NPR Story
2:48 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Without Earmark 'Grease,' Some Say, Spending Bills Get Stuck

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

While Congress tries to get to the bottom of what went wrong with the Affordable Care Act website, it's got other problems on its mind. Leading the list is the inability of lawmakers to carry out their most fundamental constitutional responsibility: appropriating the money needed to run the government in a timely fashion.

This month's shutdown was only the most recent fallout of the breakdown in appropriations. Some lawmakers say the Republican ban on earmarks nearly three years ago has only made things worse.

Read more
NPR Story
2:48 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Brick-And-Mortar Bookstores Play The Print Card Against Amazon

Barnes & Noble is one of several stores that have refused to carry Amazon Publishing's books.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:24 am

When it comes to book publishing, all we ever seem to hear about is online sales, the growth of e-books and the latest version of a digital book reader. But the fact is, only 20 percent of the book market is e-books; it's still dominated by print. And a recent standoff in the book business shows how good old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar bookstores are still trying to wield their influence in the industry. You might even call it brick-and-mortar booksellers' revenge.

Read more
NPR Story
2:44 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Afghan Translator Credited With Saving Soldier Arrives In U.S.

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's get an update now on a story we brought you last month. An Army Captain named Matt Zeller waged a one-man campaign to get an American visa for his Afghan translator. A special program does allocate visas for Iraqis and Afghans who have put their lives in danger helping U.S. forces. In the eyes of some of their countrymen, they are tainted forever by their association with America.

Here's what Zeller's translator said about his situation.

Read more
NPR Story
2:44 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Another View On How To Fix The Debt

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's hear an argument to worry more about the federal deficit.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Yesterday, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told us borrowing is not the nation's No. 1 problem. He'd rather invest in better roads or education.

LARRY SUMMERS: It's just as much a burden on future generations to defer maintenance as it is to pass on debt. It is just as much a burden on future generations to leave them undereducated in global competition as it is to pass on debt.

Read more
NPR Story
2:44 am
Wed October 30, 2013

When Celebrity Retirements Don't Quite Stick

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And long time PBS news anchor Bill Moyers says his show will go off the air in January. His announcement yesterday sounded familiar to his fans because he's retired before. In fact, twice before.

BILL MOYERS: "The Journal" comes to an end with this broadcast.

MONTAGNE: That's the sound of Moyers' 2010 retirement, which didn't last.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Bill is back. "Moyers & Company."

MOYERS: Welcome. I'm glad we could get together again. It's good to be back.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:03 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Violence, Chaos Let Polio Creep Back Into Syria And Horn Of Africa

The Ethiopian government has set up about a dozen vaccination booths along its thousand-mile border with Somalia.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:27 pm

Update on Thursday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m. ET:

A spokesman for the World Health Organization said Thursday that it was mistaken about the polio outbreak in Somalia spreading to South Sudan. The virus has been detected in Kenya and Ethiopia this year. But South Sudan has not recorded a polio case since 2009.

Read more
Sweetness And Light
2:03 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Can NASCAR Steer Itself Back Into Popularity?

Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) and Juan Pablo Montoya (42) drive through turn four on a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:24 am

As the NASCAR season climaxes, America's prime motor sport continues to see its popularity in decline. For several years now, revenues and sponsorship have plummeted, leaving an audience that increasingly resembles the stereotype NASCAR so desperately thought it could grow beyond: older white Dixie working class.

Both ESPN and the Turner Broadcasting Co., longtime NASCAR networks, took a look at the down graphs and the down-scale demographics and didn't even bother to bid on the new TV contract.

Read more
Around the Nation
1:22 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Arguments Over Social Security Pit Old Vs. Young

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:24 am

Congress has until Jan. 15 to come up with another spending plan. As they negotiate, one thing you'll hear a lot about is overhauling entitlement programs — particularly Social Security.

The program accounts for about 20 percent of federal spending. One argument in favor of cuts is that Social Security amounts to a huge transfer of wealth from the young to the old.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:50 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

For Somali Immigrants, All Politics Really Is Local

Members of the Somali community visit near a park in Minneapolis. The city is home to the nation's largest concentration of Somali Americans.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 4:06 pm

Politics in Minneapolis is about to change.

Not only is the city electing a new mayor on Nov. 5, it's also possible that a majority of the members of City Council will be freshmen.

Among their number could be Abdi Warsame, who would be the first Somali American elected to the City Council there — or anywhere else.

"The community has realized we can turn to each other to address issues of education, housing and health, which are mainly controlled by the politicians," says Mohamud Noor, a Warsame ally.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

French Hostages Held In West Africa Since 2010 Win Freedom

The hostages' families, friends and activists demonstrate in Aix-en-Provence, France, in June.
Claude Paris AP

Four French hostages captured in Niger three years ago by members of an al-Qaida affiliate have been released.

France's President Francois Hollande says the men, seized in a raid on a uranium mining operation on Sept. 16, 2010, near Arlit in northern Niger, will be returning home soon.

The four men are identified as Thierry Dol, Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand and Marc Feret. A source close to Hollande was quoted by AFP as saying: "We can't say that they're in great health but their health is fine."

The hostages are thought to have been held in neighboring Mali.

Read more

Pages