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It's All Politics
8:06 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Wednesday Morning Political Mix

Good morning.

Can you say lost day?

Can you say 24 hours closer to joining the pantheon of deadbeat nations?

Can you say turning on the default spigot of poison gas? (Warren Buffet can.)

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Wed October 16, 2013

N.J. Goes To Polls To Fill Vacant U.S. Senate Seat

Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan shake hands at the start of the final debate of their U.S. Senate campaign, last week at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 12:37 pm

New Jersey voters are choosing a new member of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, in a special election pitting Newark Mayor Cory Booker against Steve Lonegan.

Democrat Booker is favored in the polls to win the race to fill the vacancy left by the death of Frank Lautenberg in June. However, his Republican opponent, the former mayor of the northern New Jersey town of Bogota, has managed to close the gap a bit in the run-up to election day.

ABC7 reports:

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Planet Money
7:44 am
Wed October 16, 2013

When Will The Government Run Out Of Money?

Quoctrung Bui

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 11:19 am

In the course of any given month, the government collects billions of dollars in taxes, spends billions more, and borrows money to cover the difference between what it collects and what it spends.

If Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling soon, the government won't be able to borrow money to cover the difference anymore and won't be able to pay all of its bills.

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Parallels
7:15 am
Wed October 16, 2013

What's News In The Rest Of The World

A newsstand in Paris.
Fred Dufour AFP/Getty Images

The issue of migration into Europe has been in the news lately, and now there's a controversy in France after police seized a teenage girl who was on a school field trip and expelled her along with her family to their native Kosovo.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Arrest Made In Dry Ice Bomb Case At LA Airport

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 11:03 am

Police have arrested a baggage handler in connection with a series of dry ice bombs, two of which exploded harmlessly at the Los Angeles International Airport in recent days.

Dicarlo Bennett, 28, an employee for the ground handling company Servisair, was booked on Tuesday for "possession of a destructive device near an aircraft," The Associated Press reports. He is being held on $1 million bail.

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Wed October 16, 2013

As It Happened: The Fight Over The Debt Ceiling, Shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:23 pm

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

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Around the Nation
6:25 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Boston Police Officer Adds His Name To American Lexicon

Maybe you've seen Steve Horgan, the cop on duty as the Red Sox played the Tigers in the league championship series. Boston's David Ortiz hit a home run. Video caught Officer Horgan, arms in the air, celebrating even as Detroit's Torii Hunter flipped over the wall in a vain effort to catch the ball and tumbled near the officer's feet. In Boston, that triumphant pose is now called Horganing.

Around the Nation
6:21 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Snorkeler Shocked To See 18-Foot Oarfish

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Believers in sea monsters have some fresh evidence. A rarely seen fish has been pulled from the ocean off California's Catalina Island. A marine science instructor was snorkeling when she spotted it lying dead beneath the water, 18 feet long, a wide pug faced oarfish that can grow much, much bigger. It looks a lot like a mythical sea serpent and it took 15 people to pull the fish from the sea. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Bridget In Middle Age: We're Not So 'Mad About' This Girl

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:43 pm

As you may have already heard by now, in the latest installment of the Bridget Jones saga, sexy love interest Mark Darcy is dead. The outcry over his death was not caused by sadness so much as by the sense readers had that killing him was a cheat, a sacrilege, somehow morally wrong. There hasn't been this much of a fuss made over the death of a character since Downton Abbey knocked off Lady Sybil in childbirth.

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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Book News: Eleanor Catton Is The Youngest-Ever Booker Winner

Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries poses for photographs Tuesday after winning the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction at The Guildhall in London.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:01 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Justices To Hear Cases On Self-Incrimination, Freezing Assets

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases on Wednesday: Kansas v. Cheever and Kaley v. United States.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 8:14 am

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases on Wednesday — one that focuses on the right against self-incrimination and another that looks at when prosecutors can seize defendants' assets.

What Counts As Self-Incrimination?

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Politics
4:58 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Debt Ceiling Deal Depends On U.S. Senate

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 7:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. The prospects for a deal to avoid default and reopen the government now depend on the U.S. Senate, whose members include Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, who's on the line. Senator, welcome back to the program.

