National

National Security
5:17 am
Thu October 3, 2013

NSA Head Admits Testing U.S. Cellphone Tracking

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Top U.S. intelligence officials are now warning about the threat to security posed by the partial federal shutdown. It is now idling most of the civilian workforce in the intelligence community. This follows an earlier warning to Congress about limiting their ability to monitor phone and data traffic.

That plea began during a Senate hearing about possible changes to intelligence laws, as NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

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Politics
5:17 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Why A Handful Of Hard-Liners Has A Hold On Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner speaks to the media after a meeting with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

To understand House Speaker John Boehner's role in the government shutdown, you have to understand the 30 or so House Republican hard-liners and his relationship with them.

It's an uneasy one at best.

"Listen, we've got a diverse caucus," was how Boehner put it in mid-September, shortly after the 30 forced him to ditch his original plan for a temporary government funding bill.

"Whenever we're trying to put together a plan, we've got 233 members — all of whom have their own plan," he said. "It's tough to get them on the same track. We got there."

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Politics
4:14 am
Thu October 3, 2013

National Parks Close As Other Public Lands Stay Open

The road to Lee's Ferry, Ariz., is blocked by barricades and national park rangers. Lee's Ferry is the launching point for river trips down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park.
Scott Lee NPR

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

From Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah to the North Cascades in Washington, America's 401 national park areas have gates blocking entrance roads.

The last remaining campers and hotel guests in the parks must leave Thursday, and park rangers will patrol to keep others out.

The national parks "belong to the American people, and the American people should have the right to come in," says National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. "But the only way I can protect these places during this period is to shut them down."

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Shots - Health News
3:07 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Back To Work After A Baby, But Without Health Insurance

People get information on California's health exchange at a table at Union Station in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the exchange's opening day.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 9:13 pm

Pardit Pri had health insurance until she decided to quit her job as a legal administrative assistant and stay home with her newborn son 20 months ago. She thought she'd have coverage by now. But it didn't work out that way.

"I knew that I wasn't going to be working for a while because I decided to stay home with my son, and I thought ... 'OK, fingers crossed. Nothing will happen during that time,' " she says, as she plays with her son in their Orange County, Calif., apartment.

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It's All Politics
3:05 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Reid's Tough Tactics In Shutdown Drama Draw Notice

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pauses outside the West Wing of the White House after meeting Wednesday with President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

As the leader of Senate Democrats, Harry Reid has been in a lot of fights — but this one may be different, in that Reid has drawn a line.

Throughout the weeks leading up to the shutdown, through four votes in the Senate with not a single defection from the Democratic caucus, and once again after the meeting at the White House, Reid has rejected any of the changes in the Affordable Care Act that House Republicans have demanded as a condition for funding the federal government.

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Around the Nation
3:05 am
Thu October 3, 2013

While Others Underfunded Pensions, Milwaukee Held Firm

Bill Averill, 62, has retired from the City of Milwaukee assessor's office and is collecting his pension. Milwaukee's fund is consistently rated as one of the best-performing in the country.
Erin Toner WUWM

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

After more than two decades in city government, Bill Averill has a pretty impressive mental inventory of Milwaukee real estate. He started in the city assessor's office when he was 34, after leaving a private sector job that paid better but had no retirement benefits.

"That was one of the main reasons I went to work for the City of Milwaukee," he says. "And so I knew the pension at some time, way out in the future, would be a benefit to me."

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All Tech Considered
3:02 am
Thu October 3, 2013

The Man Behind The Shadowy Illicit Drug Market, Silk Road

A screen grab from a December 2012 StoryCorps interview with Ross Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind of the online marketplace known as Silk Road.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

It's not every day federal authorities get to bust a case like this. It involves millions of dollars, illicit drugs and a would-be assassin, all of which allegedly were bought and sold on the Internet, in a shadowy online marketplace known as the Silk Road. On Tuesday, federal authorities shut down that site and arrested 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht, the man they say is its mastermind.

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Shots - Health News
2:59 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Small Businesses May Find Insurance Relief In Exchanges

An employee of Covered California works in the newly opened call center in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Covered California is the state's new health insurance exchange.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 2:11 pm

Walk down the carpeted hallways of Westwind Media in Burbank, Calif., and it's common to hear the odd explosion, the hum of traffic or a burst of gunfire.

It's here in these edit bays that small feature films and TV dramas like the ABC hits Grey's Anatomy and Scandal and CBS's Person of Interest get primped and polished for prime-time viewing.

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The Government Shutdown
6:57 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Some Are Benefiting From The Government Shutdown

Rasim Akin Sevimli of Turkey tries to peer through the glass of the closed Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on Tuesday — his only chance to see the museum before leaving Washington, D.C.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:52 pm

Among the temporary casualties of the government shutdown, besides the paychecks of 800,000 workers, are all federally funded tourist attractions.

Sure, it's a bummer for those who planned vacations around the Smithsonian museums and galleries, national parks and national monuments (although barricades didn't stop some veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Tuesday).

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It's All Politics
6:45 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutdown Diary: Day 2

Anti-shutdown protesters in Los Angeles may have had enough of the budget crisis, but it appears to be far from over.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 9:12 pm

Wednesday's Highlights:

White House

Day 2 of the federal government shutdown found President Obama summoning congressional leaders to the White House to urge House Republicans to pass legislation to reopen agencies and raise the debt ceiling to avoid a first-ever default by the U.S. (Nothing was resolved; here's the story.)

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