With little progress being made to resolve the government shutdown, House Republicans have decided on a piecemeal strategy.
They have been voting to reopen small pieces of the government â€” for example, on Wednesday, they approved bills paying for the Federal Aviation Administration and for death benefits to the families of service members.
The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama will nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve Wednesday. She would replace Ben Bernanke, who's stepping down from the post. Yellen has been the presumptive nominee for weeks, after Lawrence Summers announced his intention to remove himself from the running in September. She'd be the first woman to head the Fed.
This week, All Things Considered is talking with leaders from different faiths about their perspectives on the afterlife. NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Mufti Asif Umar, a Muslim scholar and imam of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, about what Muslims believe and about his own beliefs.
Umar, the 29-year-old son of Indian immigrants, said Muslims believe that when a person dies, two angels appear and ask that person three questions about his or her faith. Those questions, Umar says, have correct answers.
The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has all sorts of costs â€” not only in the United States, but also overseas. President Obama had to cancel a trip this week to visit four nations in Asia so he could stay in Washington to deal with the political crisis. That has disappointed â€” even worried â€” some of America's friends in the region, who are counting on the United States to stand up to an increasingly assertive China.
The disappointment over the president's no-show in Asia was palpable.