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After weeks of intense partisanship, the White House and congressional leaders made a desperate, last-minute stab at compromise Saturday to avoid the government default threatened for early next week. "There is very little time," declared President Obama.

Obama met with top Democrats at the White House and spoke by phone with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

"We're now fully engaged, the speaker and I, with the one person in America out of 307 million who can sign a bill into law," Sen. McConnell said.

You are the same person wherever you are, right? Well, Dr. Vlad Griskevicius might beg to differ. The professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota looked at how people's personal spending behavior varies from city to city.

U.S. officials are sounding increasingly frustrated that they and other big donors can't mount the kind of humanitarian operation that is needed in famine-stricken Somalia. Violence in the capital, Mogadishu, this week is just the latest of their troubles.

Aid work is never easy, but the troubles add up quickly in a conflict zone like Somalia, says Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz.

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Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time now for sports.


If Democrats and Republicans are unable to meet the Tuesday deadline for raising the debt ceiling, and the Treasury starts running short of money, the government will have to start making choices about which bills to pay. On the West Coast, as elsewhere in the country, taxpayers and state officials are considering what would happen if Social Security and medical benefits stop.

NFL Filmmaker Touches Down In Hall Of Fame

Jul 30, 2011

Next week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, will welcome its newest inductees, and among them is the man who helped turn football into an art form and the NFL into the most watched pro sports league in the nation.

Theme music, images of Vince Lombardi's frozen breath as he calls out plays, Joe Namath raising his hand in victory after winning the Super Bowl — Ed Sabol's cinematic vision brought Hollywood to pro football and football to America's living rooms.

Every week it seems there are reports about U.S. drones — unmanned, remote-controlled aerial vehicles — tracking down suspected terrorists in remote, unreachable areas of Yemen, Somalia, Libya or Pakistan. Drone technology is becoming increasingly affordable and accessible, with new potential for everyday use in the United States — and new worries for national security.

Uses At Home

Part 3 of a 6-part series

More than two years after the recession officially ended, mayors across the country are still struggling to balance their budgets.

Philadelphia avoided the big public employee layoffs seen in other cities by bucking national trends and doing what many consider unthinkable: raising taxes.

Waiting. Then more waiting. That's what Congress has in store for us this weekend, even as people across the country look to Washington for a solution on the debt ceiling deadlock.

Now that the House has done its work by passing Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) plan — which the Senate subsequently voted to table, effectively killing it — we take a look at likely next steps.

As members of Congress spar over whether to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, they might consider the efforts of other governments to manage their own debt problems. Some have been successful — some not — but all their experiences are instructive, with lessons for Washington.

It's not yet clear if the U.S. Treasury has the ability to pick and choose who gets paid and who gets stiffed if the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling isn't raised and the Treasury runs out of cash.

The government doesn't have flexibility like the average household might, says Jay Powell, a former Treasury undersecretary under President George H.W. Bush and a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

A federal judge sided with a historian, today, ordering that secret grand jury testimony by Richard Nixon be released publicly. Nixon testified before a grand jury, after he resigned and after he was pardoned by President Gerald Ford.

Reuters reports:

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth granted a request by historian Stanley Kutler, who has written several books about Nixon and Watergate, and others to unseal the testimony given on June 23 and 24 in 1975.

In Egypt, survival and the number 7 are inextricably linked. It's on the seventh day that a child's existence is first formally acknowledged to the world in a ritual that dates back to Pharaonic times.

But the ancient tradition — called the Sebou — has taken on new and not always happy turns since a revolution earlier this year ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

Building An Infant's Character

Third in a three-part series

The unemployment rate is high, greater than 9 percent. The military is in the midst of a record streak of recruiting success.

It's not a coincidence. A weak economy is good for the military.

'Sorry, We're Not Hiring'

About a year ago, Justin Bock was about to join the Navy. He just didn't know it.

Justin and his wife, Ashley, both had solid jobs. So they bought a house in Martinsburg, W.Va.

If you've ever looked at a stack of bills and realized you owe more money than you have in the bank, you can understand the position the U.S. government will soon be in, if lawmakers don't agree to raise the debt ceiling.

The Obama administration would then face the same decision as any cash-strapped consumer: Who gets paid? And who doesn't?

Rupert and James Murdoch appear to have won important corporate backing for their continued leadership of News Corp. amid the voice-mail hacking and police corruption scandal besetting the company in the U.K.

James Murdoch oversees the company's British, European and Asian operations, and it owns 39 percent of shares of the giant British broadcaster BSkyB. He is also that company's chairman. On Thursday, BSkyB's board delivered a vote of confidence in him while moving to mollify investors with a major stock buyback.

Hospitals, nursing homes, doctors and state health programs could survive a brief pinch if the Washington debt ceiling deadlock leads the government to stop paying Medicare and Medicaid bills. But if an impasse were to drag on for more than a few weeks, health care providers could be unable to pay their staffs or even face insolvency, according to health care experts and former government officials.

As sagas go, it rivals the Star Wars epics: "Yucca Mountain: The Quest for a Nuclear Waste Dump" premiered in 1978, when the U.S. government added the Nevada site to its list of potential "permanent repositories." Since then, it's been a story of political intrigue, desert outposts, giant machines and doctored science.

Chosen in 1987 as the "winner" of the competition, the Yucca Mountain site was already half-built when President Barack Obama canceled the long-controversial project last year.

Now comes the sequel: Yucca Mountain Two.

As of Wednesday, the Treasury reported it had $73.768 billion cash on hand. What the Obama administration has been saying is that that number will dwindle to a point where the U.S. will not be able to pay its financial obligations, unless it's allowed to borrow more money.

With Republicans so divided on the debt-ceiling plan, the issue could be a major fault line in the 2012 presidential race. Only two contenders currently serve in Congress, but NPR took a look at how they all might vote on House Speaker John Boehner's bill:

According to numbers released today, Apple has become the world's No. 1 smartphone manufacturer. Apple overtook Nokia and Samsung in the second quarter of this year.

The BBC reports:

The figures from Strategy Analytics also showed that 361 million handsets were shipped, up 13% on the previous year.

The United Nations says that sometime around Halloween the seven-billionth person will be born into this world — most likely in India, which is on track to overtake China as the most populous nation in just 16 years.

This latest milestone may not come as a surprise. But it is remarkable nonetheless. It took Earth 50,000 years to reach the one billion mark. By 1960 there were three billion souls. Since then we've added another billion every decade, or less.

How does Speaker John Boehner, on Friday, get to the 216 House votes he needs to pass the debt-ceiling bill he couldn't get the votes for on Thursday?

He agrees to add a balanced-budget amendment provision to his legislation.

That addition appears to be enough to swing some Republican lawmakers to his side who had previously been against his bill or undecided.

As we reported earlier, President Obama dismissed House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) plan to raise the debt ceiling. In a news conference, he said the bill "has no chance of becoming law."

Now, multiple news outlets are reporting that Boehner, in an attempt to woo Tea Party Republican votes in the House, added a balanced-budget amendment provision to his budget plan.

Host Michel Martin discusses the debt talks with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Cleaver describes the current atmosphere in Congress and notes that some freshmen members believe the current debt situation is not that huge of a crisis.

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Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

MICHEL MARTIN, host: I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit