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Afghanistan
1:03 am
Tue October 8, 2013

As Afghan Presidential Race Begins, Warlords Are Prominent

Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, an influential lawmaker and religious scholar, waves at his supporters on Oct. 3, after registering his candidacy in next year's presidential election.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:26 am

As the war in Afghanistan enters its 13th year, the political and security situation there remains precarious. But the country is hoping to reach a milestone next spring: the first democratic transfer of power in the country's history.

And there's no shortage of candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai — who is barred from running for a third term.

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Politics
1:02 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Supreme Court Hears Another Challenge To Campaign Finance Law

Shaun McCutcheon is challenging the aggregate limits on contributions to political candidates and parties.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:17 am

The U.S. Supreme Court returns to the campaign finance fray on Tuesday, hearing arguments in a case that could undercut most of the remaining rules that limit big money in politics.

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All Tech Considered
1:01 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Enter The Quiet Zone: Where Cell Service, Wi-Fi Are Banned

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope is protected from interference by federal and state laws.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:03 am

There are no physical signs you've entered the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area that covers the eastern half of West Virginia. But the silence gives you a signal. Somewhere around the Virginia-West Virginia state line, the periodic buzzes and pings of our smartphones stopped.

"Zero [service]. Searching," said photographer John Poole, who traveled with me to the zone.

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It's All Politics
5:15 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Shutdown Diary, Day 7: The Blame Game

Alabama fans hold up a sign about the government shutdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia State on Saturday.
Butch Dill AP

As the seventh day of the federal government shutdown wraps up, Congress and the White House appear no closer to reaching a budget agreement.

Highlights:

Without much action Monday, a slew of newly released polls filled the news vacuum. While they showed that both parties are taking a hit over the shutdown, it appears Republicans are bearing the brunt of the blame from the American public.

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Shots - Health News
5:02 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Delaying Aging May Have A Bigger Payoff Than Fighting Disease

Gaining a few more years of healthy life would be great for individuals, but expensive for Medicare, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 5:24 pm

Curing cancer and eliminating heart disease has been the holy grail of medical research. But there could be even greater benefits if aging itself could be delayed, a study finds.

This is not quite as farfetched as it sounds. While the anti-aging "cures" being marketed these days are largely snake oil, in the laboratory scientists have managed to extend the lives of laboratory animals. And they have a better understanding of the mechanisms of biological aging.

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It's All Politics
4:14 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Shutdown Voting Math Fails To Add Up

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives on Capitol Hill on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:57 pm

A lot of words have been spilled since the government shutdown began nearly a week ago, but some of the most noteworthy came from the lips of House Speaker John Boehner Sunday on ABC's This Week:

"There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR," Boehner said, referring to a spending bill to end the shutdown that would be devoid of any extraneous language.

Why is this significant?

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Code Switch
4:12 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Undocumented Immigrants In Calif. Will Benefit From New Laws

California's Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a group of bills related to immigration because, he said, enough time has passed.
AP

The federal government remains shut down over a budget stalemate, but California's Gov. Jerry Brown decided not to wait for Congress to make decisions on the Gordian knot that is U.S. immigration policy. On Saturday, Brown signed into law a group of bills related to immigration because, he said, enough time has passed.

"While Washington waffles on immigration, California's moving ahead," Brown stated. He added, with trademark bluntness, "I'm not waiting."

The "Trust Act" Vs. "Secure Communities"

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Former French Leader Sarkozy Is Cleared In Corruption Case

The decision to dismiss charges against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, seen here in Paris Monday, could clear the way for him to return to politics.
Thomas Samson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:36 pm

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been cleared in a scandal over the finances of his 2007 presidential campaign. The examining magistrates' decision to dismiss the case may clear the way for a return to politics for Sarkozy.

"I am delighted about this decision, which I expected," said Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, after the announcement, the AP reports. The news agency adds, "After leaving a private meeting on Monday at the main Paris mosque, Sarkozy nodded to cameras but did not speak to journalists."

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The Government Shutdown
3:56 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Even Antarctica Feels Effects Of The Government Shutdown

A helicopter is unloaded from an LC-130 in Antarctica last December. Researchers on this mission were studying the Pine Island Glacier, one of the fastest-receding glaciers on the continent.
August Allen National Science Foundation

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.

That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.

