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StoryCorps
4:16 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Out Of The Rat Race: Lucky Rodents Find Their Own 'Taj Mahal'

Dawn and Don Burke opened a rat sanctuary, The Rat Retreat, in their home in Boise, Idaho. Most people don't realize what affectionate pets rats can be, Dawn says.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 10:12 am

Dawn Burke had always thought of rats as filthy animals, she says, until her neighbor introduced her to his "soft and cuddly" pet rats. Years later, she stopped by a pet shop on a whim — and ended up coming home with a rat of her own.

From there, says Dawn's husband, Don Burke, "it grew very quickly from one rat to 72." Before long, the couple had opened a rat sanctuary in their home in Boise, Idaho.

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It's All Politics
4:15 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Shutdown Showdown: Assessing Obama's Negotiating Tactics

President Obama speaks about the government shutdown, the budget and the debt ceiling debate during a visit to M. Luis Construction in Rockville, Md., on Thursday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:14 am

The government shutdown grinds on with no immediate relief in sight.

President Obama says he's willing to talk with Republican lawmakers about adjustments to the health care law and other issues, but only after they re-open the government and lift the threat of a federal default.

"I'm happy to negotiate with you on anything. I don't think any one party has a monopoly on wisdom. But you don't negotiate by putting a gun to the other person's head," Obama says.

Experts in negotiation say the president's stance may be justified, but it's also risky.

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The Government Shutdown
4:06 am
Fri October 4, 2013

For Obama And Boehner, No Sign Of Thaw In Frosty Relationship

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner take part in a ceremony to unveil a statue honoring the late civil rights activist Rosa Parks in the Capitol in February.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:13 am

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have had five years of fights and negotiations to learn how to work together.

The relationship has had ups and downs. Today it's as sour as it's ever been.

Even if they had a warm friendship, it might not be enough to solve the government shutdown. But the chilliness doesn't help.

'We Get Along Fine'

Their relationship has been a constant source of fascination in Washington. Interviewers ask the two men about it all the time. And they give pretty much the same response, year after year:

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Code Switch
8:00 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

A Rapid Shift For Jews Away From Religion, But Not Jewishness

Are Jews becoming less religious because they're marrying non-Jews or are they marrying non-Jews because they're becoming less religious? It's hard to say.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 11:49 am

A big survey by the Pew Center is out today on Jewish life in America, and it shows a stark shift away from religious belief and toward cultural identification.

Nine in 10 American Jews born before World War II identify themselves as Jewish by religion, but nearly a third of Jewish millennials — that is, people born after 1980 — identify as having no religion at all.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
7:52 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

'BioShock' Blasts Its Way Into The Future Of Storytelling

What's that worried look, Elizabeth? Could it be that there's more to BioShock Inifinite than meets the eye?
Irrational Games

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 12:59 pm

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All Songs Considered
7:51 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

The Good Listener: Must We All 'Love' Music? Must We All Have 'Good Taste'?

This guy obsesses over your tastes in music. Should you?
Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 1:02 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the flyers urging us to replace our nonexistent maid service is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a pair of queries about the importance of loving the right music.

Jennifer Yousfi writes via Facebook: "I have horrible taste in music. How do I fix this?"

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The Two-Way
7:50 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

WATCH: Newborn White Lion Cubs In South Korea

White lion cubs at South Korea's Everland zoo.
VOA video

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:41 am

If you're suffering withdrawal symptoms from the National Zoo's "pandacams" — sadly deemed "nonessential" and therefore shut down, along with much of the rest of the government — we have the perfect antidote:

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NPR Story
7:47 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Glitches Reported As Health Care Exchanges Open

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 3:35 pm

Despite the government shutdown, the insurance exchanges at the heart of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, open for business today.

The insurance marketplaces, accessible online or — depending on the state — at clinics and via telephone, ask that people sign up for a plan by December 15th.

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Affordable Care Act
7:47 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

High Excitement In Overlooked Part Of Health Care Rollout

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 3:35 pm

One group of insurers opening for business today under the Affordable Care Act is out to change all of health care: health care cooperatives.

The co-ops are private non-profits offering insurance to individuals and small employers through the new health care exchanges. They emerged as a compromise, after Congress rejected a government-run insurance. They’re meant to compete with larger, commercial insurance companies.

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NPR Story
7:46 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Ferry Operator Sidelined By Government Shutdown

Passengers board the ferry to Fort Sumter. (Fort Sumter Tours)

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 3:35 pm

With the partial government shutdown, some 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed and more than a million others will be asked to work without pay.

But there are hundreds of private businesses that contract with the government that are also affected by the shutdown.

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