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Planet Money
12:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

What A U.S. Default Would Mean For Pensions, China And Social Security

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 9:38 am

What would happen if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling and the U.S. defaults on its debt later this month? The broad economic implications are unpredictable, but a default could cause huge trouble for the global economy.

But whatever happens to the global economy, one thing is clear: People all over the world who have loaned the U.S. government money won't get paid on time.

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Arts & Life
11:58 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: On Heroism

Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown
Victoria Will The Daily Beast

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:39 am

Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, joins NPR's Steve Inskeep again for a recurring feature Morning Edition likes to call Word of Mouth. This month her suggestions are all about heroes — whether being heroic means doing something, or not doing something.

Revisiting Black Hawk Down

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Environment
11:56 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Whatever Happened To The Deal To Save The Everglades?

Mechanical harvesters cut sugar cane on U.S. Sugar Corp. land in Clewiston, Fla., in 2008, the same year the state struck a deal to buy most of the company's Everglades holdings.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:49 am

South of Florida's Lake Okeechobee, hundreds of thousands of acres of sugar cane thrive in the heart of one of the world's largest wetlands. The Everglades stretches from the tip of the peninsula to central Florida, north of Lake Okeechobee.

"The Everglades actually begins at Shingle Creek, outside of Orlando," says Jonathan Ullman of the Sierra Club.

That's nearly 200 miles north of the agricultural land that Ullman and other environmentalists say is crucial to state and federal efforts to restore the wetlands area to a healthy ecosystem.

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Business
11:56 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

When It Comes To Jobs, Not All Small Businesses Make It Big

Sweetgreen co-founders Nathaniel Ru (from left), Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet at the opening of a Virginia location last year.
Courtesy of Sweetgreen

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:38 pm

Part of a series about small businesses in America

When it comes to job creation, politicians talk about small businesses as the engines of the U.S. economy. It's been a familiar refrain among politicians from both major parties for years.

But it obscures the economic reality. It makes a nice slogan, but it's not really accurate to say that small businesses produce most of the nation's new jobs, says John Haltiwanger, an economics professor at the University of Maryland.

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The Record
9:03 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Mala Rodriguez And The Women Of Latin Hip-Hop

Mala Rodriguez on stage at the Mulafest Festival in Madrid in June.
Pedro Armestre AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:39 am

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It's All Politics
4:13 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Shutdown Diary: Paul Ryan's Plan Gets Tea Party Pushback

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., offered a path forward in the fiscal stalemate, but Tea Party hard-liners weren't impressed.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Are House Republicans still seeking Democratic concessions on the Affordable Care Act? Or have they switched their sights to even bigger targets: federal spending on entitlements like Medicare and Social Security?

The answer on Wednesday depended on which Republican you asked.

Paul Ryan's Pitch

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It's All Politics
4:04 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

What To Call The Most Powerful Central Banker In The World

President Obama's nominee to lead the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, stands in the State Dining Room of the White House on Wednesday. If Yellen's nomination is confirmed by the Senate, she'll be the first woman to head the Federal Reserve System.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:10 pm

Janet Yellen got the official nod from President Obama Wednesday afternoon for the Fed's top spot. If Yellen's nomination is confirmed by the Senate, she'll be the first woman to head the Federal Reserve System and the most powerful central banker in the world.

But since she would be the first woman to get the job, just what exactly would her title be? Chair? Chairman? Chairwoman?

Yellen would replace Ben Bernanke, whose official salutation is chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Temporarily Closes

Homes sit next to the Exelon Bryon Nuclear Generating Stations in Bryon, Ill.
Jeff Haynes AFP/Getty Images

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the nation's one hundred nuclear reactors, has announced it will temporarily close its doors on Wednesday evening, due to the government shutdown. Safety operations will not be affected.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Americans Prefer Hemorrhoids And Cockroaches To Congress

he U.S. Capitol is seen on November 19, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 10:26 am

We've known for years that Congress — as a whole — is unpopular.

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It's All Politics
2:53 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Obama Has A Tea Party Cousin — And He's Running For Senate

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and other senators rush to the floor for a vote in July. Roberts faces a 2014 primary challenge from a distant relative of President Obama's.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:14 pm

Another member of the Obama family wants to come to Washington. But don't expect the president to campaign for him.

Milton Wolf, a distant cousin of President Obama's, announced Tuesday he will run for the U.S. Senate in Kansas, challenging three-term Sen. Pat Roberts in the Republican primary.

There's some political distance between Wolf and his cousin in the White House, to put it mildly.

An outspoken critic of the president's health care law, Wolf writes a conservative column for the Washington Times and has made several appearances on Fox News.

