(Note at 11:20 a.m. ET: Scroll down to see the GOP plan, which has now been released; new comments from Rep. Ryan; and White House reaction.)
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, unveiled his latest budget plan Tuesday morning — and as NPR's Tamara Keith told our Newscast Desk, he says it would bring the federal budget in balance by 2023.
Black smoke just poured from the chimney above the Vatican. That means, as was expected, the cardinals did not choose a pope on the first vote of their conclave to name a successor to the now-retired Pope Benedict XVI. As the cardinals' ballots are burned, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli says, chemicals are added to a fire in a second stove to turn the smoke black if there's no pope elected and white if there is.
Ben Katchor's syndicated comic strips vary in subject — his Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer, for example, explores the surreal underside of our urban environment by documenting the inner lives of the spaces and storefronts we walk past every day, while The Cardboard Valise reads like a Fodor's guide to a country that exists only in Franz Kafka's dream journal.
For only the second time ever, the Securities and Exchange Commission is charging a state with fraud, for allegedly misleading investors about the health of its pension funds. The SEC says the state of Illinois did not properly inform investors that its pension funds were significantly underfunded when selling bonds from 2005 to 2009. This is the latest fiscal black eye for a state with a pension shortfall approaching a whopping $100 billion. The state has agreed to settle the charges.
You have made it to Tuesday, ladies and gentlemen. It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. This is a big week in Washington, D.C. for budget wonks. House Budget Committee Chairman and former Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan unveiled his budget plan this morning. Tomorrow, Senate Democrats will do the same. Last night, Senate Democrats also introduced their version of a stopgap funding bill to keep the government open for the rest of the fiscal year.
Leaders of several cruise lines are meeting in Miami on Tuesday to discuss the state of the industry. The conference comes after a series of setbacks, including a cruise ship losing power for days in the Gulf of Mexico.
Technology has made it easier than ever to track your activity levels, your sleep cycles, how you spend your time, and more. The self-trackers who near-obsessively capture and analyze their own data are part of a growing "Quantified Self" movement.
The tall and imposing Nicolas Maduro stepped forward last week to be sworn in as Venezuela's interim leader following the death of President Hugo Chavez.
Before the country's packed congressional hall, he swore to complete Chavez's dream to transform the OPEC power into a socialist state, allied with Cuba and decidedly opposed to capitalism and U.S. interests in Latin America.