Good morning, fellow political junkies.Today finds the Senate in continued debate aimed at reaching a legislative agreement that keeps the federal government open into the new fiscal year which starts Oct. 1.
Meanwhile, there seems to be a growing mood among congressional Republicans to test President Obama's resolve to not negotiate over raising the debt ceiling in a few weeks.
Here are some politically-connected items or themes that caught my eye this morning.
On 'Morning Edition': Diplomat Ryan Crocker on his meetings with Iranian officials
One of the United States' most experienced diplomats says he's come away from behind-the-scenes conversations with Iranian officials this week thinking "it is possible to come to accommodations" with new President Hassan Rouhani and his aides on key issues such as Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:57 am
Authorities in western China apparently wanted to make an example of 16-year-old Yang Hui.
He was the first person in China to be arrested under a new rule against "rumor mongers," defined as people who intentionally post a rumor that is reposted 500 times or more, or viewed 5,000 times or more.
Good morning. I'm David Greene. Next time you're in England on a wild animal safari, leave your animal print outfits at home, OK? The Chessington World of Adventure has just issued a strict dress code. They noticed the animals were getting really confused when they saw visitors in furs or leopard-print shirts.
There will be bouncers enforcing the code, giving offending visitors bland, gray jumpsuits to put on. I guess they're not that worried about visitors dressed like elephants.
A Toronto Blue Jays' fan ran onto the field earlier this season, and now we have his arrest report. It suggests the police are bit frustrated with the Blue Jays, who are in the midst of a losing season. The official report says the Blue Jays were, quote, "surprisingly winning" at the time of the incident. The fan's transgression, quote, "can only be described as an attempt to inject some kind of spark into the Blue Jays, and relieve fans from their season-long agony."
A middle school jab goes something like this: "We're having an A-B conversation, so you can C your way out." I bring this up because there's a workplace parallel to this that doesn't seem to have a name. It's when you're having an A-B email conversation and one party suddenly copies your boss, manager or someone more senior, in order to get an advantage in the discussion at hand.
"Every love story is a potential grief story," Julian Barnes writes in Levels of Life, a quirky but ultimately powerful meditation on things that uplift us — literally, as in hot air balloons, and emotionally, as in love — and things that bring us crashing to earth: to wit, that great leveler, the death of a loved one.
The Republican Party in the past has had a close relationship with Wall Street and big business. But lately there's growing tension and disagreement as some Republicans in Congress consider a possible government shutdown. The Tea Party seems to have the strongest criticism of big business.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:31 am
Three former employees at the London-based brokerage have been charged by the Justice Department with participating in a criminal scheme to rig an interest rate that anchors the world's financial system. It's alleged that the three brokers from ICAP colluded with a trader at Swiss bank UBS.
Fifteen percent of Americans don't use the Internet, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Most of these "offline adults" are 65 years old or older, many live in rural areas and have incomes lower than $30,000 a year.
Fans of the band Nirvana can own a little slice of the band's history. In Aberdeen, Wash., the late singer's mother is selling the bungalow Kurt Cobain grew up in. The property is assessed at $67,000 but listed as $500,000.
JP Morgan Chase is negotiating an $11 billion settlement, according to The Wall Street Journal. The firm would pay $7 billion in cash to regulators and $4 billion to consumers. JPMorgan is one of several large banks being investigated for its handling of mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the housing crisis.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:28 am
Oracle Team USA completed a remarkable comeback to win the America's Cup regatta, winning eight straight races. The American team, backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, beat Emirates Team New Zealand. Just a few days ago, the American team trailed the Kiwis, and were on the brink of being eliminated from the competition.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:17 am
Cycling's international governing body, the UCI, will hold a presidential election in Florence, Italy, on Friday. It comes at a time when cycling is still trying to recover from the admissions of Lance Armstrong and the ever-present cloud of doping.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:27 am
The recovery operation will be a long thorough process at the Nairobi shopping mall that was attacked over the weekend. More information is emerging about the number of people who were killed, injured or are still missing.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:25 am
Steve Inskeep talks to Madeleine Albright about the role the United Nations can play in dealing with international crises, like Syria's civil war. Albright was secretary of State when the U.S. took military action despite the absence of a U.N. resolution in Kosovo.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:24 am
Steve Inskeep talks to Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and to Syria, about Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani. U.S. officials, including Crocker, have been meeting with Iranian officials at the U.N.
A newly discovered fossil of a fish in China changes what scientists know about the origins of jaws. It turns out, human jaws are remarkably similar to the jaw of this 419-million-year-old fish. That suggests jaws evolved much earlier than previously thought.
In Pennsylvania, more than a half-million people who don't have insurance are waiting to hear whether the state will take advantage of a Medicaid expansion that's part of the Affordable Care Act.
The federal law would allow people earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines to sign up for Medicaid. But a Supreme Court ruling that largely upheld the law gave states the choice whether to expand their Medicaid programs.
A satellite cellphone rings for rebel commander Bashar al-Zawi, at home with his family in the Jordanian city of Irbid. It's a rare domestic break for this wealthy businessman turned rebel commander. But he is anxious to get back to his battalion of 5,000 fighters in southern Syria.
They are taking part in a rebel offensive that is squeezing the Syrian army around the city of Dera'a. Military analysts say the fight is one of the most strategically important battles in Syria's civil war, because Dera'a, close to Damascus, is President Bashar Assad's stronghold in the southwest.
The heavy floodwaters in Colorado this month caused more than 37,000 gallons of oil to spill into or near rivers, and the state's oil and gas industry is rushing to fix equipment damaged during the storm. It comes at a time when there's growing public concern about the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing in the state.
Something is wrong in Florida's Indian River Lagoon.
Over the past year, record numbers of dolphins, manatees and pelicans have turned up dead in the 150-mile-long estuary that runs along Florida's Atlantic Coast. Bouts of algal blooms have flourished in the waters. All the signs point to an ecosystem that is seriously out of balance. The crisis has mobilized scientists, residents and elected officials in Florida.
An initiative in Los Angeles County is trying to help the homeless by first connecting them with a place to live. The "housing first" model has been used in cities across the country in recent years to combat long-term homelessness.
In L.A. County, the Home For Good project focuses on those who are most at risk, aiming to end chronic homelessness in the area by 2016. Homeless-services providers are gathering information about the population and ranking individuals' vulnerability. Then, the goal is to move the most in need into permanent housing, quickly.