With the government on the brink of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together to compromise on helium. Legislation passed late last week will keep the gas used in party balloons flowing from a national reserve.
The helium bill's passage shows that compromise is still possible in the fractious political climate. But finding agreement over this inert gas was tough. The new law came after more than a year of intensive lobbying by some of America's largest businesses and academic institutions.
And on Capitol Hill, words of anger and frustration today over the increasing likelihood of a government shutdown. This morning in the House, members of both parties took to the floor and pointed fingers.
REPRESENTATIVE EARL BLUMENAUER: If you're serious about working together to solve problems, why don't you work together to solve problems?
REPRESENTATIVE TED POE: Where oh where has the Senate gone? Where oh where can they be? With time so short and issues so long, where oh where has the Senate gone?
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 3:00 pm
Audie Cornish talks with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep about his interview Monday afternoon with President Obama. We hear excerpts from the interview, more of which will air Tuesday on Morning Edition.
Earlier today, I spoke with Congressman Phil Roe, Republican of Tennessee. He's a member of the Tea Party Caucus. He's also a medical doctor. He'd like to see the healthcare law repealed or defunded but, he insists, he doesn't want to see a shutdown.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Four more hours, that's how long lawmakers have to agree on a spending bill before the federal government shuts down. Hundreds of thousands of employees will be furloughed. National parks and museums will close and some food safety programs will shut down. This afternoon, President Obama criticized Congressional Republicans for the economic impact a shutdown would have.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
Today in Turkey, the government announced a new package of democratic reforms. The package includes granting some rights long sought by the Kurdish minority. A tenuous peace process between the military and Kurdish militants is hanging in the balance.
NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul that the proposed reforms would also lift a ban on women wearing headscarves in some state institutions.
The Pacific Crest Trail is one of the nation's iconic hiking routes. It stretches more than 2,600 miles between Mexico and Canada and this year a record number of people are hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. In fact, as many as 500 are expected to finish the entire trek. From member station KPLU in Seattle, Bellamy Pailthorp reports on how the experience is changing as more people do it.
On All Tech Considered, we care how modern gadgets affect us as humans. So, we want to hear from you about your relationship with technology, specifically your mobile phone. So tell us this, first: when did you realize your cellphone was indispensable?
KRISTINA ANDREWS: A moment where I couldn't live without my phone. It was, like, something was going on with the network or something and my phone wasn't working. I'm like what is happening? I literally almost died.
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:56 pm
Not even an hour after the House voted in favor of a bill that would avert a shutdown of the federal government, but also delay a key part of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, the Senate rejected it with a vote of 54-46.
With less than an hour before the government runs out of authority to spend money, the ball is now back in the court of Speaker John Boehner in the House.
If you got sick, you probably wouldn't go to an evolutionary biologist to get treated. But Daniel Lieberman, professor of evolutionary biology at Harvard University, says that his field can help you understand why you got sick, and make you more aware of healthy and harmful behaviors.
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 4:20 pm
Months after federal agents raided its Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters over charges that it withheld millions in diesel fuel rebates from customers at its truck stops, Pilot Flying J says it is paying the companies that were cheated.
From Nashville, Blake Farmer of member station WPLN filed this report for our Newscast unit:
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 2:10 pm
Chicken wing restaurants continue to pop up everywhere in this country — there are Wingstop, Buffalo Wild Wings, Aaron Sorkin's West Wings. Now, McDonald's is getting in on the act with Mighty Wings. They're available in three-piece, five-piece, and Who-Am-I-Kidding-I've-Got-Nothing-Left-To-Prove-piece.
Peter: I was as surprised to find an actual bone in this as I would be to find a bone in a banana.
Eva: How McDonald's got the bones in the nugget is the modern version of the classic ship in a bottle mystery.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, the founder of the blog Latino Rebels joins us to talk about the portrayal of Hispanics in politics and pop culture.
And now, let's return to the ongoing debate about gay marriage. On Friday, a New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled that the state's system of civil unions is invalid. She says New Jersey must allow same-sex couples to marry. The judge said denying gay couples the right to marry violates the Supreme Court's ruling back in June that struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act. The state is expected to appeal, of course, but this ruling could be the tip of the iceberg nation-wide anyway.
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 12:10 pm
Leaks in August about plans al-Qaida leaders were supposedly making to attack American interests abroad have "caused more immediate damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the thousands of classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden," some "government analysts and senior officials" tell The New York Times.
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 12:59 pm
An ex-military intelligence officer who prosecutors say siphoned millions from a bogus charity for U.S. Navy veterans is going on trial in Ohio.
The 67-year-old defendant calls himself Bobby Thompson, but authorities say his real name is John Donald Cody. He was arrested last year in Portland, Ore., after two years on the run, and is charged with masterminding a $100 million multistate fraud using a charity called United States Veterans Association, based in Tampa, Fla.
Rita Wilson is an actress, singer and editor-at-large for the Huff/Post50 website. She shares some of her favorite songs for Tell Me More's "In Your Ear" series.
One of her favorite songs is Joni Mitchell's Blue. "What I love about the song is that not only is it beautiful melodically, but it is beautiful poetically," Wilson says. "The way she uses words and visuals and strings them all together is — I just think what makes Joni Mitchell Joni Mitchell."