SENATOR SAXBY CHAMBLISS: Good to be with you, Steve.

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Middle East
4:58 am
Wed October 16, 2013

A Graduate Student's Odyssey From Gaza To Indianapolis

Palestinian travelers wait to cross into Egypt at the Rafah crossing terminal in the southern Gaza Strip earlier this month.
Said Khatib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 7:30 am

To get a small sense of Fida'a Abuassi's odyssey, start on June 28, days before the Egyptian coup. She had just returned to her native Gaza Strip via Cairo after spending the year in New York on the U.S. government-sponsored Fulbright student program.

"I came back to Gaza, and then they declared that they will close the border until further notice," she says.

Her goal was to get to Indiana by August to start her master's program at the University of Indianapolis.

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Author Interviews
4:27 am
Wed October 16, 2013

After Sept. 11, Special Ops Were 'Injected With Steroids'

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This time last week an alleged terrorist known as Abu Anas al Libi was on a Navy ship being interrogated after being snatched from his home in Libya by U.S. Special Forces. Yesterday, al Libi was arraigned in a federal court in New York accused in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa that left 224 dead.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Around the Nation
4:27 am
Wed October 16, 2013

We Say Goodbye To Detective Munch, Umpire Wally Bell

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now for a little "Law and Order." It's the popular franchise with many spinoffs that once seemed in danger of taking over the entire television spectrum.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Each episode begins in the criminal justice system and goes on to feature shocking crimes solved by wise-cracking, hard-boiled cops.

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Business
3:42 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Banks Ease Purse Strings On Luxury Home Loans

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And for the first time in decades, interest rates for loans on jumbo homes are lower than rates for a typical mortgage. And because of that, the luxury market is the fastest growing home loans sector.

From member station KJZZ in Phoenix, Peter O'Dowd reports.

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National Security
3:37 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Has Elite Interrogation Group Lived Up To Expectations?

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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Research News
3:11 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Why College Freshmen May Feel Like Impostors On Campus

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tens of thousands of freshman have just finished their first month in college. They've signed up for classes, met a bunch of other people and, if history is any guide, asked themselves a question: What am I doing here? Everyone else is smarter and better adjusted than I am. And for some, that question totally changes the college experience, may even cause them to drop out, which is why a researcher was determined to intervene. He told his story to NPR's Shankar Vedantam, who's here to tell it to us. Hi, Shankar.

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Sweetness And Light
1:59 am
Wed October 16, 2013

You Asked For It: Frank Deford's Top 12 List

Frank Deford to football players: Get more creative when you win, please.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 11:35 am

As a commentator, Frank Deford gets a lot of suggestions about prominent subjects that he should take to task. Usually, he has already sounded off on these suggested topics, and most of them are cut and dried, with nothing new to add. But here, Deford takes on 12 of these familiar issues — this time with brief updates.

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The Salt
1:58 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Arkansas Aims To Make Edamame As American As Apple Pie

An Arkansas company is trying to cash in on an edamame boom in the U.S.
Will Merydith Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:31 pm

Irene Adams cooks supper for husband, Luke, and 2-year-old son, Cole, at their home in Fayetteville, Ark. She used to serve lots of green beans, but switched to edamame after tasting it at a local restaurant.

"[Cole] used to split his green beans and take out the little seeds inside," Adams says. "So I told Luke we should try edamame, because it's bigger seeds and has more flavor, so that's why we decided to try it and he loves it."

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Environment
1:57 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Fuel In The Fire: Burn Wood For Power Or Leave It To Nature

At more than 400 square miles, the Rim Fire is the largest Sierra Nevada fire in recorded history.
Mike McMillan US Forest Service

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 11:59 am

The record-breaking wildfire in Yosemite National Park is almost fully contained, two months after it started. The blaze calls attention to a problem across the western U.S.: After a century of having its fires routinely extinguished, the forests are overloaded with fuel.

A heated debate has flared up about what to do with that forest fuel. California is hoping to reduce its fire risk through renewable energy, but some worry about the environmental costs of thinning the forests.

'It Was Torched'

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Parallels
1:56 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Are We Moving To A World With More Online Surveillance?

