Morning Edition for Thursday, October 17, 2013

Budget Process Isn't Over. Are More Shutdowns Ahead?

By wide margins in both the House and the Senate, Congress voted Wednesday night to end a 16-day partial government shutdown. The measure also delays the debt ceiling deadline until early February. House and Senate Budget committees have until Dec. 13 to reconcile competing budgets.

Government Workers Must Get The Wheel Turning Again

President Obama has signed legislation that ends the partial government shutdown and raises the U.S. debt ceiling. The Office of Management and Budget says federal employees should report to work Thursday. But it will take some time until all the agencies are back up to speed.
Weapons inspectors are still in Syria assessing the country's stockpile and how to destroy it. It's unclear where the weapons would go if they were sent abroad, but there are signs that such a move is under consideration.
The rollout of the health care exchange has been plagued by a host of technical problems. Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley likely would have approached the website differently from the beginning — one former startup employee says that has to do with how projects are funded.
Franchising is commonplace throughout the retail and service economy, whose pioneers included a former servant turned hair salon owner in the late 19th century. Such businesses are not for everyone, but Gary Robins, who owns dozens of Supercuts, says the setup has allowed him to grow more quickly than if he were on his own.
Standard & Poor's estimates the 16-day government shutdown cost the U.S. economy roughly $24 billion. Because of that, the credit rating agency says it is lowering its estimate for U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter to just over 2 percent.

Financial Markets React Positively To U.S. Debt Deal

Congress has approved an 11th-hour measure to end a partial government shutdown and pull the country back from the brink of a historic debt default. Now that a financial calamity has been avoided, how did overseas markets react?

Grandma Exodus: German Seniors Look To Poland For Care

A recent U.N. study rated Germany high in quality of life for seniors. Even so many Germans spend their final days in Eastern European countries like Poland where elder care is less expensive. The practice has some asking whether it's wrong to send loved ones far away to save money.
Vincent Graham operated a drug ring in England before police arrested him a couple of years ago. Upon his arrest, police also seized some of Graham's personal belongings: Jet skis, motorcycles, a Lamborghini and other luxury cars. Those are items that Graham will no longer need now that he's in prison.
Two weeks after shutting down the federal government and hours before the Treasury was at risk of defaulting on the nation's obligations, House Republicans relented and voted on a bill ending the twin fiscal crises. It was a vote Democrats had demanded for weeks. And it was almost a complete concession to President Obama who had insisted on both conditions before discussing anything with congressional Republicans.
Throughout the battle over the government shutdown and debt limit, President Obama kept reiterating: So long as Republicans were threatening a government default, there would be no negotiations. That strategy ultimately paid off for the White House. But it's not a strategy the president comes by naturally.
Solomon Northup was born a free man and lived the life of a respected musician until 1841, when he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. British director Steve McQueen's new film, starring British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, brings Northup's best-selling memoir to life in excruciating detail.
This is the 40th anniversary of the Arab Oil Embargo, which triggered a seven-year energy crisis. The results of the energy crisis are still with us — both in the political fault-lines in Washington and in the cars that are on our roads.

Why Democratic Rep. Israel Voted For Debt Bill

Renee Montagne talks to Representative Steve Israel of New York about the congressional deal that ended the partial government shutdown and addressed the debt ceiling. Israel is chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The Year Onyx's 'Slam' Crashed Pop Radio

In 1993 Onyx's raucous single became an unlikely hit on MTV and pop radio. The song was on the leading edge of a media change of heart.
Now that the government shutdown is over, federal workers have been ordered back on the job. In Washington D.C., there's been a visible increase in traffic.

Who Was First To Enjoy Frog Legs? France Or England?

Frog legs are famous for being a French delicacy. But an archaeological dig in southwest England indicates the delicacy was actually enjoyed by the English first — 8,000 years before they appeared in France. This will be a contentious claim, given the long standing rivalry between those countries.

Businessman Retaliates Against Ice Cream Truck Driver

A Swedish newspaper reports that a prominent businessman, Percy Nilsson who owns a hockey team, confessed to drilling holes in the tires of an ice cream truck. Nilsson said he was infuriated by the teenage driver blowing the horn. The driver admits to blowing the horn almost 100 times per hour.
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