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The Two-Way
6:26 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown Prompts Emergency Declarations In Utah

The Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park is a popular fall hike for thousands of visitors but the government shutdown has closed the park and drained tourism revenue and tax payments from local communities.
Wanda Gayle NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:04 pm

Fed-up with declining tourism spending and tax revenue during the government shutdown, four Utah counties dependent on National Park and public lands visitors have declared states of emergency.

And Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has responded with a plea to President Obama to reopen the region's National Park areas with state, local and private funding.

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This Is NPR
6:14 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

The Scariest Hashtag Ever? Enter #NPRHalloweenNames At Your Own Risk

NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:37 am

Here at NPR, we're always game for a good public radio spoof. And yesterday, the terrifyingly funny folks from Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! (@waitwait) started their own public radio, shall we say, spook.

It all started with this tweet (which was clearly dying for a response):

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The Two-Way
6:09 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown Forces Antarctic Research Into 'Caretaker Status'

The Chalet (right) is the U.S. Antarctic Program's administrations and operations center at McMurdo Station.
Reed Scherer National Science Foundation

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:44 am

Earlier this week we told you that scientists who do research in Antarctica have been on pins and needles, worried that the government shutdown would effectively cancel all of their planned field work this year.

Well, those scientists just got the news they didn't want to hear.

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The Salt
6:08 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Amid Big Salmonella Outbreak, USDA Says It's On The Job

A salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 270 people has been linked to raw chicken produced at three Foster Farms facilities in California.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:44 am

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a health alert warning that an estimated 278 illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg are associated with raw chicken produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.

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It's All Politics
6:04 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Does Where You Shop Depend On Where You Stand?

A composite image of a Whole Foods in Providence, R.I., and a Cracker Barrel in Springville, Utah.
Steven Senne/AP and George Frey/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:19 am

The federal government shutdown is now in its second week, and one big reason for the division in Washington is the growing divide between different kinds of voters back home. Those differences make news on Election Day, but they're visible every day.

Members in both parties find less and less common ground, in part because their constituents have such contrasting notions of government's proper role. And those contrasting visions often coincide with contrasting lifestyles — evident in many of the choices they make.

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

NSA Says It Has 'Mitigated' Meltdowns At Utah Data Farm

A new National Security Agency data center in Bluffdale, Utah, has had electrical problems that will delay its opening, according to reports.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 1:49 pm

This was supposed to be the month the National Security Agency cranked up its biggest data farm yet, in a Salt Lake City suburb.

The $1.2 billion complex covers 1.5 million square feet, and includes 100,000 square feet devoted solely to computers and servers.

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The Two-Way
5:48 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Botanic Garden Shuts Down, But Who'll Water The Plants?

The U.S. Botanic Garden, which is closed because of the government shutdown, says a small staff is looking after its plants. The garden's website still highlights part of its collection that's in bloom.
U.S. Botanic Garden

Among the casualties of the federal government shutdown is the U.S. Botanic Garden, which has been closed since Oct. 1.

As the government shutdown began, the final official act of many furloughed office workers was to grab their plants so they could care for them at home. That raised a question in Washington: Who would look after the Botanic Garden's plants?

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Parallels
5:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Asian Allies' Anxieties Rise Amid Washington Paralysis

President Obama listens as Chinese President Xi Jinping answers a question after a bilateral meeting in California on June 7.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has all sorts of costs — not only in the United States, but also overseas. President Obama had to cancel a trip this week to visit four nations in Asia so he could stay in Washington to deal with the political crisis. That has disappointed — even worried — some of America's friends in the region, who are counting on the United States to stand up to an increasingly assertive China.

The disappointment over the president's no-show in Asia was palpable.

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Middle East
5:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Declassified Documents Shed New Light On 40-Year-Old War

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:50 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Forty years ago, the Middle East was at war.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED BROADCASTER: There were these developments in the Middle East war today. Israel says it has retaken the Golan Heights and has moved into Syria. And in the Sinai, Egypt and Israel are fighting about three miles east of the Suez Canal.

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Health Care
5:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

State Health Exchanges: The Good, The Bad, And The Glitches

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Suzanne Cloud, that jazz musician we just heard, lives in Pennsylvania, one of the majority of states using the federal government's system for the new health insurance marketplace. And as we've just heard, the federal system has been plagued with problems. But what about the 16 states and District of Columbia that decided to set up their own insurance exchanges? How are they doing?

