Good morning. Here are the latest headlines from the WNYC newsroom.
President Obama heads to Kansas City, Missouri, today to tour an auto plant and press his case that Congress must not jeopardize economic progress with threats of a government shutdown. At the same time, the House is scheduled to vote on a stopgap funding bill that would defund the health care overhaul. Senate Democrats say the bill will go nowhere. The president and Congress are also locked in a tug of war over raising the nation's borrowing limit.
- A clear divide has opened within the ranks of Syria's opposition. The main Western-backed opposition is warning that al-Qaida-linked rebels are undermining the fight to free the country from President Bashar Assad's rule. The Syrian National Coalition says in a statement that Syrians as a whole "respect religious and political pluralism" but the jihadis are pushing to establish an Islamic state.
- A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Democrat Bill de Blasio with a commanding lead
over Republican opponent Joe Lhota in the race for NYC mayor, 66% to 25%. Today's expected endorsements: Democratic Senator Charles Schumer for de Blasio; Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro of the Conservative Party for Lhota..
- New York City is on track for a record-breaking year for job creation. The city added just over 10,000 jobs last month, according to an analysis by real estate firm Eastern Consolidated. If trends continue, NYC could net more than 100,000 jobs this year, which would be the most since record-keeping began in 1950. But, all those jobs didn't put a dent the city's unemployment rate. It actually rose 0.2% last month...to 8.6%.
- Apple fans are lining up at retailers today as the iPhone 5s and 5c go on sale, and the NYPD is using the occasion to get people to register their digital devices with them. Operation ID
helps police return stolen smartphones and laptops to owners. One glitch: you can't sign up online yet.
Sunny with high of 78 today. Clear skies tonight with a low of 62. For the weekend: Highs in the low to mid 70s, with some rain developing Saturday night into Sunday morning.
Also heard on WNYC this morning:
Four Tiny School Districts Vote to Merge
The Stockton, Lambertville, West Amwell and South Hunterdon Regional school districts in New Jersey argue they can no longer afford to be so small. Collectively their single-school districts have fewer than 900 students. And each school is required to have its own superintendent, its own business administrator, auditor and legal council. The districts are proposing consolidation.
To See How New York Can Survive Flooding, Look to Hamburg
To get a good sense of a what a floodproof city can look like, check out Hafen City in Hamburg, Germany. An urban archipelago in the middle of the Elbe River, it has office space, parks, a new concert hall and around 6,000 homes. It sits on old industrial piers that were cleared and elevated to withstand flooding.