NPR News

Pages

Politics
2:52 am
Wed October 2, 2013

U.S. Government Closes For Another Day, No End In Sight

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 3:18 am

It's Day 2 of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Republicans do not seem ready to compromise on defunding the Affordable Care Act. There are no negotiations between the White House and Congress.

Politics
2:52 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Why Ted Cruz Looms Large In Government Shutdown Drama

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to local residents during a fundraising picnic for the Iowa Republican Party in Des Moines in July.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 9:54 am

In the second day of a partial government shutdown, Congress is at a stalemate.

On Tuesday night, House Republicans tried to pass three small bills funding popular parts of the government, such as the national parks. But they failed. The White House had already threatened a veto.

That strategy, as with others in this fight, is credited to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Read more
Business
2:52 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Businesses Cater To Furloughed Government Workers

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:50 am

In Washington, D.C., dozens of businesses are running shutdown specials for government employees. Furloughed workers can head to several local eateries for a cup of coffee, cupcakes and even pizza — all free when they show a government ID.

Business
2:52 am
Wed October 2, 2013

U.S. Vehicle Sales Fell In September

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 3:09 am

U.S. auto sales slipped 4 percent last month. The only major winners were Ford and Chrysler as automakers were dragged down by a quirk of the calendar and the beginning signs of skittish consumers.

Education
2:52 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Dekle First Female President At An Iraqi University

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 3:06 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There is an old Arab saying that proclaims books are written in Cairo, published in Beirut and read in Baghdad. Those cradles of civilization were cradles of learning, and that education continues even as those places in modern times fell into unrest and violence, in part thanks to a string of English-language American universities dating back to Beirut in the 1800s.

Read more
Africa
2:52 am
Wed October 2, 2013

After School Attack, Nigeria's President Calls For Unity

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The president of Nigeria is calling on his country to overcome its religious and ethnic divisions and to avoid becoming another Syria. President Goodluck Jonathan's warning came after an attack last weekend on a school there. At least 40 students died when gunmen stormed an agricultural school in Nigeria's mostly Muslim northeast.

Read more
Latin America
2:52 am
Wed October 2, 2013

'Castrocare' Divides Doctors In Cuba, Brazil

Cuba is sending thousands of badly needed doctors to Brazil, but Brazil's medical establishment has sought to block the program. Here, Cuban Dr. Yocelin Macias treats a patient in the capital Brasilia on Aug. 30.
Eraldo Peres AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:48 am

Call it "Castrocare." Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro sent doctors abroad for decades to work throughout Latin America and as far away as Africa.

In some cases, like Haiti, the medical missions were seen as purely humanitarian. In other places, like Venezuela, it was a form of barter that provided Cuba with subsidized oil imports.

Read more
Music News
1:32 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Gospel's Blind Boys Meet Changing Times With Open Minds

I'll Find a Way is the latest album in The Blind Boys of Alabama's seven-decade run. Left to right: Ricky McKinnie, Paul Beasley, Jimmy Carter, Ben Moore, Joey Williams.
Cameron Wittig Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 9:56 am

Read more
Sweetness And Light
1:28 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Love Of Victory In The Time Of Steroids

The Straight Dope: The use of steroids and blood doping traces back at least into the 1970s.
Robert Byron iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:18 am

There's a certain anniversary irony to the fact that Alex Rodriquez's illegal doping ban appeal hearing is taking place this week, for it was, essentially, a quarter-of-a-century ago that what we think of as the drug era in sports began.

And here A-Rod is now, 38 years old, his body in betrayal (perhaps from years of all the drugs), hitting .244, hearing boos, even at home at Yankee Stadium, yet pleading desperately for a lesser sentence at the price of suffering more embarrassing revelations — a figure of pity that no one does.

Read more
All Tech Considered
1:27 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Tech Problems Plague First Day Of Health Exchange Rollout

Heavy Internet traffic and system problems plagued the launch of the new health insurance exchanges on Tuesday.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 8:35 am

Many Americans got "please wait" messages Tuesday when they tried to start shopping for health coverage on the federal government's new health insurance website, healthcare.gov. A series of technological glitches, delays and crashes kept people from getting to several of the 16 state exchanges, too.

Read more
Africa
1:27 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Did Kenyan Soldiers Loot Mall During Fight With Terrorists?

