All Things Considered for Friday, September 20, 2013

Obama's Latest Challenges Go Beyond The GOP

Congressional Republicans are trying to use budget deadlines to extract concessions from the president on his signature health care law. And they aren't alone in choosing this time to test the president's mettle — liberal Democrats have been pressuring Obama, too.

Week In Politics: The Affordable Care Act

Audie Cornish speaks with our regular political commentators E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss the House vote to defund the Affordable Care Act.

Chicago Shootings Spur Renewed Call For Tougher Gun Laws

In Chicago, a late-night shooting Thursday left 13 people wounded, including a 3-year-old boy. The city has been struggling to curtail the city's gun violence, which plagues some neighborhoods on the south and west sides. This latest incident has the Chicago Police Superintendent once again calling for tougher gun laws.

The Effects Of The Snowden Leaks Aren't What He Intended

Critics of the NSA's secret surveillance hoped the debate that followed Edward Snowden's leaks would prompt the NSA to rethink the operation. Instead, one of the most noticeable effects so far has been a diversion of resources away from intelligence missions toward assessing damage from the leaks.

A Tour Of Language And Customs In Brazil

While in Brazil this week, Melissa Block has heard our local fixer Catherine Osborn use all kinds of greetings and salutations in conversations with people throughout the day. Osborn walks us through some of the customs of everyday interactions in Rio.

Will The U.S. Grant A Visa To Sudan's Indicted Leader?

The U.S. is supposed to allow everyone to come to the annual United Nations General Assembly, which opens next week. But Washington has yet to rule on the visa application by Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president who's been indicted on genocide charges by the International Criminal Court.

In Middle East, Conspiracy Theories Over Syria Abound

The case to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons arsenal moves to the U.N. next week. The White House says a U.N. report released this week confirms that Syria's regime used poison gas against its citizens. But Russian officials beg to differ. The dueling narratives are fueling conspiracy theories in the Middle East.
Leith, N.D.'s residents want to keep control of their town out of the hands of white supremacists. Craig Cobb moved to Leith last year after purchasing 12 properties and he's given most of them away to people who are notorious in the white separatist movement.

In Brazil, Soccer Is A Way Of Life

Brazil is a five-time World Cup soccer champion; no other country can say that. At the Maracana stadium for a club game this past weekend it was rockin', even with just 19,000 fans.

House Funding Vote Likely To Put GOP In A Bind

At the insistence of Tea Party senators, the Republican-led House passed a government-funding plan that also defunds the Affordable Care Act. Now it heads to the Senate, where Democrats will likely take out health care language and send it right back.

The GOP Strategy Behind Defunding Affordable Care Act

Audie Cornish speaks with Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state about the House's continuing resolution vote, and the Republican strategy behind it. McMorris Rodgers is chairwoman of the House Republican Conference.
Angela Merkel is likely to win a third term in elections Sunday, but there may be a change in the makeup of her coalition government. It is possible that Merkel's main opponents, the Social Democrats, will be a major part of the coalition, and they would likely push for more stimulus measures to help struggling economies in the eurozone, rather than the austerity that Germany has demanded up until now.

Stuart Blumberg Really Wants To Talk About Sex

The director, who also co-wrote the 2010 indie hit The Kids Are All Right, joins NPR's Audie Cornish to chat about his film Thanks for Sharing, a romantic comedy that follows three men (and one woman) through stories of sex addiction and recovery.

A Random Act Of Kindness At A Minn. Dairy Queen

At a Dairy Queen in Hopkins, Minn., 19-year-old Joey Prusak — a store manager — was serving one of his customers, a regular who is visually impaired. The man dropped a $20 bill but didn't know it. Prusak was about to say something when a woman nearby picked it up and put it in her purse. What happened next went viral.

All Across Brazil, The Art Scene Is Shifting

Not only are Brazilian artists now getting big play in major museums around the world, but something new is happening inside Brazil: There's a burgeoning appetite for art.

Reflections On Brazil

Melissa Block has been in Rio de Janeiro all week, with stories about the upcoming 2014 World Cup, the growing middle class, the complex racial balance in Brazil and much more. She joins Audie Cornish now with some final thoughts, from way up high over the city.

Colorado Flood Evacuees Face Still More Challenges

For Colorado flood victims, evacuation was just the first step. Now the very long process of recovery is beginning. It will take months for some who saw their houses destroyed or severely damaged to return home. And when there's nothing left to inspect, navigating insurance companies can be an added challenge.

A Young Composer Steps Outside Of Himself (And Into Pop)

San Fermin's self-titled debut is an orchestral wonder, born in the shadow of looming adulthood. NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with the group's leader, 24-year-old Ellis Ludwig-Leone.
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