Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 11:24 am
No one who's been paying attention for, say, the past few decades, needs to be reminded of how extremely polarized Washington is.
So it's usually good news when Democrats and Republicans can come together on an issue, as they did recently to support the idea of creating the new honorary position of "Science Laureate of the United States."
In the last few days we've learned that Iran has released political prisoners and that its new president and President Obama have written each other. Also suggesting a thaw in the relationship, both leaders expressed a desire to resolve their countries' dispute over Iran's nuclear program. These seeming overtures come as President Hassan Rouhani prepares to fly to New York to address the U.N.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep with some new information about us. The Census Bureau conducts the American Community Survey every year. It's an annual snapshot of who Americans are and how we live, and it's kind of like Christmas morning for demographers such as William Frey of the Brookings Institution. We asked him what trends he sees this year.
When UPS told workers that it would no longer offer health coverage for spouses who had their own job-based insurance, it caused a big stir. But the shipping giant has plenty of company.
So many employers are trying to cut back on health coverage for spouses that it has become a trend. The practice began well before the Affordable Care Act passed, and the connection to the law, in some cases, isn't that direct.
Actor Dean Norris took to Twitter the other day. "Missed last night's Breaking Bad," he wrote. "Heard it was intense. Filmed several alternate versions. Can't wait to see what they used."
Please note: There's a spoiler farther down this page.
Norris plays — played? — a drug enforcement agent on the acclaimed AMC series, which wraps for good after just two more episodes. His character's brother-in-law is a chemistry teacher with cancer who, at the series' outset, gets into cooking methamphetamine to pay for his treatment.
If you are trying to buy a home, you just got good news: The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is not going to try to drive up long-term interest rates just yet.
Stock investors are happy for you. They like cheap mortgages too because a robust housing market creates jobs. To celebrate, they bought more shares, sending the Dow Jones industrial average up 147.21 to an all-time high of 15,676.94.