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President Obama's plan to cut the deficit doesn't exactly spare Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health programs. But he also doesn't propose the sweeping sorts of changes envisioned by House Republicans earlier this year.

Andrew Wallenstein is an editor at Variety.

This is a big, big week for broadcast TV — 44 returning series are having their season premieres, and 14 new shows will launch in the span of seven days.

But does running premiere week that way still make sense for the TV business? Or does it just create a traffic jam on your television?

With Police Watching, Syrian Dissidents Meet

Sep 19, 2011

It was an unprecedented gathering in Syria: The security police were monitoring, but they did not break up, a six-hour meeting of more than 300 dissidents at a farmhouse outside the capital Damascus.

Syria's traditional dissidents, men and women who have spent years in jail, have met before. For the first time, they sat together Sunday with young street organizers of the current unrest.

Samir Aita, an opposition figure who lives in Paris, attended the gathering and talked about the significance when he reached Beirut.

Cherokee Nation Faces Scrutiny For Expelling Blacks

Sep 19, 2011

Every September, the Cherokee Nation celebrates its national holiday. The holiday marks the signing of its first constitution after the Trail of Tears in 1839. The main event, a big parade, features traditional Cherokee music, colorful floats and people singing and dancing in traditional garb.

The holiday draws tens of thousands of people to Tahlequah, Okla., the heart of the Cherokee Nation. But this year it was marked by controversy and protests.

Obama Releases Deficit Plan

Sep 19, 2011

Before heading to the United Nations meeting Monday afternoon, President Obama released his plan to get control of the federal deficit.

Feeling rushed at the doctor's office? No wonder, if you're there with an infant or toddler.

A third of parents say the last well-child visit with the doctor lasted 10 minutes or less. About half said the checkup lasted 11 to 20 minutes. That leaves about 20 percent who say the visit took longer than 20 minutes. The findings appear in the latest issue of Pediatrics.

Calif. Community Takes Action Against Sex Trafficking

Sep 19, 2011

In the San Antonio neighborhood in Oakland, Calif., sex trafficking has been a problem since several motels moved into the community decades ago attracting pimps.

In Their Words: Obama, Boehner On Taxes

Sep 19, 2011

For comparison purposes, here's a look at the latest words about taxes from President Obama (D) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). As NPR's Mara Liasson said earlier, "yes, we're at a stalemate."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sounded a defiant note, today, while still recognizing the consequences of asking the United Nations to grant Palestinians statehood.

Abbas said he planned on presenting a formal request to the U.N. during his speech on Friday. As Reuters reports, Abbas also said "all hell has broken out" against them because of the decision.

Reuters adds:

Afghan Parliament Still Stymied By Election Dispute

Sep 19, 2011

Last weekend marked a milestone for Afghanistan's Parliament that should have been cause for celebration: It's been a year since Afghans braved the threat of insurgent violence to go to the polls to pick a new legislature.

But a dispute over election results has smoldered between President Hamid Karzai and lawmakers ever since. And the resulting gridlock has prevented the new parliament from passing a single notable law, confirming any of the president's ministers, or giving any oversight to the president or his cabinet.

Netflix has figured out that people are very upset about its decision to split streaming video and DVD delivery — a decision that got it in huge hot water earlier this year. Customers who had previously gotten both streaming and DVDs for a single price would now have to pay separately. If you only use one or the other, you could pay less, but if you still wanted both, you'd pay more.

Bird watchers, and other nature lovers, take note:

"Scientists in Norway say they have conclusive genetic evidence that sparrows recently evolved a third species," the BBC reports. "The Italian sparrow, they argue, is a cross between the ubiquitous house sparrow and the Spanish sparrow."

UBS Ups Estimate On Rogue Trader Loss

Sep 19, 2011

The Swiss bank UBS announced last night that a rogue trader lost more money than it originally announced. UBS said the total loss is $2.3 billion. In a statement, the bank also gave some detail about the alleged actions of Kwaku Adoboli, who was arrested and charged in London on Friday.

President Obama's re-election may all come down to whether voters mainly view the 2012 race seen as a referendum on his presidency or a choice between competing Democratic and Republican prescriptions for how to best address the nation's economic and fiscal challenges.

If it's a referendum, it could well be curtains for his hopes of a second term because the economy is clearly making too many voters unhappy and scared.

