Morning Edition for Friday, September 20, 2013

House Nears Vote To Fund Government, Defund Obamacare

The Republican-controlled House is set to vote Friday on a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open for business through the middle of December. And the White House has already said if it makes it to the president's desk, he'll veto it. That's because the bill also would defund the Affordable Care Act.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are debating the budget, and another pressing issue: whether to raise the debt ceiling. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, told David Greene that those unresolved issues pose a risk to the global economy. On Monday, Morning Edition will air the interview with Lagarde.
Search and rescue efforts have slowed to a trickle in Colorado's flood-ravaged Front Range. The number of unaccounted for has fallen to around a hundred, while the number of presumed dead has grown to 10. After more than a week of flooding, the state faces massive challenges.

Pope Calls For 'New Balance' On Hot Button Social Issues

In an interview published Thursday, Pope Francis criticized the Catholic Church for being "obsessed" with anti-gay, anti-abortion and anti-contraception doctrine. He said the Church needs a "new balance" or it could "fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel."

German Voters Expected To Elect Merkel To Third Term

If she wins on Sunday, it will put German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the path to becoming the longest-serving female head of government in Europe. But the prospect of another four years with Merkel doesn't appeal to many Europeans outside Germany.
Under the proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency, new plants that run on coal would only be permitted to emit about half as much carbon dioxide as the average coal plant puts into the air today. Emissions from the electricity industry are already declining as utilities turn to natural gas and wind farms.

Cashing In On The Fantasy-Sports Economy

People paid $1.7 billion to play in fantasy leagues last year. Real businesses are springing up to try to profit from the fantasy economy.
Grand Theft Auto V took in more than $800 million in sales on its first day in stores. The edgy and violent adventure game series isn't just a hit with young men. A significant number of women play; though some of them are disappointed the new release doesn't feature prominent female characters.

Nation's Largest Mortgage Provider Downsizes

Wells Fargo has told 1,800 employees their services will no longer be needed in the bank's mortgage unit. The bank already cut more than 2,000 jobs in that unit last month. Wells Fargo cites lower demand for refinancing because of higher mortgage rates.

Why Companies And CEOs Rarely Admit To Wrongdoing

JPMorgan Chase revealed last year that some traders in London concealed losing $6 billion. The company has to agreed to pay $900 million in fines, but federal regulators also forced the bank to admit to wrongdoing. One analyst says admitting mistakes tarnishes your reputation.

Good Samaritan Could Get Unclaimed Lotto Jackpot In Spain

The cashier found the winning $6.3 million ticket last year and turned it in. He could claim the jackpot if authorities don't find the person who purchased it.

Hiroshi Yamauchi Dies At 85, Expanded Nintendo

In 1949, Hiroshi Yamauchi left school to take over Nintendo after his grandfather died. He made it a dominate force in the game industry. He retired as president in 2002. He died on Thursday in Japan.

After Shooting Tragedies, States React With Legislation

Mass shootings provoke sorrow and outrage, but what actually changes? Not much in Congress regarding gun safety laws, but it's been a busy year for firearm and mental health legislation in states.

Iran's New President Mounts A Charm Offensive

Hassan Rouhani ran on a promise of getting his country out from under the weight of sanctions, embargoes and other financial weapons from the West that have crippled that country's economy. Since taking office, he has been striking a more conciliatory note than his predecessor, especially toward the U.S. For more, Renee Montagne talks with Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Researchers find that winning and losing NFL games — and other major sporting events — not only causes fan to feel differently the day after the game, but to eat differently as well. Fans of losing teams eat significantly more saturated fat after suffering defeats, while fans of winning teams eat significantly lighter fare after victories.

Forging A Different Parenting Path

Dan Miller's father struggled to support a large family, and buckled under the poverty. That experience led Miller to choose to be a better father than the one who raised him.

Sudan Leader's Visa Request Puts U.S. In Diplomatic Bind

The president of Sudan wants to travel to New York next week to attend the United Nations General Assembly. But the U.S. doesn't want to grant that visa because he is accused of genocide. Renee Montagne talks to Colum Lynch, a reporter for The Washington Post and Foreign Policy magazine, about why this diplomatic issue.

Holder Makes Moral Argument Against Mandatory Sentences

Attorney General Eric Holder says the criminal justice system is broken. He spoke out on federal mandatory sentencing requirements in a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus on Thursday.
A media investigation revealed this summer that scores of female inmates received prohibited sterilization procedures in California prisons between 1997 and 2010. State lawmakers are now demanding an audit into the legally questionable tubal ligations, to find out if coercion was involved.

Visit Paris And Venice In The Same Afternoon (In China)

Chinese developers have been building communities that mimic European cities, believing they would be a big draw for the newly wealthy in China. But so far, the appetite for the homes has been modest.

Putin Defends Italy's Former Prime Minister Berlusconi

Former Italian Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi was convicted of paying for sex with a minor. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested Berlusconi was a victim of discrimination. He said Berlusconi was put on trial for living with women, and that prosecutors "wouldn't touch him if he were gay."

Part-Time Judge Picks Laughs Over The Law

Vince Sicari presided as a part-time judge in South Hackensack, N.J., until his moonlighting as standup comic and TV actor took center stage. Because some of his characters were racist and homophobic, the state ethics committee ruled that he had to choose. He appealed. New Jersey's Supreme Court also said choose, and Sicari resigned from the bench.
Find an archived Episode: