Pat Barnes of Hanover, Md. waits for her train at Union Station in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 1, the first day of the government shutdown. Barnes is a federal employee and was sent home early in response to the shutdown.
Credit Meredith Rizzo / NPR
Kirk Douglas from Martinsburg, W.Va. boards a train at Union Station in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 1, the first day of the government shutdown. "I think it's a sad day for the United States," he said. "People travel from all around the world to come see the Smithsonian, and now they're closed. It kind of makes us look like immature, bickering children to the rest of the world."
In the pages of David Finkel's new book, you'll meet a veteran who has recurring nightmares in which a fellow soldier asks, "Why didn't you save me?" You'll also meet a veteran who sees images of dead Iraqis floating in his bathtub, and another who tries to kill himself by biting through his right wrist — the only wrist he can raise to his mouth since his left side is paralyzed.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:51 pm
As more than 800,000 government employees were sent home this morning, the staff at Washington, D.C.'s Sixth & I Historic Synagogue opened "Shutdown Central," a gathering space for furloughed locals to work and play.
This morning the New York City Opera announced that it was declaring bankruptcy and ceasing operations. Dubbed "The People's Opera" by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia when it was founded 70 years ago, the company was meant as an alternative to the richer Metropolitan Opera. It's the place where exciting young singers like Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo made their New York debuts and where innovative productions of new operas premiered.
Federal bureaucracies aren't the only ones scaling back operations during the government shutdown. It's also meant that kids couldn't take field trips to the Smithsonian.
In fact most of the popular Washington attractions funded by the government are closed. That includes the Smithsonian's 19 museums and the National Zoo, plus Ford's Theatre and the National Gallery of Art.
Credit Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times/Landov
A sign warns would-be buyers at the Annapolis Gun Show in Annapolis, Md., in September of the state's pending gun control law. The new law, which took effect Tuesday, bans the purchase of many types of assault rifles.
One of the strictest gun laws in the nation went into effect in Maryland on Tuesday. The new law bans assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, and it makes Maryland one of only six states that require handgun purchasers to get fingerprinted and take gun safety courses.
Gun owners in the state aren't happy, and in recent weeks, they've been flocking to snap up firearms. On Monday, outside Fred's Sporting Goods in Waldorf, there was a huge crowd and a countdown sign advertising: "1 day left."
Even as the Affordable Care Act's new health exchanges open for business, polls show the public is still pretty confused about how they're supposed to work.
The latest monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, in fact, found that two-thirds of those without insurance said they don't have enough information about the law to know how it will affect them.
PAULINE BARTOLONE, BYLINE: I'm Pauline Bartolone in Sacramento.
California, like Colorado, has been full speed ahead in creating its own health insurance marketplace. Melissa Martinez has been looking forward to using it. She works at home as a consultant. She also lives with an autoimmune disease.
MELISSA MARTINEZ: This last bout of insuring myself it was about $600 a month, and my meds - because I have lupus - are about $600 a month. And so I had to pick one or the other. So I let my insurance go.
Colorado's health care exchange opened as planned today, at 8 am Mountain time. Not long after that, the website started scrolling a message: "Due to overwhelming interest, we are temporarily suspending the creation of accounts, please continue to browse plans."
The state has been planning for this day since 2007, when leaders from both political parties in the state started talking about overhauling health care. It's one of just 16 states that chose to create its own health insurance exchange, rather than using one run by the federal government.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:50 pm
If you or your child has a school report due tomorrow, the Census Bureau site will not be available to help. Census.gov and its affiliates, like American FactFinder and online surveys, are offline as part of the federal government's shutdown. The same goes for the Federal Trade Commission's site, the Agriculture Department's USDA.gov and the Library of Congress' site, which can also be a rich resource of reference information.