Michel Martin that his near-death experience caused him to reflect.
"I really looked at my life and I said I wanted to chronicle it. I wanted to bring it down and talk about it in a very human, honest way," he says.
Beef from cattle that have grazed only on pasture is in high demand — much to the surprise of many meat retailers, who didn't traditionally think of grass-fed beef as top-quality.
George Siemon, a founder of Organic Valley, the big organic food supplier, says the push for grass-fed beef started with activists who wanted to challenge a beef industry dominated by factory-scale feedlots. In those feedlots, cattle are fed a corn-heavy diet designed to make the animals gain weight as quickly as possible.
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 7:39 am
We last updated this post at 7:19 p.m. ET.
A woman who authorities say tried to ram a security barrier outside the White House led the Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police on a high-speed chase that ended near Capitol Hill, where gunshots were fired by police. Congressional lawmakers were briefly ordered to shelter in place, but by 3 p.m. ET, police had lifted the lockdown.
The incident left a suspect dead and two police officers injured. The 1-year-old child who was in the car with the suspect is OK and in protective custody.
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the flyers urging us to replace our nonexistent maid service is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a pair of queries about the importance of loving the right music.
Jennifer Yousfi writes via Facebook: "I have horrible taste in music. How do I fix this?"
Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 3:26 pm
This episode of JazzSet was recorded at the 18th edition of the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Dee Dee Bridgewater is the emcee, while WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton serves as our co-host.
Before you read any farther or click the audio above, we have two words for you: Spoiler Alert. Also, a warning that if you have never seen Breaking Bad, we may touch on some plot points that will be hard to understand without context.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:26 am
High-flying billionaire Elon Musk's Tesla Motors has seen its shares skid the past couple days because they've been downgraded by analysts and because of a YouTube clip showing one of the all-electric luxury cars engulfed in flames earlier this week.
Just before noon ET, a share of Tesla was trading around $169.50 — down about 6.5 percent for the day and $25 (13 percent) below its 52-week high of $194.50.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:45 am
With the current bloom of artisanal small-batch producers across the country, you'd think that all you need to start up a new food business is a good idea and a lot of gumption. And for the most part, that's true. But when it comes to artisanal producers working with meat, you also need something else: a Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Points plan. Or, if you will, a HACCP.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 1:23 pm
The Army rejected him because of his bad eyes — he was nearsighted — but Tom Clancy, who went into the family insurance business instead of the military, turned out to have the greatest vision of modern warfare of any writer of our time. His research into military history and technology led him to create a new form of thriller, and a hero for our time, a man named Jack Ryan whose talents as a spy and technowarrior put a name and a face to the people who battled Russians, Pakistanis, Irish nationalists and Islamists along a constantly shifting front line.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:32 am
Stock investors and business journalists unite each month for one shared, suspenseful moment — the 8:30 a.m. release of the Labor Department's employment report.
The unveiling of the report — so rich with data on job creation, unemployment, wages and hours — can be counted upon to set off a tsunami of tweets. Economists jump in with instant analysis and politicians fire off press releases with reactions.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:07 pm
Newly formed Tropical Storm Karen, which could reach hurricane strength by Friday, is expected to make landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast sometime over the weekend.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the late-season storm formed Thursday morning about 485 miles south of the Mississippi Delta, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It was moving north-northwest at 12 mph, but was expected to speed up.
Forecasters say it will make landfall in the U.S. either Saturday or Sunday.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 1:30 pm
The Treasury Department is issuing a warning of dire economic consequences that could rival the Great Recession if Congress is unable to agree on raising the debt ceiling and the nation defaults on its obligations.