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Economy
2:58 am
Thu October 31, 2013

When 'Fixed Income' Means Getting By On Social Security

Gilroy Hain's only source of income is the $1,500 a month he receives from Social Security.
Ina Jaffe NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:23 pm

Social Security has long been thought of as just part of a retirement plan — along with pensions and savings — but it turns out a lot of people depend on it for most of their income.

According to the Social Security Administration, nearly a quarter of older married couples and almost half of single retirees count on Social Security for at least 90 percent of their income.

Gilroy Hain proves that's not an easy life.

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The State Of The American Small Business
2:57 am
Thu October 31, 2013

What Happens When The Pace Of Startups Slows Down

Is this coffee shop going to grow to be the next Starbucks?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:45 am

Since the financial crisis hit five years ago, there aren't as many Americans starting new businesses. In uncertain economic times, it's harder for entrepreneurs and investors to take the risk.

And if you look back over the past 25 years, it turns out the overall trend is toward fewer new businesses getting started, too — and that's not good at all when the country needs more jobs.

The Next Google

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The Two-Way
6:19 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

U.S. Budget Deficit Falls Under $1 Trillion; Lowest Since 2008

The U.S. government ran a deficit of $680 billion in the financial year that ended last month — the first time since 2008 that the annual shortfall has been under $1 trillion. It represents a fall from $1.09 trillion in 2012, but as the AP reports, "It's still the fifth-largest deficit of all time."

The Treasury Department announced the news along with the White House budget office Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Obama Vows HealthCare.gov Problems Will Be Fixed 'ASAP'

President Obama speaks Wednesday at Boston's Faneuil Hall about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

President Obama on Wednesday said he takes full responsibility for the troubled HealthCare.gov website and is determined to make sure it gets fixed "ASAP."

"The website hasn't worked the way it's supposed to in these past few weeks," he told an audience in Boston. "There's no denying it. The website is too slow ... and I'm not happy about it."

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Game 6 Of The World Series: What You Need to Know

For Game 6, the World Series returns to Boston's Fenway Park, where the home team hasn't clinched a championship since 1918. Here, Red Sox players warm up in front of the Green Monster.
Jared Wickerham Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:33 pm

Only one team has a chance of winning the World Series tonight in Game 6 at Fenway Park: the Boston Red Sox. The St. Louis Cardinals have a chance to lose the series — or they can kick off a two-game sweep to win it all on the road. For Boston fans, this is the first time they would be able to celebrate a home World Series win since 1918.

Game 6 begins at 8:07 p.m. ET; it's being televised by Fox. Here are the big storylines we're seeing:

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Mountain Stage
5:12 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

The Pines On Mountain Stage

The Pines performing live on Mountain Stage.
Josh Saul Mountain Stage

The Pines' members make their second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minn. Led by Iowa natives Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt, the band plays washy, dark, melodic sounds that evoke the stark side of folk-rock. Now based out of the Twin Cities, the group actually found its roots in Arizona, where Ramsey and Huckfelt met while living in a Mexican barrio. The musicians discovered an overlap in their musical tastes and soon began writing original material together.

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NPR Story
5:04 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Read 'Matilda' With NPR's Backseat Book Club

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 1:59 pm

The hardest part about choosing a Roald Dahl book for NPR's Backseat Book Club is deciding which one to read! His imagination was so free-ranging — from a magical chocolate factory to a giant peach to quick witted fox — he gave us a lot to choose from.

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Shots - Health News
5:00 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Notices Canceling Health Insurance Leave Many On Edge

One person who got a letter canceling his health insurance was Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. He holds up the letter during a congressional hearing Wednesday on insurance problems. He says his family chose to buy private insurance rather than use the congressional plan.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

President Obama repeated this line or a variation of it many times during the campaign to pass his landmark health care bill: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period."

But while that might be true for people who get health insurance through their employer, it's not true for many people who buy their policies in the individual market — about 5 percent of the nation's policyholders.

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U.S.
4:41 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Police, Community Relations Strained After Teen's Death

Hundreds of protesters march toward the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office in response to the death of Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa.
Noah Berger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 8:43 am

Sonoma County, Calif., is probably best known for its good wine, green sensibilities and otherwise healthy and peaceful living. But that peace was shattered last week when a county sheriff's deputy shot and killed a young teenager carrying a toy gun.

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The Salt
4:40 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Soylent: An Offbeat Food Idea Investors Are Taking Seriously

There are people who'd rather not eat food? Yes. And Silicon Valley investors are betting they'll buy Soylent.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 2:18 pm

Back in April, we described Rob Rhinehart's experiment concocting something that could give him all the nutrition and none of the hassle of food.

