This is the first in our occasional series on how the farm bill shapes food and land use policy. In this installment, the history of the farm bill, and why it's been a matter of debate since its inception during the Great Depression.
Lawmakers in Washington are still at odds over how to put some more money into the coffers of the stretched-thin Federal Emergency Management Agency. If the dispute isn't settled by the end of the week, part of the government might have to shut down.
Facing cutbacks, election offices across the country are making tough decisions, such as trimming the number of voting sites and shortening the number of days for early voting. Doug Lewis, who runs The Election Center, says that at the very least, voters should be prepared for slower lines in 2012.
Businessman and former radio talk show host Herman Cain pulled off an upset Saturday. He came in first in the Florida straw poll, handily beating both Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. It's a big victory for a candidate who, up to now, has drawn little media attention and placed fifth or sixth in many national polls. Host Audie Cornish talks with NPR's Greg Allen about whether this marks a change in the Republican presidential nominating contest.
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