Morning Edition for Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Obama To Nominate Yellen To Lead Federal Reserve

The White House says President Obama will nominate Janet Yellen as the new head of the Federal Reserve Board. She has been a key player in the Fed's efforts to bring the economy back from the Great Recession. If confirmed, she would succeed Ben Bernanke.

Global Leaders Watch As U.S. Budget Drama Unfolds

President Obama traded barbs with Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday, but there was no sign that Congress is any closer to re-opening the federal government. At a news conference, Obama warned that the whole world is watching. It is, and so far the reviews aren't good.

Shutdown Messes With Government Workers' Finances

Communities across the nation are feeling the impact of the partial government shutdown. To learn more, Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep turn to Americans from all corners of the country to hear how they're coping with a closed government.
Steve Inskeep talks to syndicated conservative columnist George F. Will about the current partial government shutdown, and whether the strategies pursued by both sides are any different from previous such crises.

Booker Gets A Run For His Money In N.J. Senate Race

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is still in the lead in the race to fill the seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg. But Tea Party favorite Steve Lonegan is mounting an unexpectedly strong challenge to the Democrat.
Sisters Nagwa, Dina and May had always been close — until now. The political crisis in Egypt has ripped apart their relationships. One sister believes the Muslim Brotherhood is destroying the country; the other two are committed Islamists. It's a domestic tragedy that is playing out across Egypt.
Nearly 5,000 Iraqis have been killed so far this year in sectarian bombings and other terror attacks. Renee Montagne talks to Prashant Rao, the Baghdad bureau chief for AFP, the French Press Agency, which has been keeping a grim tally of the spiraling violence this year in Iraq.

Health Scares In China Hurt Yum Brands' Profits

The owner of KFC and Pizza Hut has reported a near 70 percent drop in profits this quarter. Yum Brands relies on operations in China for three quarters of its revenue. Recent food safety issues and a bird flu outbreak there hit the company especially hard.
So many customers have been napping on the beds in Ikea's Chinese stores that employees have begun to change the sheets daily. One store in Hong Kong invited its customers to wear their pajamas and sleep over. About 80 of them did.

Obama, Boehner Stake Out Positions On Shutdown

President Obama made his case for reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling at a White House news conference Tuesday afternoon. It was his first news conference in several weeks. House Speaker John Boehner spoke at the Capitol for about five minutes.
While the partial government shutdown continues, some federal workers are showing up for work because they are required to. Phil Glover is with the Council of Prison Locals, a federal prison employee union. Glover talks to Morning Edition's David Greene about how the government shutdown is effecting the Bureau of Prisons, correctional workers and his family.
An estimated 278 people in multiple states have been sickened by an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella linked to raw chicken. Despite stories suggesting otherwise, USDA says its work on the outbreak hasn't been hampered by the federal government shutdown. CDC is calling back about 30 furloughed staffers to help with its response.
The treatment would allow doctors to replace the genetic glitches in one human egg with healthy DNA from a donor egg. Ethicists are concerned because any changes to eggs or sperm could be passed on for generations to come.
Scientists who do research in Antarctica have just learned that the shutdown will effectively cancel all of their planned fieldwork on the icy continent this year. All research activities not essential to human safety and the preservation of property will be stopped.

3 Scientists Share 2013 Nobel Prize For Chemistry

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Wednesday announced that scientists Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel have won this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry. They were cited "for the development of the multiscale models for complex chemical systems."
While the rhetoric between Republicans and Democrats over ending the federal shutdown remains hot, some Republicans have talked about possible alternatives to demands that the Affordable Care Act be delayed a full year. But some Tea Party-backed Republicans are holding firm on that demand, including Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador. Renee Montagne talks to Labrador about the government shutdown debate, and how he thinks the impasse should be resolved.
Native American tribes are giving casinos a makeover, hoping added amenities like spas, golf courses and luxury hotels will attract visitors. Still, these ventures make 80 to 90 percent of their revenue from gambling, and experts say getting people on the gaming floor is key.
Commentator Frank Deford notices how often the European sports masterminds get it wrong, whatever the game. FIFA is dealing with problems with the 2022 World Cup. The Olympics — helmed by a series of Europeans — will be in Russia, where homophobia is enshrined in law. And then there's Formula One: run by an Englishman charged with bribery.
In these divisive times, CEO Howard Shultz is urging people to talk to one another. Starbucks is offering free coffee if you buy someone else a coffee. Think of it as subsidized conversation.

Chicago Company Aims To Popularize Electric Unicycle

Commute Connect wants the self-balancing, one-wheeled device to become a trend in the U.S. It's already popular overseas. The company's president has been riding around Chicago to drum up interest.
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