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World Cafe
4:36 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Black Joe Lewis On World Cafe

Black Joe Lewis.
Keith Davis Young Courtesy of the artist

In this session, World Cafe welcomes back the Austin blues-funk band Black Joe Lewis, which recently released a new album called Electric Slave. It's a different animal than the group's first two albums, 2009's Tell 'Em What Your Name Is and 2011's Scandalous: It's fiercer, it's more rock-driven, and it moves away from the soul-revival sound of the earlier discs.

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Police: 'Jihadists' Detained In Tiananmen Square Car Crash

Police cars block off the roads leading into Tiananmen Square as smoke rises into the air after a vehicle crashed in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on Oct. 28.
AFP/Getty Images

Police in China have arrested five men described as Islamic jihadists in connection with a deadly car crash and fire that killed two tourists and injured 40 others this week in Tiananmen Square.

The incident on Monday, in which a car crashed into a bridge near the Forbidden City before three occupants set the vehicle and themselves ablaze near the iconic portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong, was described by police for the first time as a "violent terror attack" that was "carefully planned and organized."

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Television
4:22 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Medicinal Laughs: Could 'Daily Show' Sour Millennials On ACA?

Jon Stewart, shown here interviewing President Obama on The Daily Show in October 2012, has been lampooning the problems with the Affordable Care Act website in recent episodes.
Brad Barket PictureGroup

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:00 pm

Problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act have been all over the news — and the not-quite news. Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has been one news-ish outlet that hasn't been too kind in its coverage.

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans spoke with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish about why negative coverage on The Daily Show might be worse for the Obama administration than negative coverage on the nightly news.

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Shots - Health News
4:15 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Online Advice Can Hurt Teens At Risk For Suicide, Self-Harm

Illustration by Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:54 pm

If you're wondering how to conceal the wounds caused by cutting, a form of self-harm, the Internet can tell you how.

"Those long gloves, the cool stripey ones that cover half your arms, could help," advises one post on an online forum.

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Health Care
4:12 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Here's What You Need To Know About Obamacare And Your Health Plan

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:00 pm

The latest complaints about the health law center around the question of whether you can keep your current health plan if you like it. There actually are rules associated with the law that try to protect that right. Here's a primer on those rules.

Politics
4:12 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Texas' Voter ID Law Creates A Problem For Some Women

Marta Rangel Medel vacuums the stage in preparation for the Texas Democratic Party 2012 election watch party in Austin. The state's controversial voter ID law is unexpectedly hindering women at the polls.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:03 pm

In 2012 a federal court struck down Texas' ID law, ruling it would potentially disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of minority voters.

But that federal decision was invalidated when the Supreme Court last year ruled part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. So now Texas is test-driving its voter ID law — one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the nation.

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Around the Nation
4:12 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

On Capitol Hill, A Statue And A Rock God Bring Politicians Together

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:00 pm

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, an unlikely scene unfolded as a bust of Winston Churchill was unveiled in Statuary Hall Wednesday. The entertainment: Roger Daltrey. Who? Yes, Roger Daltrey of the 1960s rock band The Who.

Parallels
3:34 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Ottoman Dream Come True: Train Links East And West In Istanbul

A Marmaray Project train awaits its inauguration ceremony in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Ozan Kose AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:04 pm

The Marmaray Project, Turkey's new underwater rail link between the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, is open for business. It's the first of its kind, a modern feat of engineering that realizes the 150-year-old dream of an Ottoman sultan.

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NPR Story
3:30 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Resident Chef Kathy Gunst Takes Stock Of Soup

Clockwise from top: Kathy Gunst's Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup, Winter Parsley Pesto, Greek-Style Turkey-Lemon-Rice Soup ("Avgolemono"), store-bought chicken stock and homemade chicken stock. (Rachel Rohr/Here & Now)

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:02 pm

As the weather turns cooler, Here & Now Resident Chef Kathy Gunst’s thoughts turn to nice warming soups.

And as she tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson, making a simple soup base or stock is easy and a great way to get rid of leftovers.

“Everything that’s in the vegetable bin that looks like ‘uh,oh, if we don’t use it tonight we’re in trouble’ kind of feeling? Throw it into the pot, boil it up, make a soup.”

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NPR Story
3:30 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Company Aims To Go Beyond Credit Cards

Credit card companies charge businesses 2 to 4 percent of each purchase with a credit card. (tom.arthur/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:29 pm

Businesses frustrated by the fees they pay to credit card companies are looking at a European Union proposal that would reduce the swipe fees merchants have to pay every time a customer pays with a card.

