Morning Edition for Tuesday, October 15, 2013

House Waits For Details On Senate Bipartisan Proposal

With the debt ceiling deadline looming just two days away, Senate leaders say they're close to a deal that would reopen the government and avert default. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have been leading bipartisan talks on a way out of the deadlock. Even if a bipartisan agreement clears the Senate, it will likely be a hard sell to House Republicans.
Steve Inskeep talks to Jonathan Chait, a commentator for New York magazine about how liberals are viewing the current budget negotiations in Congress, and if they might be willing to compromise on a deal.
The main opposition party in India has anointed Narendra Modi as its candidate for prime minister in next year's general election. Critics say Modi is a hardline Hindu nationalist who helped foment deadly anti-Muslim riots in 2002.

Is It Too Soon To Worry About Holiday Retail Sales?

The calendar says October, but retailers and economists are already analyzing the holiday shopping season. With budget battles gripping Washington and an economy that's still recovering, there are mixed feelings about how far shoppers will open their wallets.

Thieves Cash-In On Jewelry Heists

In the past few months, there have been a spate of high-profile jewelry heists. Experts say more than $100 million in jewelry thefts happen worldwide each year, placing a huge stress on insurance companies. The gems usually disappear into sophisticated international criminal networks — many of the jewels never again show up in their original form.
Two explorers have discovered more than a mile of caves underneath a glacier on Mt. Hood near Portland, Oregon. They suspect the beautiful formations account for a significant loss of the glacier's ice, and they have set out to measure how much the inside of the glacier is melting each year. It's dangerous work, but it could reveal that some glaciers in the Pacific Northwest are retreating faster than anyone realized.
Two NASA astronauts are on the International Space Station. While the agency is largely shuttered during the government shutdown, Karen Nyberg and Mike Hopkins are using Twitter to update earth-bound fans on what they're doing.

Burberry CEO To Leave For Job At Apple

Angela Ahrendts will oversee the expansion of Apple retail and online stores. It's a newly created position for Ahrendts, who will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Since taking over Burberry in 2006, Ahrendts has nearly tripled revenue for the company — known for its distinctive tartan patterns.
JPMorgan Chase says it will cover Social Security and Welfare payments for its customers if the government goes into default or the shutdown continues. The bank would almost certainly get its money back once Congress comes to an agreement.

A Company's Tweets Can Help Make It Creditworthy

Banks use credit scores and similar metrics to assess creditworthiness. A company called Kabbage that lends working capital to small businesses does some of that but also relies on unconventional measures, using real-time data from things like UPS shipments, eBay, Facebook and Twitter.

Art Buyers Didn't Know They Were Getting Banksy Cheap

A street vendor outside New York's Central Park sold eight prints by the mysterious British street artist who goes by the name Banksy. Some of Banksy's most recognizable works sold for just $60. Many of the pieces are estimated to be worth more than $30,000. It was part of a social experiment.
The question this time is not whether race can be a factor in college admissions, but rather whether state voters can ban affirmative action altogether by referendum. In 2006, Michigan voters did just that with a ballot initiative amending the state's constitution.

Talks Begin In Geneva On Iran's Nuclear Program

Negotiators from the U.S. and five other world powers expect Iran to outline how it can guarantee its program is for peaceful purposes — and not aimed at producing nuclear weapons. In exchange, Iranians hope for relief from economic sanctions.

Government Shutdown Delays Start Of Crab Season

Crabbing season in Alaska is supposed to start on Tuesday. But crabbers and their boats are stuck in port because they can't get the permits they need to begin work. Federal workers who issue those permits are off the job because of the partial government shutdown. David Greene talks to Tom Suryan, a crabbing boat captain, about how the federal shutdown is stalling the issuance of quota permits.
For farm families in Nebraksa, it's all hands on deck to bring in the corn harvest. And just one year after the worst drought in half a century, 2013 could be one of the biggest corn crops ever.
Homebuilders are finding there's a post-recession demand for bigger houses, and it's partly thanks to boomerang kids who can't find jobs and aging parents who can't afford to live alone anymore.

Ethnic Divisions In Russia Grow Sharper

Police in Moscow have been rounding up hundreds of migrant workers after an ethnic riot in the southern part of the city. Thousands of ethnic Slavic men rioted after an ethnic Slav was murdered — allegedly by a migrant from the North Caucasus region. Migrants from southern Russia and the Central Asian republics are routinely blamed for crimes in the Russian capital.

Silicon Valley Trailer Park Residents Fight To Stay

Amid skyrocketing real estate and rental prices, low-income families are fighting to stay put in order to access world-class public schools. One group of families battling the closure of Palo Alto's last mobile home park is getting help from a local PTA that values diversity.

Before Church Songbooks There Was 'Lined-Out' Singing

Hidden deep in the hills of Appalachia, there's a tradition of gospel singing that has not changed in 300 years. "Lined-out" singing is still practiced by congregations of the Old Regular Baptist Church. The song leader calls out a line and the people respond in a mournful, soaring chorus.
The ABQ Trolley Company has been taking people on tours of sites in the TV show Breaking Bad. You roll past the home of main character Walter White, or see the car wash where he made extra money before starting to cook meth.

Pa. Caterpillars Predict Wet, Cold Winter

Over the weekend, people in Lewisburg, Pa., gathered for a weather forecast from caterpillars. Woolly bear caterpillars are black, with a brown stripe down the middle. Folklore says the larger the stripe, the milder the winter.
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