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Religion
4:05 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Snake-Handling Preachers Open Up About 'Takin' Up Serpents'

Andrew Hamblin preaches while holding a snake above his head, LaFollette, Tenn.
Ciaran Flannery NGT

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:35 pm

Snake handlers dwell at the edge of the spiritual frontier — a community of people who are willing to die for their faith three times a week in church. Members of the Pentecostal Holiness Church take up venomous serpents to prove their faith in God. The practice is still widespread in Appalachia, though mostly hidden.

Pastor Jamie Coots warns about the scent in the snake room behind his house in Middlesboro, Ky.

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Shots - Health News
4:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Want To Read Others' Thoughts? Try Reading Literary Fiction

Would time spent with Anton Chekov, famed for his subtle, flawed characters, make you a better judge of human nature?
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 am

Your ability to "read" the thoughts and feelings of others could be affected by the kind of fiction you read.

That's the conclusion of a study in the journal Science that gave tests of social perception to people who were randomly assigned to read excerpts from literary fiction, popular fiction or nonfiction.

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The Government Shutdown
4:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

You've Got Shutdown Questions. We've Got Answers

Efforts to resolve the government shutdown are at a standstill.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:47 pm

There's no end in sight to the partial shutdown of the federal government, which has now gone on for four days.

Earlier this week, All Things Considered asked you to submit your questions about the shutdown. NPR's Audie Cornish put those questions to a crack team of NPR reporters for answers:

Is our food or medicine unsafe?

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Politics
4:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

It's Hard To Project Power Abroad With A Shutdown At Home

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:24 pm

The White House has cancelled President Obama's trip to Asia, where he was planning to attend some major international summits. Instead, Kerry will attend these meetings while Obama deals with the government shutdown at home.

Politics
4:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

It's Not The First Time Brinksmanship Closed The Government

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:24 pm

Day four of the government shutdown brings no signs of any progress in resolving the stalemate between Republicans and Democrats. It may be some small solace to know that this is by no means the first time the government has been largely closed because of disputes between Congress and the White House. In fact, by some accounts this is the 17th time that an impasse has shuttered federal agencies.

Politics
4:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Medical Device Tax Might Be Way To Get A Budget Passed

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:24 pm

The health care law is partly funded by a tax on medical devices. Republicans and some Democrats from states with medical device companies want to repeal the tax. Leading Democrats say that's not happening if it's meant to scale back Obamacare. But the device tax could be an area of compromise later in a broader budget deal.

Politics
4:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

The Week In Politics: Shutdown Edition

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:24 pm

Melissa Block talks with regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution and David Brooks with The New York Times. They discuss the federal government shutdown, why it happened, what's happening now and what happens next.

Politics
4:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Obama's Lunchtime Message: Reopen Everything, Or Nothing

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 2:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: I'm Scott Horsley. President Obama took a rare trip outside the White House grounds on foot this afternoon. It wasn't because his driver's been furloughed. Aides say the president just wanted to enjoy the sunshine. He and Vice President Biden strolled about a block from the White House to a sandwich shop that's offering discounts and a free cookie to federal workers who've been idled by the shutdown.

Obama says that's a good example of the way the American people look out for each other.

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Politics
4:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Republicans Pivot From Obamacare To Find Way Out Of Shutdown

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:24 pm

Not long ago, the government shutdown was all about the Affordable Care Act, and Republicans' attempt to defund it. But in recent days, it seems to have become more about finding some way for House Speaker John Boehner to claim some sort of victory.

All Tech Considered
4:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

New E-Book Lending Service Aims To Be Netflix For Books

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:24 pm

Movie lovers have Netflix, music lovers have Spotify — and book lovers (whether they read literary fiction or best-selling potboilers) now have Scribd. The document sharing website has been around since 2007, but this week it launched a subscription service for e-book lending.

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Planet Money
4:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Is Welfare 'A Rational Alternative To Work'?

"Every day I go out and push my son around and fill out applications," Tonilyn Rowe said. "But obviously it's not a good look to walk into a job with a stroller."
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 7:33 pm

For many people, says Michael Tanner, it pays not to work. People on welfare — that's everything from food stamps to Medicaid to heating assistance — can make more in 35 states than they would if they had a minimum wage job, according to Tanner.

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Europe
4:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Tories Tell Jobless Brits: It's Time To Work For Your Dole

Job seekers line up outside a work support office in London in 2009. New measures proposed by the Conservative-led government will require recipients of unemployment benefits to do unpaid community work, spend workdays at a job center or participate in intensive programs to help solve personal issues that prevent them from working.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:18 pm

Britain's Conservative-led government delivered a one-two punch to more pillars of Britain's social benefits system this week. It announced more cuts to the country's social welfare programs — moving ever closer to "workfare."

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The Government Shutdown
3:51 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

The 'Faux Friday' Jobs Report: What Economists Can Guesstimate

Even without official Labor Department data, economists estimated jobs grew moderately last month.
Andrey Popov iStockphoto.com

Thanks to the federal government's partial shutdown, the Bureau of Labor Statistics skipped its monthly Big Reveal at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

There was no September employment report.

Without access to the BLS numbers, data junkies were left to scrounge around for lesser reports. Maybe if they could suck in enough small hits of other statistics, they could feel that old familiar rush?

Nope. Nothing can replace that BLS high.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Google Vs. Facebook: A Map Of Global Conquest

Google is red; Facebook blue.
Mark Graham/Stefano De Sabbata Internet Geographies at the Oxford Internet Institute

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:14 pm

The U.K.'s Oxford Internet Institute has put together an interesting illustration of the most popular websites around the world. Not surprising, Google and Facebook dominate the globe.

We're not quite sure what the data mean, if anything, but you can be the judge.

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It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Obama's Lunch: Sandwich With A Side Of Shutdown Messaging

President Obama and Vice President Biden at Taylor Gourmet sandwich shop near the White House on Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:59 pm

Before President Obama canceled his Asia trip, some of us wondered how he could possibly leave the U.S., especially for the exotic resort island of Bali, during the federal government shutdown.

Forget the logistical complications caused by having so many staffers unable to work the trip. What about the optics of having the president at a lush tourist destination while hundreds of thousands of government workers were furloughed and worried about missing paychecks?

Obama solved that potential problem by canceling his overseas trip, which would have started Saturday evening.

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