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Religion
3:56 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

To Pastor, Afterlife Is Where We 'Learn To Live Together'

Detail of the central compartment of The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, completed in 1432 by Jan van Eyck, where pilgrims gather to pay homage to the lamb of God. Many art historians interpret the painting's fountain as a symbol of eternal life.
DEA Picture Library De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 2:39 pm

A majority of Americans from all walks of life believe in life after death. Yet conversations about the afterlife — from what it might look and feel like to who else one may find there — often remain highly personal ones, shared with family members, clergy or others who share one's faith.

To better understand how many Americans conceive of the afterlife, All Things Considered has spoken with leaders from different faith traditions on their views on life after death.

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New In Paperback
3:52 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Oct. 7-13: A Kidnapper, A Dictator And A London Shrink

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:28 am

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
3:31 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Raids Project Presidential Power Amid Shutdown's Gridlock

President Obama arrives to speak about the government shutdown at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Response Coordination Center on Monday.
Shawn Thew-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

The American system of government was built on gridlock. Yet even by that standard, this past week has demonstrated new levels of immobility.

So the special forces operations carried out in Libya and Somalia over the weekend were a bracing change. President Obama decided to do something — and it happened.

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Economy
3:31 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

In A Debt Crisis, U.S. May Have To Decide Payment Priorities

House Republicans have proposed directing the Treasury Department to pay bondholders first if there is not enough money available to pay all the nation's debts.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:02 am

The government is just 10 days away from defaulting on its debt. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that by Oct. 17, the department will likely have less money on hand than it needs to pay all its bills.

"The reality is that if we run out of cash to pay our bills, there is no option that permits us to pay all of our bills on time, which means that a failure of Congress to act would for the first time put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations as a government," Lew said on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.

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It's All Politics
3:21 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

GOP Governors Chart Different Paths On Shutdown

Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announces her candidacy for a second term in August, with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (from left), Govs. Rick Perry of Texas, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
Richard Shiro AP

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 2:23 pm

The federal government shutdown has given governors across the country an opportunity to take part in one of their favorite pastimes: scolding Washington.

Among Republicans, though, there appears to be some disagreement over exactly who's to blame for the latest budget impasse.

One camp of GOP governors — often those in blue states or with national ambitions (if not both) — has largely chastised all parties involved. They're eager to distance themselves from Washington and portray themselves as results-oriented "outsiders."

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Malala Yousafzai: 'I Believe In Peace; I Believe In Mercy'

Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani advocate for girls education who was shot in the head by the Taliban, attends a conversation with the United Nations Secretary General Ban-ki Moon and other youth delegates.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

It's been a year since Taliban militants shot Malala Yousafzai in the head for her campaign promoting the right of girls to go to school.

It was a heartbreaking case that captured the globe and luckily — and against the odds — the 16-year-old has made a full recovery that culminated in a stunning speech at the United Nations in July.

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Pop Culture
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

George R.R. Martin, Author And ... Movie-Theater Guy?

George R.R. Martin prepares to introduce author Neil Gaiman and performer Amanda Palmer at charity benefit at his newly renovated Jean Cocteau cinema in Santa Fe, N.M., on Sept. 29. Reopening the old movie house has been a passion project for the Game of Thrones author — but for some of his fans, it's one more distraction that's come between them and Martin's unfinished epic.
Grayson Schaffer for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:21 pm

George R.R. Martin's hit fiction series A Song of Ice and Fire has sold more than 25 million copies and sparked an HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones, that won two Emmys in 2013, bringing its total to 10.

But many fans are grumbling that Martin hasn't been spending enough time of late in his mythical kingdom of Westeros and its surroundings. On the list of things Martin is doing instead of writing the next Game of Thrones book? Reviewing the latest episodes of Breaking Bad, editing a sci-fi series and writing a novella.

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Politics
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

California Won't Wait For Congress On Immigration Reform

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:56 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In other immigration news, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a measure that makes it harder for federal immigration officials to detain people believed to be in this country illegally. The new state law, called the Trust Act, restricts local police from holding undocumented immigrants without serious criminal records and turning them over to immigration authorities. NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.

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Politics
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Shutdown Shutters Already-Clogged Immigration Court

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Politics
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

GOP Plan To Link Spending Bill, Health Law Cuts Took Months

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

The government shutdown was a plan months in the making — the brainchild of a constellation of dozens of conservative groups — according to Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who co-wrote an article about it in The New York Times. The report describes a conservative blueprint that linked funding the government with undoing Obamacare.