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The Salt
2:53 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Fish For Dinner? Here Are A Few Tips For Sea Life Lovers

A fishmonger tosses a just-purchased fresh salmon to a colleague behind the counter at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 3:00 pm

If sustainability is a top priority when you're shopping at the fish counter, wild-caught seafood can be fraught with ethical complications.

One major reason why: bycatch, or the untargeted marine life captured accidentally by fishermen and, often, discarded dead in heaps. It's one of the most problematic aspects of industrial fishing.

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Shots - Health News
2:52 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Why Scientists Held Back Details On A Unique Botulinum Toxin

The botulism toxin comes from Clostridium botulinum bacteria, seen here in a colorized micrograph.
James Cavallini Science Source

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 12:51 pm

Scientists have discovered the first new form of botulinum toxin in over 40 years, but they're taking the unusual step of keeping key details about it secret.

That's because botulinum toxin is one of the most poisonous substances known. It causes botulism, and the newly identified form of it can't be neutralized by any available treatment.

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Business
2:50 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Yellen Faces A Tough Job At The Fed From Day 1

President Obama stands with Janet Yellen, his choice to lead the Federal Reserve Board, at the White House on Wednesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:02 pm

Starting a new job is always tough. You want early success to prove you really were the right pick.

That's especially true if you happen to be the first woman to hold that job. Ever.

So when President Obama on Wednesday nominated Janet Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve, she might have had two reactions: 1) Yippee and 2) Uh-oh.

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It's All Politics
2:50 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

GOP Shutdown Strategy Gives House A Twilight Zone Feel

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., holds a news conference Oct. 3 with the GOP Doctors Caucus — members of the House who are medical professionals by training — to talk about how the government shutdown is affecting medical research.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:51 pm

With little progress being made to resolve the government shutdown, House Republicans have decided on a piecemeal strategy.

They have been voting to reopen small pieces of the government — for example, on Wednesday, they approved bills paying for the Federal Aviation Administration and for death benefits to the families of service members.

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Youth Radio
2:37 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

High Schools Struggle To Tackle Safety On The Football Field

Football practice at Castro Valley High School in California. Proper hitting technique requires players to keep their heads up to prevent neck injuries and concussions.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:41 pm

The NFL adopted a new rule this season that makes it illegal for players to hit with the crown of their helmet. In other words, ramming your head into someone.

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Book Reviews
2:37 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

A Coming Of Age Story For The (Ice) Ages

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. A new novel explores life on Earth tens of thousands of years ago. It's called "Shaman" by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, says it's worthy of a spot on the bookshelf between "The Inheritors" and "The Clan Of The Cave Bear."

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Man Opens Fire On Federal Building In West Virginia

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:15 pm

Using an assault-type rifle, a man fired 15 to 20 shots at a federal building in Wheeling, W.Va. on Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service tells the AP.

Authorities said the suspect was killed by police during the assault.

The wire service reports:

"Chief deputy Mike Claxton of the Marshals Service in northern West Virginia says one officer was hurt by shattered glass inside the courthouse during Wednesday's shooting but no other injuries were reported.

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It's All Politics
1:51 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Like The GOP, Boehner's Ohio Buddies Split On His Leadership

House Speaker John Boehner, accompanied by GOP Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Eric Cantor, spoke to the press Tuesday, as the partial government shutdown entered its second week.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Spirits were high when a posse of John Boehner's friends traveled from Ohio to the nation's capital to celebrate the longtime Republican congressman's elevation to House speaker in January 2011.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Obama Nominates Janet Yellen To Head Federal Reserve

President Obama claps during a press conference to nominate Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve in the State Dining Room at the White House on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Saying "American workers and families will have a champion in Janet Yellen," President Obama officially nominated her to chair the Federal Reserve, once Ben Bernanke completes his term in January.

Yellen "is the kind of person who makes everybody around her better," Obama said, adding that Yellen is "extremely well qualified" and "renowned for her good judgement."

Obama made the announcement at the White House on Wednesday, flanked by Yellen and outgoing Fed chief Ben Bernanke. If confirmed, Yellen will be the first woman to head the American central bank.

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Shots - Health News
1:18 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Even Mild Strokes Take A Toll On Quality Of Life

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., gets help entering the Capitol from Vice President Joe Biden (right) in January 2013, one year after suffering a stroke at age 52.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Having even a small stroke can be a scare. Some people recover well, while others struggle to talk, move or live as they did before.

Quality of life in the years after a stroke is something that's gotten surprisingly little attention, even though so-called quality-adjusted life years are a common measure for the cost-effectiveness of medical treatments.

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