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Why A Handful Of Hard-Liners Has A Hold On Boehner

To understand House Speaker John Boehner's role in the government shutdown, you have to understand the 30 or so House Republican hard-liners and his relationship with them. Because Republicans have a relatively slim majority in the House, the 30 have more power than their numbers would make it seem.
NPR

From Therapy Dogs To New Patients, Federal Shutdown Hits NIH

The Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland is often the last resort for patients who have mysterious, rare or terminal diseases. Patients sometimes call it the "House of Hope." But the government shutdown may mean that prospective patients will be turned away.
NPR

Wisconsin Prisons Incarcerate Most Black Men In U.S.

The U.S. prison population is still the world's highest — with more than 1.5 million people behind bars. A study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee looked at that state's incarceration rates and found they were the highest in the country for black men.
NPR

NSA Head Admits Testing U.S. Cellphone Tracking

Intelligence chiefs said recent media reports are wrong about their efforts to gather information about the social networks of Americans. They told a Senate panel such efforts are focused on foreigners. But NSA chief Keith Alexander admitted the agency has collected cellphone location information, as part of a short-lived test program years ago.
NPR

Day 3 Of Shutdown: Both Sides Remain Dug In

On Wednesday, President Obama invited the top four congressional leaders to the White House for a chat. But after the meeting, no progress was reported on reopening the government. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been idled and services curbed across the country.
NPR

Government Shutdown Will Add To VA's Backlog

Payment of veterans' benefits is one of the most emotionally charged issues affected by the shutdown. Politicians of both parties have scrambled to show their support for vets. While the most serious consequences won't come unless the shutdown lasts for weeks, veterans applying for new benefits may already be suffering because of a backlog of claims.
NPR

Colo. Flooding Challenges Small Business Owners In Lyons

Flooding in Colorado has taken a toll on the state's small businesses. In the small town of Lyons, the road to recovery looks especially long. Businesses there not only need to repair damage, but also stay afloat for as long as six months without much of their customer base. That's because damaged water and sewage lines have made many parts of town unlivable.
NPR

Author Tom Clancy Dies At 66

Best-selling author Tom Clancy wrote iconic thrillers like The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. His books were turned into Hollywood blockbusters and popular video games. Clancy died on Tuesday.
NPR

National Parks Close As Other Public Lands Stay Open

From Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah to the North Cascades in Washington, America's 401 national park areas have gates blocking entrance roads. National forest and Bureau of Land Management lands would nearly be impossible to close because there are so many access points.
NPR

Reid's Tactics In Shutdown Drama, And His Rhetoric, Draw Notice

As the leader of Senate Democrats, Harry Reid has been in a lot of fights — but this one may be different, in that Reid has drawn a line. After a meeting with other congressional leaders and President Obama on Wednesday, Reid said: "The one thing we made very clear ... we are locked in tight on Obamacare."

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