Bullet holes in the glass door of a shop in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
Rukmini Callimachi AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 9:00 am

More than a week after Islamic militants stormed an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed to set up a commission to look into lapses in intelligence and security. At least 67 people died in the four-day siege, which ended with dozens still unaccounted for.

Read more
Parallels
1:26 am
Wed October 2, 2013

World Immigration Called 'Win-Win' For Rich Nations, And Poor

Migrant workers from Nepal take part in a Labor Day rally in Hong Kong in May. This week, the United Nations holds a high-level meeting on issues related to worldwide migration.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:49 am

The number of people who leave their countries to work abroad is soaring, according to the United Nations. More than 200 million people now live outside their country of origin, up from 150 million a decade ago.

And migration isn't just from poor countries to rich countries anymore. There also is significant migration from rich country to rich country — and even from poor country to poor.

Beginning Thursday, the U.N. will hold a high-level meeting on the subject in New York.

Moving For Work

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:24 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Obamacare Day One: A Tale Of Two States

Onita Sanders (right), a certified application counselor at the Southeastern Virginia Health System, helps Virginia resident Brenda Harrell with health coverage options at Enrollfest in Hampton, Va., on Tuesday.
Jenny Gold for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 9:39 am

In a call center in Rancho Cordova, Calif., on Tuesday, all the workers wore the same T-shirt: "Keep Calm And Go Live."

They were ready and waiting to take calls from consumers who could buy health insurance on California's new insurance marketplace for the first time. So the T-shirts urged calm, but the mood was ecstatic and emotional among the architects and key backers who gathered to flip the switch on the Golden State's exchange.

Read more
The Salt
1:23 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Can Millet Take On Quinoa? First, It'll Need A Makeover

This millet field outside Nunn, Colo., is nearing harvest time, when the grain turns from green to a golden color.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 9:37 am

Walk through a health food store and you'll find amaranth, sorghum, quinoa — heritage grains that have been staples around the world for generations. Americans are just discovering them.

There's another age-old grain that grows right here on the Great Plains: millet.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

The Shutdown's Squeeze On Science And Health

posted by NASA to the agency's official Instagram account." href="/post/shutdowns-squeeze-science-and-health" class="noexit lightbox">
This image was posted by NASA to the agency's official Instagram account.
NASA Getty Images

In addition to shutdowns of national parks (including Alcatraz Island and Yosemite) and the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children, the mandatory furloughs are affecting a wide range of government science and health agencies. Here's a snapshot:

Read more
It's All Politics
4:20 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Congressional Staff Pay Caught Up In Health Care Fight

Congressional staffers, as well as some in the executive branch, could end up getting hit with a large pay cut if a plan to cut a subsidy related to the Affordable Care Act moves forward.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:20 pm

The big fight among members of Congress over the Affordable Care Act could spell big pay cuts — as much as $12,000 — for their employees.

How is this possible? Congressional staffers are most likely wondering the same thing.

Look back to the drafting of the act four years ago. At the time, Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley argued that if the health insurance exchanges were good enough for ordinary Americans, they should be good enough for members of Congress and their staff members. Democrats went along with his argument, and it was included in the law.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:18 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Shutdown Diary: War Of Words, And A Victory For Some WWII Vets

Veterans who came to Washington Tuesday to see the World War II memorial on the National Mall were able to complete their visit, although the memorial — like other federal museums and memorials — was officially closed to the public.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:33 pm

Day 1 of the federal government shutdown, 2013 edition, was business as usual, at least when it came to each side trying to win the message war and keep the pressure on the political opposition in the hope of getting them to blink first.

President Obama had a White House Rose Garden event to mark what also was the first day individuals were able to enroll in the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges. With real people who would benefit from the law arrayed behind him in a photo op, he used the moment to blast Republicans.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Shutdown And Out: Waiting For The Train Home

Pat Barnes of Hanover, Md. waits for her train at Union Station in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 1, the first day of the government shutdown. Barnes is a federal employee and was sent home early in response to the shutdown.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 11:07 am

Two extra midday commuter trains left D.C.'s Union Station this afternoon, shuttling federal employees deemed "nonessential" home to Virginia and Maryland.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:10 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

'Thank You For Your Service' Follows America's Soldiers Home

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:58 pm

In the pages of David Finkel's new book, you'll meet a veteran who has recurring nightmares in which a fellow soldier asks, "Why didn't you save me?" You'll also meet a veteran who sees images of dead Iraqis floating in his bathtub, and another who tries to kill himself by biting through his right wrist — the only wrist he can raise to his mouth since his left side is paralyzed.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Scenes Of A Shutdown: A Synagogue Hosts Furloughed Workers

