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House OKs Bill To Keep Government Funded Through September

The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that avoids a federal shutdown and keeps the government open through the end of the 2013 fiscal year, which winds up Sept. 30. The Senate approved the same measure Wednesday, so the bill now goes to the president for his signature.

The New York Times characterizes the measure, which passed the House on a 318-109 vote, this way:

The funding plan for the rest of the year ... locks in across-the-board spending cuts that will usher in the most austere government outlook in decades.

But that doesn't mean an end to the partisan battles. The Washington Post reports that Republicans and Democrats are still at odds over the budget, just not the 2013 budget:

Lawmakers are still debating how much to tax and spend for the years to come, and Thursday, the House also approved a budget blueprint by GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin in a mostly partisan 221 to 207 vote. Ten Republicans joined House Democrats in opposing the Ryan budget measure.

The Associated Press frames the Ryan budget this way:

The long-term GOP budget plan authored by Ryan, the party's failed vice presidential nominee, offers slashing cuts to domestic agencies, the Medicaid health care plan for the poor and "Obamacare" subsidies while exempting the Pentagon and Social Security beneficiaries. The measure proposes shifting programs like Medicaid to the states but is sometimes scant on details about the very cuts it promises.

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In This 2005 Interview, Gene Wilder Explains How He Learned To Get Laughs

When he was 8, Wilder's mother had a heart attack and he took it upon himself to cheer her up. We'll listen back to a Fresh Air interview with the comic actor, who died Monday at age 83.
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Jollof Rice: West Africans Dish It Up With A Hefty Serving Of Smack Talk

Jollof rice is a celebration dish in West Africa. Each country in the region has its own take — and the rivalry over which version reigns supreme is constant fodder for a delicious war of words.
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Obama Grants Clemency To 100+ Prisoners; DOJ 'Confident' It Will Clear Backlog

Thousands of petitions are still pending, but the Justice Department tells NPR that despite doubts from advocates it plans to consider each of them before President Obama leaves office.
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#IfAfricaWasASchool, Who Would Be The Nerd? Jock? Most Popular?

A trending hashtag on Twitter invites people to personify countries in Africa with various schoolyard archetypes.

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