From NPR News in Washington, I'm Jack Speer.
Texas freshman Republican Senator Ted Cruz finally called it quits this morning after his 21-hour, 19-minute talkathon on the floor of the US Senate. Cruz spoke in favor of dismantling President Obama's health care law. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Cruz's marathon speech "a waste of time."
"The things he talked about have been talked about before on a number of occasions; in fact, endlessly."
The Senate moved ahead with a test vote on the measure, would allow for a possible vote Friday on the bill over the government shutdown. While the House passed a version the measure contains a provision to gut the health care law, the Senate is expected to remove that.
One of the departments that stand to be severely affected by the budget impasse in Washington is Treasury. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says as of October 17th, Treasury will be powerless to avoid a default on US government debt if Congress does not act to raise the debt celling. NPR's John Ydstie reports the warning came in a letter to all members of Congress.
In his letter, Lew estimated that by October 17th, Treasure may have only about 30 billion dollars on hand to honor a daily obligation that could exceed 60 billion dollars. He urged members of Congress to act immediately to raise the borrowing limit. He reminded them that a last-minute fight over the debt celling issue in 2011 caused significant harm to the economy and the downgrade to the credit rating of the United States. Lew said legislation recently passed by the House of Representatives, which would prioritize debt payments honoring some obligations but not others, is "simply default by another name." He said there is no way of knowing the damage that the default might cause to the economy and financial markets. John Ydstie, NPR News, Washington.
In the wake of the Washington Navy Yard shootings, the Pentagon will review physical security defense installations and check how military contractors receive clearances. NPR's Tom Bowman has more.
Aaron Alexis drove into the Navy Yard in September 16th with the security clearance, a government access card and a sawed-off shotgun stuffed in a bag. After his killing spree, Alexis was shot and killed by police. Now the Pentagon is mounting several reviews. Among the questions: How could Alexis have slipped through the cracks after several brushes with the law in what the FBI calls "delusional" behavior? Investigators missed the fact that Alexis shot out the tires of someone's car in 2004.
"Oh, that jumped out at me, evidence that there was behavior well before the Washington Navy Yard incident."
That's Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. He says the reviews will include an independent one headed by a retired admiral and a government official. Tom Bowman, NPR News, Washington.
What is being called one of the greatest comebacks in sports history--Oracle Team USA and skipper Jimmy Spithill had come from behind to win the American's Cup, Spithill steering Oracle's 72-foot-long catamaran to its eighth straight victory in the final winner-take-all race in the San Francisco Bay.
On Wall Street, the Dow was down 61 points.
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A lawyer representing entertainment company AEG Live says music superstar Michael Jackson died as a result of his own bad choices, and not anything the company producing Jackson's "This Is It" concert may have done. Attorney Marvin Putnam began delivering final arguments to jurors who're weighing evidence in a negligence suit brought by Jackson's family. The attorney representing the late singer has claimed he would have had earnings potential of more than a billion dollars had he lived. Jackson died in 2009 at the age of 50 for drug overdose. Closing arguments in the case are scheduled for tomorrow.
Three astronauts are due to arrive at the International Space Station in less than an hour. They are taking the express route. As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, they blasted off aboard a Russian rocket earlier today.
"Three, two, one, ignition."
The Russian Soyuz TMA-10M lifted off just a few minutes before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Onboard are NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy. They will dock with the station later this evening. Once aboard, the three new astronauts will join three already in orbit. While in space, the trio will conduct scientific experiments and routine maintenance onboard the station. They are scheduled to return to Earth in the spring of next year. Geoff Brumfiel, NPR News.
School Board in North Carolina now says it's rethinking its decision to ban the Ralph Ellison's novel "Invisible Man." That's after the board's decision was ridiculed by residents of the county located in the central part of the state. While the publicized ban came after the mother of a high school junior complained about the sexual content of the book, five of seven board members apparently agreed. "Invisible Man" won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1953.
I'm Jack Speer, NPR News in Washington.