This morning the New York City Opera announced that it was declaring bankruptcy and ceasing operations. Dubbed "The People's Opera" by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia when it was founded 70 years ago, the company was meant as an alternative to the richer Metropolitan Opera. It's the place where exciting young singers like Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo made their New York debuts and where innovative productions of new operas premiered.
One of the strictest gun laws in the nation went into effect in Maryland on Tuesday. The new law bans assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, and it makes Maryland one of only six states that require handgun purchasers to get fingerprinted and take gun safety courses.
Gun owners in the state aren't happy, and in recent weeks, they've been flocking to snap up firearms. On Monday, outside Fred's Sporting Goods in Waldorf, there was a huge crowd and a countdown sign advertising: "1 day left."
This week's government shutdown could be just a warmup for an even bigger budget battle in a couple of weeks.
Congress has to raise the limit on the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow by Oct. 17. If the debt ceiling is not raised on time, President Obama warns that Washington won't be able to keep paying its bills.
"It'd be far more dangerous than a government shutdown, as bad as a shutdown is," Obama said Tuesday. "It would be an economic shutdown."
Even as the Affordable Care Act's new health exchanges open for business, polls show the public is still pretty confused about how they're supposed to work.
The latest monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, in fact, found that two-thirds of those without insurance said they don't have enough information about the law to know how it will affect them.
Federal bureaucracies aren't the only ones scaling back operations during the government shutdown. It's also meant that kids couldn't take field trips to the Smithsonian.
In fact most of the popular Washington attractions funded by the government are closed. That includes the Smithsonian's 19 museums and the National Zoo, plus Ford's Theatre and the National Gallery of Art.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 2:50 pm
If you or your child has a school report due tomorrow, the Census Bureau site will not be available to help. Census.gov and its affiliates, like American FactFinder and online surveys, are offline as part of the federal government's shutdown. The same goes for the Federal Trade Commission's site, the Agriculture Department's USDA.gov and the Library of Congress' site, which can also be a rich resource of reference information.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:53 pm
If you're wondering how long the shutdown will last, well, don't hold your breath.
As of this writing, there are no indications that talks are underway â€” or even in the offing.
Indeed, the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected House legislation Tuesday morning calling for a House-Senate conference to try to settle the disagreement behind the first federal government shutdown in 17 years.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 2:09 pm
These days, many people wear their vegetarianism as a badge of honor â€” even if it's only before 6 p.m, as food writer Mark Bittman advocates. (Actually, he wants us to go part-time vegan.) There's even a World Vegetarian Day, which happens to be today, FYI.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 1:16 pm
Perhaps Congress can take a hint from these gentlemen:
The men in red shirts are World War II veterans, who traveled from Mississippi as part of an Honor Flight tour, which has been flying veterans to the National World War II Memorial in Washington since 2005, a year after the memorial opened.
This is the second story in our four-part series examining your digital trail and who potentially has access to it. It was co-reported by G.W. Schulz from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Yesterday, we examined how data can be collected as you go through your everyday life. Today we look at how data-tracking companies are monitoring your online behavior.
On this edition of All Songs Considered, host Bob Boilen has a confession: everything in the world is actually a dream in his mind. (Just listen to the podcast, it will make sense.) If that's true, co-host Robin Hilton is grateful that Bob has at least imagined some great new music. You'll hear some of it on this edition of the program, including rapper Danny Brown, Swedish electronic duo Jonsson & Alter, and the beautiful voice of singer Tom Brosseau.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:04 am
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took aim at Iran and its new president, Hasan Rouhani, in a speech at the United Nations Tuesday, saying that Iran is trying to fool the international community into easing sanctions on it, even as the country expands its nuclear program.
"Rouhani thinks he can have his yellowcake and eat it too," Netanyahu told the U.N. General Assembly, referring to yellowcake uranium, a concentrated form of the radioactive element.
Before Chris Matthews grilled politicians and their surrogates on his MSNBC show Hardball, he was a top aide to House Speaker Tip O'Neill, advising him on how to deal with the press. Now Matthews has written a new book drawing on those experiences, called Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked.
It's a look at how Speaker O'Neill and President Reagan managed to work together and reach compromise in spite of the fact that they disagreed not only on policy, but also on the role of government.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 11:17 am
Worldwide, roughly 1 in 8 people suffered from chronic hunger from 2011 to 2013, according to a new report from three U.N. food agencies.
They concluded that 842 million people didn't get enough food to lead healthy lives in that period, a slight drop from the 868 million in the previous report.
The modest change was attributed to several factors, from economic growth in developing countries to investments in agriculture. And in some countries, people have benefited from money sent home by migrant workers. But the gains were unevenly distributed, the report's authors say.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. My thanks to Celeste Headlee for sitting in for me on short notice. So today, the country woke up to the shutdown of the federal government. We've been hearing from you about how this is affecting you and your budgets and your families. We'll hear what you've been telling us and we'll hear from two of the business reporters we turn to often to find out what they're hearing about the long and short-term impact on the country. That's in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 10:34 am
Scientists are reasonably sure that it's a cloudy day on Kepler-7b, a planet that orbits its star about 1,000 light-years away from us.
Using NASA's orbiting space telescopes, researchers publishing in Astrophysical Journal Letters say that for the first time they've been able to make a rudimentary map of the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet.
The team used faint visible light and infrared reflections from Kepler-7b to make their cloud map.
The quartet on jazz bassist Dave Holland's new album Prism is more electrified, and usually louder, than bands he's led before. Some reviewers see its music coming out of his early work with the electrified Miles Davis, but the parallel doesn't go far. Holland played bass guitar with Davis, not his usual bass violin. Plus, early electric Davis was gloriously unruly, while Holland loves the elegance of interlocking rhythm cycles, wheels within wheels.