Politics
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Irked By Shutdown And Stalemate, Most Still Oppose Compromise

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:59 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

One week into the federal shutdown and the reviews are coming in in the form of public polls. The Pew Research Center has a new poll out today that shows widespread public frustration, but also deep partisan differences about how to relieve that frustration. Michael Dimock is the director of the Pew Center. Welcome to the program once again.

MICHAEL DIMOCK: Hi, Robert.

SIEGEL: I gather the answer to the question, whom do you blame for the shutdown is that depends on which people you ask.

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Politics
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Congressional Leaders Debate Votes Needed To End Shutdown

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Business
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Japanese Airlines Makes Deal To Buy Airbus Planes

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:18 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Japan Airlines stunned the aviation world today by announcing that for the first time in the company's history, it will buy new wide-bodied jets from Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer. The deal is worth billions and it's a big setback for Boeing, which has long dominated the Japanese aviation market. NPR's David Schaper reports.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier was positively beaming in Tokyo this morning in an interview with financial network CNBC.

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Middle East
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Five Soldiers Killed As Violent Protests Continue In Egypt

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to Egypt, where militants carried out a series of attacks against government targets today. Nine people were killed and dozens more were wounded. The incidents follow deadly clashes yesterday and add to concern that the political crisis, sparked by the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, could lead to an insurgency.

NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report.

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Around the Nation
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Deepwater Horizon Trial Enters Second Phase

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Law
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Raids In Somalia, Libya Spur Legal Questions

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

Daring weekend raids by U.S. armed forces to capture suspected terrorists in Somalia and Libya are generating a hearty debate among national security lawyers who are raising questions about what authority U.S. forces have to enter foreign soil and how long the al-Qaida operative who was captured can be held without trial.

Sports
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

His Dodgers In The Playoffs, A Legendary Announcer Keeps On

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

For the first time in four years, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the playoffs. They have plenty of stars on the field, but the most famous and beloved member of the organization is in the radio booth. Eighty-five-year-old Vin Scully has been broadcasting games for 64 years. Ben Bergman of member station KPCC got a rare interview with Scully, who says he'll keep going for at least another year.

VIN SCULLY: It's time for Dodger baseball.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Argentina's Kirchner To Have Surgery For Brain Hematoma

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will undergo surgery to relieve a hematoma on her brain Tuesday. She is seen here last month, at the U.N. General Assembly.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:07 pm

Days after doctors said Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner must take a month off from work to recover from a brain hematoma, reports now indicate that she'll undergo surgery to relieve the condition Tuesday.

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Planet Money
2:10 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Weirdly, A Default Could Make Investors More Eager To Lend The U.S. Money

J.P. Morgan

With the debt ceiling threshold 10 days away, the big question on everyone's mind is: what will happen if the government defaults? The story usually goes like this:

1. Congress does not raise the debt ceiling in time.

2. The U.S. defaults on its debt.

3. Financial markets immediately freak out because U.S. debt is no longer "risk free."

4. As a result, investors will start demanding higher interest rates to lend money to the U.S. government

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Parallels
1:41 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Here's Why The Navy Is Holding A Terror Suspect At Sea

Libyan protesters burn a replica of the U.S. flag on Monday during a demonstration against the capture of Abu Anas al-Libi. U.S. forces seized him Saturday in the Libyan capital Tripoli. He is accused of involvement in two U.S. embassy bombings in Africa in 1998 and is being held on a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea.
Esam OmranAl-Fetori Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:45 am

After seizing terror suspect Abu Anas al-Libi in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, U.S. forces took him to a ship in the Mediterranean where he could be interrogated for weeks or even months to come.

Why a ship?

In short, this allows the U.S. to hold and question al-Libi about his alleged role in a pair of 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa without putting him in the U.S. civilian court system, which could limit or halt efforts to interrogate him.

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Book Reviews
1:38 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Out Of Lahiri's Muddy 'Lowland,' An Ambitious Story Soars

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 1:53 pm

Geography is destiny in Jhumpa Lahiri's new novel, The Lowland. Her title refers to a marshy stretch of land between two ponds in a Calcutta neighborhood where two very close brothers grow up. In monsoon season, the marsh floods and the ponds combine; in summer, the floodwater evaporates. You don't need your decoder ring to figure out that the two ponds symbolize the two brothers — at times separate; at other times inseparable. But there's still more meaning lurking in this rich landscape.

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