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Catcher In The Fry? McDonald's Happy Meals With A Side Of Books

For two weeks in November, McDonald's will swap out the toys in its kids' meals for original books that have nutritionally focused themes. The fast-food giant's plunge into publishing has inspired some witty mock Mcbook titles. But critics of its marketing to kids aren't so amused.
NPR

If You Think Wealth Disparity Is Bad Here, Look At Russia

A new report says Russia has the highest rate of inequality in the world – barring some small Caribbean islands. Just how bad is it? Thirty-five percent of household wealth in the country is in hands of 110 people.
NPR

Report: Parks Shutdown Saps $750 Million In Visitor Spending

A dozen of the busiest and biggest U.S. national parks have lost some 7 million visitors because of the partial government shutdown. That's costing the parks and nearby communities tens of millions of dollars a day and potentially hundreds of jobs, according to a new report.
NPR

Salmonella Shutdown? USDA Threatens Closure Of Major Chicken Plants

Foster Farms, the large California-based chicken processor at the center of a major salmonella outbreak, faces the threat of a USDA closure of three of its facilities by the end of the day Thursday. Some 278 people in multiple states have been sickened in the outbreak.
NPR

GOP Offers Debt Ceiling Deal; White House Says 'It's Encouraging'

The plan calls for a six-week extension of the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling that, if implemented, would remove the immediate threat to financial markets. But the proposal would not affect the partial government shutdown.
NPR

Treasury Secretary: Debt Default Would Have Dire Consequences

Jacob Lew tells the Senate Finance Committee that not raising the debt ceiling could "deeply damage financial markets, the ongoing economic recovery, and the jobs and savings of millions of Americans."
NPR

Weekly Unemployment Claims Spike; Shutdown Gets Some Blame

First-time jobless claims were at 374,000 for the week ending Oct. 5, up from 308,000 the previous week.
NPR

Everyone The U.S. Government Owes Money To, In One Graph

If Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling soon, the U.S. government won't be able to pay its debts. Here's who won't get paid if the government defaults.
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D.C., Maryland Lawmakers To Try And Raise Minimum Wage In Unison

A minimum wage increase to $11.50 is being pushed in unison in the D.C. Council, Montgomery County and Prince George's County.

NPR

Top Stories: Obama, GOP Meet; Alice Munro Wins Nobel In Lit

Also: Libya's prime minister is briefly abducted, then set free and 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai is awarded the Sakharov Prize.

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