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The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

John Boehner Reports No Progress After Meeting With Obama

The White House is seen behind a stop sign in Washington, D.C, on Oct. 1.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 1:46 pm

Update at 7:15 p.m. ET. No Progress:

Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, stepped out of the White House this evening after a 90-minute meeting with President Obama and reported no progress.

"They will not negotiate," Boehner said. "All we are asking for here is a discussion and fairness for the American people on Obamacare."

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Shots - Health News
5:39 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

A DEET-Like Mosquito Spray That Smells Like Jasmine Or Grapes?

Scientists have discovered four new DEET-like mosquito repellents. Three of them are safe to eat.
Courtesy of Pinky Kai/University of California, Riverside

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:56 am

California scientists are reporting a pair of victories in the epic struggle between man and mosquito.

A team at the University of California, Riverside, appears to have finally figured out how bugs detect the insect repellent known as DEET. And the team used its discovery to identify several chemical compounds that promise to be safer and cheaper than DEET, according to the report in the journal Nature.

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It's All Politics
5:39 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

GOP Establishment Grapples With A Tea Party That Won't Budge

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is among the Republicans who want to pass a spending bill not tied to defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

The old line in Washington is that the "establishment" controls everything.

But the fights that have resulted in the government shutdown have turned that cliche upside down.

This time, it's the Tea Party and its allies in Congress calling the shots. The "establishment" — on Capitol Hill and in the business community — has so far been on the outs.

You can hear the frustration in the voice of 11-term Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., as he runs a gantlet of reporters at the Capitol.

"I'm just more concerned about there not being a clean CR," he says amid the hubbub.

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All Tech Considered
5:39 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Social Media Detectives: Is That Viral Video For Real?

via YouTube

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

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It's All Politics
5:29 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutdown Gives Americans New Reason To Hate Washington

Regina Whittington (right) of Little Rock, Ark., and her friend Diana Fuller, of Noble, Okla., walk toward the entrance to the Gateway Arch Wednesday in St. Louis.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:59 pm

There's nothing like a government shutdown to make people angry about government, or at least the politicians who are running things.

"The people we have in the Senate and the House of Representatives, I don't know who they're working for, but they're not working for us," says Larry Abernathy, an insurance broker in St. Louis. "I think both parties are useless."

It's a widely shared belief. People in this Midwestern city may be far removed from the back and forth of the budget debate that has paralyzed Washington, but the partial shutdown is very much on their minds.

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Code Switch
4:50 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Howard's President Steps Down Amid Tumult And Uncertainty

Sidney Ribeau's tenure saw the university's endowment recover from the 2008 downturn and its alumni giving rate quadruple. But a trustee said the school was in "serious trouble" and called for a no-confidence vote against him.
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:55 pm

Is Howard University facing an existential crisis?

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The Salt
4:44 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Fish Guidelines For Pregnant Women May Be Too Strict, Study Suggests

In a study of 4,000 pregnant women, fish accounted for only 7 percent of blood mercury levels.
JackF iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 5:22 pm

The health benefits of eating fish are pretty well-known. A lean source of protein, fish can be a rich source of healthful omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to benefit heart, eye and brain health.

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Planet Money
4:42 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Episode 352: The High-Tech Cow

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:02 pm

On today's show, we visit Fulper Farms, a family-run dairy in New Jersey. It's a bucolic setting — white farmhouse, rolling hills, etc. But behind that peaceful image lies all the roiling tension, rising inequality and economic volatility of the 21st-century economy.

We meet Claudia, the prized, high-tech cow. And we learn why even a barn full of Claudias wouldn't be enough to keep a family-run dairy farm afloat.

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Space
4:40 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

The Government Shutdown's Final Frontier: How NASA Is Dealing

While almost all of NASA's employees have been furloughed because of the government shutdown, ground control activities for the International Space Station are still operational. Above, astronaut Chris Cassidy on a spacewalk aboard the ISS on May 11.
AP

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

If ET wants to phone home, this is not the week to do it. NASA's phone lines are down, as are its website and many Twitter feeds. All have been silenced by the government shutdown, whose far-reaching consequences are now stretching into space.

The shutdown began on Tuesday, after Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives failed to come to an agreement over the federal budget. Most of the government's nonessential services have ground to a halt, and among the hardest hit agencies is NASA.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:33 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Science: For Good Or Evil?

