Morning Edition for Friday, October 18, 2013

Conference Committee Charged With Budget Compromise

One of the two items Republicans can claim credit for in the fiscal deal is the agreement for House and Senate negotiators to meet in a budget conference committee. But what happens if this committee does not produce a result by its December 13th deadline? Probably nothing. There is no consequence beyond having to abide by spending levels already set by the 2011 debt-limit deal — a level Republicans say they want to preserve, anyway.
After last month's disastrous floods, much of the recovery has focused on repairing roads and bridges to mountain towns. But a whole new set of staggering problems unfolds for the immigrant workers who had flocked to agricultural jobs in Colorado farm country.
The Kennedy School of Government in Boston is where aspiring politicians and civil servants prepare for a life in politics. How has the recent government shutdown impacted students' thinking about their future?

Saguaro National Park Welcomes Return Of Visitors

Now that the partial government has ended, National Parks are being reopened. On Thursday, rangers at Saguaro National Park in Arizona let visitors in to bike and hike the trails. Open during the shutdown was the sector headquarters for the Border Patrol in Tucson.
In Philadelphia, tourists in line to see the Liberty Bell are happy the partial government shutdown is over. But they are not looking forward to the possibility of another debt ceiling showdown early next year.

Declining Gas Prices Pump Up A Shaky Economy

The federal shutdown had economists worried, but consumers have had something to smile about. Gasoline prices are the lowest in three years — under $3 a gallon in some places. Analysts credit greater supplies, lower demand, the easing of Middle East tensions and even a slow hurricane season.

The Whitest Historically Black College In America

Bluefield State College in Bluefield, WV, is 90 percent white. Its alumni association is all0black, and it still gets federal money as a historically black institution.
The new movie The Fifth Estate wants to create a viable portrait of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. It dramatize the complex moral questions his work raises, and blend those themes with the personal dramas that are Hollywood's bread and butter.

AOL Takes No. 1 Spot For Online Video Ads

AOL, an online company many had given up for dead, is making a comeback. It recently acquired Adap.TV, a company that automates the purchase of video ads. And in September, it topped Google in one category: it had the most video ads watched, with 3.7 billion views.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Apple hired Burberry's CEO Angela Ahrendts to revive its network of Apple stores. Those stores used to provide unique, highly efficient customer service but are struggling now because of competition from other computer stores that have adopted Apple's retail business model.

Van Halen Sues Over Use Of Band's Name

The rockers accuse Kelly Van Halen, ex-wife of Alex, of exploiting her famous last name to promote her own interior design business and kids clothing line.

After Shutdown Dust Clears, Where Does Boehner Stand?

Weeks after vowing that House Republicans would not capitulate to President Obama's demands for "clean" bills reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling, Speaker John Boehner led his caucus in doing exactly that. Only about a third of Republicans voted "yes" on the bill with Boehner, but Boehner's standing among Tea Party conservatives in his caucus may have actually improved.
While Republicans failed to undo any part of Obamacare before reopening the government and lifting the debt ceiling, their detest for the program is unchanged. One manifestation is a quiet movement to oust Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

'Carrie' Had The Power, But Mom Had The Scary Going On

Stephen King's novel Carrie gets a big-screen update, complete with prom pranks, buckets of blood and a mother you might not want to take anybody home to meet. NPR's Elizabeth Blair takes a look at a character she remembers being terrified by when Piper Laurie played her in the 1976 film.

'Glee' To End Next Season

The hit show airs on Fox, and co-creator Ryan Murphy announced that the sixth season will be the last for the show.

Best Friends, Sharing 'Two Sides Of The Same Heart'

Starr Cookman and Kylee Moreland Fenton have been the closest of friends for decades. The pair grew even closer when Starr's infant son seemed ill. It's because of Kylee's insistence, Starr says, that 8-day-old Rowan received the heart surgery that saved his life.

Nigerian Civilians Caught In Crackdown On Islamists

Amnesty International says more than 950 people have died in military detention in Nigeria, as the government fights an Islamist insurgency. Civilians are increasingly becoming targets of the Islamists — and many local people say they are more frightened of government soldiers than the insurgents.

I Loaned $999.78 To The Federal Government*

I bought a Treasury bill on Tuesday, before Congress made the debt-ceiling deal. It was unclear whether I would get paid back on time.
Alan Greenspan was often celebrated during his long chairmanship of the Federal Reserve. But Greenspan's policies have been blamed by some for the Great Recession. In an interview with NPR about his new book, The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting, Greenspan discusses difficulties in predicting economic calamity.
John Grisham is returning to the world of his first novel, A Time To Kill, with a new sequel called Sycamore Row. The book comes out at the same time as the stage adaptation of A Time to Kill opens on Broadway. NPR's Lynn Neary profiles Grisham, who says he loved writing the new book so much, he didn't want to hand it to the publisher.

National Zoo's Panda Cam Is Back

The camera feed was down for 16 days while the federal government was closed. When the site resumed, the panda had gained two pounds.
Even after sending home nearly all its staff during the shutdown, the Chicago office of the Environmental Protection Agency managed to detect a potentially toxic substance. A 16-year-old can of Campbell's soup was discovered in a refrigerator there.
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