The Federal Reserve's policy makers just eyeballed the economy, and saw nothing new.
On Wednesday, they announced wage-and-price hikes remain low and growth continues at a moderate pace. That means interest rates can stay super low for a "considerable time," while the Fed's bond-buying program can wrap up next month, as expected.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:48 pm
When I picked up Martin Amis' new novel, The Zone of Interest, it felt as though I had touched a third rail, so powerful and electric is the experience of reading it. After years of playing the snide card and giving his great store of talents to the business of giving other people the business, Amis has turned again to the matter of Nazi horrors (he tried to deal with it in a gimmicky way in his 1991 novel Time's Arrow), and the result is a book that may stand for years as the triumph of his career.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:49 pm
In a vote that eschewed traditional Washington divisions in favor of novel ones, the House approved a bill that authorized the training and arming of Syrian rebels in their fight against the so-called Islamic State.
The final tally was 273 to 156. But many members of both parties broke ranks with their leaders — Reps. John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi — who strongly backed the measure.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:26 pm
For those who eagerly trace their genetic lineage or subscribe online to find their earliest ancestors, there's a new group to consider adding to the furthest reaches of your list. A previously unrecognized population of ancient north Eurasians may be a major third braid in the genetic twist that gave rise to most modern Europeans and their kin.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:45 pm
President Obama has long been reluctant to provide substantial aid to Syria's so-called moderate rebels, often dismissed as weak and disorganized. But the rapid rise of the group that calls itself the Islamic State has changed many calculations.
The CIA has been running a small-scale covert weapons program since early this year, according to rebels who have been trained and are now receiving arms shipments. The modest program has strengthened moderate battalions, according to Western and regional analysts, even as rebel commanders complain about the meager arms flow.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 4:04 pm
Scotland's referendum on independence Thursday could resonate far beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. There are many places with separatist movements, like the militias in eastern Ukraine who have been battling the Ukrainian government this year.
Here's a look at some of the other places with separatists who want to break away from their current rulers, from Canada to Spain to Belgium to India.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:17 pm
Now, we wait.
The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule-makers should treat Internet traffic is closed, after a record 3.7 million comments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the first 800,000 and found that fewer than 1 percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:48 pm
Iran's foreign minister says the U.S. has been hesitant and contradictory in its approach to combating extremist groups in Iraq and Syria and that President Obama needs a reality check on the subject of defeating the Islamic State insurgency.
Mohammad Javad Zarif, speaking with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep in an interview to air on NPR, said the United States is "not serious" about defeating the Sunni extremists.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 3:35 pm
When The Mountain Goats' founder John Darnielle was a teenager, he went through a self-destructive phase.
"Your intelligence doesn't override your desire to destroy yourself," Darnielle tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I really, really did not want to be in my own skin. I really wanted to get high and stay high."
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:13 pm
President Obama reiterated that he will not commit U.S. troops to fight another ground war in Iraq, adding that U.S. airstrikes, combined with expertise, would be more effective in defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State.
"As your commander in chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama said at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.
Colorado's new campaign to deter teen marijuana use tries to make the case that weed is bad for your brain.
One TV ad shows a group of teens lighting up inside a dark car as moody music plays in the background. The commercial cites a Duke University study that found a link between regular marijuana use and a lower IQ.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:08 pm
Every September, Peruvian restaurants and famous chefs from around the world gather in Lima for a celebration of Peruvian cuisine. The word mistura means "mixture" in Portuguese. And the cuisine served at Mistura, the biggest food festival in Latin America, certainly reflects a fusion of cultural dishes.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 3:16 pm
Catholic and other religious hospitals and universities have been arguing in federal court for much of the past two years that they shouldn't have to offer or facilitate birth control as part of their employee health plans because it violates their religious beliefs.
But what happens when the insurance company is itself Catholic? It turns out that Catholic health plans have for years been arranging for outside firms to provide contraceptive coverage to their enrollees.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:20 pm
It's lunchtime at Drummond Community High School in Edinburgh. The kids are all wearing the uniform of a smart black blazer, white shirt and blue tie. Some 16- and 17-year-olds are here with their cheese sandwiches and their baked potatoes.
They get to cast ballots Thursday in what looks to be a close vote on whether Scotland will become independent or remain part of the United Kingdom.
Here's what some of them are saying:
"Scotland will be a richer country if there's a 'yes' vote" for independence, says Calum Preston. "It's just a fact."
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:54 pm
It was an ordinary Friday. Courtney Brown, 24, of Kalamazoo, Mich., was busy looking for a job. "I've applied all kinds of places," she says. "Wal-Mart, Target, Verizon Wireless."
Then she got a strange letter in the mail. " 'We are writing you with good news,' " she reads to me over the phone. " 'We got rid of some of your Everest College debt. ... No one should be forced to mortgage their future for an education.' "
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:54 pm
Authorities have identified a suspect in last week's shooting death of a state trooper and the wounding of another officer at a police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania, warning the public to be on the lookout for a heavily armed man described as a "survivalist."
Police have launched a manhunt for the suspect, Eric Frein, 31, of Canadensis, Pa.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:28 pm
Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET
President Obama will meet today with military officials at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., to discuss the fight against the militants calling themselves the Islamic State, as House lawmakers prepare for a vote to authorize training for moderate rebels to oppose the extremist group.