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Race
6:37 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Will Settlement Bring Black Farmers Dignity?

After years of discrimination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, black farmers are now getting a $1.25 billion settlement. Founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association John Boyd tells host Michel Martin what this settlement means for farmers and their families.

Politics
6:37 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Government Shutdown? 'This Is Democracy In Action'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. After decades of litigation, checks are going out this week to thousands of black farmers who - lawmakers eventually agreed - faced discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We'll speak with one of the people who helped lead the fight for years, even though he will not personally benefit. That's in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Fri October 4, 2013

'This Isn't Some Damn Game!' Boehner Says

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 8:28 am

"This isn't some damn game!" House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, just declared, his voice rising, as he told reporters on Capitol Hill that he believes it's the Obama administration that's to blame for the four-day-old partial shutdown of the federal government.

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Parallels
6:20 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Do You Know What The U.S. Government Is Up To In Syria?

Syrian youths line up for food distribution in the Maiber al-Salam refugee camp in northern Syria, near the border with Turkey. The U.S. government has provided more than $1.5 billion in aid to Syrians since the uprising began in 2011.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 4:47 am

Mark Ward is the U.S. State Department's senior adviser on assistance to Syria, and when he heard the Syrian border town of Azaz was overrun by an offshoot of al-Qaida in September, he knew it was time to get creative again.

"You always have to have a plan B in this kind of work," he says.

Ward is based in Turkey. His job is to oversee a growing and unusual U.S. humanitarian assistance program in rebel-held areas in seven provinces across northern Syria.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Awww-some VIDEO: Little White Lion Cub Tries To Roar

Seven days old and roaring — or raring — to go. A white lion cub born last week at the Belgrade Zoo in Serbia.
Darko Vojinovic AP

If you liked the video from earlier this week of two white lion cubs at South Korea's Everland zoo, your animal-loving heart may just melt when you see another white lion cub sort-of roaring at the Belgrade Zoo in Serbia.

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NPR Story
5:36 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Legendary Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap Dies

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:59 am

Transcript

(POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The obituary of Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap was prepared three years ago and includes observations by Giap biographer Cecil Currey, who died in March.)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Let's remember, now, a legendary Vietnamese general. Vo Nguyen Giap has died at 102. It was Giap who defeated the French at the battle of Dien Bien Phu, which effectively ended a hundred years of French colonial rule in Southeast Asia.

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The Two-Way
4:37 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Siri, Who Are You? She Won't Say, But Her ID's Been Blown

Voice actor Susan Bennett, talking to herself (or, rather, Siri) for CNN.
CNN.com

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:43 am

We tried Friday morning to get Siri to confirm CNN's report that a real woman named Susan Bennett is the "classic" American voice of Apple's virtual assistant.

But all Siri would do is tell us, repeatedly, that "this is about you, not me." As for whether she does have a "real" voice, Siri would only say that "I guess I don't have one."

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The Two-Way
3:53 am
Fri October 4, 2013

A Grass-Roots Rally To Protect South Carolina's Massive 'Angel Oak'

Visitors have flocked to the Angel Oak tree just outside Charleston, S.C., for generations. A local group has until late November to raise funds to buy a parcel of land that they say is needed to protect the live oak from development.
Randall Hill Reuters/Landov

On South Carolina's steamy Johns Island is a fern-draped, centuries-old live oak that has withstood hurricanes, the creation of the United States and every government shutdown to date.

But conservationists worry that the tree known as the Angel Oak could fall victim to encroaching development. They've got two months to come up with enough money to buy the land where it has stood for more than 400 years.

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It's All Politics
3:38 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Friday Morning Political Mix

Anti-Obama demonstrators in Indonesia will have to hold their protests without him. He cancelled his Asian trip due to the U.S. government shutdown. (Their signs accused him of murdering Muslims.)
BAY ISMOYO AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:16 am

Happy Friday, fellow political junkies. Of course, it's hard to be happy if you're one of the more than two million federal workers either furloughed or working without pay, or one of the millions of other Americans whose lives are disrupted by official Washington's dysfunction. It's Day Four of the federal government shutdown, 2013 edition. And an end to the disagreement still doesn't seem in the offing.

On that grim note, here are some items of political interest worth mulling over this morning.

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The Two-Way
3:20 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Grim Search Resumes Off Sicily; It's Feared 300 Drowned

Hearses were waiting Friday outside a hanger at the airport in Lampedusa, Italy, where the bodies of victims from Thursday's ship wreck were being held.
Luca Bruno AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:43 am

The news has only gotten worse about the sea disaster near Sicily, where a ship packed with about 500 African migrants caught fire and sank on Thursday.

