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4:08 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

What Happens If Congress Can't Make A Deal On The Debt?

A biker rides past the U.S. Capitol on Monday. Lawmakers are negotiating over plans to raise the federal debt ceiling amid warnings that the government soon won't be able to pay its debts in full.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 6:10 pm

If you don't pay your electric bill on time, you'll probably get charged a buck or two in interest. As long as you pay off the balance in a reasonable amount of time, your lights will stay on.

So why is it such a big deal that the Treasury Department may soon be unable to pay all of its bills on time?

U.S. Treasury securities are used as both currency and collateral for countless financial transactions around the world. Think dozens per minute.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

FISA Court: We Approve 99 Percent Of Wiretap Applications

A letter (pdf) released today by a special surveillance court clears up some misconceptions about legal oversight for government wiretap activities. Responding to a letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) and ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court says, yes, it's true, we do approve 99% of all wiretap applications.

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Code Switch
3:57 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Remembering The Woman Who Gave Motown Its Charm

Powell mentored Motown artists like Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and the Supremes. "Ladies dance with their feet, not their buttocks," she'd tell the girl groups.
Tony Ding AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:12 pm

In 2007, decades after Maxine Powell had retired from training a generation of black artists at Motown, a reporter from a Cleveland television station asked her whether anyone had been particularly difficult to work with.

Powell cut her off before she finished. "I don't have that," she said. "No one is difficult. Each person is a beautiful, unique human being. So if you have a problem and you're acting negative, you have been conditioned."

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Monkey See
3:33 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

What, Exactly, Is James Franco Doing?

James Franco has big plans, always.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 8:36 am

What is James Franco doing?

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The Salt
3:30 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Among The Shutdown Victims: The White House Kitchen Garden

Basil, tomatoes, peppers and lettuces grow in garden beds on the South Lawn of the White House. According to the site Obama Foodorama, the government shutdown has had a dramatic effect on the garden.
Eddie Gehman Kohan ObamaFoodorama.com

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 5:18 pm

The government shutdown has forced a lot of hard-working people into idleness. That includes most of the staff that tends the famed White House kitchen garden, according to Obama Foodorama.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Obama Awards Medal Of Honor To Afghan War Vet

President Obama gives former U.S. Army Capt. William Swenson the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:21 pm

Saying "America is grateful for you," President Obama awarded the nation's highest military honor on Tuesday to former Army Capt. William Swenson.

The Medal of Honor is the first given to an Army officer since the Vietnam War. President Obama said Swenson braved seven hours of continuous fighting, putting his life in danger multiple times to help fallen and wounded service members, as well as his Afghan partners.

NPR's Scott Horsley filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Obama called Swenson 'a remarkable role model for all of us.'

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Medicare Begins Open Enrollment, With An Online Caveat

An image taken from the Medicare website shows a message warning users that "information on this website may not be up to date," a situation blamed on the federal shutdown.
NPR

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:08 pm

The open enrollment for Medicare programs that began Tuesday will run into December. While the Medicare website doesn't have the problems found in the new federal health system's sites, the government shutdown means that information "may not be up to date," the site warns its users.

For Newscast, NPR's Julie Rovner reports:

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Alleged Top Al-Qaida Operative Pleads Not Guilty

This image from the FBI website shows Abu Anas al-Libi, who was captured in a U.S. operation on Saturday in Libya.
AP

The man the U.S. alleges is the top al-Qaida operative who orchestrated the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday at a Federal Court in Manhattan.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

"Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, also known as Abu Anas al-Libi, made his first court appearance in the U.S. Tuesday afternoon after being charged by federal prosecutors more than a decade ago.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Report: NSA Harvests Contact Lists From Email, Facebook

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:12 pm

The Washington Post has published new revelations about the National Security Agency's electronic snooping, indicating that the intelligence branch gathers millions of contact lists from personal email accounts and instant messaging around the world.

The new information is attributed by The Post to "senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden."

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Former San Diego Mayor Pleads Guilty To Criminal Charges

Mayor Bob Filner of San Diego speaks at a news conference in July.
Bill Wechter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:56 pm

Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty to three criminal charges on Tuesday that stem from allegations of sexual harassment by three unnamed women.

The Democratic mayor and nine-term congressman, if you remember, was forced to resign from his office after allegations of harassment mounted over the summer. Filner left office, declaring his innocence, saying his resignation was a "political coup," orchestrated by a "lynch mob."

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