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Should Parents Nix After-School Sports?

High school athletes devote a lot of hours to practice and games. Parents and coaches say playing sports builds character and teamwork. But do sports take too much time away from the classroom? In a recent article for The Atlantic, writer Amanda Ripley makes the case against after-school sports. She joins host Michel Martin, along with parents Dani Tucker and Glenn Ivey.

Can Mass Shootings Really Be Stopped?

It's been a week since a shooting at Washington, D.C.'s Navy Yard left 13 people dead, including the gunman. But is there a consensus forming on how to stop these attacks from happening again? Host Michel Martin speaks with former Congressman Asa Hutchinson; Ron Honberg of the National Alliance on Mental Illness; and the National Crime Prevention Council's Ann Harkins.

Questions Rise As Health Care Exchange Draws Near

The online marketplace for health insurance is scheduled to open in one week. But people are still confused about what that means and how the Affordable Care Act will affect them. Host Michel Martin runs through a health care Q&A with Mary Agnes Cary of Kaiser Health News.

Alleged Gunmen Charged In Chicago Mass Shooting

Four people have now been charged in connection with Thursday's shooting at Cornell Square Park on the city's South Side. Thirteen people were wounded in the incident, which police say is likely gang-related.

Tuesday Morning Political Mix

Some conservative Republicans don't think a government shutdown will hurt them ... Former House GOP leaders say Speaker Boehner and his team have it far harder than they did ... George W. Bush defends the present golfer in chief.

Word Spreads Far Of Canceled Wedding That Fed The Homeless

Carol and Willie Fowler of Atlanta turned something sad into something glad. Their daughter's wedding was canceled 40 days before it was to happen. The Fowlers decided to turn the already paid-for reception into a dinner for homeless people. Now they plan to have charity dinners every year.

Sen. Durbin Wants Budget Showdown To End Quickly

The Senate is considering a bill to keep funding the federal government past next Tuesday. The measure was passed last week by the Republican-controlled House, and it includes language to defund the Affordable Care Act. To discuss what is the path forward, Steve Inskeep talks to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois.

New York State Tries To Safely Accommodate Texting Drivers

State officials have set up designated text stops along the New York State Thruway and other highways, where motorists can pull over to use their phones. Blue highway signs read: It can wait, text stop 5 miles.

Some GOP Leaders Tee Up Cruz For Blame If There's A Shutdown

If the "defund Obamacare" strategy leads to a shutdown that backfires on Republicans in a big way, Cruz may find a relative lack of Washington Republicans willing to provide him with much, if any, political cover.

Small Businesses: Big Concerns And High Hopes

The neighborhood hardware store, the cozy diner, the independent bookstore — they have seen customers leave in droves for Lowe's, Starbucks and After shrinking dramatically during the Great Recession, small businesses are starting to grow again. But they still face plenty of headwinds.