Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 9:36 am
Just a week before the federal government could shut down if no agreement is reached to fund it past the end of September, it's anyone's guess whether Democrats and Republicans will avoid plunging over this particular cliff.
More certain, however, is that if a shutdown happens over Obamacare and Republicans wind up taking the heat, many GOP fingers of blame will point squarely at Sen. Ted Cruz.
The Texas Republican will likely become the face of the 2013 shutdown, just as Newt Gingrich became the poster boy of two government shutdowns of the mid-1990s.
In England, a man went to the store and bought a package of six eggs. He cracked the first one open and found a double yolk. Then he cracked open the second, two yolks in that one as well. It turns out all six eggs were like that. The chances of that happening: about one in a trillion. As unlikely as winning the lottery, the man said, before adding the lottery would be better, obviously. Still, what a way to beat the odds with eggs?
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Let's talk through President Obama's speech just now at the United Nations. The president addressed the annual meeting of the General Assembly, a big room full of diplomats and world leaders. He called for action to enforce the removal of Syria's chemical weapons, and he also spoke of negotiations with Iran, among other issues. NPR's Michele Kelemen is at the United Nations. She was listening in.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 2:37 pm
Safe to say, Americans love small business. Or at least the Idea of Small Business.
President Obama once told owners: "What you share is an entrepreneurial spirit, a tireless work ethic and a simple hope for something better that lies at the heart of the American ideal. Businesses like yours are the engines of job growth in America."
And President Obama is also paying close attention to what's unfolding on Capitol Hill this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to move forward yesterday on a bill to keep the government running past October 1st.
(SOUNDBITE OF SENATE SESSION)
SEN. HARRY REID: I ask unanimous consent the Senate proceed to Executive Session to consider nominee number...
The ailing Smartphone maker Blackberry announced that it has tentatively agreed to be sold to a group of investors for $4.7 billion. This is the latest troubling sign for a company that has been hemorrhaging money and has massive layoffs planned. Blackberry was once synonymous with Smartphones. Many of the people once addicted to these devices, though, have moved on to glitzier products.
We've got Bloomberg technology columnist Rich Jaroslovsky on the line with us. Rich, good morning.
That's nice. Today's last word in business is: Hippie Bus. It was the ride of choice during the Summer of Love. The Volkswagen van. We are told Steve Jobs sold his in the '70s in order to buy a circuit board. Well, that iconic van is soon to be made no more.
NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports.
LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Many owners gave their names because they were idiosyncratic, colorful cheap and had a tendency to break down. Full disclosure, ours was called Gertie.
OK, it's getting a bit colder in many areas of the country. We've got those brisk mornings and chilly evenings. Great weather. Football weather for many of us. For many state tourism offices, of course, it means gearing up for a lucrative time of year known as foliage season. Travelers can use websites and apps to learn where and when fall colors are supposed to be the most brilliant. And predicting that in Vermont is serious business.
GREENE: The automaker Chrysler filed for an initial public offering late yesterday. After 41 consecutive months of auto sales growth, now might seem like the perfect time for the Detroit carmaker to sell shares to the public.
But as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, this sale could be as much about brinksmanship as an IPO.
Now, the strike on Nairobi was noteworthy in part because of the group claiming responsibility. As David and Gregory mentioned, al-Shabab is a militant organization from nearby Somalia. Analyst Bronwyn Bruton of the Atlantic Council says a few years ago it would've had little reason to strike outside Somalia's borders. More recently, al-Shabab has been evolving, turned to new purposes by the influence of al-Qaida.
BRONWYN BRUTON: It emerged in 2005 in the wake of international efforts to create a government in Somalia.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. We are going into the fourth day of a siege at a popular mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The Somalia-based al-Shabab militant group has claimed responsibility. At least 62 people have been killed.
We had NPR's Gregory Warner on the line earlier. He told us that the military is still battling terrorists inside the mall, but they claim to have made progress. Do these militants still have any hostages in there?
Scientists and government representatives are meeting in Stockholm this week to produce the latest high-level review of climate change. It's thousands of pages of material, and if it's done right, it should harbor very few surprises.
That's because it's supposed to compile what scientists know — and what they don't — about climate change. And that's left some scientists to wonder whether these intensive reviews are still the best way to go.
On a gorgeous night, some 4,000 people, dressed all in white, have come to dine in a public, yet secret place in New York's Bryant Park.
They have come for Diner en Blanc, an unusual pop-up event that takes place in 20 countries. The guests eat in splendor at a location they only learn about minutes before they arrive. The thousands wave white napkins to signal the beginning of the event.
Remember the first time you felt really terrified — and liked it? "Being scared is like sex," Stephen King says. "There's nothing like your first time."
For a lot of readers, King's 1977 horror novel The Shining may have been their first fictional scare."An awful lot of the people who read The Shining were like 14 years old, they were at summer camp, they read it under the covers with a flashlight on," King tells NPR's David Greene.
The latest estimate by the Pew Research Center puts the number of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. at 11.7 million.
This new number, based on U.S. government data, can be found in a report released Monday titled "Population Decline of Unauthorized Immigrants Stalls, May Have Reversed." The key word in that headline is "may." As the authors write in the report:
Iran's new president addresses the United Nations in New York tomorrow. The speech comes amid near daily signals that Tehran is eager to engage with the West and resolve some long-standing issues. Under moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani, Iran has released political prisoners, launched a new push to resolve questions about its nuclear program and offered to help mediate the conflict in Syria.
NPR's Peter Kenyon has more on this new Iranian image and the hope and skepticism it's stirring.
The National Security Agency won't say exactly when it will fully rev up its newest and biggest data farm in the Salt Lake City suburb of Bluffdale, Utah. There will be no "grand opening" or celebratory barbecue outside the sprawling facility, which is five times the size of the Ikea down the road.
But, according to NSA spokeswoman Vanee' Vines, "We turn each machine on as it is installed, and the facility is ready for that installation to begin."
Now we pause to pay tribute to one of the victims of the attack in Nairobi: Kofi Awoonor, who was born in Ghana in 1935. In a distinguished career that spanned politics, diplomacy and teaching, Awoonor is best-known as one of Africa's most accomplished poets.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:43 pm
In seven days, the federal government runs out of money.
While the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a resolution Friday that keeps the government funded through Dec. 15, the measure also defunded President Obama's signature health care law — which means it has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate.
If a budget resolution doesn't hit President Obama's desk before Oct. 1, that's a big problem: The government will be forced to close its doors.
No doubt most of you reading this post have looked at Yelp or Google+ Local to check the user reviews before you tried that fish store, bakery or even dentist. On occasion, you may have wondered if some of those reviews were too good to be true.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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Someday soon you'll see a new kind of advertising on TV and the Internet. A federal law went into effect today allowing private companies to solicit investors for the first time. The new rules are supposed to make it easier for startup companies to raise money. But NPR's Jim Zarroli reports they could also generate more fraud.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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Two Connecticut police officers are on trial in federal court this week. They're accused of harassing and intimidating Latino residents in the city of East Haven. The police department there has been working to change a culture of discrimination. Jeff Cohen of our member station WNPR has the story.