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Democrats say a massive increase in food stamps is helping millions to stay out of poverty in economic hard times. Republicans say food-stamp spending is out of control, and they're calling for major reductions. On Capitol Hill, the debate is still raging, but Republican leaders in several states are about to act on their own. We hear what that could mean. Also, Republicans keep up the pressure to defund Obamacare, and how malls have become an important symbol of progress in expanding African cities.

Banner image: Clementine Gallot

Katie Cooper
Sonya Geis
Liyna Anwar

Making News Republicans Keep Up Pressure to Defund Obamacare 7 MIN, 45 SEC

Having removed the provision that defunded Obamacare, the Senate is expected to send the federal funding bill back to the House, where attention has shifted from shutting the government down next Tuesday to threatening default on paying the national debt. Manu Raju is senior congressional reporter for Politico.


Manu Raju, Politico (@mkraju)

Main Topic Despite Tough Times, Is There a War on Food Stamps? 34 MIN, 21 SEC

Federal money for food stamps has almost doubled since the start of the Great Recession, now covering 48 million people. The Census Bureau says that's kept four million people out of poverty. But Republicans in Congress say it's increased dependency on hand-outs. They want to cut $40 billion in food stamp money over the next 10 years. Federal action is not very likely, but Kansas, Ohio and other states will be doing it on their own. Is it tough love to encourage personal responsibility, or is it "draconian, heartless and cruel" in an era of high unemployment and an economic recovery that's leaving more and more people behind? 

Grovum Jake, Stateline (@JGrovum)
Tawny Stottlemire, Kansas Association of Community Action Programs (@KACAP_KS)
Robert Rector, Heritage Foundation (@Heritage)
Stacy Dean, Center on Budget Policy Priorities (@CenterOnBudget)

Today's Talking Point African Malls as a Symbol of the Consumer Class 8 MIN, 50 SEC

Reports about three days of terror in Nairobi suggested that the Westgate shopping mall was exclusive to Westerners and Kenya's wealthy elite. Pictures of terrified, escaping shoppers showed people from all walks of life. But malls are "increasingly central to urban African life, the social hearts of the continent's rapidly expanding cities." That's according to Eve Fairbanks in the New Republic magazine.

Eve Fairbanks, New Republic (@EveFairbanks)


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