All Things Considered for Tuesday, September 24, 2013

President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly today. In his annual speech to the U.N., he doubled down on the need for diplomacy and U.S. engagement in the world. The speech focused primarily on Syria and Iran's nuclear program.

Rouhani Addresses U.N. Amid Iranian Charm Offensive

Tuesday was the opening day of the UN General Assembly in New York City. President Obama opened the session. His speech was followed by addresses from a number of foreign dignitaries, including Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.
Bananas are the most popular fruit in America, and demand is growing worldwide, too. But growing bananas requires a lot of pesticides. And a new study shows that some of those chemicals are ending up in caimans living downstream from banana plantations in Costa Rica, where many of the bananas that Americans eat are grown.
Despite pro football's sky-high profits, taxpayers subsidize the industry with $1 billion each year. In The King of Sports, Gregg Easterbrook argues for some serious reforms, including incentives for college graduation rates and a new approach to youth football leagues.
Kenyan security forces continue their work at the Nairobi mall where terrorists say they continue to hold hostages the fourth day of the siege. Officials say 67 people are known dead. Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta said the attack was over but added that three floors of the mall had collapsed and bodies remained trapped in the rubble.
Rapper Klay BBJ's mother says he was arrested and beaten over a song he performed that criticized police. Human Rights Watch says his case is one in a series of prosecutions targeting artists' freedom of speech.

New Army Tattoo Rules Won't Affect Already-Inked Soldiers

The U.S. Army is about to have tighter restrictions on tattoos for new recruits and for current soldiers. Visible tattoos, ones below the knees, below the elbows, or above the neckline will not be permitted for enlistees, but soldiers with these kinds of tattoos are grandfathered in. Soldier will have to pay to have tattoos that are deemed racist, sexist, or extremist removed. Melissa Block speaks with Josh Smith, the Afghanistan correspondent for Stars and Stripes for more details.

States Ponder Costs, Benefits Of Film Incentives

Targeted fiscal policies lure high-profile Hollywood productions — and the jobs and cash that come with them — to certain states. But in many cases, film companies get far more money from the state's coffers than they actually pay in sales and payroll taxes.
After his daughter Clio was diagnosed with leukemia last summer, Boston-based singer Alastair Moock turned to music. His latest album is called Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World's Bravest Kids.

Obamacare Funding Fight Leaves Senate Republicans Split

A Tea Party attempt to defund Obamacare has the Senate moving in slow motion toward a bill to fund the government beyond Sept. 30. Today, Senate Republicans met in a closed-door strategy session, where a number of them were expected to register their displeasure with the defund plan and its chief proponent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Would A Federal Shutdown Delay Health Care Exchanges?

The online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act so people can compare health plans and sign up for health insurance are scheduled to open for business on Oct. 1. As the date approaches, opponents of the administration's health law are ratcheting up their efforts to stop it.

As Kenyan Mall Attack Ends, The Search For Answers Begins

Kenya's interior minister said those who attacked the Nairobi mall were an international group of men, some of whom dressed as women. Kenya's foreign minister said the group included at least three Americans and one woman. Four days after the attack started, we update what is known about the group of terrorists who have held siege at the popular Westgate Mall.

'Trophy Wife' Is More Than Just A Pretty Face On ABC

The show's self-professed feminist creators wanted to take on a type generally scorned in popular culture. It's a favorite among critics, but one reviewer worries it will suffer from the Cougar Town effect — good show, terrible name.

Book Review: 'The Woman Who Lost Her Soul'

Alan Cheuse reviews The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis. The author's first novel in twenty years traverses the globe and spans decades, and is engaging for all 700-plus pages.

Four Men Charged In Chicago Shooting That Injured 13

Chicago police have charged four men — including two suspected gunmen — in the shooting injuries of 13 people. Police said the two suspects opened fire in retaliation for an earlier shooting, in which one of them was slightly wounded.
Computer technology offers us abilities we could once only dream about. But many companies have yet to recognize the commercial opportunity in making products for the disabled. Some argue that ignoring accessibility issues completely is a multi-billion dollar mistake.

E-Readers Make Reading Easier For People Who Are Dyslexic

A study shows that e-readers help people with dyslexia comprehend text.
A scientist in Birmingham, Ala., is trying to help overharvested sea urchins, considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, find their way back to a restaurant near you. He's developed an urchin farm to help grow them more sustainably and a special feed that gives them a sweet umami taste.

Quake In Central Pakistan Makes New Island

A large earthquake shook a remote part of central Pakistan Tuesday, and so far local authorities have only reported a few dozen fatalities so far. But according to estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey, the death toll could be far higher. The quake also gave rise to a mysterious island off the coast of Pakistan. The island was likely created by frozen methane that was shaken loose by the shaking. It pushed its way to the surface and created a muddy piece of land that will soon be washed away.
Melissa Block talks to Jerry Micco, assistant managing editor for sports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, about the Pittsburgh Pirates making the Major League Baseball playoffs for the first time since 1992.
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