When we first posted about the tragedy, the death toll stood at just under 100. Now, as Reuters reports:

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The Two-Way
2:38 am
Fri October 4, 2013

4 Things To Know On Day 4 Of The Shutdown

The U.S. Capitol looms in the background as a sign on the National Mall reminds visitors that national parks are closed because of the partial federal government shutdown.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 8:45 am

With the partial shutdown of the federal government now into its fourth day, here are four stories to help bring us all up to speed:

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Around the Nation
2:09 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Squirrel Steals The Show At Golf Tournament

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene with a new reason to yell four. Look out, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Tiger Woods - Sammy is the biggest new star in pro golf. And he's a baby squirrel. Golfer Davis Love scooped up the lost critter at the President's Cup tournament yesterday, worried he'd get struck. By the end of the day, Sammy's cute face had stolen the spotlight and he was named the unofficial mascot for Team U.S.A.

The Two-Way
1:58 am
Fri October 4, 2013

What We Know So Far About Woman Killed In D.C. Chase

An officer stands just outside police tape Thursday as authorities investigate a car chase that began at the White House and ended near the Capitol.
Lv Mingxiang Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 3:34 pm

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World
1:13 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Skydive And Build A Website At The Same Time

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Some people skydive, others build websites. Designers Chris Hirst and Leo Zhao have now done both, at once. The stunt was to promote their product, Designbymobile. The message: We've made Web designing so easy, you can do it anywhere. On their first jump, they gathered video. On the second, they used that footage to create a website. It only took a minute, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the 8,000-foot plunge.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

StoryCorps
12:16 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Out Of The Rat Race: Lucky Rodents Find Their Own 'Taj Mahal'

Dawn and Don Burke opened a rat sanctuary, The Rat Retreat, in their home in Boise, Idaho. Most people don't realize what affectionate pets rats can be, Dawn says.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:12 am

Dawn Burke had always thought of rats as filthy animals, she says, until her neighbor introduced her to his "soft and cuddly" pet rats. Years later, she stopped by a pet shop on a whim — and ended up coming home with a rat of her own.

From there, says Dawn's husband, Don Burke, "it grew very quickly from one rat to 72." Before long, the couple had opened a rat sanctuary in their home in Boise, Idaho.

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It's All Politics
12:15 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Shutdown Showdown: Assessing Obama's Negotiating Tactics

President Obama speaks about the government shutdown, the budget and the debt ceiling debate during a visit to M. Luis Construction in Rockville, Md., on Thursday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:14 am

The government shutdown grinds on with no immediate relief in sight.

President Obama says he's willing to talk with Republican lawmakers about adjustments to the health care law and other issues, but only after they re-open the government and lift the threat of a federal default.

"I'm happy to negotiate with you on anything. I don't think any one party has a monopoly on wisdom. But you don't negotiate by putting a gun to the other person's head," Obama says.

Experts in negotiation say the president's stance may be justified, but it's also risky.

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The Government Shutdown
12:06 am
Fri October 4, 2013

For Obama And Boehner, No Sign Of Thaw In Frosty Relationship

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner take part in a ceremony to unveil a statue honoring the late civil rights activist Rosa Parks in the Capitol in February.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:13 am

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have had five years of fights and negotiations to learn how to work together.

The relationship has had ups and downs. Today it's as sour as it's ever been.

Even if they had a warm friendship, it might not be enough to solve the government shutdown. But the chilliness doesn't help.

'We Get Along Fine'

Their relationship has been a constant source of fascination in Washington. Interviewers ask the two men about it all the time. And they give pretty much the same response, year after year:

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It's All Politics
2:40 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Shutdown Diary, Day 3: More Talk, Little Action

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. (from left), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., head for a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 3:04 pm

Congress: On Day 3 of the shutdown, a Washington made tense by partisan acrimony was put even more on edge by a bizarre incident. A woman who drove erratically near the White House and then the U.S. Capitol, causing the legislative complex to be locked down, ended up dead after a high-speed chase that left a Capitol Hill police officer injured.

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NPR Story
2:08 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Twitter Reveals User Numbers, Financial Info Ahead Of IPO

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:27 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Twitter is revealing more details about its planned initial public offering. Late this afternoon, the company announced its intention to raise a billion dollars by selling stock, and revealed detailed information about its finances for the first time. We're joined now by NPR's Steve Henn to discuss this peek behind the Twitter curtain. Hey there, Steve.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Hey.

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It's All Politics
1:48 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

For Tea Party, Shutdown Is Worth The Pain

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:02 pm

Preston Bates considers the budget stalemate a good return on investment.

Bates is executive director of Liberty for All, a libertarian-leaning superPAC that last year spent more than $3 million helping to elect Republican congressmen such as Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan.

Those two are among the core group of House members refusing to support any deal that would reopen the government without delaying, defunding or destroying the Affordable Care Act, the health care law also known as Obamacare.

