NPR: Brian Naylor

After almost a decade spent reporting on Congress for NPR, Brian Naylor has turned his microphone toward the issues, people, and events of the Mid-Atlantic region. His coverage now encompasses developments in the area stretching from Pennsylvania through Virginia. In addition to his reports heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition, Naylor can be heard as a substitute host on NPR's newsmagazines.

As NPR's congressional correspondent, Naylor documented the first Republican majority in Congress in 40 years, and filed many reports chronicling the 73-member year freshman class who, according to Naylor, were the driving force behind the revolution. Naylor was elected to the Executive Committee of the Congressional Radio/TV Gallery in 1995. His congressional work earned national praise; Naylor's stories were among those that won NPR the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism award presented for political reporting in 1996. Before becoming NPR's congressional correspondent, Naylor served as NPR's White House correspondent during the Reagan administration.

During his tenure at NPR, Naylor has also reported from abroad. He filed from London during the Gulf War and from Jerusalem in the aftermath of the Temple Mount shootings. He also covered the 1988 Olympics from Seoul. Naylor joined NPR in 1982 as a newscaster for All Things Considered. Before coming to NPR, Naylor served from 1979 to 1982 as State House/political reporter and anchor for WOSU-FM in Columbus, Ohio. Naylor has also worked at radio stations in Maine.

A native of Pound Ridge, NY, Naylor graduated from the University of Maine in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in broadcasting/film.

This spring, tornadoes in the Midwest and the Southeast plus flooding along the Mississippi River are adding up to major expenses for the federal government, which is asked to provide emergency aid to states and localities.

On Tuesday, a House panel voted to put another $1 billion into a disaster assistance fund — and that may be just the start.

An Emergency Infusion Of Cash, Again

As rescuers continue their search for survivors, a different kind of accounting is going on in Washington.

In addition to the tens of thousands of people displaced by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent radiation leak in Japan, tens of thousands of pets are also homeless.

Many have been taken in by animal rescue groups — some of which sneaked into the exclusion zone surrounding the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant to remove animals found wandering the streets and houses.

Japan is reassessing how it produces electricity after March's earthquake and tsunami sparked a crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan this week persuaded the operators of another nuclear plant west of Tokyo to temporarily close it to make safety improvements. And he is canceling a plan to build more nuclear facilities.

NPR has been profiling some of the Republicans who are considering a presidential run in 2012, to find out what first sparked their interest in politics. Read more of those profiles.

When you ask many politicians what inspired them to a life of public service, you often hear familiar words about a commitment to helping people, or perhaps a desire to run government more like a business.

Newt Gingrich has a different story to tell.

The government of Japan says it will take three years to clean up the debris left behind by the giant tsunami that washed over that country's northeast coast in March. An estimated 130,000 people either had their homes destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami, or were evacuated because of the radiation leaks at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Officials are struggling to build them temporary housing, in areas where there is little vacant land.

There is some good news for airline travelers with lost bags or delayed flights. The Department of Transportation announces new passenger protection measures Wednesday.

It's bad enough when an airline loses your checked bag. It adds insult to the injury when they've charged you to check that bag and you can't get your money back.

Airlines will be required to refund any checked bag fee if that bag is lost. It only seems fair, but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the airline industry had to be forced into it.

A year ago Wednesday, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 workers and setting off a massive spill that sent millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf.

The disaster focused a spotlight on government oversight of offshore drilling, which was generally found to be inadequate. The Obama administration responded by creating a new agency to regulate offshore drilling.

One year later, that agency is a work in progress.

A Culture Of Coziness

Federal Aviation Administration chief Randy Babbitt is visiting air traffic control facilities across the country this week, meeting with controllers about an issue that has gotten the agency a lot of unwanted publicity lately: sleeping on the job.

At least a half-dozen controllers have been reported nodding off in recent weeks. Babbitt says that won't be tolerated, but controllers say it's a common problem with no easy answer.

In Washington, D.C., and at federal agencies across the country, the big question employees are asking on the eve of a possible government shutdown is: Am I essential or not? Workers and agencies that are deemed essential will be kept on the job if a shutdown occurs.