Puerto Rico Releases Data On Hundreds Of Deaths Following Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico's government began complying with a court order and released partial records Tuesday of deaths following Hurricane Maria. The data reveal that there were 1,427 more deaths in the last four months of 2017 than the average over the four years before. The new count comes as questions swirl around the official death toll and reports that hundreds of bodies remain unclaimed in the island's main morgue. The official death toll from Hurricane Maria stands at 64, but as early as December...

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Federal Employees Return To Work

Oct 17, 2013

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll talk about just what it takes to get the federal government up and running again with the Washington Post's Joe Davidson. He writes the Federal Diary.

President Obama slammed the partisan standoff "spectacle" that he said had damaged the economy and America's international credibility, and called on Congress to pass a comprehensive budget, immigration reform and a farm bill by year's end.

He praised "Democrats and responsible Republicans who came together" to pass a last-minute deal to reverse a partial government shutdown and narrowly avert the expiration of the federal borrowing authority.

With the double crises of a partial government shutdown and a potential debt default resolved, it's a good time to consider some of the lessons we learned from the dysfunction and drama of recent weeks.

Here are 10 of them:

Shutting Down The Government Is Not A Winning Political Strategy

The government shutdown has taken a toll on the nation's economy and despite a deal that sidesteps a debt default and restarts the government (at least for a few months), growth forecasts for the last quarter of the year are being scaled back.

Economist Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics has shaved his gross domestic product forecast from a 2.6 percent annualized rate to 2.1 percent for the last three months of the calendar year.

Amnesty International is urging Iranian authorities not to go ahead with the execution of a convicted drug smuggler after the man survived a botched hanging last week.

The 37-year-old man, identified as Alireza M, was found alive in a morgue after he was hanged at a jail in the northeast Iranian city of Bojnord.

A news release from Amnesty International says:

Good morning.

The newspapers hit the front porch this morning with a familiar thud. (Yes, some of us still like the feel of paper in the morning.)

"SHUTDOWN ENDS" shouted The Washington Post.

"REPUBLICANS BACK DOWN, ENDING BUDGET CRISIS" The New York Times intoned.

And online (yes, some of us also like the morning glow of our devices), the post-shutdown/debt crisis postmortems were piling up like so many pages of regulations in the Affordable Care Act.

But first, the details, quickly:

The crash of a turboprop in southern Laos that killed all 49 people aboard was caused by a violent storm that prompted the pilot to miss a runway and careen into the Mekong River, authorities say.

"Upon preparing to land at Pakse Airport the aircraft ran into extreme bad weather conditions and was reportedly crashed into the Mekong River," the Laos Ministry of Public Works and Transport said in a statement.

A handful of German and Polish residents at a nursing home in the Polish mountain town of Szklarska Poreba play a Scrabble-like game using blocks with large letters.

The seniors are tended to by Polish workers who offer a steady supply of smiles, hugs and encouragement.

Leonardo Tegls says such personal attention makes this nursing home, Sun House, special. The 87-year-old Dutch-born immigrant to Germany says he first learned about the Polish nursing home from a TV ad.

Syria's chemical weapons could be consolidated and moved out of the country, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested in an interview with NPR.

Weapons inspectors are still in Syria assessing the country's stockpile and how to destroy it, in accordance with a United Nations Security Council resolution approved in September.

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