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At the beginning of his second term, President Obama invited Republicans to a series of fancy dinners, but he now seems to be giving up on his attempts to woo the GOP. Still, even if the White House had sustained its overtures, some question whether any amount of socializing could avert the latest budget crisis.

A court found former top Chinese official Bo Xilai guilty of corruption after one of the highest-profile political trials of recent years. Media coverage of the earlier court hearings transfixed audiences with details of murder, a love triangle, and lavish official life styles.

The U.S. poverty rate has remained at about 15 percent for the third year in a row. Despite signs of an improving economy, getting out of poverty continues to be a challenge for many Americans.

As Syria turns over its "initial declaration" of chemical weapons, President Bashar Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin have become partners with the U.S., argues Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic. Host Scott Simon talks to Goldberg about the foreign affairs strategy with Syria.

Brooklyn emerged as the big winner in New York City's mayoral primary. Republican candidate Joe Lhota and Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio both live there. That means New York will have a mayor from Brooklyn for the first time since the 1970s, and many hope it will shift power away from Manhattan.

A measure from the Republican-controlled House to temporarily fund the government while crippling the Affordable Care Act now goes to the Senate. But that chamber, controlled by Democrats, won't follow suit. And the clock is ticking toward a possible government shutdown.

The origin of the bagel "is somewhat mysterious," says a writer who recently explored the topic. What is unquestionable is that bagel met and married lox in New York. But as in so many modern unions, both partners came to the marriage with plenty of baggage.

Observers say the president's recent fumbles on Syria and other issues have emboldened Republicans. But President Obama's supporters say he has the upper hand when it comes to showdowns over a possible government shutdown and default on the nation's debt.

In the United States, 40 percent of the food produced annually goes to waste. Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe's, wants to do something about it. He's opening a restaurant that will transform produce past its sell date into healthful take-out food.

Congressional Republicans are trying to use budget deadlines to extract concessions from the president on his signature health care law. And they aren't alone in choosing this time to test the president's mettle — liberal Democrats have been pressuring Obama, too.

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