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5:14 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Economists Say Shutdown Will Hurt, But Hard To Add It Up

Government workers protest the possibility of a federal shutdown in Chicago. Nearly 100 employees from federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development rallied in a downtown plaza Monday.
M. Spencer Green AP

After weeks of wondering what would happen, Americans now know:

1. Congress missed the midnight funding deadline for the new fiscal year, triggering disruptions in government operations.

2. That will slow economic growth, at least in the short term.

But just how far the damage will go is far from clear. Economists say they can't refine their predictions because they have no idea how long the shutdown might last or how many federal workers may be furloughed.

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It's All Politics
5:13 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Boehner's Blues: Why Would Anyone Want This Job?

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, makes his way to the House chamber for a procedural vote on Saturday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

John Boehner might not have the worst job in politics, but not many people envy the House speaker these days.

The GOP rank and file won't listen to him, grass-roots conservatives don't trust him, and Democrats say he can't deliver votes.

For a man who occupies the most powerful position in the House, Boehner's inability — or, possibly, his unwillingness — to persuade his fellow House Republicans to accept a budget without delaying or blocking parts of the Affordable Care Act has resulted in the first government shutdown since 1996.

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Politics
5:03 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Transcript And Audio: NPR Interview With President Obama

President Obama speaks with reporters at the White House on Monday about the threat of a government shutdown.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen To The Full Interview

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed President Obama on Monday about the looming government shutdown, the upcoming debt ceiling fight and more. A full transcript of the interview follows:

STEVE INSKEEP: As you have watched what's happening in Congress, do you feel that House Republicans are coming any closer to anything that you could sign?

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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Tue October 1, 2013

After Shutdown, A Familiar Feeling At The White House

Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday for NPR's Morning Edition.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 11:17 am

President Obama spoke with NPR in the Oval Office on Monday, as a visiting group of young people in suits got a tour of the Rose Garden outside the windows. The most striking part of our encounter in this moment of crisis was how familiar the atmosphere seemed.

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It's All Politics
5:02 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Unable To Stop Shutdown, Obama Pins Blame On GOP

President Obama makes a statement to the press about the government shutdown in the White House briefing room Monday.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

President Obama says he's tired of the seemingly never-ending rounds of budget crises.

"When it comes to Congress paying its bills ... we cannot be a country that is lurching every two months or three months from crisis to crisis to crisis," Obama said in an interview Monday with NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Yet that is precisely the situation the president finds himself in.

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Obama: 'Perpetual Cycle Of Brinksmanship ... Has To End'

President Obama is interviewed Monday in the Oval Office by Steve Inskeep for NPR's Morning Edition.
Pete Souza The White House
  • Steve Inskeep's Full Interview With President Obama

During a wide-ranging interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, President Obama assumed an indomitable posture as he talked about his negotiations with House Republicans.

He said he will not negotiate with Republicans when it comes to a cornerstone of his health care law, and he will not negotiate when it comes to another congressional battle to raise the debt ceiling in a little more than two weeks.

"This perpetual cycle of brinksmanship and crisis has to end once and for all," Obama said.

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Middle East
4:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Netanyahu Urges World To Keep Pressure On Iran

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 9:04 am

A day after a meeting with President Obama, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes center stage at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. He will likely dwell on Iran's suspect nuclear program and warn the world community against being taken in by Tehran's recent charm offensive.

Research News
4:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Examining The Psychology Of Sports Fans

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

After 162 regular season baseball games, the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates will meet tonight in a sudden death playoff. For my team, the Pirates, it's their first time in the post-season in 21 years. And after tonight, after just one game in a scheme surely invented by sadists, the Pirates might be out of the playoffs.

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Business
4:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Study: Fast Food Has Gotten A Bit Slower

McDonald's posted its slowest drive-through performance times in 15 years, according to a new industry study.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 1:36 pm

Fast food, it turns out, isn't quite as fast as it used to be.

A new study finds that McDonald's posted its slowest drive-through times since this survey was first conducted 15 years ago.

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Economy
4:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

As Partial Shutdown Begins, A Bigger Fight Looms

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, even as a partial shutdown begins, a bigger fight looms. A default on federal debt obligations could have global effects. Federal borrowing authority expires in the middle of this month. House Republicans have said they will not extend the debt ceiling unless President Obama accepts a long list of their agenda items. And that was on the president's mind when we sat by the Oval Office fireplace yesterday.

