All Things Considered for Thursday, September 19, 2013

House To Vote On Slashing $40 Billion From Food Stamps

The House today is voting on a plan pushed its Tea Party wing to slash $40 billion from food stamps. That's twice as much as the original House farm bill contemplated, and eight times as much as the Senate bill.
Close to 16 million American households — nearly 14 percent of households — receive food stamps. Who are they and how would a cut affect them? Robert Siegel puts those questions to Stacy Dean from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay regulators more than $900 million in fines over last year's London Whale trading fiasco. A handful of rogue traders at the bank lost more than $6 billion in a bad derivatives trading strategy. The traders then concealed the losses from senior executives for weeks. JPMorgan also formally admitted wrongdoing in the settlement with four different regulators.

Republicans Push Back On Obama's D.C. Court Nominees

President Obama has been able to fill one opening on a key appeals court, but three more remain. And GOP senators are signaling that they'll block those remaining nominations, saying the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals doesn't really need that many judges.
Elusive and iconic, author Thomas Pynchon may intimidate some readers, but he has a devoted following. Bleeding Edge, his new new novel, is about a spunky, Upper West Side mother and fraud investigator in the era between the dot-com boom and Sept. 11.
Melissa Block visits a historic section of Rio de Janeiro that pays homage to Afro-Brazilian history and the many slaves that came ashore there. She talks with Brazilian filmmaker Joel Zito Araujo about what it means to be black or mixed in Brazil, and how skin color still dictates many aspects of life.

Boston Hospitals Share Lessons From Marathon Bombing

Every victim who arrived at a hospital alive survived the attack. But hospitals say the experience also revealed room for improvement, and they're about to share the lessons they learned at a national conference in Washington, D.C.

Making Food From Flies (It's Not That Icky)

One of the really big challenges facing our world is how to grow more food without using up the globe's land and water. One company in Ohio says we've been ignoring one solution: insects. It's using larvae of the black soldier fly to convert waste into feed for fish or pigs.
A young writer from the outskirts of Rio reads an excerpt from a story in which she lets her chemically straightened hair go natural. The story, "Mc K-Bela," was published in a literary magazine that features the work of writers from favelas and what Thayná calls "the people's neighborhoods."

Is Iran Really Trying To Thaw Relations With The U.S.?

Audie Cornish talks to Suzanne Maloney, a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, about recent gestures by Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, that hint at a more moderate opening to the West. This is in contrast to Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was downright combative in his relations with the U.S. Rouhani has said that Iran has no military nuclear ambitions. Maloney wrote about the thaw in a recent essay

Outgoing Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren On Iran, Syria

Iran's nuclear program and the civil war in Syria are both matters that figure prominently in U.S.-Israeli dealings. Robert Siegel talks about those issues with Israel's outgoing ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren.

Dozens Feared Dead Near Acapulco As Storms Buffet Mexico

Dozens of people are missing a feared dead after flood waters loosened a hillside which smashed a village near Mexico's resort city of Acapulco. It's the latest damage from storms that have battered the region.
Audie Cornish talks to Rev. James Martin of America, a Jesuit magazine, about a recent interview with Pope Francis in which he says the church should not talk so much about gays, abortion and contraception.
Bob Mondello reviews Prisoners, a twist-filled thriller from Canadian director Denis Villeneuve that has Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman at odds over how to catch a kidnapper.

Beloved Brazilian Monkey Clings To A Shrinking Forest

Brazil's Atlantic Forest, home to the golden lion tamarin, was once a massive ecosystem stretching along the Brazilian coast. But centuries of human activity have encroached upon the forest, leaving the future of this tiny, lion-maned monkey in doubt.

Turkey's Lira Falls To Its Lowest Value In Years

Potential changes in economic policy from Washington have sent tremors throughout emerging economies. In Turkey, where growth in recent years has put Eurozone economies to shame, the signs are troubling: The Turkish lira has fallen to its lowest value in years and private sector debt is soaring. Economists say continued liquidity and foreign investment remains crucial if Turkey is to avoid a hard landing.
This fall the conservative group Generation Opportunity will fan out across college campuses to urge young Americans to be wary of Obamacare. The effort kicked off this week with some controversial and purposely creepy Web ads.
The video game "Grand Theft Auto V" made more than $800 million the first day it was released. Audie Cornish talks to Peter Rubin, a senior editor at Wired, about the video game that's on track to out-earn the summer's biggest movie blockbusters in only a few days.

Man Who Made Nintendo Into A Video Game Empire Dies

Hiroshi Yamauchi, who led Nintendo from a trading card company to the video game giant it is today, died Thursday at the age of 85. Some of Nintendo's most iconic characters — including Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong and Zelda — were created under Yamauchi's leadership.
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