In May, the Housing and Urban Development agency closed for a day, as employees were placed on furlough. The HUD and other agencies were reportedly forced to take a fraction of the furlough days that had been threatened earlier in 2013.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 9:36 am
The threat of furloughs loomed large early in 2013, when mandatory budget cuts seemed certain to force federal workers to skip anywhere from 10 to 22 days of work without pay this year. A new tally by Federal News Radio shows that many agencies have taken fewer than half the days they had predicted.
And we wrap up this week's All Tech Considered with a story out of Finland.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
This past weekend, 80 people from six countries competed in the annual Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships. The Finns shut out the competition, winning first, second and third place overall.
SIEGEL: The top tosser threw his handheld device an impressive 320 feet. The top woman on the field was a 31-year-old Swede - Asa Lundgren. Her distance: 132 feet. She's a newcomer to the sport but threw javelin in her youth.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
Mexican officials say they've identified five more bodies found in a mass grave outside the capital. The dead were among a group of 12 young people kidnapped from a night club three months ago. As NPR's Carrie Kahn reports, the case has rocked Mexico City, once considered an oasis from the country's brutal drug war.
And we turn now to NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman for more on what the Obama administration might do in Syria. And, Tom, as we just heard in Michele's report, Secretary Kerry made the case today that Syria's government did use chemical weapons last week against its own people. Did he provide any evidence?
That's how a disciplinary panel at the International Skating Union (ISU) describes the behavior of former U.S. Olympic short track speedskating coach Jae Su Chun during a contentious international meet in Poland in 2011.
American Olympic medalist Simon Cho confessed last Fall to sabotaging the skate of a Canadian rival at that meet. Cho claimed his coach made him do it.
Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 5:01 pm
After long and costly U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama has been deeply reluctant to act forcefully in Syria. But reports last week of a possible chemical weapons attack in Syria appear to have changed the White House's tone. As NPR's Larry Abramson said on Morning Edition, the issue now appears to be "how to respond, not whether to respond."
Concha Buika's voice doesn't come from inside her petite body: It comes from Africa, and from the past. There are obvious traces of flamenco, itself a historical mash-up of the Moors and various transitory cultures in southern Spain and north Africa.
Lydia Ko, the New Zealand golfer who last year became the youngest person ever to win an LPGA event, has played her way into the record books again. By successfully defending her title at the Canadian Women's Open this past weekend, Ko, who's now 16, is the only amateur to win two LPGA events.
Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 1:43 pm
When we first started thinking about dumplings for NPR's Dumpling Week, we presumed that there wasn't much to the little balls of dough. They seemed simple, universally beloved and unencumbered by controversy.
But the semantics of the dumpling turns out to be far more fraught that we imagined. This became clear when we started wondering whether tamales, or samosas, counted as dumplings. The deeper we waded into the pool of quasi-dumpling snacks, the more we realized we needed some expert input to set us straight.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 10:51 am
Few albums hold a place in the hearts and minds of its fans (myself included) quite like Pink Floyd's psychedelic masterpiece The Dark Side Of The Moon. In the four decades since its release, it remains, for many, an almost sacred work of art, endlessly dissected by legions of fans dying to to unravel its myriad mysteries. What are all those background voices really saying? What does its iconic prism cover art mean?
John Donvan moderates an <em>Intelligence Squared U.S.</em> debate on Syria at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colo. Those debating are: (from left) Graham Allison, Richard Falkenrath, Nicholas Burns and Nigel Sheinwald.
Credit Riccardo Savi / Intelligence Squared U.S.
Nicholas Burns and Nigel Sheinwald argue against the motion "The U.S. Has No Dog In The Fight In Syria."
Credit Riccardo Savi / Intelligence Squared U.S.
Graham Allison and Richard Falkenrath argue the U.S. has "no dog in the fight" in Syria in an <em>Intelligence Squared U.S.</em> debate.
While some American lawmakers have urged increased involvement by the United States in the Syrian civil war, so far the Obama administration has been reluctant to intervene in a major way.
The question has taken on a new sense of urgency following an attack last week near the Syrian capital Damascus that left hundreds dead. The Syrian opposition says it was a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, a charge the government denies. The Obama administration is now weighing possible responses.
Made from the oil of the Chinese water snake, which is rich in the omega-3 acids that help reduce inflammation, snake oil in its original form was effective, especially when used to treat arthritis and bursitis.
Credit Jagrap / Flickr
How did a legitimate medicine become a symbol of fraud?
Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 2:01 pm
"Snake Oil Salesman." The phrase conjures up images of seedy profiteers trying to exploit an unsuspecting public by selling it fake cures. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary defines snake oil as "a quack remedy or panacea." What the OED does not note, however, is that the history of snake oil is linked to an often forgotten chapter of Asian-American history.
Finally today, if you will allow me another word about our dear friend and colleague Teshima Walker. I know that my colleague Celeste Headlee, who was sitting in for me while I was away, had the sad task of delivering the news last week that Teshima, the executive producer of this program, left this life a few days earlier, after battling colon cancer for the better part of two years. But I thought it was appropriate as the host of this program and as a friend of Teshima's to say a few words myself.
Patina Miller first got noticed on the theater scene in 2009 as the star of Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy. She earned rave reviews for playing the accidental nun who led a choir to stardom. Now she's center stage again in the Broadway revival of Pippin, the musical first launched in 1972. Miller takes on the role of Leading Player, the circus artist who guides a young prince in finding meaning and magic in his life. She won this year's Tony Award for best leading actress in a musical. You can also hear her on the newly released CD of the show's songs.