Now, during the government shutdown, many House Republicans said the policy was unwise, but persisted for weeks in voting with their speaker, John Boehner. One reason was party loyalty. Another reason, according to analysts, was fear. Lawmakers did not want to run the risk of a challenge in a Republican primary from candidates saying they weren't trying hard enough.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene.
Last month's government shutdown could deliver its first political victim tomorrow. Republican Ken Cuccinelli is trailing in the Virginia Governor's race. During a campaign appearance this weekend, President Obama tried to tie Cuccinelli to the shutdown, and also to the Tea Party. Cuccinelli, in turn, tried to link his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, to the troubled rollout of Obamacare.
Let's talk about smartphones. And for iPhone users, an important decision: when to upgrade. Apple's latest iPhones, the 5S and 5C, have been out for a couple months now. But some people are resisting temptation. They're perfectly happy with their older iPhones, except for one thing, when they upgrade to Apple's new operating system, things slow down.
To talk about how to manage this decision, we're joined - as we often are - by Bloomberg technology columnist Rich Jaroslovsky. Hey, Rich.
When Teddy Roosevelt was president, reporter Lincoln Steffens came to him with a request: "Mr. President," he said, "I want to investigate corruption in the federal government." And Roosevelt responded in a rather astonishing way, as presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.
A Syrian fighter from the Islamist rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra inspects a resident's identification papers at a checkpoint in Aleppo on Oct. 26. Syria's Islamist fighters are generally better funded than their more moderate counterparts.
Like many Syrian exiles, Murhaf Jouejati, a professor at National Defense University, is frustrated by U.S. policy toward Syria. He says there's been only a trickle of U.S. aid to the secular, nationalist opposition in Syria, while the Islamists have no trouble raising money through their networks in the Arab world.
A Hallmark Christmas ornament has drawn criticism from people who accuse the greeting card company of political correctness and anti-gay bias. The ornament — a tiny sweater — is decorated with the words "Don we now our FUN apparel!" "Fun" replaces the word "gay" from the line in the Christmas song "Deck the Halls." Hallmark says it was trying to avoid misinterpretation and should never have made the change.
We've gotten used to seeing rallies in Iran where protestors chant death to America. But even before the new president's charm offensive, that slogan had waned, so much so that some hard-liners are planning a Grand Day of Death to America: Monday, the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in 1979. And Revolutionary Guards promise the slogan will once again echo across the nation.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Steve Inskeep talks to freelance writer Johnnie Roberts and NPR's Gene Demby about the branding of high-end products — and the implications when companies specifically court, or exclude, consumers based on race.
Senate Republicans have once again blocked President Obama's nominees. Despite a deal in July to let several of the president's picks go through, the rancor has returned with a fresh batch of appointments. Two nominations failed within less than an hour on Thursday, and Democrats may once again threaten to change Senate rules so Republicans can't easily derail another nomination.
Since childhood, Rami Aizic knew he "needed and wanted to be a dad." He assumed he would one day meet the girl of his dreams and it would all just happen.
Then he realized he was gay.
Robin Share also wanted kids, but had no partner. So when a mutual friend told Rami about Robin, he called her up and left a message: "Hi, Robin. I'm a friend of Scott's and he said you might be interested in having a baby with me. So give me a call back."
This is the second report in a four-part series on adult education.
Ana Perez never made it to high school. Her education ended after the sixth grade, when war broke out in her native El Salvador. She says she's "desperate" to learn English, but she gets nervous trying to speak it.
Immigrants like Perez see English as the key to a better life. Many hope learning the language will help lift them out of poverty and integrate them into American society. But gaining English proficiency is a difficult task amid everyday obligations.
We hear of criminals who leave wallets or phones at the crime scene. That is exactly what a graffiti artist does every time - leaves behind some identifying mark. The trick is to escape any way. And there, a Colorado man fell short. Steamboat Springs police say the suspect tagged downtown properties. Might have been hard to find him except its Halloween, the local paper says police found a similar design on a pumpkin at the graffiti artist's home.
"3 Seconds to Cross," a new song by Luscious Jackson, begins somewhere in New York City. The narrator lies awake longing to be in California, though it becomes apparent a New Yorker like her really wouldn't fit in: "It only takes just a little to get yourself lost."
California, we're told, is a land unfriendly to pedestrians, where an L.A. traffic light might give you three seconds to cross the street.
