National News

Congress Quietly Extends The Budget — Past Election Day, Anyway

This week on Capitol Hill, a proposal to aid Syrian rebels got all the drama, while the larger government funding bill it was attached to barely got mention. But that spending package is quite similar to the one that led to the government shutdown in October — most notably, it still funds the Affordable Care Act. Yet this year, talk of a government shutdown was virtually nonexistent.

The main reason? It's an election year, and that changed the calculation for House leaders.

New York state is buying homes like this one in Staten Island's Fox Beach neighborhood as part of a Hurricane Sandy recovery project in the hopes that demolishing them will help nature return and provide a barrier to future storm surges.

Some On Staten Island Opt For Buyout Of 'Houses That Don't Belong'

Staten Island's Fox Beach neighborhood used to be a working-class area with about 180 homes, mostly small bungalows. Fox Beach is — or rather was — a few hundred feet from the Atlantic Ocean, and after Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, homeowners decided their neighborhood was dangerous in terms of natural disasters and too expensive because of the rising cost of flood insurance.

So the state has been tearing down the homes.

Bill Bye's home at 16 Kissam Ave. was a recent one to go.

The clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews sits just off the first tee. The course itself is open to the public — women as well as men. But women had not been allowed to join the club since its founding in 1754.

In Scotland History Is Made... But At A Golf Club

Yes, history is unfolding in Scotland this evening.

But another bit of history was made in the region earlier today, when the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews announced that its members had voted overwhelmingly to allow women to become members.

In a statement, the club's secretary Peter Dawson said 85 percent of members voted in the affirmative. He added:

A woman washes clothes in a slum in Freetown.

In Sierra Leone, A Lockdown ... Or A Time To Reflect?

Starting just after midnight, residents of Sierra Leone will be confined to their homes for a three-day lockdown.

It's the latest government plan meant to stem the tide of Ebola cases, which exceeded 1,500 last week in Sierra Leone.

But the plan has not won the support of the international medical community — and is causing concern among Sierra Leoneans as well.

Senate Approves Measure To Arm And Train Syrian Rebels

The Senate joined the House on Thursday in rare bipartisanship by approving a measure to train and equip members of the Syrian opposition.

The Senate passed the measure 78 to 22; the House passed its version with a 273-to-156 vote on Wednesday. The bill now heads to the White House for President Obama's signature.

A Frightening Curve: How Fast Is The Ebola Outbreak Growing?

In the past week, world leaders have started using a mathematical term when they talk about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

"It's spreading and growing exponentially," President Obama said Tuesday. "This is a disease outbreak that is advancing in an exponential fashion," said Dr. David Nabarro, who is heading the U.N.'s effort against Ebola.

Broadway, New York City.

Look, Mom, I Finally Made It To Broadway!

OK, I sort of made it to Broadway. It's WNYC's Greene Space in SoHo, the New York City neighborhood.

Friday is date night. But even if you are flying solo, come join us in person, or on Twitter.

We have a terrific lineup of some of the most exciting playwrights working today to talk about Broadway.

Some neighborhoods in this "Mayberry by the Sea" could be underwater within a few decades, according to some projections.

A Coastal Paradise Confronts Its Watery Future

Dan Reiter, 37, is a long-board surfer and contractor who used to live in Tampa, Fla. Then he discovered the surf breaks along a stretch of coast south of Cape Canaveral. "It's one of the most beautiful places in the world to live and surf and raise your kids," says Reiter, 37, as we watch head-high waves roll into Hightower Beach.

But there's trouble in this coastal paradise. It's on a low-lying barrier island that's getting lower as sea level rises. So the cities here are looking for ways to keep the water at bay or retreat from it.

Court Says Navy Investigators Illegally Scan Civilian Computers

An appeals court ruling has offered a rare glimpse at the extent to which military police investigations reach into civilians' computers. Apparently, they scan civilian computers quite often — and to a degree that a 9th Circuit appeals court has now found violates the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act.

Larry Ellison is stepping down as Oracle's CEO.

Larry Ellison Steps Down As Oracle's CEO

Oracle's Larry Ellison is stepping down as CEO, the company announced today, and will be replaced by Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, who will be co-CEOs.

Ellison, who co-founded Oracle in 1977, was named executive chairman of the board and Oracle's chief technology officer.

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