Politics
2:56 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

House Passes 'Clean' Debt Limit Bill

A woman looks at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 31 in Washington.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:00 pm

Tuesday saw a rarity in Congress these days: a "clean" bill.

The House passed one to raise the debt limit, a move that avoids a possible default later this month.

In the past, House Republicans have used this debate to extract concessions from President Obama and congressional Democrats.

But not this time. House Republicans demanded nothing in return. The House passed the no-strings-attached debt hike Tuesday evening — though just 28 Republicans voted with the Democratic minority to pass the extension, 221 votes to 201 votes.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Graco Recalls Nearly 3.8 Million Child Car Seats

The My Ride 70 was one of the models recalled by Graco.
Graco

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 4:24 pm

Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car seats because buckles may be hard to release, posing a danger in the case of an accident.

The AP reports that despite the massive recall, which involves 11 models sold from 2009 through 2013, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is unhappy with the company.

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The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

House Votes To Extend Debt Limit To March 2015

The House of Representatives has voted to extend the federal debt limit, after the Republican majority abandoned its hopes to tie other provisions to the measure. By a 221-201 vote, the House voted to extend the debt limit to March 15, 2015.

Update at 5:35 p.m. ET: Ryan Reportedly Voted 'No'

In the end, 28 Republicans joined with 193 Democrats to approve the move.

On Twitter, several congressional reporters quickly noted that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was one of many Republicans who voted against the legislation.

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Government & Politics
2:32 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Is It Terrible, Or A Treasure? Fresno's Fulton Mall Debate Heats Up

Fresno's 50 year-old downtown Fulton Mall would be removed under a plan proposed by the City of Fresno (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Is Fresno's Fulton Mall a priceless piece of art, or an impediment to revitalization of the city's historic core? That's the issue facing the Fresno City Council later this month, as the debate to re-open the pedestrian mall to vehicle traffic heats up, thanks to a $16 million federal grant. 

On Valley Public Radio's Valley Edition, we invited guests with two different perspectives to join us and talk about their competing visions for the future of this historic part of the city. They were:

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Environment
1:59 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

The Earth's 'Sixth Extinction' May Be One Of Our Own Making

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 7:15 am

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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U.S.
1:59 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Nonprofits Pull In Investors To Tackle Housing Affordability

Melissa Conklin, 23, stands in the kitchen of her two-bedroom apartment at Woodmere Trace in Norfolk, Va. She earns about $30,000 a year at a nearby car dealership, and says these apartments are not only convenient, but affordable. She pays about $900 a month here, far less than other apartments in the area.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 9:56 am

One of the biggest problems facing low-income families in the U.S. today is a lack of affordable housing.

According to a recent report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, more than 7 million low-income households now spend more than half of their income for rent, which leaves little money for anything else. And the situation is expected to get worse.

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Education
1:59 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Pay Cuts, End Of Tenure Put North Carolina Teachers On Edge

Elementary school students in North Carolina stand outside their school in November, during an event organized by teachers to protest changes in public education.
Dave DeWitt WUNC

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:00 pm

Teacher salaries are losing ground fast in North Carolina.

Jennifer Spivey has been a teacher for three years at South Columbus High School, on the north side of the border between the Carolinas. She's been recognized as an outstanding teacher; she has a master's degree, and last summer she won a prestigious Kenan fellowship to improve education. But she still lives in her parents' basement.

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Around the Nation
1:59 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

This Time, Officials Claim They're Ready For Southern Storms

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From long-term climate patterns now to today's weather. Another blast of unusually wintry weather is hitting the Deep South. More than five inches of snow fell in north Alabama this morning. In Georgia, there was snow and freezing rain. It was only two weeks ago that a couple of inches of snow brought Atlanta to a frozen standstill. People were stranded in cars and kids spent the night at schools.

So this time, as Rose Scott of member station WABE reports, state officials are in winter preparation overdrive.

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Sports
1:59 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

In Olympic First, Women Ski Jumpers Shatter Glass Ceiling

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Sports history was made today at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. For the first time, women were allowed to compete in ski jumping. And some of the women who jumped today had been fighting for equality for their sport for more than a decade.

NPR's Tamara Keith was there at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center and joins us now. And Tamara, let's start first with the medalists, who came out on top today?

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Economy
1:59 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Fed Chair Promises Continuity Before Congress

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:00 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.

Janet Yellen made her first appearance on Capitol Hill today as the new leader of the Federal Reserve. Her message was clear. There will be no sudden changes in Fed policy. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, Yellen said the central bank is likely to keep pulling back its big stimulus program despite concerns about the economy.

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