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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Obama Calls For Budget, Immigration Reform By Year's End

At the White House on Thursday, President Obama said "the American people are completely fed up with Washington."
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 9:50 am

President Obama slammed the partisan standoff "spectacle" that he said had damaged the economy and America's international credibility, and called on Congress to pass a comprehensive budget, immigration reform and a farm bill by year's end.

He praised "Democrats and responsible Republicans who came together" to pass a last-minute deal to reverse a partial government shutdown and narrowly avert the expiration of the federal borrowing authority.

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It's All Politics
8:12 am
Thu October 17, 2013

10 Takeaways From The Fiscal Fight

With the shutdown-debt ceiling fight over, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, appeared to strengthen his hand within the House GOP caucus but weaken it outside that group.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 9:50 am

With the double crises of a partial government shutdown and a potential debt default resolved, it's a good time to consider some of the lessons we learned from the dysfunction and drama of recent weeks.

Here are 10 of them:

Shutting Down The Government Is Not A Winning Political Strategy

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Economists: Shutdown Will Shave Half-Percent From Quarterly GDP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 12:06 pm

The government shutdown has taken a toll on the nation's economy and despite a deal that sidesteps a debt default and restarts the government (at least for a few months), growth forecasts for the last quarter of the year are being scaled back.

Economist Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics has shaved his gross domestic product forecast from a 2.6 percent annualized rate to 2.1 percent for the last three months of the calendar year.

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NPR Story
7:23 am
Thu October 17, 2013

How Financial Markets View Fiscal Deal

For a glimpse of how financial markets may view the deal by Congress to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling, Renee Montagne speaks to HSBC's chief U.S. economist Kevin Logan.

The Two-Way
6:30 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Man Survives Botched Hanging; Iran Vows To Try Again

Iranians watch the hanging of a convicted man in the city of Qazvin, northwest of the capital, Tehran, in May 2011.
Hamideh Shafieeha AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 10:48 am

Amnesty International is urging Iranian authorities not to go ahead with the execution of a convicted drug smuggler after the man survived a botched hanging last week.

The 37-year-old man, identified as Alireza M, was found alive in a morgue after he was hanged at a jail in the northeast Iranian city of Bojnord.

A news release from Amnesty International says:

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Lao Airliner Crash That Killed 49 Blamed On Bad Weather

Soldiers stand next to pieces of a Lao Airlines plane on Thursday after it crashed into the Mekong River near Pakse, Laos.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 10:10 am

The crash of a turboprop in southern Laos that killed all 49 people aboard was caused by a violent storm that prompted the pilot to miss a runway and careen into the Mekong River, authorities say.

"Upon preparing to land at Pakse Airport the aircraft ran into extreme bad weather conditions and was reportedly crashed into the Mekong River," the Laos Ministry of Public Works and Transport said in a statement.

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It's All Politics
5:52 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Thursday Morning Political Mix

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 6:48 am

Good morning.

The newspapers hit the front porch this morning with a familiar thud. (Yes, some of us still like the feel of paper in the morning.)

"SHUTDOWN ENDS" shouted The Washington Post.

"REPUBLICANS BACK DOWN, ENDING BUDGET CRISIS" The New York Times intoned.

And online (yes, some of us also like the morning glow of our devices), the post-shutdown/debt crisis postmortems were piling up like so many pages of regulations in the Affordable Care Act.

But first, the details, quickly:

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Parallels
5:43 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Grandma Exodus: German Seniors Look To Poland For Care

Two German women chat in the gardens of a senior care home in Berlin. Germany is grappling with a rapidly aging population: By 2050, almost a third of Germans will be 65 years or older, and a growing "Grandma export" trend has set hands wringing.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 4:43 pm

A handful of German and Polish residents at a nursing home in the Polish mountain town of Szklarska Poreba play a Scrabble-like game using blocks with large letters.

The seniors are tended to by Polish workers who offer a steady supply of smiles, hugs and encouragement.

Leonardo Tegls says such personal attention makes this nursing home, Sun House, special. The 87-year-old Dutch-born immigrant to Germany says he first learned about the Polish nursing home from a TV ad.

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The Two-Way
4:59 am
Thu October 17, 2013

House Stenographer Seizes Microphone In Bizarre Rant

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:54 am

In one of the strangest moments of a strange few weeks on Capitol Hill, a House stenographer broke into a rant about God, the Constitution and Freemasonry as representatives cast their votes Wednesday on a deal to reopen the government.

"He will not be mocked," the stenographer, later identified as Dianne Reidy, yelled into the microphone at the chamber's rostrum. "The greatest deception here is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. It would not have been. The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against God."