The EU proposal calls for a cap on the swipe fees of 0.3 percent of the amount charged to a card — far lower than the 2 to 4 percent typically charged now.

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NPR Story
3:30 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Obama-Era Stock Market Gains Surpass Reagan Era

A view from the Member's Gallery inside the New York Stock Exchange in August 2008. (Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:29 pm

President Obama has passed Ronald Reagan and is gaining on Bill Clinton, when it comes to how far the stock market has climbed during his time in office.

Under Obama, the S & P 500 has has jumped 120 percent. That beats Reagan’s 118 percent and is closing in on Bill Clinton’s 210 percent.

Is it fair to compare these presidents? And how much down the president have to do with the stock market, anyway?

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson asks Roben Farzad of Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:08 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

In Sandy's Wake, Flood Zones And Insurance Rates Re-Examined

An emergency responder helps evacuate two people with a boat after their neighborhood in Little Ferry, N.J., was flooded.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:00 pm

When Sandy blew into East Coast communities a year ago, it was flooding that did the most damage.

That's in part because the average sea level has risen over the past century — about a foot along the mid-Atlantic coast. That made it easier for the storm to push the ocean onto the land.

And scientists say there will be many more Sandy-style storms — that is, torrential rain and wind that create heavy coastal flooding — and they'll be more frequent than in the past. But preparing people for that means changing the way they live, and that's proving politically difficult.

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The Two-Way
2:52 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Priceless Italian Treasure Is Shown Off In Rare Exhibition

A necklace of Saint Januarius, in gold, silver and precious stones, is displayed in Rome. The riches are from a treasure trove in Naples that is said to be worth more than the British crown jewels.
Gabriel Buoys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:07 pm

Dazzling with diamonds, emeralds and gold, 70 pieces of treasure — said to be some of the most valuable in the world — have been transported from a vault in a Naples cathedral to a museum in Rome. They'll stay there until February, marking the first time they've ever been displayed outside of Naples.

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Economy
2:27 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Why The Fed Decided Not To Change Course

Citing continued signs of weakness, the Federal Reserve said it will keep aiming for low interest rates.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Look around. Do you see much inflation?

Gas prices are down more than 7 percent from last year. Grocery costs haven't budged lately. And — just in time for Halloween — the price of candy is down 2.3 percent from last year, according to the government's consumer price index released Wednesday.

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Shots - Health News
2:00 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

The Long List Of Health Apps Features Few Clear Winners

He's not checking your blood glucose levels. He's playing Words with Friends.
Anna Zielinska iStockphoto.com

Here at Shots we get all kinds of pitches about the latest smartphone app that promises a profound improvement in our health. But truth be told, Candy Crush gets a lot more exercise than all those medical apps we've downloaded. And it turns out we're not alone.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

For Now, Fed Will Stand Firm On Bond Buying

The Fed pointed to a somewhat weaker housing market in recent months.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:36 pm

The Federal Reserve's message, at least for now, is to take a wait-and-see approach to the economy before tapering off on its bond-buying program.

In a statement issued after Wednesday's meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee said that while it has seen signs of "growing underlying strength in the broader economy" it awaits "more evidence that progress can be sustained."

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Author Interviews
1:48 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Brings Lessons From Space Down To Earth

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has spent a total of six months in space. In his new book, he writes that getting to space took only "8 minutes and 42 seconds. Give or take a few thousand days of training."
NASA Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 1:30 pm

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Pakistan Says Drones Killed Far Fewer Civilians Than Thought

A U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:12 pm

While human rights groups and other watchdogs have put the civilian death toll in the hundreds, Pakistan's Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday that just 3 percent of the deaths from U.S. drone strikes since 2008 were noncombatants.

The ministry says 317 drone strikes have killed 2,160 Islamic militants and 67 civilians in the last five years.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Report: NSA Has Broken Into Google And Yahoo Data Centers

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:39 pm

"The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world," The Washington Post reported at midday Wednesday.

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Shots - Health News
12:22 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Why Insurers Cancel Policies, And What You Can Do About It

Many people who buy their own health insurance are being told their policieswill be canceled. New coverage may cost more and sometimes less, but it can't be denied because or pre-existing conditions.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:33 pm

Health insurers are ending policies for what could turn out to be millions of Americans. The moves have rattled consumers and stoked new debate about the health care law.

No one knows for sure right now how many of the estimated 14 million people who buy their own insurance are getting cancellation notices, but the numbers appear to be big. Some insurers report discontinuing 20 percent of their individual business, while other insurers have notified up to 80 percent of policyholders that they will have to change plans.

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