My friend Mark Leibovich — a New York Times reporter — has written a book about the inner watchworkings of Power Washington called This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America's Gilded Capital. Among the incestuous cognoscenti of the Capital City, This Town has more buzz than a top-bar beehive.
Imagine this: A 19-foot python falls out of the ceiling of a store and leaves a big hole, knocks over sale objects and then makes a nasty mess on the floor before hiding in plain sight along a wall. And nobody finds it for a day.
Police in Queensland, Australia, were called to a charity store in the tiny town of Ingham this week to investigate what they initially suspected was a break-in by someone with stomach flu.
Two prominent Catholic groups are finding themselves, once again, on opposite sides of a key issue regarding the Affordable Care Act.
Three years ago, the Catholic Health Association, whose members run hospitals and nursing homes across the country, backed passage of the health law. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which represents the hierarchy of the church, opposed it.
Now the groups are divided over the law's requirement for most employer-based health insurance plans to provide women with birth control.
There are two kinds of financial help for people planning to enroll in the online health insurance marketplaces that will open this fall. One could put people at risk of having to pay some of the money back, while the other won't.
That's one big difference between tax credits and subsidies, both of which are intended to help people with lower incomes pay for health insurance through the new health care law.
Utah's oldest Internet service provider, XMission, has refused to give up customer information to law enforcement, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.Specifically, the company says it won't comply with administrative subpoenas.
"This is just an awesome, inspiring place to make music." Those are the words of Jake Wachtel, who directed this music video for John Vanderslice. And the place he's talking about, well, it's John's heart and soul really: It's a recording studio called Tiny Telephone located in San Francisco's Mission District.
Good morning. I'm David Greene. Starting next month, Direct TV will offer a new channel - Dog TV, 24 hour programming designed just for your pooch. The aim is to entertain dogs while they're home alone, and help them deal with challenging situations. The viewers will be exposed, in small doses, to stressful sounds, like doorbells and vacuum cleaners.
A Minor League baseball team in New Jersey lost an important member this week. Chase the golden retriever entertained fans of the Trenton Thunder for most of his 13 years. He carried bats from the batters' cage to the dugout, and baskets of water bottles to the umpires. Chase was so renowned, he was honored last month at Yankee Stadium, and the Thunder threw him a retirement party last week. Chase died Monday. His son Derby will now take his place.
Charlie Huston's 2010 novel, Sleepless, bowled me over. What a powerful combination of combustible plot and fiery language! At the center of that book, an insomnia plague spreads across Southern California (and the rest of the country). The illness keeps you awake all night, quite fuzzy-minded during the day, and then after a couple of months it kills you. The only thing approaching an antidote is a drug called Dreamer, which makes a little sleep possible before you die.
When the young man who stands accused in the Boston Marathon bombings makes his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon, survivors of the explosions that killed three people and wounded more than 260 are expected to be in the room, The Associated Press reports. So are relatives of those killed and wounded.
NPR's business news begins with China's grim trade outlook.
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GREENE: Numbers from the month of June offered more evidence that the world's second-biggest economy might be losing steam. Exports from China fell by more than 3 percent from a year earlier. Imports were down, as well, by almost a percent.
In baseball, the summer of Yasiel Puig goes on. The breakout star for the Los Angeles Dodgers is a mere five weeks into his major league career. And in that short time he is set hitting records and also helping turn around a struggling Dodgers team. Puig is a 22-year-old Cuban defector. His past remains a bit of a mystery, but that doesn't seem to bother the fans caught up in Puig-mania.
Egypt's political future will largely depend on its economy, and its economic future will largely depend on help from other countries. To talk more about this, we reached Mohsin Khan. He's a senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center on the Middle East at the Atlantic Council. He's also the former Director of the Middle East Department at the International Monetary Fund. Good morning.
MOHSIN KHAN: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: What are Egypt's most immediate economic needs?
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. In Egypt, the interim president and the generals who brought him to power are pushing ahead with what they say is a plan for a new constitution and elections. This is supposed to be a transition to some kind of real civilian rule. But it's already raising a lot of doubts about the intentions of the military. We've reached NPR's Leila Fadel in Cairo for the latest. Leila, good morning.
President Obama is considering pulling all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by the end of next year, but the White House says no decision is imminent. Administration officials say the U.S. and Afghanistan are still talking about whether the U.S. will keep some residual force in Afghanistan after 2014.
The rambling, funky ride called Banjo Billy's Bus Tours, in Boulder, Colo., is equal parts history, crime stories and comedy. It's all woven together by John Georgis — better known as Banjo Billy — in a playful, "choose your own adventure" style.
"You can either choose a PG tour, or a PG-13 tour, or an R-rated tour," he tells one group of riders. The crowd chooses the R-rated version, but they have to work for it.
"If you want the R-rated tour, you gotta say it like a pirate," Banjo says, drawing a bunch of "arrrrghs" from tour-goers. "R it is!"