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Stories for September 30, 2013

Shutdown Begins After Congress Fails In Spending Compromise

Sept. 30
Steve Mullis, Scott Neuman
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House Republicans and Senate Democrats could not reach agreement by the midnight deadline on a spending bill to keep the government operating, triggering an immediate shutdown of nonessential services and the furlough of nonessential personnel potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

Countdown To Shutdown: A Closure Appears Inevitable

Sept. 30
Frank James / NPR
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Only hours before a partial shutdown of the federal government would take effect, House Republicans still hadn't arrived at a temporary spending bill that Senate Democrats were willing to approve to keep government workers on the job. A closure appeared inevitable.

The Shutdown: A Guide To What Would And Wouldn't Close

Sept. 30
Adam Wollner / NPR
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With House Republicans and Senate Democrats still miles apart on a budget deal, the federal government appears headed for a shutdown at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Nearly 17 Million Steps Later, Meals On Wheels Volunteer Nears End Of Cross-Country Trek

Sept. 30
By Dwane Brown
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After 3,200 miles and three pairs of shoes, a San Diego man completes cross-country walk to raise awareness for Meals on Wheels.

Faulconer Wants to Speed Up Police Hiring, Increase Pay

Sept. 30
City News Service
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Councilman and mayoral candidate Kevin Faulconer released a three-point plan Monday to deal with understaffing at the San Diego Police Department.

Female Soldiers Facing Combat More Likely To Be Sexually Assaulted

Sept. 30
By David Wagner
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Women in the U.S. military who see combat are more likely to be sexually harassed and assaulted, according to a new study.

In California, Obamacare Begins Despite Government Shutdown

Sept. 30
Midday Edition
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According to Covered California, enrollments will not be affected amid the government shutdown.

FAA May Soon Stop Making You Power Off Those Electronics

Sept. 30
David Schaper / NPR
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It's news many airline passengers have waited to hear: The Federal Aviation Administration may soon allow smart phones, tablets, and other personal electronic devices to be used throughout an entire flight -- including takeoff and landing.

A Doctor's 9 Predictions About The 'Obamacare Era'

Sept. 30
John Henning Schumann / NPR
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Debate is raging about Obamacare, and not just in Washington. Out here in Oklahoma we're grappling with implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Patients. Employers. Hospitals. Doctors. Insurers. All of us.

Phantom Phone Vibrations: So Common They've Changed Our Brains?

Sept. 30
Elise Hu / NPR
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Phantom vibration -- that phenomenon where you think your phone is vibrating but it's not -- has been around only since the mobile age. And five years ago, when its wider existence became recognized, news organizations, including ours, covered the "syndrome" as a sign of the digital encroachment in our lives. Today, it's so common that researchers have devoted studies to it.

Gambling Probe Prompts Suspension Of Navy Nuclear Commander

Sept. 30
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Navy has suspended Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the second most powerful man in charge of all U.S. nuclear war-fighting forces at the United States Strategic Command. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation alleges Giardina attempted to pass fake gambling chips at a Hawkeye State casino.

Congress Reaches Compromise Deal On Inert Gas

Sept. 30
Geoff Brumfiel / NPR
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With the government on the brink of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together to compromise on helium. Legislation passed late last week will keep the gas used in party balloons flowing from a national reserve.

Judge: Maricopa County Can't Prosecute Migrants For Smuggling Themselves

Sept. 30
Jude Joffe-Block / Fronteras Desk
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PHOENIX -- A federal district judge has ruled that one of Maricopa County's most controversial enforcement policies impacting undocumented immigrants must end.

Drug Cartel Provides Storm Relief, Helps Image

Sept. 30
Laurel Morales / Fronteras Desk
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It looks like Mexico's gangsters are trying to improve their image.

Rants And Raves: 'Breaking Bad'

Sept. 30
By Beth Accomando
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One of the best shows ever to grace television ended last night, it’s sad to say good-bye to “Breaking Bad.” (Spoilers will ensue.)

Tracing The Story Of 'Lynch Mob'

Sept. 30
Lakshmi Gandhi / NPR
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Robert Benmosche, the CEO of insurance giant AIG, was widely criticized last week after comparing reactions to the bonuses his company's employees received in 2009 to a lynch mob.

