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The Thursday deadline for raising the federal debt limit is fast approaching, but the government is still shut down. Host Michel Martin asks Sudeep Reddy of The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine's Rana Foroohar, if the U.S. is in a debt crisis.

A year after she was shot in head by the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala, and her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, talk with host Michel Martin about their hope for Pakistan's future.

Homebuilders are finding there's a post-recession demand for bigger houses, and it's partly thanks to boomerang kids who can't find jobs and aging parents who can't afford to live alone anymore.

Amid skyrocketing real estate and rental prices, low-income families are fighting to stay put in order to access world-class public schools. One group of families battling the closure of Palo Alto's last mobile home park is getting help from a local PTA that values diversity.

The question this time is not whether race can be a factor in college admissions, but rather whether state voters can ban affirmative action altogether by referendum. In 2006, Michigan voters did just that with a ballot initiative amending the state's constitution.

Banks use credit scores and similar metrics to assess creditworthiness. A company called Kabbage that lends working capital to small businesses does some of that but also relies on unconventional measures, using real-time data from things like UPS shipments, eBay, Facebook and Twitter.

JPMorgan Chase says it will cover Social Security and Welfare payments for its customers if the government goes into default or the shutdown continues. The bank would almost certainly get its money back once Congress comes to an agreement.

A small herd of genetically pure bison, free of cattle genes, have recently arrived at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in northern Montana. Some tribal members hail the bisons' arrival as a return of an important cultural heritage, but others, including native ranchers, say the new herd is unwelcome.

There's a lot of uncertainty in the air as harvest season gets into full swing across the Midwest. But this is a time of year when farm families come together to focus on the big task at hand.

In early July, a train carrying American crude oil derailed and exploded in the heart of a small Canadian village. The deadly accident in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, and its aftermath have triggered a wave of lawsuits and a sweeping review of rail safety standards in the U.S. and Canada.

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