This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
There appears to be momentum this morning in nuclear talks between Iran and Western countries, led by the United States.
For years, American-led economic sanctions have been meant to squeeze Iran into proving that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, not for bombs. But the election of a new Iranian president this summer raised hopes for a new approach: negotiations.
Two of the big winners in Virginia's elections this week were not on the ballot. They actually aren't even Virginians. They are two men who spent more than $2 million each to help elect Democrat Terry McAuliffe as governor.
NPR's Peter Overby reports on the Election Day impact of San Francisco environmentalist Tom Steyer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Airports around the country will hold a moment of silence this morning to honor Gerardo Hernandez. He was the TSA officer killed a week ago today at Los Angeles International Airport. That shooting is renewing debate over airport security and the role of the TSA. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.
KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Security at major airports is a web of moving parts, and a tangle of bureaucracies and jurisdictions.
Twitter may be worth billions of dollars. Let's talk about another number $2 billion. That is how much federal employees were paid not to work during the government shutdown. This is just one of many eye-popping numbers in a new report on the shutdown from the White House Budget Office.
Tonight, a big moment for a couple of extraordinary chefs. They were originally 24 but after unimaginable cooking challenges, devastating eliminations, and, yes, some tears, the field is down to two. We're talking about the reality cooking show "Master Chef Junior." These contestants were ages eight to 13. Some stood on crates to reach their cooking stations? The two finalists: 12 year old Dara Yu and 13 year old Alexander Weiss. We spoke to them, along with one of the celebrity judges, Joe Bastianich.
A legendary Japanese animator has a new film out this week. It's only in select theaters for one week only, just enough to qualify for the Oscars. Our film critic Kenneth Turan says "The Wind Rises" is worth seeking out.
KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: To see "The Wind Rises" is to both marvel at the work of Hiyo Miyzasaki and regret that this film is likely his last. Inspired by the life of a brilliant aircraft designer, it's quintessential Miyazaki: stunningly beautiful and completely idiosyncratic.
How do you keep the world's longest economic win streak alive?
That's the question China's leaders face at a meeting that opens Saturday in Beijing. The meeting, known as the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, is the most important of its kind in years, and for the planet's second-largest economy, a lot hangs in the balance.
In decades past, meetings like this have been game changers. Consider the one in 1978, when Deng Xiaoping officially shut the door on the chaotic Mao era.
In the wake of the partial government shutdown, many establishment Republicans argued that the hardliners in the GOP, backed by the Tea Party, needed to be reigned in. Former Republican Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio tells David Greene about his efforts to put millions of dollars toward that goal in the 2014 mid-term elections.
Employers added 204,000 jobs to payrolls in October. The jobless rate edged up a bit, but that was likely a temporary phenomenon caused by the partial shutdown of the federal government. For more, Renee Montagne talks with NPR's John Ydstie.
Before the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the head of Pakistan's armed forces visited President Obama. In the room, as the two men talked, was Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. As then-Ambassador Hussain Haqqani remembers it, President Obama hinted at what was likely to happen.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
For Haqqani, that conversation and all that followed was a classic moment in relations between the United States and Pakistan. Those relations have always been filled with miscommunication and misunderstanding.
Despite all the problems with HealthCare.gov, a few dozen Alaskans have managed to enroll in a health plan through the marketplace. Lara Imler is one of them.
Imler, a 37-year-old hair stylist in Anchorage, ditched her office job as an accountant in 2004. She says she loves making people feel better about themselves and is a lot happier cutting hair than she was sitting in front of a computer. But she does miss one big thing about her old job: "I had health insurance, and it was wonderful."
Ten days after a court verdict found a man guilty of sexual assault, two of his victims — his 14- and 15-year-old nieces — stepped into a StoryCorps booth.
"He was a police officer," the older sister said. "This big SWAT man with all the badges and the uniforms, and he couldn't keep his hands to himself. He sexually assaulted me when no one was around. I felt like I was on pause my whole childhood. A prisoner — dead. And I didn't say a word to anybody for seven years."
Audio produced for Morning Edition by Katie Simon with Jud Esty-Kendall.
Abdulnasser Gharem is a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Saudi Arabian Armed Forces, a man who's served in his country's military for more than two decades. But Gharem's true passion lies in a decidedly less rigid field — contemporary art.
Duval County Public Schools is considering a name change for Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Fla. The school is named for a Confederate hero who was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan — and after five decades of debate, there appears to be momentum for change.