Neil Gaiman started writing the Sandman comic books 25 years ago. Since then, he's written acclaimed fantasy novels, children's books and screenplays — but the pale, star-eyed Lord of Dreams remains one of his most beloved characters. Over the course of 75 issues, the series captivated fans and critics alike.
The parking lot of Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beloit, Wis., is filled with dozens of costumed kids hungry for candy at an early Halloween event.
But the princesses and Iron Men aren't yelling "trick or treat." Instead, it's "trunk or treat" — and that's because these kids, rather than going door to door, are going from car trunk to car trunk. Each car is decorated with a theme.
Pastor Jason Reed says his church likes to focus on the fun — rather than freaky — parts of Halloween.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. More hearings come today on the messy rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will face questions from the House, Energy and Commerce Committee. Now, yesterday, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid testified before a different committee. Marilyn Tavenner offered consumers an apology for the problems at the health care.gov website.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Police cars in Iowa and Florida are testing a secret weapon: a small cannon embedded in the grille. It shoots tracking bullets containing tiny GPS devices that can stick to the trunk of a suspect's car. Police could then follow a suspect at a leisurely pace instead of embarking on a dangerous high-speed chase. The weapon, very James Bond, except American police would need to get a warrant before attaching a GPS to a car. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
When it comes to book publishing, all we ever seem to hear about is online sales, the growth of e-books and the latest version of a digital book reader. But the fact is, only 20 percent of the book market is e-books; it's still dominated by print. And a recent standoff in the book business shows how good old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar bookstores are still trying to wield their influence in the industry. You might even call it brick-and-mortar booksellers' revenge.
While Congress tries to get to the bottom of what went wrong with the Affordable Care Act website, it's got other problems on its mind. Leading the list is the inability of lawmakers to carry out their most fundamental constitutional responsibility: appropriating the money needed to run the government in a timely fashion.
This month's shutdown was only the most recent fallout of the breakdown in appropriations. Some lawmakers say the Republican ban on earmarks nearly three years ago has only made things worse.
Now let's hear an argument to worry more about the federal deficit.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Yesterday, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told us borrowing is not the nation's No. 1 problem. He'd rather invest in better roads or education.
LARRY SUMMERS: It's just as much a burden on future generations to defer maintenance as it is to pass on debt. It is just as much a burden on future generations to leave them undereducated in global competition as it is to pass on debt.
Let's get an update now on a story we brought you last month. An Army Captain named Matt Zeller waged a one-man campaign to get an American visa for his Afghan translator. A special program does allocate visas for Iraqis and Afghans who have put their lives in danger helping U.S. forces. In the eyes of some of their countrymen, they are tainted forever by their association with America.
Here's what Zeller's translator said about his situation.
As the NASCAR season climaxes, America's prime motor sport continues to see its popularity in decline. For several years now, revenues and sponsorship have plummeted, leaving an audience that increasingly resembles the stereotype NASCAR so desperately thought it could grow beyond: older white Dixie working class.
Both ESPN and the Turner Broadcasting Co., longtime NASCAR networks, took a look at the down graphs and the down-scale demographics and didn't even bother to bid on the new TV contract.
The Ethiopian government has set up about a dozen vaccination booths along its thousand-mile border with Somalia.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
In the border town of Wajaale, Ethiopia, a frayed, knotted rope marks the international boundary with Somalia. The rope is ignored by just about everyone.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
Earlier this year, Ethiopia carried out five mass immunization campaigns against polio along the Somali border. But to be fully protected, kids need several doses of the oral vaccine.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
The town of Wajaale, Ethiopia, is located along the Somali border. The region around the border here is peaceful. But farther south, armed militants rule the area on the Somali side.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
Ethiopian health official Abdulahi Mohamed says vaccinators along the Somali border are charged with immunizing all kids crossing who are under age 15. But he concedes that extremely poor pay may sap the workers' motivation.
A spokesman for the World Health Organization said Thursday that it was mistaken about the polio outbreak in Somalia spreading to South Sudan. The virus has been detected in Kenya and Ethiopia this year. But South Sudan has not recorded a polio case since 2009.
The children of the Ruseva family — at the heart of a story about a Roma child suspected of being kidnapped because she had blond hair and blue eyes — might not read to many as relatives. But they are.
Last week, folks told us that that they found odd resonances in their lives with the stories of several Roma children in Europe who'd separated from their families. Like those blond, blue-eyed Roma children in darker-skinned, dark-haired families, people said that their own familial bonds had occasionally come under suspicion from strangers, who thought there was a "racial mismatch" between parent and child.