Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:17 pm
Two wily veterans of Congress' fiscal wars will lead the budget talks scheduled to start Wednesday: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the heads of the House and Senate budget committees.
As the 29 lawmakers on the budget conference committee — 22 from the Senate and seven from the House — sit down to begin negotiations, they'll have in Ryan and Murray two lawmakers who from most accounts get along well despite their many differences.
Whenever you look at the teeming, rich and oh-so-various world, if you've got the right eyes, if you've got the eyes of a mathematician, you will find patterns — simple, elegant forms hiding in everything you see. Those patterns explain why sugar dissolves in a cup of coffee, why clouds release rain, why a heavy plane can climb into the sky.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:41 am
A year ago, public health officials were scrambling to figure out why people across the country were suddenly coming down with life-threatening cases of meningitis.
The outbreak eventually was traced back to contaminated steroids produced by the New England Compounding Center. All told, 751 people contracted fungal meningitis and other infections from the tainted shots; 64 died.
A vehicle from the Chinese police special tactical unit guards the sidewalk Tuesday where it is believed a car drove up before it plowed through a crowd and crashed and burned in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:18 am
We interrupt this blog to bring you a special bulletin:
Martians have invaded New Jersey!
OK, as far as we know that hasn't happened.
But we wanted to issue that faux alert because 75 years ago tonight, as our friend Korva Coleman pointed out on the NPR Newscast, Orson Welles and his troupe of radio actors interrupted the Columbia Broadcasting System's programming to "report" that our planet had been invaded.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:18 pm
What does the concert-ticket buyer want? If we're accepting that the market for albums — physical and digital — won't ever rebound, that digital singles will never make up for the loss in revenue and that streaming can't be profitable under current licensing laws, professional musicians (and the labels that love them) need to figure this out. Rap music, with its younger audience, has been more flexible in this regard than other genres: Rap acts now run the multi-genre summer festival gamut after infiltrating smaller cities' club circuits long ago.
President Obama would like you to remember that Obamacare was based on Massachusetts legislation signed in 2006 by then governor and Republican Mitt Romney, pictured at the signing ceremony. And that rollout started slowly, too.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:40 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies.
The Affordable Care Act should dominate Wednesday's news cycle thanks to scheduled high-profile appearances by President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to defend the law.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:48 am
Each week, we highlight a design or product innovation that you might not have heard about yet. Many of them come through your submissions (here's the form), but this week's idea came to us from our NPR Two-Wayblogger, Eyder Peralta, who thought this was pretty cool. We did, too.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:37 pm
Welcome to SymboGen, your friendly neighborhood medical company; have you stopped by for your tapeworm implant? Fair warning: There have been some unusual side effects ...
Health care has swallowed American headlines in recent years; besides the arguments over who deserves treatment to begin with, issues are emerging in pharmaceutical brand ethics, anti-vaccination activism, and the overuse of antibiotics. The war against disease is spreading against the smallest enemies of all.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Secretary Sebelius on who's responsible for 'this debacle'
(We last added to this post at 4:10 p.m. ET.)
"You deserve better. ... I apologize. ... I'm accountable to you."
That's what Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Americans on Wednesday morning during a Congressional hearing into problems with the Obama administration's HealthCare.gov website and Republicans' concerns about the Affordable Care Act.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Police cars in Iowa and Florida are testing a secret weapon: a small cannon embedded in the grille. It shoots tracking bullets containing tiny GPS devices that can stick to the trunk of a suspect's car. Police could then follow a suspect at a leisurely pace instead of embarking on a dangerous high-speed chase. The weapon, very James Bond, except American police would need to get a warrant before attaching a GPS to a car. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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.
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.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. More hearings come today on the messy rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will face questions from the House, Energy and Commerce Committee. Now, yesterday, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid testified before a different committee. Marilyn Tavenner offered consumers an apology for the problems at the health care.gov website.
Voters in communities in Ohio and Colorado will decide measures this coming Tuesday that would ban or limit the practice of hydraulic fracturing. Across the U.S., campaigns questioning the health and safety of fracking for natural gas are heating up. Grace Hood of member station KUNC reports on the effort in Fort Collins, Colorado.
GRACE HOOD, BYLINE: Most look forward to having some downtime over the weekend, but not Kelly Giddens.