After 30 Years, San Diego Central Library Now Open To The Public

Sept. 30
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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A dream 30 years in the making is now reality as the new San Diego Central Library opens its doors to the public.

State Capitol Flags Lowered For Coronado-Based Pilot Killed In Helicopter Crash

Sept. 30
By Beth Ford Roth
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California Governor Jerry Brown ordered flags above the State Capitol lowered to half-staff today in honor of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Landon L. Jones, of Lompoc. Jones was killed September 22 when his MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter crashed while operating in the Red Sea. He was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Six, based at Naval Air Station North Island.

Diesel Rebate Fraud: Pilot Flying J Says It Is Repaying Millions

Sept. 30
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Months after federal agents raided its Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters over charges that it withheld millions in diesel fuel rebates from customers at its truck stops, Pilot Flying J says it is paying the companies that were cheated.

Valentine Road: A Path To Teen Tragedy

Sept. 30
NPR Staff / NPR
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In February 2008, 14-year-old Larry King walked up to fellow classmate Brandon McInerney, and, as a dare, asked him to be his Valentine.

Gov. Brown Has Two More Weeks To Sign High Profile Legislation

Sept. 30
Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio
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Gov. Jerry Brown has until Oct. 13 to act on a stack of bills, several come with very high profiles.

Man Accused Of Siphoning Millions From Fake Veterans' Charity

Sept. 30
Scott Neuman / NPR
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An ex-military intelligence officer who prosecutors say siphoned millions from a bogus charity for U.S. Navy veterans is going on trial in Ohio.

Obama And Netanyahu Discuss Iran, Palestinians At White House

Sept. 30
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at the White House, meeting with President Obama to discuss security and intelligence matters, including Iran's nuclear program.

House Passes Bill To Pay Military During Government Shutdown (Video)

Sept. 30
By Beth Ford Roth
1 Comment
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Members of the military would get their paychecks, even in the event of a government shutdown, under a bill passed unanimously by the House of Representatives over the weekend. The Senate is expected to vote on that measure today.

Nevada Unemployment Woes Shed Light On Federal Neglect

Sept. 30
Kate Sheehy / Fronteras Desk
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LAS VEGAS - Five years into the recession, Nevada's unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. At 9.5 percent it's the highest in the nation.

Vaccine Refusals Fueled California's Whooping Cough Epidemic

Sept. 30
Nancy Shute / NPR
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When the whooping cough vaccine was invented in the 1940s, doctors thought they had finally licked the illness, which is especially dangerous for babies. But then it came roaring back.

San Diego Researchers Lead The Way In Early Warning Earthquake Sensors

Sept. 30
By Susan Murphy
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Under a statewide earthquake alert system, San Diegans would be warned approximately 20 seconds before the shaking began of a large earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault. The early warning technology was designed with the help of researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Will "High-Quality Customer Service" For San Diego Principals Mean High-Quality Schools?

Sept. 30
By Kyla Calvert
3 Comments
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San Diego Unified School Superintendent Cindy Marten's vision for successful schools starts with the principals.

Second Opinion: Does Obamacare Reduce Costs For People With Pre-Existing Conditions?

Sept. 30
By Megan Burks
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A University Heights resident with a pre-existing condition wants to know if her wallet will get any relief under the Affordable Care Act.

Former San Diego Mayor Takes Business, Political Leaders On DC Lobbying Trip

Sept. 30
By Claire Trageser
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This week, 115 of San Diego's business and elected leaders are visiting Washington D.C. on an annual lobbying trip led by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Are You Ready For Some Shutdown? Here's Monday's Schedule

Sept. 30
Mark Memmott / NPR
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We probably don't need to tell you that it's almost certain there will be a partial shutdown of the federal government just after midnight Monday.

Insurance Exchange 101: Here's What You Need To Know

Sept. 30
Julie Rovner / NPR
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The Affordable Care Act has been through two years of legislative wrangling, a presidential election and a Supreme Court test that took it to the brink.

Chicago's Privatized Parking Meters Sour Airport Lease Deal

Sept. 30
David Schaper / NPR
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Close to 19 million passengers come through Chicago's Midway Airport each year, and many will spend a lot of cash here -- on food, drinks, books, gum, parking and rental cars -- not to mention the landing fees and gate fees paid by airlines.