Morning Edition for Monday, October 21, 2013

Cruz Takes Center Stage, Drawing Cheers And Jeers

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz spearheaded the drive to shut down the government by trying to defund the Affordable Care Act. The GOP's image has taken a hit because of that effort, but Cruz is more popular than ever among Tea Party and conservative voters.

Where Does The GOP Go From Here?

Renee Montagne talks to Molly Ball of The Atlantic about fractures within the Republican Party and the future of the GOP after the shutdown.

Inside 'Murdoch's World': A Peek Into A Media Empire

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's vast empire encompasses everything from newspapers to television networks to tabloids. Steve Inskeep talks with NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik about his new book, Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires.

Turning A Page Inside A Rural One-Room Library

In a sleepy town in the Ozarks, population 300, one woman is trying to turn the local public library into a hub for learning. She's one of thousands of librarians around the country working to bring a sense of community to isolated areas.
Earlier this year premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, became a recognized mental disorder. But not everyone is convinced that's a good idea. Some researchers worry that medicalizing this severe form of PMS could be used against women, even though only a small percentage of women meet the criteria.

Britain Signs Deal For Two New Nuclear Reactors

The British government has announced plans to build two new nuclear reactors in southwest England. The agreement is worth nearly $26 billion. The deal is the first of its kind since Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 — and the first new British nuclear power station in two decades.
Adams managed to turn his failure at office work into a gigantic success — a syndicated comic strip about a hapless, cubicle-bound engineer. In his new book, How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big, Adams offers some sage advice such as: "Goals are for losers."

Madame Tussauds Owner Plans Stock Sale

Gold prices have cooled from their record highs, but now you can invest in an up-and-coming commodity: wax! Merlin Entertainments, which owns Madame Tussauds wax museums, announced Monday that it plans an initial public offering.
The Obama administration projected that within the first month of open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, half a million individuals or families would sign up. Nearly three weeks in, the actual number of enrollments looks to be much smaller. Technical issues have been a big factor.

Obama To Address Health Care Website Problems

President Obama delivers a statement Monday about the technical issues consumers have been experiencing in signing up online for health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Steve Inskeep talks to NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson for a look ahead at the president's remarks and a sense of what the political impact has been so far.
If you want to watch MTV, you have to pay for ESPN, even if you don't like sports. TV viewers often complain their expensive bills include packages of channels that are bundled together. Now, Canada's government is requiring cable companies to change their pricing system. But that's unlikely to happen in the U.S.

New Cable Channels Try To Lure Millennials Back To TV

Three brand-new cable channels all share exactly the same problem: How do you wrench the eyeballs of 20-somethings away from their gadgets and toward old-fashioned regular TV?

Ranchers Worry As Demand For Sheep Declines

Over the last 20 years, the number of sheep in the U.S. has been cut in half. Today, the domestic sheep herd is one-tenth the size it was during World War II. Consumers are eating less lamb and using less wool these days. Those trends have left ranchers to wonder: When are we going to hit bottom?

What To Know About The Tentative JPMorgan Deal

JPMorgan has reached a tentative $13 billion settlement with the Department of Justice over its questionable mortgage practices leading up to the U.S. financial crisis. Renee Montagne talks to NPR business correspondent Chris Arnold about what's known so far about the terms of the deal.

Air The StoryCorps Theme, Cue The Tears

At its core, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay says, the project is about letting people know their lives matter and won't be forgotten. The result often means that listeners have a good cry on their way to work. As the oral history project marks its 10th anniversary, NPR will be revisiting some of your favorite stories.

TLC: A Girl Group's 20 Years Of Ups And Downs

The surviving members of the R&B trio talk with NPR's David Greene about the trials and successes of their careers, which have spanned two decades. The group's journey will be revisited in an upcoming biopic, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.

How Did The Chicken Cross The Road? In Style

We all know why the chicken crossed the road. Now, a new product wants to make sure they get to the other side safely. As chickens become more popular as pets, the British company Omlet is selling high-visibility chicken jackets — tiny fluorescent safety vets for when they're on the streets.

Scary Halloween Display Prompts Police To Get Involved

Police say a British man took Halloween decorating too far. He decorated his front yard to raise money for cancer research, but his display — inspired by the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre — terrified neighborhood children. It included a mock dismembered corpse.
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