This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama never did meet Iran's president Hasan Rouhani at the United Nations, as many expected. But Iran's new president gave a speech calling for results-oriented talks to clear up concern about what he called Iran's peaceful nuclear program. NPR's Michele Kelemen was there.
And Senator Cruz spoke against Obamacare all night in the Senate, but can't actually prevent a Senate vote. The Senate is considered likely to approve a bill that funds the government - including the Affordable Care Act.
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But that does not end the story, because the House passed a bill that defunds Obamacare. It would be up to Democrats to find some agreement with House Speaker John Boehner that avoids a government shutdown.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Let's catch up on the Senate's fight over Obamacare. A handful of Republican senators say they support a plan to deny funding to the Affordable Care Act. They want to attach that to a larger measure designed to keep the rest of the government running and avoid a partial shutdown at the end of the month.
And let's meet a businesswoman now who has risen to prominence in a country in North Africa where women have not exactly had it easy. In Morocco, women are often in poverty and illiterate, and they face a restrictive legal code. The government has over the last decade given women more rights. It raised the marriage age and promoted more women in parliament. And among the educated elite in this Muslim country is a highly accomplished businesswoman and banker named Nezha Hayat. She recently came by our studio.
Larry Ellison — the billionaire CEO of Oracle — was scheduled to deliver a keynote address on Tuesday at Oracle OpenWorld. Thousands showed up or tuned in remotely, but the nation's third-richest man didn't show up. Instead, he was watching Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup.
China's biggest online retailer, the Alibaba Group, reportedly has decided it will not launch its Initial Public Offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Instead, it wants to bring the IPO to New York. Alibaba processed $170 billion in transactions last year — more than Amazon and eBay combined.
There has been a lot of extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere this year, including the recent torrential rains in Colorado, flooding in Europe, bitter cold in Florida and a heat wave in Alaska. And scientists say all of it is related to some odd behavior by the powerful air currents called the polar jet stream.
Imagine running power lines through a cathedral. That's how archaeologists describe what the Bonneville Power Administration proposes doing in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state. The federal electricity provider is trying to string a new transmission line near a cave that contains ancient paintings, a site considered sacred by Native Americans.
Army Capt. Matt Zeller had been told that his Afghan comrades would make a big show of hospitality. He'd read that the Afghan code of honor would mean protecting his life with their own. Sure enough, that's what his interpreter, Janis Shinwari, pledged to him when they met in April of 2008.
"I expected him to say it. I didn't think he'd make good on his promise within two weeks of my arrival," Zeller says. "Literally pick up a weapon and ... save my life," says Zeller.
President Obama's health care law has so far survived challenges in Congress and the courts. But its biggest test could begin next week. That's when the online marketplaces offering health care coverage to the uninsured are set to start signing people up. The question is, will they come?
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 12:17 pm
Update at noon ET. It's Over:
Saying that "it's fitting that this debate concludes with a prayer" because he believes Americans are pleading with Congress to defund President Obama's health care law, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas just wrapped up his marathon protest on the Senate floor.
Cruz began speaking just after 2:40 p.m. ET Tuesday and abided by Senate rules when he finished at noon today.
"The pleas from the American people," he said of what he sees as the public's opposition to Obamacare, "are deafening."
Premiums in the health insurance exchanges set to open next week will be lower than anticipated, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.
According to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services, "premiums nationwide will ... be around 16 percent lower than originally expected," and 95 percent of uninsured people live in a state with average premiums that are lower than expected.