By wide margins in both the House and the Senate, Congress voted Wednesday night to end a 16-day partial government shutdown. The measure also delays the debt ceiling deadline until early February. House and Senate Budget committees have until Dec. 13 to reconcile competing budgets.
Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 10:23 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
Let's go deeper now into one issue Secretary of State John Kerry raised in my interview with him earlier in the program. The secretary, along with his Russian counterpart, got Syria's Bashar al-Assad to agree to hand over his vast store of chemical weapons. Now, Kerry is suggesting those stockpiles be taken out of Syria.
OK, with the government funding and debt ceiling deal now reached, passed and signed, government agencies are set to reopen. But don't expect all federal offices to take your calls just yet. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.
BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: University of Alabama geologist Samantha Hansen has been conducting a research project in Antarctica that, in one way, is like most everything else, funded by the federal government. After 16 days down, it's going to take some time to restart.
Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor play Patsey and Solomon, two slaves on a Louisiana plantation, in <em>12 Years a Slave</em><em>.</em>
Credit Francois Duhamel / Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director Steve McQueen (left) works with actors on the set of <em>12 Years A Slave</em>. The film was shot on a Louisiana plantation that sits next door to where Solomon Northup spent his years as a slave.
Solomon Northup was born free in early-19th-century upstate New York. He lived the life of a respected and elegant musician until 1841, when he was lured South by the promise of a lucrative stint playing his fiddle in a traveling circus.
In Washington, D.C. — in the shadow of the Capitol — Northup was drugged. When he came to, he was in chains: a slave headed for the hellish world of plantation life. Only the hope of being reunited with his beloved wife and children kept him going.