When it comes to political deal-making, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert speaks from experience.
"I always had a feeling whenever I had to negotiate ... you really needed to make sure that you knew where the hole in the box was, so if you got in there, you could get out of it again," says the Illinois Republican, who was speaker from 1999 until 2007.
Hastert tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that he can't say whether House Republicans now have themselves in a box in the government shutdown fight because "we don't know what the end of this thing is yet."
As the war in Afghanistan enters its 13th year, the political and security situation there remains precarious. But the country is hoping to reach a milestone next spring: the first democratic transfer of power in the country's history.
And there's no shortage of candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai — who is barred from running for a third term.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 8:17 pm
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill today that would have made California the first state in the country to allow non-citizens to serve on juries.
"Jury service, like voting, is quintessentially a prerogative and responsibility of citizenship," Brown wrote in a veto message. "This bill would permit lawful permanent residents who are not citizens to serve on a jury. I don't think that's right."
Credit DEA Picture Library / De Agostini/Getty Images
Detail of the central compartment of The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, completed in 1432 by Jan van Eyck, where pilgrims gather to pay homage to the lamb of God. Many art historians interpret the painting's fountain as a symbol of eternal life.
A majority of Americans from all walks of life believe in life after death. Yet conversations about the afterlife — from what it might look and feel like to who else one may find there — often remain highly personal ones, shared with family members, clergy or others who share one's faith.
To better understand how many Americans conceive of the afterlife, All Things Considered has spoken with leaders from different faith traditions on their views on life after death.
It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.
That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 7:15 pm
As the seventh day of the federal government shutdown wraps up, Congress and the White House appear no closer to reaching a budget agreement.
Without much action Monday, a slew of newly released polls filled the news vacuum. While they showed that both parties are taking a hit over the shutdown, it appears Republicans are bearing the brunt of the blame from the American public.
Curing cancer and eliminating heart disease has been the holy grail of medical research. But there could be even greater benefits if aging itself could be delayed, a study finds.
This is not quite as farfetched as it sounds. While the anti-aging "cures" being marketed these days are largely snake oil, in the laboratory scientists have managed to extend the lives of laboratory animals. And they have a better understanding of the mechanisms of biological aging.
The federal government remains shut down over a budget stalemate, but California's Gov. Jerry Brown decided not to wait for Congress to make decisions on the Gordian knot that is U.S. immigration policy. On Saturday, Brown signed into law a group of bills related to immigration because, he said, enough time has passed.
"While Washington waffles on immigration, California's moving ahead," Brown stated. He added, with trademark bluntness, "I'm not waiting."
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 8:36 pm
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been cleared in a scandal over the finances of his 2007 presidential campaign. The examining magistrates' decision to dismiss the case may clear the way for a return to politics for Sarkozy.
"I am delighted about this decision, which I expected," said Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, after the announcement, the AP reports. The news agency adds, "After leaving a private meeting on Monday at the main Paris mosque, Sarkozy nodded to cameras but did not speak to journalists."
The government is just 10 days away from defaulting on its debt. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that by Oct. 17, the department will likely have less money on hand than it needs to pay all its bills.
"The reality is that if we run out of cash to pay our bills, there is no option that permits us to pay all of our bills on time, which means that a failure of Congress to act would for the first time put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations as a government," Lew said on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.
Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani advocate for girls education who was shot in the head by the Taliban, attends a conversation with the United Nations Secretary General Ban-ki Moon and other youth delegates.
Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announces her candidacy for a second term in August, with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (from left), Govs. Rick Perry of Texas, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:23 pm
The federal government shutdown has given governors across the country an opportunity to take part in one of their favorite pastimes: scolding Washington.
Among Republicans, though, there appears to be some disagreement over exactly who's to blame for the latest budget impasse.
One camp of GOP governors — often those in blue states or with national ambitions (if not both) — has largely chastised all parties involved. They're eager to distance themselves from Washington and portray themselves as results-oriented "outsiders."