Morning Edition for Thursday, October 10, 2013

GOP Group Warns Debt Limit Fuss Is A Lot Of Hype

Amid all the warnings from the financial community about the dangers of defaulting on the national debt, there is a small band of Republicans who wonder if defaulting would be so bad. While small in number, they are influential within the Tea Party faction that has driven the current fiscal crisis.
Whatever happens to a the global economy, one thing is clear: If the U.S. defaults, people all over the world who have loaned the government money won't get paid on time.
The European Commission is calling on the European Union to launch a Mediterranean-wide search and rescue mission to intercept boats carrying migrants. Earlier this month, a boat filled with African migrants caught fire and sank off the coast of an Italian island.

Mala Rodriguez And The Women Of Latin Hip-Hop

The genre has some of the most creative, politically savvy, intelligent female personalities in the industry, made by artists as different as Chile's Ana Tijoux, who melts and reworks the Spanish language like a blacksmith, and Dominican-Spanish Arianna Puello, she of the machine gun delivery.
About half a million federal workers remain furloughed because of the congressional budget impasse that's keeping the government partially shut down. The closure has entered its tenth day. Contractors that feed off government spending are also feeling the pinch.
When politicians say that small businesses are key to job growth, what most people imagine are mom-and-pop shops — the dry cleaner or coffee place. It may make a good sound bite, but research shows that most small businesses stay small. Only a fraction of these do grow into something big.

Kidnapped Libyan Prime Minister Freed By Captors

The Libya State News Agency has announced Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been freed. Earlier it was reported that gunmen kidnapped him from a hotel in Tripoli where he resides. The abduction came amid anger among Libya's powerful Islamic militant groups over the U.S. special forces raid that seized a Libyan al-Qaida suspect.

Fidelity Sells Short-Term U.S. Government Debt

Fidelity Investments has sold all of its short-term U.S. government debt. That limits losses for the country's largest manager of money market mutual funds should the U.S. Treasury run out of money on Oct. 17.
Mobile advertising nearly tripled in first half of year — reaching $3 billion, according to a report released Wednesday. Advertisers have been trying to find ways to adapt to the mobile environment.

What Ever Happened To The Deal To Save The Everglades?

In 2008, Florida announced the largest land sale in the state's history — to buy hundreds of miles of Everglades land owned by U.S. Sugar. But only a small fraction was acquired. Now, environmental groups are lobbying for the deal's revival before a contract giving the state an exclusive option to buy expires.

Man Mows Lawn Around Lincoln Memorial During Shutdown

Because of the partial government shutdown, most of the monumental core in Washington, D.C. is not being maintained. But on Wednesday, Chris Cox of South Carolina bought an old lawn mower and a leaf blower and got to work.
The partial government shutdown has forced the Pentagon to delay payments to the families of troops killed while serving in the U.S. military. Normally these families would receive a $100,000 payment three days after the death of member of the Armed Forces. More than 20 have died since the shutdown began. A private, non-profit group called the Fisher House Foundation will pay the death benefits during the shutdown.
Laura and John Arnold of Houston have pledged up to $10 million to keep the Head Start program running in six states. The preschool program for children from low-income families abruptly closed in some areas last Friday because of a lack of funding.
A partial federal shutdown has prompted angry debate nationwide. Sen. Michael Bennet, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, tells Steve Inskeep that on the budget impasse issue, "The divide between Democrats and Republicans is less than the divide that exists in the Republican Party."

U.S. Delays Egyptian Aid Over Democracy Issue

The Obama administration is holding up hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt until that country gets back on a path toward democracy. Egypt has been a major recipient of U.S. aid for decades, and officials say these are not permanent changes.

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: On Heroism

NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast for Morning Edition's series Word of Mouth. For this installment, Brown talks about three must-reads that are all about the mettle and mindset of those we end up calling heroes.

Ex-Detroit Mayor To Be Sentenced On Corruption Charges

Kwame Kilpatrick faces sentencing on 24 corruption convictions, including racketeering. Federal prosecutors say Kilpatrick so abused the public trust that he helped push Detroit into bankruptcy and deserves a sentence of 28 years to life in prison.
For two and a half years, Syria has been at war with millions of civilians on the move. U.N. agencies tracking the exodus say about three quarters of the children forced to flee their homes are under the age of 11. A team of child psychologists in Amman, Jordan, make house calls to address the needs of families who do not live in refugee camps.
When the Nobel Prize for literature is announced, there are some writers who automatically know they didn't make the short list. Some popular writers who make a lot of money believe there is a conspiracy against non-literary writers.

Verdi's Operas: A Vigorous Soundtrack To Human Nature

On the bicentennial of the composer's birth, his music seems keenly suited to our triumphs and our failures. His operas may star dukes, prostitutes or court jesters, but they are all packed with vital insights into human nature.

Hawaiian Company Adds Spam Flavored Macadamia Nuts

The Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company says the new Spam flavoring is meat free. Good news for any Spam loving vegetarians out there. President Richard Schnitzler said Spam has a cult following in Hawaii.

Colorado Ethics Watch To Get To The Bottom of Free Pot

Some people in Colorado opposed a measure to tax marijuana, which is now legal. Opponents of the pot tax have been giving away free joints at their campaign events. Ethics Watch says somebody is paying for the weed, and says tax opponents should disclose who made the contribution.
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