From NPR News in Washington, I'm Jack Speer.
With the government now in partial shutdown as a budget battle wages in Washington, at least for the moment the respective sides seem dug in. Republicans have put forth proposals to reopen small slices of the government and create a negotiating committee, both of which House Speaker John Boehner says the White House is rejecting.
"My goodness, they won't even sit down and have a discussion about this."
At the White House, President Obama accused a small faction of the Republican Party of carrying out an ideological crusade to wipe out his health care initiative. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for a quick end to the shutdown.
"This shutdown, while it might be a joy to all of you who’re opposed to government, is a luxury our country cannot afford."
Around 800,000 government workers were sent home today. Monuments, national parks and the Smithsonian museums in Washington are all closed.
About 400,000 civilian defense workers are being furloughed as part of the government shutdown. As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, Congress did pass legislation to ensure uniform members of the military will be paid on time.
Uniform service members will report for duty as usual, but the Pentagon says the shutdown will erode readiness, which they say is already a problem due to previous budget cuts. In an address to the defense workforce, President Obama blamed Congress for the fact that about half the civilian workforce will not work and will not be paid.
"And I know this comes on top of the furloughs that many of you already endured this summer. You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we’re seeing in Congress."
Civilian defense workers were furloughed for six days over the summer as a result of an automatic budget cuts. Larry Abramson, NPR News.
A technical glitch caused by heavy traffic caused some problems for today's launch of the federal insurance exchange. As Jim Burress from WABE in Atlanta reports, Georgia is one of the states affected.
Licensed navigator Dan Tzros sits down in his Atlanta office to access Georgia's exchange. But he gets an error.
"We have a lot of visitors on our site right now, and we're working to make your experience here better."
The screen prompts consumers to call a customer service number, which is also overwhelmed. But Tzros doesn't see the hiccup as a problem.
"This is a good thing. This is not a mistake. They're shopping. They’re looking."
At least 24 of 36 states with federal exchanges experienced similar problems. For NPR News, I'm Jim Burress in Atlanta.
The nation's factories were expanding last month at their fastest pace in more than two years. Institute for Supply Management, a key purchasing managers group, says its manufacturing index was up 0.5 to 56.2. That's the highest reading since April, 2007. Any reading over 50 shows growth in manufacturing or reading below that level indicates contraction.
On Wall Street, investors seem to have largely shrugged off the partial government shutdown in Washington. All three of the major US market indices were up. The Dow gains 62 points; the NASDAQ rose 46 points; the S&P was up 13 points today.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today vowed to do everything he can to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, even if it means acting on his own. The Israeli leader commented during an address to United Nations, where he also dismissed what he labeled a charm offensive of Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani. Netanyahu accused the recently elected Iranian leader of simply looking for a way to obtain relief from international sanctions.
The New York City Opera has announced it's filing for bankruptcy, canceling the rest of its season and winding down its operations. NPR's Margot Adler reports the opera did not make its fundraising goal of seven million dollars.
The New York City Opera was founded in 1943 by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, who dubbed “the people's opera.” It helped launch the careers of Beverly Sills, Renee Fleming and Placido Domingo. Over the past two seasons, the opera, which used to stage 12 to 16 productions a year, has only had four in each of last two seasons. The company's endowment has shrunk to less than an eighth of its original size. Its staff has been cut, and it has struggled to raise money ever since it moved out of Lincoln Center in 2011. A Kickstarter campaign failed to meet its goal. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the opera's business model was faulty, and neither he nor the city would ride to its rescue. Margot Adler NPR News, New York.
A Senate panel has signed off on Caroline Kennedy's nomination to be the next US ambassador to Japan. By a voice vote, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee endorsed President Obama's choice for the post. If confirmed, Kennedy will replace John Roos, a former Silicon Valley lawyer and top Obama campaign fundraiser. At her confirmation hearing, the former first daughter noted the significance of her nomination 50 years after her father's presidency.
I'm Jack Speer, NPR News in Washington.