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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Yellen To Say Economy Needs Support, New Data Seem To Agree

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:28 am

As Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen prepares to tell the Senate Banking Committee that she supports continuing the central bank's policy of buying billions of dollars' worth of bonds to boost the economy, there's fresh evidence that the relatively slow economic recovery continues to be ... relatively slow.

The Employment and Training Administration said Thursday that there were 339,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits filed last week, down by just 2,000 from the week before.

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It's All Politics
9:01 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Thursday Political Mix: Obamacare's Data Dump Fallout

Insurance agents in Miami, Fla. help people with information about policies that are available to them under the Affordable Care Act on Nov. 5, 2013.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:25 am

Good morning, fellow political junkies.

Well, the Obama administration warned us that the enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act would be low and (surprise!) they were.

Still, it's one thing to get an abstract, data-free warning, another to see actual numbers, 27,000 people enrolling for private insurance through the federal portal, 106,185 overall if you throw in the states.

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Parallels
9:00 am
Thu November 14, 2013

With Echoes Of France, Debate On Religion Divides Quebec

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois stands to support a motion regarding the controversial values charter at the Parti Quebecois Convention in Montreal on Sunday.
Christinne Muschi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 1:56 pm

The government in Canada's Quebec province has proposed a "secularism charter" that would, among other things, ban government workers from wearing religious symbols.

A similar debate played out in France nearly a decade ago and has now traveled across the Atlantic to the French-speaking Canadian province.

Here's more from Al-Jazeera:

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Thu November 14, 2013

One Week After Typhoon, 'The Mood Here Is Very Desperate'

In Tacloban, the Philippines, on Thursday, some survivors waiting in a line to charge cellphones covered their faces because of the lingering smell of dead bodies.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:48 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Tacloban, the Philippines
  • On the NPR Newscast: Anthony Kuhn reports from Tacloban, the Philippines
  • On 'Morning Edition': Typhoon survivor Marcelo Maloon and a report from NPR's Jason Beaubien

The 220,000 residents of Tacloban — and millions more across central and southern Philippines — were hunkered down one week ago as Typhoon Haiyan bore down on them.

A week later, "the mood here is very desperate," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said Thursday as he reported from Tacloban for Morning Edition.

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Parallels
5:25 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Afghan Farmers: Opium Is The Only Way To Make A Living

An Afghan farmer collects raw opium as he works in a poppy field in Nangarhar province on April 29. Poppy cultivation reached a record high this year despite Western efforts to reduce it.
Noorullah Shirzada AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:33 pm

Lashkar Gah is the capital of the volatile province that alone grows half of Afghanistan's opium poppy. Cultivation here grew by 34 percent over last year.

On Fridays, hundreds of men gather at the bazaar along the Helmand River, the lifeblood of this arid province. Vendors sell everything from livestock to boxes of artisanal medicine.

There's no sign of poppy here. In fact, the farmers we talk to like 26-year-old Khairullah, who goes by one name, say they are actually too poor to grow it.

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