President Obama's Blueprint For Slashing Deficit

Sep 19, 2011

On Monday, the president released a plan on how to pay for his $447 billion jobs bill and reduce the nation's deficit. The plan aims to slash $3 trillion from the debt over the next decade, which involves Medicare and Social Security cuts and tax increases for the wealthy. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving about the plan.

White House Senior Advisor Talks Debt

Sep 19, 2011

Valerie Jarrett discusses the viability of President Obama's new debt plan, including cuts to entitlement spending and proposed tax increases to Americans who make more than $1 million. She speaks with host Michel Martin.

Saying that "Washington has to live within its means" and that lawmakers must "cut what we can't afford to pay for what really matters," President Obama just introduced what he says is a plan to cut an additional $3 trillion from budget deficits over the next decade.

And he vowed to veto any legislation that puts all the burden of deficit reduction on those who rely on Medicare and other social programs. "It will not happen on my watch," declared Obama, in making the case that the wealthy and corporations must also be asked to pay more in taxes.

(Note at 12:10 p.m. ET: A 10th person has died, according to officials in Washoe County, Nev. We've updated the post to reflect that news.)

As investigators search for clues into the cause of Friday's deadly accident at a Reno air race, in which 10 people were killed and dozens more injured when a plane crashed into a V.I.P. tent, there are reports that some who were there think 74-year-old pilot Jimmy Leeward did his best to prevent an even worse tragedy.

Saying that "I messed up," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced late Sunday evening that after many complaints from its customers about a 60 percent increase in its fees, the company is splitting its services.

Soon, if you just want DVDs-by-mail, you'll be dealing with Qwikster (Hastings says the name "refers to quick delivery).

If you want to stream movies and other content, the company you'll be using will still be called Netflix.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this summer has been the second-hottest ever recorded in the United States, helping to push power demand in homes to record levels. As some worry that the growing use of fossil fuels to produce electricity for cooling is unsustainable, one man is urging Americans to live without air conditioning.

Monterey Jazz Festival 2011: Fast Footwork And East Bay Voices

Sep 18, 2011

The town of Monterey, California, has reinvented itself several times. It was once a capital city when California was Spanish territory, and even when Mexico became independent. It was an important fishing town, as chronicled in the novels of John Steinbeck. And these days, tourism helps drive the local economy, with attractions like a world-famous aquarium, world-class golf clubs nearby like Pebble Beach, and the world's oldest continuously-running jazz festival.

Former President Jimmy Carter urges the United States to not veto the Security Council vote for Palestinian statehood anticipated to take place next week.

"If I were president, I'd be very glad to see the Palestinians have a nation recognized by the United Nations," Carter tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered. "There's no downside to it."

Carter admits that for President Obama, failure to veto "would have some adverse effects perhaps on his political future."

This Machine Can Suck Carbon Out Of The Air

Sep 15, 2011

David Keith is a bit fidgety. Maybe that's because venture capitalists have asked to come see his carbon dioxide machine. Maybe it's because the project is running months behind schedule, as experiments so often do. Maybe it's because his critics say it'll never work.

Or maybe it's a taste of excitement, because it seems entirely possible that the trailer-truck-size machine that he's leaning up against is actually going to work.

"It's amazing to see all this talk and paper get turned into hardware," he says. "I really love it."

In 1985, when I was in the midst of a 12-year struggle to write my first novel, I had the good fortune to be invited to the Edna St. Vincent Millay Colony in Austerlitz, N.Y., for a monthlong residency. There, in the colony's curved-roof barn, I happened to pick up a paperback copy of Robert Stone's 1981 novel, A Flag for Sunrise.

A few years ago, I had a work assignment in central Malaysia. When I returned home, I lamented to a friend that I was constantly lost, never knew if I had enough ringgits for a meal, and was unable to communicate with anyone. I felt like a confused child.

My friend laughed. "Now you know how your father felt when he arrived in this country," she said.

The vibrancy of American democracy is such that the debates over how best to memorialize 9/11 have been fierce these past 10 years. So, it's not surprising that some listeners Sunday were disaffected by NPR's 13 hours of live anniversary coverage, too.

The complaints ranged from what was seen as disrespectful interruptions during moments of silence, to inappropriate voice-overs during the reading of victims' names, to simply too much.

When I was a kid, I assumed that in the future things would get better and better until we were all driving flying cars and playing badminton with space aliens on top of 500-story buildings. Frankly, I kind of counted on this happening. But now I don't assume that we'll just keep going up anymore.

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