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Shots - Health News
1:37 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Some Online Journals Will Publish Fake Science, For A Fee

You could do all that brain work. Or you could make it up.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:34 am

Many online journals are ready to publish bad research in exchange for a credit card number.

That's the conclusion of an elaborate sting carried out by Science, a leading mainline journal. The result should trouble doctors, patients, policymakers and anyone who has a stake in the integrity of science (and who doesn't?).

The business model of these "predatory publishers" is a scientific version of those phishes from Nigerians who want help transferring a few million dollars into your bank account.

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Europe
1:23 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Supporters Of Greek Neo-Nazi Party Tested By Arrests

Supporters of the ultra-right-wing Golden Dawn Party wait outside the Athens courthouse for the transfer of party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos to the prosecutor Wednesday. Four lawmakers from Greece's neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn have been indicted on charges of belonging to a criminal organization.
Simela Pantzartzi EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:38 am

The Greek lawmaker who leads the neo-fascist Golden Dawn Party is behind bars, awaiting trial for allegedly running a criminal organization. Nikolaos Michaloliakos' views are racist and anti-Semitic, and he's been blamed for inciting violence, especially against immigrants.

He says he's not a criminal and is being persecuted for his beliefs.

But will shutting down the party shut down its support?

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Shutdown Quiets NASA, So Space Station Astronauts Enjoy View

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 12:20 pm

Of all the government agencies, NASA is among the hardest hit by the government shutdown. As of Oct. 1, nearly all of its employees have been told to pack up and head home.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

WATCH: The Capitol Hill Car Chase

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 1:37 pm

A high-speed chase that ended with shots fired on Capitol Hill Thursday locked down the U.S. Capitol and the White House for a short period.

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Around the Nation
1:05 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Time For Superstorm Sandy Evacuees To Check Out Of Hotels

Sandy evacuees Shawn Little (right) and her daugher, Terri, joined a press conference to protest for more time at city hotels while they look for permanent homes.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:38 am

Almost 300 Sandy victims are still living in hotel rooms on the taxpayers' dime — but not for long. City officials say the program is expensive, and it's time for those remaining Sandy evacuees to move out.

This week, the displaced families living in hotels got a letter from New York City officials telling them they will not pay for those rooms after Friday.

This was the message they sent back on Wednesday: Heck no, we won't go!

At a press conference outside City Hall, several dozen evacuees protested for more time.

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The Salt
1:05 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

CDC: Shutdown Strains Foodborne Illness Tracking

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's PulseNet service monitors clusters of sickness linked to potentially dangerous strains of foodborne pathogens such as E.coli or salmonella.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:38 am

As we reported Tuesday, the government shutdown is pushing the nation's food safety system to its limits.

For instance, there is normally a team of eight people overseeing the critical foodborne illness tracking database PulseNet. This team identifies clusters of sickness linked to potentially dangerous strains of pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella.

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Religion
1:05 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

2 By 2 and 2x4s: The Building Of Noah's Arks

Carolina and Reniel Peralta of the Hidden Ark in March, before the county government made them tear down the ark. The ark was deconstructed in June, but the concrete elephant still stands.
Kenny Malone WLRN

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:38 am

There are just about 30 days — and 30 nights — left in South Florida's rainy season. That will not deter a monumental building task being attempted by a group of people near Miami.

The Hidden Ark project was originally planned for a 5-acre spot just outside Hialeah, Fla., not far from the Everglades. In the spring, builders worked to create a one-tenth of a full-scale Noah's ark — imagine a 150-foot-long bathtub made of wood.

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Around the Nation
1:05 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Car Chase Ends On Capitol Hill, Shots Reported

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. This afternoon, a car chase through the heart of Washington D.C. ended with shots fired near the Capitol. Details are sketchy, but we know that around 2:00 this afternoon, authorities began pursuit of a suspect by car near the White House. That chase ended on Capitol Hill with members of Congress in their offices hearing shots fired outside.

Here's Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine, speaking minutes ago.

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Latin America
1:05 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Trade Dispute With Mexico Over 'Dolphin-Safe' Tuna Heats Up

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Look closely at just about any can of tuna sold in the U.S. and you'll find a tiny stamp. Now for more than 20 years, that stamp has certified that no dolphins were harmed or killed when the tuna was caught. For nearly that long, Mexico and the U.S. have been fighting over that label. Mexico says it's made great strides protecting dolphins and that the U.S. now unfairly blocks Mexican tuna from its markets.

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It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

'Hello, This Is Your Senator Speaking. No, Really'

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., leads a tour group of students from her home state in the Rotunda Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP

Many congressional staff members have been furloughed by the government shutdown. But that hasn't stopped the phones from ringing, or tourists from visiting.

So members of Congress have been forced to take on some additional responsibilities this week, in addition to legislating — the kinds of tasks typically handled by junior staffers and interns.

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., are among those personally answering their office phones.

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