Morning Edition for Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona approach the question of military strikes on Syria from opposite wings of the Republican Party. Paul from the isolationist wing and McCain from the traditional, more hawkish wing. Their disagreement played out in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, and serves as a preview for the far more consequential version of this debate among House Republicans.
Renee Montagne talks to analyst David Makovsky of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy about the degree to which concern for Israel is shaping the Obama administration's thinking on Syria.
Decimated by hunters, insecticides and other human pressures in the 1960s and 1970s, America's emblematic bird is once again flying high. Roughly 10,000 mated pairs now nest in the continental U.S., up from about 500 in the 1970s. But more birds also means fierce competition for territory and mates.
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration issued two proposed food safety rules to prevent tainted food from entering the food supply. While many large growers support the proposed regulations, small farmers say the cost of complying with them would stifle their ability to grow.

French Parliament To Debate U.S.-Led Strikes In Syria

French lawmakers on Wednesday will debate how to respond to an alleged chemical attack in Syria. France made public intelligence documents suggesting the Syrian government was behind the attack. At the same time, the French newspaper, Le Figaro, published an interview with Syrian President Bashar Assad.
When is an inpatient in the hospital not an inpatient in the hospital? When that patient is on observation status. Patients who are termed on observation can have trouble getting Medicaid to pay if they need to go to a nursing home. The practice has sparked lawsuits and legislation.
Organ transplants have become a viable option for a growing number of patients. That has brought increased attention to legal, medical and ethical questions about who should be first in line for organs. Undocumented immigrants and others say they are left off waiting list due to lack of funds and inability to access government health care programs.

British Airways Adds Nonstop Flight To Austin

Starting in March, British Airways says it will begin nonstop service between London and Austin, Texas. The move comes as something of a surprise, given that the airline already serves Dallas and Houston.

Hawaii Tries To Get Off Oil In Favor Of Natural Gas

Fifteen percent of energy in Hawaii comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass. The rest comes mostly from pricey oil imports. The state now wants to switch from oil to natural gas as an interim fuel. But some worry the move could derail the state's green energy momentum.

The Last Word In Business

Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne have the Last Word in business.

Obama Considers Training Options For Syrian Rebels

As Congress debates the Obama administration's plans for military action in Syria, the White House is looking at broader options. The president may call on the U.S. military to help build up the Syrian opposition.

Congress Should Examine Fine Print When Voting On Syria

Potential U.S. military action in Syria has raised some big questions about the duty of the United States to intervene in other countries' affairs — as well as how the U.S. goes about such action. For some perspective, Steve Inskeep talks with novelist and Yale law professor Stephen L. Carter.

Las Vegas Gambles On Unique Business Incubator

The Downtown Contain Park will set up budding entrepreneurs in re-purposed shipping containers. The park will have 35 containers and a bunch of modular cubes like you'd normally see at a construction site — all to house local businesses.

For Biographers, The Past Is An Open (Electronic) Book

Biographers of Gandhi or Catherine the Great could rely on paper archives, but those days are fading fast. WNYC's Ilya Marritz reports that that old ways of digging up the past are changing as people rely more and more on electronic communication.

Is It Legal For Undocumented Immigrant To Practice Law?

Opponents argue that admitting Sergio Garcia to the bar would violate a federal law prohibiting entities funded with state money from granting undocumented immigrants professional licenses. The California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case on Wednesday.

Pew Study: More Americans Oppose Airstrikes On Syria

As congressional leaders line up behind President Obama's plan to strike Syria, a new poll from the Pew Research Center shows public opinion largely against even limited military action. Michael Dimock, director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, talks to Renee Montagne about the research.

Water Dispute Heightens Tensions Between U.S., Mexico

Mexico and the United States are supposed to share water according to a 70-year-old treaty that aims to protect each nation's needs. But prolonged drought is testing that relationship. Mexico is behind by 38 percent on its deliveries.

Pirates End Decades Of Losing Seasons

The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night for the team's 81st win of the season. That win guarantees the Pirates will not have a losing season this year — as it has since 1993.

Why Keep Athletes Eligible But Uneducated?

Each football season brings exciting plays and game heroes, but Frank Deford says the real heroes are often overlooked. He points to Mary Willingham, an educator who decided to speak up.

Latino Buying Power Gets Movie Studios' Attention

The Spanish language film Instructions Not Included was No. 5 at the box office over the Labor Day weekend. Movie studios are paying attention to Latino audiences because they buy a quarter of the movie tickets sold in the U.S.

Sen. McCain Caught Playing Poker During Syria Hearing

During the more than three hour hearing on Tuesday, Sen. John McCain started playing poker on his phone. A photographer for The Washington Post snapped the photo. McCain confessed on Twitter, and said, "Worst of all I lost."

UMass Breaks Record For Largest Fruit Salad

Incoming students at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst were greeted this week with 15,000 pounds of fresh fruit. It was the world's largest fruit salad — setting a Guinness record. It was served from a small swimming pool with shovels.
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