A warning to us all
Universal The Kobal Collection

In 1818, the 21-year-old Mary Shelley published the great (perhaps greatest) classic of gothic literature, Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus. As we all know, it's the story of a brilliant and anguished doctor who wants to use the cutting-edge science of his time — the relationship between electricity and muscular motion — to bring the dead back to life. Two decades before Shelley's novel, the Italian Luigi Galvani had shown that electric pulses could make dead muscles twitch.

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Europe
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Russia Charges Greenpeace Activists With Piracy

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Russian prosecutors have filed charges of piracy against 14 people who were aboard a Greenpeace boat during a protest last month in the Russian Arctic. Under Russian law, piracy is punishable by as much as 15 years in prison. Greenpeace says it was peacefully protesting the dangers of oil drilling in the Arctic and that the Russian government is violating international law.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow.

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It's All Politics
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Obama's Shift In Rhetoric Helping Democrats Stick Together

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid celebrate the open enrollment of the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday. During the government shutdown, the Democrats have been more unified than they have been in a long time.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

President Obama has been railing against Republicans in Congress nearly every day this week.

"One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government," he said in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday. "All because they didn't like one law."

He's expected to take that message on the road on Thursday, visiting a construction company in Maryland to talk about the impact of the shutdown on the economy.

And that finger-pointing at Republicans is sure to be part of his speech again.

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Hundreds Of Safety Net Hospitals Face Uncertain Future

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Hospitals that serve the neediest patients are bracing themselves through the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. These safety-net hospitals treat large numbers of people with no health insurance and many are struggling. In New York, a handful of these hospitals are on the brink of closing.

And as NPR's Joel Rose reports, some worry that the health care law will make things even worse, not better.

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Skeleton Crews At Closed National Parks

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And finally to the national parks. In total, 401 park service sites have been closed due to the government shutdown, ranging from Yellowstone and Yosemite to Civil War battlefields and the Statue of Liberty. And the many memorials along the National Mall here in Washington are barricaded: Lincoln, Jefferson, World War II.

The director of the National Park Service, Jon Jarvis, told me even sites like those that may not seem to require park service supervision do.

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Federal Funds For Meals On Wheels Tied Up In Shutdown

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Nutrition programs that feed the elderly have not been exempted from the closure. For example, Meals on Wheels in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It feeds about 200 elderly clients - most of whom live alone - supplying what for many is their only meal of the day.

ALISON FOREMAN: Our meal today is one of our clients' absolute favorites. It's chili with cornbread and stewed vegetables.

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutdown Is The Latest Hit To Federal Worker Wallets, Morale

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

They've been sequestered, furloughed and told to work without pay. Meanwhile, they still have mortgages, bills and kids in college. How is the shutdown affecting hundreds of thousands of federal workers?

Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Want To Raft Through The Grand Canyon? Not During The Shutdown

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Scott Lee can look down the limestone cliffs and see the Colorado River cutting through the Grand Canyon. But what's maddening is he can't get on the river. Today, Lee was planning to get in a raft and launch a 20-day trip down the Colorado. But his group of 16, including his 13-year-old son, whom he pulled out of school in New Hampshire for this trip of a lifetime, can't get started.

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National Security
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Intelligence Chief: Shutdown Makes America More Vulnerable

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A Senate hearing today focused on the shutdown's impact on national security. Intelligence leaders told lawmakers they could not guarantee the safety of the country because most civilian intelligence workers are furloughed. NPR's Larry Abramson has that story.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Clapper: Shutdown Hurts Intelligence, Counterterrorism Efforts

National Intelligence Director James Clapper (left), accompanied by Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, testifies on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 8:50 pm

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate panel on Wednesday that the government shutdown — which forced the furlough of 70 percent of the CIA and NSA workforce — amounted to a "dreamland" of opportunity for foreign spy agencies.

Clapper, who appeared side by side with National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander, told a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee that failure to fund the government "is not just a Beltway issue. It affects our capability to support the military, diplomacy and our policymakers."

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This Is NPR
4:16 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

The Curious Listener: 'So,' Is This A Fad?

Katie Burk NPR

At NPR, our work is all about listening and inspiring others to listen. Reporters and editors wage a daily battle with distracting interjections - pesky 'umms,' 'likes' and 'wells' - so NPR listeners can focus instead on the content of our stories.

However, everyone talks their own talk. Sometimes guests (and even our own journalists) throw in verbal pauses that some listeners find distracting. One curious (and self-proclaimed faithful) listener wrote to tell us about a certain word they find soooooo irritating:

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