3:00pm

Fri September 23, 2011
Movies

Movie Reviews: Three Bio-Pics

NPR's Bob Mondello reviews a true-life triple feature: Machine Gun Preacher, Moneyball and Toast, three unlikely stories based on real people.

3:00pm

Fri September 23, 2011
Energy

Solyndra's Execs Take The Fifth

Top executives of Solyndra, a bankrupt solar-energy company, have declined to testify in a congressional hearing Friday, invoking their Fifth Amendment rights. The company is under investigation for a half-billion dollar government loan guarantee it received.

3:00pm

Fri September 23, 2011
From Our Listeners

Letters: Alexander; Boston Red Sox

Melissa Block and Michele Norris read emails from listeners.

3:00pm

Fri September 23, 2011
Commentary

Week In Politics: Jobs Bill; Spending Bill; GOP Presidential Race

Michele Norris speaks with our regular political commentators E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks, of the New York Times.

3:00pm

Fri September 23, 2011
Space

NASA: Satellite's Rate Of Descent Has Slowed

We reported on the variables that make it hard to, even at this late date, predict exactly when and where a dead 6-ton NASA satellite will fall to Earth. The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, will be the biggest NASA spacecraft to crash back to Earth, but it's now baffling scientists as its descent toward Earth slows — delaying its ultimate crash until the early part of the weekend. The space agency is now predicting the satellite will crash down to Earth late Friday or early Saturday, Eastern Time.

3:00pm

Fri September 23, 2011
Politics

What Happens If FEMA Runs Out Of Money?

A resident speaks to a Federal Emergency Management Agency agent atop his destroyed house in the devastated town of Hueytown, Ala., on May 1. FEMA will run out of money to help disaster victims by early next week unless Congress acts.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Congress is at odds over a measure needed to keep the government operating past the end of the month.

While lawmakers have a week to work out their differences before the government faces another partial shutdown, one agency faces a much earlier deadline.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will run out of money early next week, putting a halt to projects in communities around the country still struggling to recover from this year's spate of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires.

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3:00pm

Fri September 23, 2011
NPR Story

Palestinians React To U.N. Bid For Statehood

Palestinians react to their leader's bid for statehood recognition at the United Nations. Mass rallies are planned across the West Bank. Melissa Block talks to NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro.

3:00pm

Fri September 23, 2011
NPR Story

Senate Blocks Stopgap Bill

A federal loan program to build more fuel-efficient cars became the latest budget flash point, with House Republicans wanting to raid the fund to help pay for FEMA disaster aid. Senate Democrats refused to go along. The standoff comes in a bill that would fund the entire government beyond next week.

1:53pm

Fri September 23, 2011
Planet Money

Germany's Painful Unemployment Fix

Marchers demonstrate against the German labor reforms, known as Hartz IV. (November 5, 2005)
Sean Gallup Getty Images

As the U.S. and much of Europe struggle to bring down unemployment rates, one country stands apart: Germany, where the unemployment rate is just 6.2 percent.

The story of how Germany got here goes back nearly a decade.

In 2002, Germany looked a lot like the United States does today: it had no economic growth, and its unemployment rate was 8.7 percent and climbing.

Gerhard Schroeder, the German chancellor at the time, made an emergency call to a trusted friend.

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1:45pm

Fri September 23, 2011
Education

Obama Lets States Opt Out Of 'No Child Left Behind'

Decrying the state of American education, President Obama announced Friday that his administration is allowing states to be exempt from basic elements of the No Child Left Behind law if they meet certain conditions.

States can now apply for waivers so that they won't face federal sanctions under the sweeping Bush-era legislation.

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