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Politics
4:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

House, Senate Stay Faithful To Their Measures

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:35 am

Before parts of the government began shutting down, the House and Senate bounced a series of stopgap spending bills between the chambers. The House would insert language to delay or limit the president's health care law, and the Senate would reject the Obamacare language and send the bill back. The two chambers did not reach an agreement before the midnight deadline.

Business
4:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Ikea To Offer Solar Panels In British Stores

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:45 am

The Sweden-based company plans to roll out solar panels in 17 British stores over the next 10 months. The company does say the solar panels will look like flat screen televisions on your roof. Basic solar packages will be sold for more than $9,000.

Business
4:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Financial Markets Monitor Partial Federal Shutdown

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:35 am

Financial markets across the world took a hit on Monday. They closed lower — waiting to see if there was a partial government shutdown in the U.S. Shortly before midnight, the White House ordered agencies to begin shutting down.

Business
4:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Amazon To Hire More Workers Than Last Holiday Season

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:41 am

Amazon has announced that it's looking to hire 70,000 full-time temporary employees for the holiday season. That's a 40 percent increase in hires from last year. The world's largest online retailer says it hopes to convert thousands of these seasonal jobs into permanent positions after the holiday rush.

Economy
4:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Widening Income Gap 'Concerns' Obama

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In our talk yesterday with President Obama, he said he will not make concessions to Republicans who quote, "threatened to burn down the house." We are hearing parts of the interview throughout today's program.

Amid the latest political crisis, our economy keeps evolving. And so we used part of our conversation in the Oval Office to ask the president about the longer term trends.

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Politics
4:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

After Years Of Political Talk, The Obamacare Fight Gets Real

A woman looks at the HealthCare.gov insurance exchange site on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 11:43 am

In the three years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, it has survived more than 50 votes in Congress to defund or repeal it, a Supreme Court challenge, a presidential election and, as of Tuesday morning, a government shutdown. Much of the spending for the law is mandatory and won't be cut off.

But now, it must survive its own implementation.

Tuesday is the day that Obamacare goes operational. Americans can begin signing up for health insurance on online marketplaces known as exchanges.

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Parallels
3:43 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Ethical Tradition Meets Economics In An Aging China

A woman surnamed Chu (left), 77, attends the hearing of a case against her daughter and husband in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu province, on July 1. Chu's daughter has been ordered to visit her at least once every two months, in the first case under a new law to protect the elderly.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:44 am

The sound of Buddhist chants wafts through an annex of the Songtang Hospice, the first private facility of its kind in Beijing. A group of lay Buddhists is trying to ease the passage of a recently departed soul of a patient.

When I first visited this place nearly two decades ago, the average patient stayed just 18 days. Now, it caters to people who are not terminally ill, and the average stay is about five years.

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Shots - Health News
3:23 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Lessons For The Obamacare Rollout, Courtesy Of Massachusetts

Then-Gov. Mitt Romney signs the Massachusetts health care bill in Boston on April 12, 2006.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 9:23 am

Today marks a milestone on the nation's long march toward universal health coverage: the launch of online marketplaces, called exchanges, designed to help people find insurance they can afford.

It's an idea pioneered by Massachusetts seven years ago. People here call their program a success, and say the state's exchange was an indispensable factor.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Don't Call This 12-Year-Old Concert Pianist A Prodigy

Emily Bear is a classical and jazz pianist. At 12, she is what many call a prodigy.
Nick Suttle Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:35 am

Musician Emily Bear has composed more than 350 pieces for the piano. She's recorded six albums, performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall, and worked closely with her mentor, music legend Quincy Jones. And get this: She's 12.

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The Two-Way
12:22 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Shutdown Begins After Congress Fails In Spending Compromise

Members of the House of Representatives enter the U.S. Capitol on Monday. Congress failed to reach a budget agreement by the midnight deadline triggering a partial shutdown of the government.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 10:04 am

House Republicans and Senate Democrats could not reach agreement by the midnight deadline on a spending bill to keep the government operating, triggering an immediate shutdown of nonessential services and the furlough of nonessential personnel potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

Updated at 1:40 a.m. ET, House Speaker Boehner's Comments:

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