Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Marina Shifrin became an Internet sensation this week when she danced her way out of the office to Kanye West's hit song "Gone." Captions detailed her grievances, like long hours. Her former company, in Taiwan, makes animated videos, so naturally it responded in kind to "The Quitting Dance."
"A ship carrying African migrants to Europe caught fire and capsized off the Italian island of Lampedusa on Thursday, killing at least 94 people as it spilled hundreds of passengers into the sea, officials said. Over 150 people were rescued but some 200 others were still unaccounted-for."
The U.S. dollar remains strong, having weathered an economic meltdown, a government shutdown and the stomach of a dog. Wayne Klinkel of Montana was on vacation with his wife. They left the dog in a car when they stopped at a restaurant and returned to find the dog, Sundance, had eaten five $100 bills. Mr. Klinkel's family collected pieces of money as they emerged and sent them to the U.S. Treasury, which has now reimbursed him.
He's a socially inept scientist who's tone deaf to irony. She's an edgy young woman whose fallback mode is sarcasm. Put them together, and hilarity ensues in Australian IT consultant Graeme Simsion's first novel, The Rosie Project. It's an utterly winning screwball comedy about a brilliant, emotionally challenged geneticist who's determined to find a suitable wife with the help of a carefully designed questionnaire, and the patently unsuitable woman who keeps distracting him from his search.
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:55 am
Richard Rodriguez begins his latest book, Darling, with an unfussy dedication to the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a Catholic women's group committed to helping the sick and destitute. This Baptism, if you will, is the first and surely the most straightforward indication within the book that Rodriguez intends to delve into his complex relationship with religion. The path that lies beyond that dedication is weird and wonderful, and readers will find that it's far from a direct route.
A gate leading into the Joshua Tree National Park California is latched (though not locked) because of the partial government shutdown. Though national parks are technically closed, <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/10/03/228719015/national-parks-close-as-other-public-lands-stay-open">national forests remain open</a> — they're too large to close.
Abbey Whetzel has a 12-year-old son named Sam who has been at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Maryland for over a month. He has leukemia that is no longer treatable. And in this difficult time, one source of joy has been the therapy dogs that come to visit the sick kids.
"They can only come once a week, but it's the highlight of Sam's week," says Whetzel. But this week, she says, her son got some bad news. "They came and stopped in, and told Sam that the therapy dog wouldn't be coming because of the government shutdown."
Amid the partial government shutdown, the Small Business Administration will continue only a few programs, including disaster relief loans. That's good news in Colorado, where nearly a thousand businesses were damaged or destroyed by recent flooding. Many more could see sales go down.
Grace Hood of member station KUNC traveled to the small town Lyons to understand the full scope of challenges facing small businesses.
Let's take a moment now to remember Tom Clancy who has died at the age of 66. In 1984, he was a Maryland insurance broker writing fiction on the side. Then President Reagan called Clancy's first novel, quote, "My kind of yarn" and the book became a bestseller.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
"The Hunt for Red October" was a Cold War thriller about spies and submarines. Clancy followed up with books like "Clear and Present Danger" and "Patriot Games."
For years, the small West African nation of Liberia was associated with violence, child soldiers, blood diamonds, 14 years of one of the world's most brutal civil wars. Now Liberia is celebrating a full decade of peace. Tamasin Ford brings us the story of one enterprising young woman there who's learning to operate in the new Liberia.
Top U.S. intelligence officials are now warning about the threat to security posed by the partial federal shutdown. It is now idling most of the civilian workforce in the intelligence community. This follows an earlier warning to Congress about limiting their ability to monitor phone and data traffic.
That plea began during a Senate hearing about possible changes to intelligence laws, as NPR's Larry Abramson reports.
The United States prison population is still the world's highest, with more than 1.5 million people behind bars. Black men are more likely to be sent to prison than white men, and often on drug offenses. A study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee looked at that state's incarceration rates and found they were the highest in the country for black men.
All right. The partial government shutdown could take an especially painful toll on American veterans. The most serious consequences will not come unless the shutdown continues for weeks. Those consequences would include cutting off disability and education benefits. Politicians on both sides have scrambled to show their support for vets, but as NPR's Quil Lawrence reports, veterans applying for new benefits may already be suffering.
From Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah to the North Cascades in Washington, America's 401 national park areas have gates blocking entrance roads.
The last remaining campers and hotel guests in the parks must leave Thursday, and park rangers will patrol to keep others out.
The national parks "belong to the American people, and the American people should have the right to come in," says National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. "But the only way I can protect these places during this period is to shut them down."
Palestinians inspect trucks loaded with iron arriving from Israel through the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on Sept. 22. The delivery of the materials to the private sector is a first since the Hamas takeover in 2007.
Credit Hatem Moussa / AP
Untreated sewage from Gaza flows directly into the Mediterranean Sea. This has long been a problem, but authorities say the amount of untreated sewage being dumped into the sea had been falling before the current fuel crisis.