Billions in damages and not enough in the bank account — that's where federal officials find themselves in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The White House says it will send an emergency funding request to Capitol Hill this week — expected to be $50 billion to $60 billion. Top administrators told Congress on Wednesday that they want at least some of that money to go toward preventing the kind of devastation caused by Sandy and other recent storms.
Tax increases are only a part of what lies ahead if Congress can't come to an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff by the new year. Massive spending cuts will also kick in — and those cuts will be felt throughout the economy.
The current stalemate got under way two years ago when Congress, locked in a bitter partisan battle over whether to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, passed what was known as the Budget Control Act of 2011.
Lyndon Johnson, then the vice president-elect, with a prize-winning Hereford bull on his ranch near Johnson City, Texas, in 1960. Linguists say the twang that has long been synonymous with Texans is fading.
In her series for The New York Times, reporter Louise Story says that the manufacturing sector — automakers, in particular — benefit the most from incentive packages.
Credit The New York Times
Louise Story is an investigative journalist for The New York Times, specializing in business reporting. In 2009 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for her reporting on the financial crisis of 2008.
In her new series for TheNew York Times called "The United States of Subsidies," investigative reporter Louise Story examines how states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year in tax breaks and other financial incentives to lure companies or persuade them to stay put.
Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 2:57 pm
If there is one decision football fans have argued over intensely over the past few months is whether embattled Jets' quarterback Mark Sanchez should be allowed to start another game.
During his previous outing, Rex Ryan, the team's coach, pulled him late in the third quarter, after the home crowd booed him mercilessly after a disasterous performance in which he completed 10 of 21 passes for 97 yards.
We call them "buttons" and "deadrolls" — and, less cryptically, "breaks" — but most NPR listeners know them as the interstitial music spots that pepper NPR's newsmagazines. They add shading, mood, energy and other nonverbal context to our stories.
Patriarch Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem (center), splashes holy water toward worshippers after the washing of the feet ceremony in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem in 2009, during Easter celebrations. A crisis was narrowly averted recently when the church's $2.3 million water bill was waived.
Credit Tara Todras-Whitehill / AP
Theofilos III (center) pours water into a basin during the washing of the feet ceremony outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City in April 2011, during Easter celebrations.
Credit Gali Tibbon / AFP/Getty Images
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III (right) and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (center) pray in front of the tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in November.
One of the holiest sites in Christendom has also been one of the most contested. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem lies on the site where Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified and buried.
Multiple Christian denominations share the church uneasily, and clerics sometimes come to blows over the most minor of disputes. The Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox all have a presence in the church.
The director Francois Truffaut once remarked that it takes as much time and energy to make a bad movie as to make a good one. He was right, but I would add one thing: It takes extraordinary effort to make a truly memorable flop.
The best example is Heaven's Gate, the hugely expensive 1980 movie by Michael Cimino that is the most famous cinematic disaster of my lifetime. It's part of that film's legend that it not only took down a studio, United Artists, but was the nail in the coffin of Hollywood's auteur filmmaking of the 1970s.
From 'All Things Considered': Tommy Chong talks with Audie Cornish
With Washington state set to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana just after midnight tonight, and Colorado set to decriminalize pot next month, All Things Considered today turned to "stoner" comic Tommy Chong to get his perspective.
Needless to say, the half Asian half of Cheech and Chong is very happy. He's planning to move to both states, Chong joked.
A Syrian soldier aims his rifle during clashes with rebel forces in the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Sunday. The recent fighting around Damascus has raised fears of a looming battle for control of the capital.
Earlier this week, Deacon White was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. And yes, we know, you've never heard of him. White's career began in 1871, at the dawn of professional baseball. He played catcher in the days when catchers use no equipment at all: no glove, no pads, no facemask. They became heroes celebrated for their courage and their wits, and Deacon White stood out as one of the best.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Standstill, nowhere, nothing happening - House Republicans ask the president to talk, but they know taxes top his Christmas list. It's Wednesday and time for a...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Naughty and nice...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. As more and more of Syria slips out of government control, concern deepens over what's believed to be an enormous stockpile of chemical weapons. Last weekend, several reports cited suspicious activity at some chemical weapon sites in Syria.
And we wouldn't want to look over in traffic and see Fido cruising by.
But the stories from New Zealand about how the SPCA there is teaching three dogs to drive (sort-of) have some must-see video. Check out what Monty, Ginny and Porter are learning to do. They've learned to respond to some verbal commands that allow them to move a Mini Countryman around a bit.
The new movie 'Lincoln' explores the last months of Abraham Lincoln's life and sheds light on prominent figures of the time. One lesser-known person is former slave Elizabeth Keckley. She became a close confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln. Host Michel Martin speaks with professor Clarence Lusane about Keckley's contributions to American history.
Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:04 am
Some public schools across the U.S. are setting different standards for students based on their race. The goal is to cut the achievement gap in half. Host Michel Martin speaks with Emily Richmond, of the Education Writers Association, about criticisms to this approach.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, for years now we've been talking about ways to close the achievement gap. Now some states are asking to set standards based on race. You can imagine why this is controversial. So we'll try to learn more about this in just a few minutes.
Must ... stay .... awake: A Chinese paramilitary police officer yawns and his colleagues fall asleep while then-President Hu Jintao delivers a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Dec. 18, 2008.
Credit Alexander F. Yuan / AP
Even the party's top brass isn't immune to the siren call of the snooze: Jiang Zemin, formerly China's president and top party leader, dozes while then-Chinese President and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao reads a work report during the opening session of 18th Communist Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Nov. 8.
Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:14 pm
Suffer from insomnia? The droning rhythm of a Chinese Communist official reading a work report out loud will likely do the trick.
It certainly does for many party members: Just 10 minutes into any party meeting, look down the serried ranks of the attendees, and you'll spot the dozers and snoozers, napping away, heads lolling lazily toward their neighbors.
Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 12:48 pm
Saying it needs to "further reduce expenses and improve efficiency across the company," Citigroup announced today that it is eliminating about 11,000 jobs — 4 percent of its global workforce.
The banking giant also said it is expects to take "pre-tax charges of approximately $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 and approximately $100 million of related charges in the first half of 2013."
Before the attack: Two men are seen talking on a New York City subway platform Monday in this framegrab from a video released by the New York City Police Department. Moments later, police say, Ki-Suk Han (whose face is obscured) was pushed on to the tracks.
Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 1:26 pm
It's a horrifying image that has sparked a passionate debate.
By now you've probably heard about the front page photo on Tuesday's New York Post of a man struggling to climb out of an approaching subway train's way. He had been pushed on to the tracks by a stranger.
Ki-Suck Han, 58, did not make it. He died from the injuries he received.
Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 8:05 am
More than 10 years after she was a internal medicine resident, Dr. Vineet Arora still thinks about how her shifts used to end.
She says the best shift change was one that didn't require her to transfer single patient to the next bunch of residents. "A good sign out was 'nothing to do,' " she recalls. "When I trained, you worked here until your work was done."