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Europe
4:55 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Businessman Retaliates Against Ice Cream Truck Driver

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Money cannot always buy you peace and quiet. A Swedish newspaper reports on a prominent businessman, Percy Nilsson, owner a hockey team. The 71-year-old confessed he'd drilled holes in the tires of an ice cream truck. Mr. Nilsson said he was infuriated by the teenage driver blowing the horn. He says I want to start a debate about ice cream truck noise. The driver admits to blowing the horn almost 100 times per hour. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
4:18 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Who Was First To Enjoy Frog Legs, France Or England?

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 6:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

It would be hard to be more French than frogs' legs, but an archeological dig in Southwest England has revealed that frogs' legs were actually enjoyed by the English first, 8,000 years before they appeared across the channel.

This will be a contentious claim, given the long rivalry between the countries. While the British may have eaten frogs' legs first, there's still hope for the French that they were the first to gently saute them in garlic and butter.

The Two-Way
4:15 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Federal Workers Head Back To Jobs As Government Reopens

A furloughed federal worker protests outside the U.S. Capitol last week, demanding an end to the shutdown.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:49 am

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers on furlough for two weeks are going back to work after Congress approved a late-night deal Wednesday to fund the government and stave off default.

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The Two-Way
2:08 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Kerry Says He Hopes Syria's Chemical Weapons Are Shipped Out Of Region

Secretary of State John Kerry flies over Afghanistan on Oct. 11. He met with President Hamid Karzai to work out an agreement on U.S. presence in the country.
Jacquelyn Martin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 11:11 am

Syria's chemical weapons could be consolidated and moved out of the country, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested in an interview with NPR.

Weapons inspectors are still in Syria assessing the country's stockpile and how to destroy it, in accordance with a United Nations Security Council resolution approved in September.

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Politics
1:38 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Budget Process Isn't Over. Are More Shutdowns Ahead?

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:23 am

By wide margins in both the House and the Senate, Congress voted Wednesday night to end a 16-day partial government shutdown. The measure also delays the debt ceiling deadline until early February. House and Senate Budget committees have until Dec. 13 to reconcile competing budgets.

Middle East
1:38 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Experts Debate How Best To Remove Syria's Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

Let's go deeper now into one issue Secretary of State John Kerry raised in my interview with him earlier in the program. The secretary, along with his Russian counterpart, got Syria's Bashar al-Assad to agree to hand over his vast store of chemical weapons. Now, Kerry is suggesting those stockpiles be taken out of Syria.

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Politics
1:38 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Government Workers Must Get The Wheel Turning Again

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK, with the government funding and debt ceiling deal now reached, passed and signed, government agencies are set to reopen. But don't expect all federal offices to take your calls just yet. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: University of Alabama geologist Samantha Hansen has been conducting a research project in Antarctica that, in one way, is like most everything else, funded by the federal government. After 16 days down, it's going to take some time to restart.

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Movie Interviews
12:22 am
Thu October 17, 2013

'12 Years A Slave': 160 Years Later, A Memoir Becomes A Movie

Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor play Patsey and Solomon, two slaves on a Louisiana plantation, in 12 Years a Slave.
Francois Duhamel Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:09 am

Solomon Northup was born free in early-19th-century upstate New York. He lived the life of a respected and elegant musician until 1841, when he was lured South by the promise of a lucrative stint playing his fiddle in a traveling circus.

In Washington, D.C. — in the shadow of the Capitol — Northup was drugged. When he came to, he was in chains: a slave headed for the hellish world of plantation life. Only the hope of being reunited with his beloved wife and children kept him going.

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Technology
12:06 am
Thu October 17, 2013

If A Tech Company Had Built The Federal Health Care Website

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 2:25 pm

HealthCare.gov was meant to create a simple, easy way for millions of Americans to shop for subsidized health care.

Instead, in a little two more than weeks, it has become the poster child for the federal government's technical ineptitude.

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The State Of The American Small Business
12:05 am
Thu October 17, 2013

The Roots Of Franchising Took Hold In A Hair Salon Chain

Gary Robins sits in the chair of his Supercuts salon in Media, Pa., one of 41 he owns throughout Philadelphia and Delaware.
Will Figg for NPR

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:23 am

We have been reporting for several weeks now on small businesses in America. Today, we explore a business system where entrepreneurs and corporations come together: franchising. Franchising is a bit like marriage. It takes a good long-term relationship to succeed.

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Economy
4:08 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Economists Say Fiscal Fits And Starts Hurt U.S. Growth

Traders at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Stocks surged on Wall Street after Senate leaders reached a deal that would avoid a U.S. default and reopen the government after 16 days of being partially shut down.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:45 pm

On Wednesday, the stock market cheered the debt ceiling deal in Congress. The Dow gained 206 points and all the major indexes closed higher.

Investors of course have been watching the showdown in Washington very closely, since a default could have been a global financial disaster. At the same time, economists are trying to figure out how much the jitters and uncertainty over all this has been hurting the economy.

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