The president hosted Democratic congressional leaders Tuesday afternoon to discuss the ongoing government shut down and threat that the U.S. could breach the debt ceiling. Earlier in the day, a House GOP plan to end the dual crisis fell apart.
With the threat of defaulting on the nation's obligations now possibly just two days off, the focus shifted back to the House, where Speaker John Boehner called a caucus meeting to sell his plan — and then quickly had to downplay the idea that he even had a plan. The Senate, meanwhile, slowed things down to see if Boehner could pass anything at all.
Over the past few weeks, a debate has raged here in Washington about the U.S. food supply. The big question: Is the government shutdown making our food less safe. Since October 1st, both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have had to furlough workers, and that includes some workers involved in the inspection of food processing plants and who monitor outbreaks of food-borne illness.
Authorities in Moscow have rounded up more than 1,600 migrant workers after an ethnic riot took place over the weekend. Russian nationalists and soccer hooligans attacked a market area in a gritty industrial suburb of Moscow that's home to many migrant workers from the North Caucasus. The riot broke out after police announced that they were searching for a North Caucasian man suspected in the stabbing death of a young, ethnic Slav man. The situation highlights Russia's immigration problem — the country needs migrant labor, but fears what it perceives as foreign influence.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
In Geneva today, Iran made a proposal to end the standoff over its nuclear program. Western diplomats involved in the talks called the offer useful. While the details have not been made public, two things are clear: Iran hopes a deal will bring relief from crippling economic sanctions, and Israel - which is not a party to the negotiations, but insists it has big stake in the outcome - remains skeptical of Iranian diplomacy.
One of the great conceits of crime fiction is the notion that criminals are often masterminds capable of cleverly outfoxing the cops who are pursuing them. In the real world, the contrary is closer to the truth. Criminals are often not too bright and they are capable of self-defeating stupidities.
President Obama presented the Medal of Honor Tuesday to Army Capt. William Swenson. Swenson is being cited for his actions during a 2009 battle in Afghanistan, when he risked his life to try to save others. It's taken years for him to be recognized, however. He criticized higher-ups after the battle, which cost the lives of five Americans. Swenson's nomination for the Medal was said to be lost at one point. He is the sixth living recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest honor a member of the military can receive.
A clear majority of the U.S. Supreme Court sounded ready on Tuesday to uphold a Michigan referendum banning affirmative action in higher education. But the justices were less clear about whether they want to reverse a 40-year-old doctrine that bars changing the political process to disadvantage racial minorities.
Powell cut her off before she finished. "I don't have that," she said. "No one is difficult. Each person is a beautiful, unique human being. So if you have a problem and you're acting negative, you have been conditioned."
A life-threatening pandemic occurs. You're a doctor in the ER and can save a 9-year-old or a 63-year-old doctor. Whom do you choose? How do you choose?
Questions like that can crop up in real life and also on the silver screen. So how good a job do filmmakers do at portraying these moral dilemmas? Some do fairly well, but there's also room for improvement.
A letter (pdf) released today by a special surveillance court clears up some misconceptions about legal oversight for government wiretap activities. Responding to a letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) and ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court says, yes, it's true, we do approve 99% of all wiretap applications.
Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, a documentary in three hour-long segments that will premiere back to back (to back) tonight on many PBS stations, begins with a curious image: Vincent Zurzolo of Metropolis Comics explains that a recent copy of Action Comics #1, which contained the first appearance of Superman, recently sold for over $2 million. He shows us Action Comics #1, and then ... he locks it in a safe.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 2:21 pm
Saying "America is grateful for you," President Obama awarded the nation's highest military honor on Tuesday to former Army Capt. William Swenson.
The Medal of Honor is the first given to an Army officer since the Vietnam War. President Obama said Swenson braved seven hours of continuous fighting, putting his life in danger multiple times to help fallen and wounded service members, as well as his Afghan partners.
NPR's Scott Horsley filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"Obama called Swenson 'a remarkable role model for all of us.'
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 2:08 pm
The open enrollment for Medicare programs that began Tuesday will run into December. While the Medicare website doesn't have the problems found in the new federal health system's sites, the government shutdown means that information "may not be up to date," the site warns its users.
Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass' tense movie about the April 2009 hijacking of the freighter Maersk Alabama by four Somali pirates, is a love song to the patience-through-overwhelming-fire-superiority of the U.S. military.
The man the U.S. alleges is the top al-Qaida operative who orchestrated the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday at a Federal Court in Manhattan.
The Washington Post has published new revelations about the National Security Agency's electronic snooping, indicating that the intelligence branch gathers millions of contact lists from personal email accounts and instant messaging around the world.
The new information is attributed by The Post to "senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden."
Graham Nash first came to the U.S. as part of the British Invasion with his band The Hollies, which got its start at the same time as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and shared bills with both groups in England.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:56 am
Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty to three criminal charges on Tuesday that stem from allegations of sexual harassment by three unnamed women.
The Democratic mayor and nine-term congressman, if you remember, was forced to resign from his office after allegations of harassment mounted over the summer. Filner left office, declaring his innocence, saying his resignation was a "political coup," orchestrated by a "lynch mob."
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 3:43 pm
A snorkeler off the coast of California found more than she bargained for on the ocean floor Sunday, when she saw the large eyes of an 18-foot fish staring back at her. It turned out to be a dead oarfish, a mysterious creature known to live in waters thousands of feet deep.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 8:12 am
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
NPR's business news begins with the latest on the deadlock here in Washington.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: We've been following the story all this hour: House Republicans have been expected to announce their own plan to end the partial government shutdown and avert a default on the national debt. But House Speaker John Boehner came to the microphones a short while ago and kept things very vague.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:41 am
Here's a way to stop hungry shoppers from leaving the store for dinner.
Brooks Brothers, the 195-year-old luxury apparel company, is looking to open a restaurant next summer next to its flagship store in Manhattan, a company spokesman tells NPR. The New York Postreports that the restaurant will be a steakhouse — a fitting culinary accompaniment for the purveyor of fine business suits for the moneyed set, we think.
On this episode of All Songs Considered, NPR Music's Stephen Thompson stops by in his 1984 Dodge Omni to pick up hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton for a trip down Memory Lane, revisiting artists they discovered years ago.
A New York school has taken soccer balls, footballs — and maybe even the fun — out of recess. Officials say hard balls are a safety concern, but critics say they're being too cautious. Tell Me More's parenting roundtable weighs in.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. You might've been hearing the name Malala Yousafzai. She is the Pakistani teenager who was shot at point-blank range by Taliban extremists a year ago because she dared to speak up about her desire to go to school. She has made a remarkable recovery. She is in the U.S. now. I spoke with her a few days ago and we'll bring you a portion of that conversation a little later in the program.