Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:19 am
The federal government shutdown is now in its second week, and one big reason for the division in Washington is the growing divide between different kinds of voters back home. Those differences make news on Election Day, but they're visible every day.
Members in both parties find less and less common ground, in part because their constituents have such contrasting notions of government's proper role. And those contrasting visions often coincide with contrasting lifestyles — evident in many of the choices they make.
Among the casualties of the federal government shutdown is the U.S. Botanic Garden, which has been closed since Oct. 1.
As the government shutdown began, the final official act of many furloughed office workers was to grab their plants so they could care for them at home. That raised a question in Washington: Who would look after the Botanic Garden's plants?
This week, All Things Considered is talking with leaders from different faiths about their perspectives on the afterlife. NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Mufti Asif Umar, a Muslim scholar and imam of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, about what Muslims believe and about his own beliefs.
Umar, the 29-year-old son of Indian immigrants, said Muslims believe that when a person dies, two angels appear and ask that person three questions about his or her faith. Those questions, Umar says, have correct answers.
The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has all sorts of costs — not only in the United States, but also overseas. President Obama had to cancel a trip this week to visit four nations in Asia so he could stay in Washington to deal with the political crisis. That has disappointed — even worried — some of America's friends in the region, who are counting on the United States to stand up to an increasingly assertive China.
The disappointment over the president's no-show in Asia was palpable.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a health alert warning that an estimated 278 illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg are associated with raw chicken produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.
Accused al-Qaida leader Anas al-Libi is being questioned in U.S. military custody on a Navy Ship, even as questions rise about the laws under which he was captured and is being held.
The U.S. Army’s Delta Force conducted raids in Somalia and in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, over the weekend, capturing al-Libi, who is suspected of masterminding the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said al-Libi was a “legal target,” and added that the raids show that terrorists who attack American interests “can run but they can’t hide.”
A bomb exploded Monday near a group of polio vaccinators in Peshawar, killing at least two policemen, The New York Timesreported. Since December, at least 20 polio workers have been killed in similar assaults.
Such violence has threatened the global effort to stamp out the disease in the three countries where the virus is still endemic — Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:49 am
Iran and Israel are at it again, but at least it's not the nuclear issue. This time it's jeans.
It started last week when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told BBC's Persian TV that "if the Iranian people had their way, they'd be wearing bluejeans; they'd have Western music; they'd have free elections."
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:16 pm
Almost 1 in 10 high school and college-aged people have forced someone into sexual activity against his or her will, a study finds. The majority of those who have done it think that the victim is at least partly to blame.
The results come from a multiyear study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was designed to look for the roots of adult sexual violence. Most adult perpetrators say they first preyed on another while still in their teens.