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was angered by reports that the National Security Agency was spying on her. She has called for giving individual countries greater control over the Internet.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:04 am

Many governments around the world have expressed outrage over the National Security Agency's use of the Internet as a spying platform. But the possible response may have an unforeseen consequence: It may actually lead to more online surveillance, according to Internet experts.

Some governments, led most recently by Brazil, have reacted to recent disclosures about NSA surveillance by proposing a redesign of Internet architecture. The goal would be to give governments more control over how the Internet operates within their own borders.

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Business
1:55 am
Wed October 16, 2013

There's A New Kind Of Sign Spinner In Town

YouTube

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 11:15 am

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Kitchen Window
1:54 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Tickled Pink: Fresh, Young Ginger Is A Sweet Break From Gnarled Roots

Laura McCandlish for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:02 pm

That pink pile of pickled ginger that comes with your sushi is probably from China or Japan. And unless the slices are beige, chances are this garnish, next to the green wasabi, contains food coloring. So it's refreshing when you first see that cream-colored fresh "baby" ginger is naturally, yet shockingly, pink at its tips from where green stems shoot forth.

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It's All Politics
6:07 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Shutdown Diary: Hope Turns Into Wall Street Warning

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, walks to a GOP meeting Tuesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Day 15 of the government shutdown started with as much promise as any recently: There was a bipartisan proposal by Senate leaders to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.

But any hopes were quickly dashed when leaders of the Republican-controlled House said they would offer a competing proposal because of their dissatisfaction with the Senate effort.

The Senate's Bipartisan Proposal

The Senate agreement between Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., came after weekend negotiations.

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Business
5:21 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

The IRS Can't Take Your Questions. It Will Take Your Return

IRS offices around the country, like this one in Brooklyn, N.Y., have been closed since the partial government shutdown began two weeks ago. While the agency continues to cash checks from payees, refunds, audits and most other operations are suspended.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Tuesday, Oct. 15,is the filing deadline for the roughly 12 million Americans who received an extension on their 2012 taxes. And having 90 percent of its staff furloughed in the partial government shutdown doesn't mean the IRS doesn't want your money.

"The IRS is shut down, but the tax law is never shut down," says Joshua Blank, professor of tax practice and faculty director of New York University Law School's Graduate Tax Program.

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The Government Shutdown
5:12 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Why A Medical Device Tax Became Part Of The Fiscal Fight

Among the bargaining chips in the budget crisis on Capitol Hill, there's the small but persistent issue of taxing medical device manufacturers.

The 2.3 percent sales tax covers everything from MRI machines to replacement hips and maybe even surgical gloves. The tax was imposed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. It didn't attract much attention at first — at least, not outside the world of medical device manufacturers.

But they have waged a persistent campaign to undo the tax, and right now is the closest they have come to succeeding.

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The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Feel Old Yet? Roddick And Blake Will Play On Senior Circuit

James Blake addresses the crowd during an interview with Mary Joe Fernandez after losing on day three of the 2013 U.S. Open.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 5:25 pm

Neither of them is over 35 years old. One of them played in ATP World Tour events just months ago; the other did so last year. But none of that will keep recently retired tennis players Andy Roddick, 31, and James Blake, 33, from joining a circuit of senior players.

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Redefining Rock Bottom: Another Scary Poll For Congress

Cloudy skies shroud the Capitol on Monday. Congress is at an impasse as Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over the crises gripping the nation.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:03 pm

It's one of the oldest axioms in politics: Voters always say they want to "throw the bums out," except when it comes to their own representative. That's why the re-election rate for House members is typically over 90 percent.

Heading into the 2014 midterms, that long-standing rule appears to be holding true. But against the backdrop of the federal government shutdown, a potential default and general dysfunction in Washington, there are signs it's reaching a straining point.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Fitch Places U.S. Under Review For A Credit Downgrade

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:58 am

Fitch Ratings, one of the big three credit ratings agencies, issued a warning shot today, saying that while it affirmed the United States' AAA credit rating, it was placing it on "rating watch negative."

In other words, it was placing the country's long-term credit rating under review for a potential downgrade.

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