Government
4:42 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Durbin calls gridlock ‘political cowardice’

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin calls the gridlock in Washington over the federal government’s debt limit and the partial shutdown acts of “political cowardice.”  The Illinois Democrat says it’s dangerous for lawmakers to be negotiating this close to the start of a federal default.  Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Durbin said lawmakers must come to an agreement as soon as possible.

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Redefining Rock Bottom: Another Scary Poll For Congress

Cloudy skies shroud the Capitol on Monday. Congress is at an impasse as Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over the crises gripping the nation.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:03 pm

It's one of the oldest axioms in politics: Voters always say they want to "throw the bums out," except when it comes to their own representative. That's why the re-election rate for House members is typically over 90 percent.

Heading into the 2014 midterms, that long-standing rule appears to be holding true. But against the backdrop of the federal government shutdown, a potential default and general dysfunction in Washington, there are signs it's reaching a straining point.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Fitch Places U.S. Under Review For A Credit Downgrade

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:58 am

Fitch Ratings, one of the big three credit ratings agencies, issued a warning shot today, saying that while it affirmed the United States' AAA credit rating, it was placing it on "rating watch negative."

In other words, it was placing the country's long-term credit rating under review for a potential downgrade.

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Feel Old Yet? Roddick And Blake Will Play On Senior Circuit

James Blake addresses the crowd during an interview with Mary Joe Fernandez after losing on day three of the 2013 U.S. Open.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 5:25 pm

Neither of them is over 35 years old. One of them played in ATP World Tour events just months ago; the other did so last year. But none of that will keep recently retired tennis players Andy Roddick, 31, and James Blake, 33, from joining a circuit of senior players.

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Government
4:34 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Quinn meeting with pension committee members

Governor Pat Quinn went months without meeting with members of the special legislative committee formed to draft a new pension plan.  But he has ramped up efforts this month.

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Code Switch
4:03 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Is Pitbull 'Mr. Education'? Rapper Opens Charter School In Miami

Pitbull is one of a growing list of celebrities who have opened their wallets or given their names to charter schools.
Jeff Daly AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:52 am

Rapper Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez) is the latest in a long list of celebrities lending their star power to the flourishing charter school movement. Alicia Keyes, Denzel Washington, Shakira, Oprah — all support or sponsor charter schools.

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Europe
4:02 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Moscow Suburb Riot Shows Russia's Tense Ties With Migrants

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 5:12 pm

Authorities in Moscow have rounded up more than 1,600 migrant workers after an ethnic riot took place over the weekend. Russian nationalists and soccer hooligans attacked a market area in a gritty industrial suburb of Moscow that's home to many migrant workers from the North Caucasus. The riot broke out after police announced that they were searching for a North Caucasian man suspected in the stabbing death of a young, ethnic Slav man. The situation highlights Russia's immigration problem — the country needs migrant labor, but fears what it perceives as foreign influence.

Music Interviews
3:45 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

What Makes Paul McCartney Nervous?

Paul McCartney's latest album, New, is out now.
Mary McCartney Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 7:05 pm

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Shots - Health News
3:20 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Bioethicists Give Hollywood's Films A Reality Check

Directors and bioethicists hashed out how moral medical issues should be depicted on screen during a meeting in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Colin Crowley

A life-threatening pandemic occurs. You're a doctor in the ER and can save a 9-year-old or a 63-year-old doctor. Whom do you choose? How do you choose?

Questions like that can crop up in real life and also on the silver screen. So how good a job do filmmakers do at portraying these moral dilemmas? Some do fairly well, but there's also room for improvement.

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The Two-Way
3:00 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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