Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 7:25 pm
As expected, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed its own version of a short-term spending bill. It's the version the House approved last week, minus language that would defund Obamacare. That effectively tossed the ball back to the Republican-controlled House.
And President Obama warned House Republicans to avoid the twin disruptions of a government shutdown (at midnight Monday) and a debt default (in mid-October).
If the government shuts down on Oct. 1, hundreds of thousands of federal employees could be temporarily forced out of their jobs — and we will almost certainly begin to hear a few of their stories soon after.
On NPR's Tell Me More Friday, Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor, reminded us of a Social Security Administration worker, Richard Dean, who was laid off during the 1995-96 government shutdown and thrust into the forefront of the budget debate by President Bill Clinton.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:53 pm
Two former U.S. Army sergeants are among those facing charges in connection with an alleged international hit squad after their extradition from Thailand in a case the prosecuting U.S. attorney says reads like a Tom Clancy novel.
Joseph Manuel Hunter, 48, nicknamed "Rambo," was arrested by Thai authorities after a sting operation led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, along with Timothy Vamvakias and at least three others on the resort island of Phuket on Thursday.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 10:53 am
Last Saturday, All Things Considered's weekend show began coming to you from a new city, with a new host and also with fresh new theme music. Since it's not every day that NPR commissions a new show tune, we thought we'd check in with the maestro himself - NPR Music Host Robin Hilton - to find out how it all came together and the challenge he faced in writing a new arrangement of the classic.
Some two million Syrians have fled the war in their homeland. Most have sought refuge in neighboring states - Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. But some have gone farther afield to a place few would consider a safe haven, the Gaza Strip. Emily Harris has that story.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:22 pm
The United Nations Security Council is considering a legally binding resolution that would require the Syrian government to give up its chemical weapons.
Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, says the U.S. is getting what it wants in the Security Council's draft plan, which calls for Syria to destroy its chemical weapons or face consequences.
UN Security Council diplomats are working on a resolution that focuses on ridding Syria of chemical weapons. Aid groups want the UN to go further and help them open up routes to get desperately needed assistance to Syrians uprooted by the civil war. They say the paralysis on the security council has had a real costs on the ground and has added to donor fatigue.
Brain surgery is a dicey business. Even the most experienced surgeons can damage healthy tissue while trying to root out tumors deep inside the brain.
Researchers from the University of Maryland are working on a solution, and it sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. They're developing a tiny, maggot-like robot that can crawl into brains and zap tumors from within.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:42 pm
Reporters at The Guardian newspaper have been getting a lot of attention for an investigation into migrant worker deaths and abuse in Qatar. Dozens of workers have already died building facilities for the 2022 World Cup, and the report concludes more than 4,000 more workers are at risk.
Jessica Harris speaks with Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys, a business consulting, technology, engineering and outsourcing service provider. Harris also speaks with Peter Manning, founder of Five Eight New York, a clothing store for men under 5'8".
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Eclectic, ironic, witty, contemporary: It's hard to be all of these things at once. Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have been pulling off that mixture since the mid-'80s and their first major hit, "West End Girls." Since then, the two have become the best-selling duo in British music history.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:28 pm
During an address at the White House, today, President Obama said that he spoke on the phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
That detail is important in understanding just how serious the negotiations between the two countries have gotten. That talk was the first time the heads of states of the two countries have spoken directly since 1979.