All Things Considered for Wednesday, October 23, 2013

One of the big questions now is what will happen if the federal health insurance website can't be fixed soon. Will the government penalize people for not having insurance if they couldn't realistically buy it?
The ink wasn't dry on the deal to reopen the government when the President turned his attention back to immigration. But what are the politics and prospects for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws?
A brief Associated Press story that wrongly claimed Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe had been accused in court documents of lying to a federal investigator has resulted in the firings of several AP journalists.

Spain Inches Into Recovery But Spaniards Don't Feel It

Europe's fourth-largest economy is out of the red. The Bank of Spain says the Spanish economy grew 0.1 percent in the third quarter of this year, marking an end to the longest economic slump in Spain's democratic history. Spain's recovery is critical to the economic health of Europe overall. It's bigger than all the bailed-out economies — Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus — combined. But unemployment in the country still tops 26 percent, and it could be a while before Spaniards feel the fruits of that recovery.
Meredith Ochs reviews a memoir from musician Graham Nash, one fourth of the group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. She says the book gives context to the songs that came to define a generation.
For most of us, plague is something that maybe we read about in history books. In the 14th Century, it wiped out half of Europe's population. But the bacteria is busy killing wildlife now in the American West. By studying small mammals scientists have learned that plague is far more pervasive a killer than anyone thought.

NOAA Says No More Paper Maps Of U.S. Waterways

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will no longer print traditional lithographic charts of U.S. waters after next April. The agency will still map waterways for rocks, shipwrecks and dangers, but mariners will have to download the latest information onto their electronic navigational systems or use private on-demand printing and PDFs.
Last week, Cara Tabachnick got a text from her father: "Our building got Banksied and there's a crowd gathering outside. What do we do?" British graffiti artist Banksy chose their wall as a canvas. Now, the Tabachnicks are fending off vandals and facing big decisions.
The Vatican announced it's removing a German bishop from office during a church investigation into his alleged lavish spending and perjury charges. The bishop met with the pope last Sunday. The accusations against the bishop, whose diocese is near Frankfurt, have shaken the German Catholic community, with many members calling for a thorough investigation into how the Church spends their money.

All You Need To Know Ahead Of World Series Game One

The Boston Red Sox host the St. Louis Cardinals tonight in game one of the World Series. The teams are evenly matched and many expect a tight series. We'll see if playing in an American League park — and having a designated hitter — offers an advantage to either team.

HealthCare.gov Glitches Haven't Hurt Obamacare...Yet

The glitchy roll out of the Affordable Care Act federal health exchange website has had the Obama administration scrambling — for tech support, explanations, patience, and foot soldiers to help spread the word about the president's signature achievement.
The company has stumbled, but it's probably not fair to blame CGI for the debacle of the HealthCare.gov project. CGI may have received the biggest paycheck, but it's just one of 54 subcontractors. The real problem may be a lack of clear direction from its client, the Obama administration.
Does this sound familiar? A national IT project plagued with high-profile problems, integration breakdowns involving contractors, and taxpayers left footing a multimillion-dollar price tag: The scenario's playing out with HealthCare.gov, but a similar one in the U.K. led to major reforms.

Meet The Man Who Ran A Marathon While Knitting A Scarf

David Babcock, associate professor of art and design at the University of Central Missouri, not only completed the Kansas City Marathon on Saturday but also a 12-foot scarf. The two feats are impressive enough on their own, but Babcock did them at the same time.
Diplomats are again meeting to consider setting aside a protected zone in the pristine waters around Antarctica, though their previous negotiations ended in failure. A scaled-back plan on the table this week would still create the largest marine preserve in the world.

Netflix On The Moon? Broadband Makes It To Deep Space

A NASA mission to the moon has completed the first high-bandwidth space-to-ground communication using a laser. This is a big upgrade from the radio systems now in use and could potentially revolutionize deep-space communication.
Audie Cornish and Melissa Block read emails from listeners about All Things Considered's coverage of e-cigarettes.
President Obama held talks at the White House Wednesday with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. U.S. drone strikes on militants along the Pakistani-Afghan border were on the agenda.
The government shutdown didn't help the U.S. on the world stage. But when it comes to political dysfunction, the U.S. is far from alone.

Anthony Weiner (The Myth, Not The Man) Takes The Stage

The former congressman's exploits have been turned into an off-off-Broadway play, The Weiner Monologues. The production uses only found text — articles, talk-show jokes, Weiner's own words, and so on — in its script.
Bridget Jones, as you may have heard, is back: 51, widowed and juggling two small children and a much younger boy toy. Reviewer Meg Wolitzer says that while she doesn't mind the subtraction of hunky Mark Darcy, she misses the messy but honest charm of the younger Bridget.

World War II Vet Awarded Medals 67 Years Later

Phillip Coon, a 94-year-old World War II Army veteran, POW and Bataan Death March survivor, finally received medals for his service Monday. Coon was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, a Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman Badge. Melissa Block speaks with Coon and his son, Michael, who is also an Army veteran.
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