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The Two-Way
6:26 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown Prompts Emergency Declarations In Utah

The Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park is a popular fall hike for thousands of visitors but the government shutdown has closed the park and drained tourism revenue and tax payments from local communities.
Wanda Gayle NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:04 pm

Fed-up with declining tourism spending and tax revenue during the government shutdown, four Utah counties dependent on National Park and public lands visitors have declared states of emergency.

And Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has responded with a plea to President Obama to reopen the region's National Park areas with state, local and private funding.

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

NSA Says It Has 'Mitigated' Meltdowns At Utah Data Farm

A new National Security Agency data center in Bluffdale, Utah, has had electrical problems that will delay its opening, according to reports.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 1:49 pm

This was supposed to be the month the National Security Agency cranked up its biggest data farm yet, in a Salt Lake City suburb.

The $1.2 billion complex covers 1.5 million square feet, and includes 100,000 square feet devoted solely to computers and servers.

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Boehner: 'There's Going To Be A Negotiation Here'

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) arrives to speak to the media following President Barack Obama's news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

About an hour after President Obama made his case to the country, Speaker John Boehner stood before a podium for the second time on Tuesday to say he was standing his ground and that he was "disappointed" that Obama would not negotiate.

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The Two-Way
4:55 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Botanic Garden Shuts Down, But Who'll Water The Plants?

The U.S. Botanic Garden, which is closed because of the government shutdown, says a small staff is looking after its plants. The garden's website still highlights part of its collection that's in bloom.
U.S. Botanic Garden

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 5:48 pm

Among the casualties of the federal government shutdown is the U.S. Botanic Garden, which has been closed since Oct. 1.

As the government shutdown began, the final official act of many furloughed office workers was to grab their plants so they could care for them at home. That raised a question in Washington: Who would look after the Botanic Garden's plants?

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown Forces Antarctic Research Into 'Caretaker Status'

The Chalet (right) is the U.S. Antarctic Program's administrations and operations center at McMurdo Station.
Reed Scherer National Science Foundation

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:44 am

Earlier this week we told you that scientists who do research in Antarctica have been on pins and needles, worried that the government shutdown would effectively cancel all of their planned field work this year.

Well, those scientists just got the news they didn't want to hear.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Obama: 'Stop The Excuses. Let's Take A Vote'

President Obama speaks about the government shutdown and debt limit on Tuesday at the White House in Washington.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:45 pm

In a press conference that lasted more than an hour, President Obama said he was willing to talk about anything, as long as Republicans reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, even if its for a short period of time.

"Let's stop the excuses. Let's take a vote in the House. Let's end this shutdown, right now; let's put people back to work" Obama said.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

An Aerogramme From Professor Higgs, Nobel Winner

Letter from Peter Higgs
David Kestenbaum NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:02 pm

Well, it's happened. British scientist Peter Higgs has won a Nobel Prize for proposing the Higgs boson particle as part of a mechanism that explains how things in the universe came to have mass.

Higgs seems to be lying low today so far — a colleague told The New York Times that Higgs had "gone off by himself for a few days without saying where" and that a reporter seeking an interview recently had been "sent away with a flea in his ear."

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Study: U.S. Adults Below Average In Literacy, Basic Math

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 3:07 pm

Adults in the U.S. fall behind many of their developed-world counterparts in such basic areas as math, reading and problem-solving using technology, according to a newly released report authored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies surveyed 166,000 teens and adults ranging in age from 16 to 65 years old in 24 countries.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Obama Calls Boehner To Say He'll Negotiate — Later

On Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner urged Democrats to negotiate on budget and debt issues. In a phone call, President Obama told Boehner he is open to talks, but not until the current crises are over.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:54 pm

President Obama phoned House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday morning to tell him that he's open to discussing Republicans' fiscal ideas, but not until the government shutdown is over and the federal debt ceiling has been raised.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Tue October 8, 2013

North Korea Has Restarted Nuclear Reactor, South Korea Says

An Aug. 31 image from DigitalGlobe shows the 5-megawatt reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon facility. South Korean officials say they have confirmed that the nuclear reactor has been restarted.
DigitalGlobe/ScapeWare3d via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:44 pm

South Korean officials say they have confirmed that North Korea has restarted a nuclear reactor that had been shut down in 2007. The news bolsters reports last month that the reactor was operating once again.

In April, North Korea said it would restart the reactor to aid its nuclear weapons program, as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports for our Newscast unit:

"South Korea's National Intelligence Service delivered a report to a parliamentary intelligence committee saying that North Korea's 5-megawatt plutonium reactor at Yongbyon has resumed operations.

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