To lighten the mood, organizers provided Ping-Pong paddles decorated with head-shots of party leaders in Congress.
Christina Cauterucci NPR

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:51 pm

As more than 800,000 government employees were sent home this morning, the staff at Washington, D.C.'s Sixth & I Historic Synagogue opened "Shutdown Central," a gathering space for furloughed locals to work and play.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Pope Francis Says The Court Is The 'Leprosy Of The Papacy'

Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with young people last month in Cagliari, Italy.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:37 pm

Pope Francis is meeting on Tuesday with his closest advisors, a hand-picked lot of like-minded cardinals, to discuss the direction of the Roman Catholic Church.

Read more
Arts & Life
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Congressional Impasse Leaves Museums Empty, Monuments Shut

Shutdown signs have been posted at the National Museum of American History and other Smithsonian Institution museums, which will remain closed as long as the government is.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Federal bureaucracies aren't the only ones scaling back operations during the government shutdown. It's also meant that kids couldn't take field trips to the Smithsonian.

In fact most of the popular Washington attractions funded by the government are closed. That includes the Smithsonian's 19 museums and the National Zoo, plus Ford's Theatre and the National Gallery of Art.

Read more
The Government Shutdown
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Beyond The Shutdown, There's A Bigger Battle Brewing

The Capitol is mirrored in its reflecting pool early Tuesday, as the partial federal shutdown began. But there's a battle still to come in which the stakes are even higher.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

This week's government shutdown could be just a warmup for an even bigger budget battle in a couple of weeks.

Congress has to raise the limit on the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow by Oct. 17. If the debt ceiling is not raised on time, President Obama warns that Washington won't be able to keep paying its bills.

"It'd be far more dangerous than a government shutdown, as bad as a shutdown is," Obama said Tuesday. "It would be an economic shutdown."

Read more
Politics
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Rep. Dent: Congress Has An Obligation To Fund Government

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Republican Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania on ways to resolve the government shutdown.

Around the Nation
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Government Shutdown Takes A Toll Across D.C.

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Of the hundreds of thousands of federal workers not working because of the shutdown, many are, of course, here in Washington, D.C. The region is home to dozens of federal agencies, from Homeland Security to the Environmental Protection Agency. NPR's Allison Keyes spoke with some of those affected.

Read more
Politics
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

More Political Blame Game As Shutdown Continues

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

For the first time in 17 years, the U.S. government has shut down, at least in part. Some 800,000 federal workers are being furloughed. Over a million other essential civilian employees remain on the job, but it's unclear when they'll be paid. Speaking in the White House Rose Garden today, President Obama said he blames Republicans.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Head Start Shut Down By Government Shutdown

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. It hasn't even been a day since lawmakers failed to come to an agreement over a spending bill to keep the government open, but in less than 24 hours, the impact of the shutdown is already evident around the country and we're not just talking about government workers. Children are affected, too. About 19,000 kids won't be able to attend Head Start, a federal education program for preschoolers.

Read more
Health Care
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Ill. Governor Touts Health Exchange Legislature Rejected

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Amidst all this talk of a government shutdown, another big story has gotten less attention today. It's the first day people can sign up for health coverage on the new insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. To get a sense of how things are going, we'll hear several reports throughout the program. In a moment, we'll take you to Florida, where Governor Rick Scott has fought hard against the law.

Read more
Politics
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Send Us Your Government Shutdown Questions

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

As the shutdown continues, we're sure you'll have specific questions about how the government is working or not.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Perhaps you're a federal worker, maybe you rely on a government service. We want to know how the shutdown is affecting you and what you're worried about.

BLOCK: Or if you've been affected by past shutdowns and have wisdom to share, feel free.

Read more
Politics
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Hill Workers' Health Perk A Sticking Point In Spending Fight

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Among the things House Republicans are asking for in the ongoing spending battle is an elimination of health benefits for members of Congress and their staff. As the law now stands, congressional staff are required to buy their health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges and the federal government will help pay for their plans.

House Republicans say that kind of assistance amounts to a special subsidy. But as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, taking away the health benefit would amount to a large pay cut.

Read more

Pages