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Environment
5:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Flood Forensics: Why Colorado's Floods Were So Destructive

Flooding brought down a house in Jamestown, Colo., on Sept. 18.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:25 am

Parts of Colorado are still drying out after floods hit the state last month. Eight people died, and damage from the worst flooding in decades is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Scientists are now venturing into the hardest-hit areas to do a sort of "flood forensics" to understand why the floods were so bad.

Geologist Jonathan Godt takes Peak Highway in northern Colorado up into the Rockies. The road there winds past ravines and streams where water is still rushing.

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All Tech Considered
5:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Health Exchange Tech Problems Point To A Thornier Issue

"We can do better," says White House spokesman Jay Carney, of healthcare.gov's ongoing software problems and delays.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

One week after its rocky rollout, the federal site to help you sign up for health insurance exchanges went down again overnight for additional software fixes. The Obama administration says the technology powering the marketplaces buckled under unexpectedly high traffic. But the ongoing software hiccups for healthcare.gov point to a much thornier problem: procurement processes.

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Law
5:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Supreme Court Weighs Easing Limits On Campaign Contributions

This artist rendering shows Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., seated (center) as attorney Bobby Burchfield argues during the Supreme Court's hearing on campaign finance Tuesday.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:18 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court re-entered the debate over money and politics on Tuesday, hearing arguments in a case that could further erode limits on campaign cash.

Just three years ago, a narrow 5-to-4 conservative majority ruled that corporations are people, entitled to spend unlimited amounts on candidate elections as long as they do it separately from candidates' campaigns. On Tuesday, the court moved on to grapple with direct contributions to campaigns — in particular the aggregate limits on contributions by wealthy donors.

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Religion
5:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Imam: 'We Can't Imagine' The Beauty Of Paradise After Death

A St. Louis-area imam spoke with NPR about what Muslims believe about life after death.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:26 am

This week, All Things Considered is talking with leaders from different faiths about their perspectives on the afterlife. NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Mufti Asif Umar, a Muslim scholar and imam of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, about what Muslims believe and about his own beliefs.

Umar, the 29-year-old son of Indian immigrants, said Muslims believe that when a person dies, two angels appear and ask that person three questions about his or her faith. Those questions, Umar says, have correct answers.

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Shots - Health News
5:36 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Shifting Resources To Front Lines Could Protect Polio Workers

Avez, 2, is held by his mother, as he receives the polio vaccine in the Khyber Tribal Region in northwest Pakistan.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

A bomb exploded Monday near a group of polio vaccinators in Peshawar, killing at least two policemen, The New York Times reported. Since December, at least 20 polio workers have been killed in similar assaults.

Such violence has threatened the global effort to stamp out the disease in the three countries where the virus is still endemic — Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Boehner: 'There's Going To Be A Negotiation Here'

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) arrives to speak to the media following President Barack Obama's news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

About an hour after President Obama made his case to the country, Speaker John Boehner stood before a podium for the second time on Tuesday to say he was standing his ground and that he was "disappointed" that Obama would not negotiate.

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It's All Politics
4:56 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

House GOP's Latest Idea: A Fiscal Supercommittee, Sort Of

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) at the hearing where he discussed his bill to create a bipartisan committee to tackle fiscal issues.
C-SPAN screen shot

The latest House GOP gambit in the fiscal fight is ... wait for it ... a supercommittee.

But Republicans aren't calling it a supercommittee since that's the term for the failed panel that brought us the the sequester.

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All Songs Considered
4:15 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

First Watch: Rubblebucket, 'Save Charlie'

Rubblebucket video for 'Save Charlie'
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:37 am

There's a moment in this rousing tune by the Brooklyn-based band Rubblebucket I think we can all connect with: singer Kalmia Traver screams "15 missed calls / can you blame me? / Charlie tell me, do you love me?" It's that exasperation, that moment in a relationship when one person finds themselves caring a whole lot more than the other, that makes this a fabulous pop song. I also love how much life this lyric video has; the color and style feel fresh and so perfect for the blasting horns and funk of the music.

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The Salt
3:41 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Food Truck Pioneer Battles Food Deserts With High Cuisine

The Kogi BBQ truck near the campus of UCLA in 2009.
Matt Sayles AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 9:46 am

What do restaurant chefs dream of? Most would be satisfied with a great review, a full house every night, maybe a restaurant or three of their own, a television show.

Not Roy Choi.

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Shots - Health News
3:34 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Many Teens Admit To Coercing Others Into Sex

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 4:16 pm

Almost 1 in 10 high school and college-aged people have forced someone into sexual activity against his or her will, a study finds. The majority of those who have done it think that the victim is at least partly to blame.

The results come from a multiyear study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was designed to look for the roots of adult sexual violence. Most adult perpetrators say they first preyed on another while still in their teens.

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