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Key Budget Meeting, Mine Disaster Memorial Today

Apr 5, 2011

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There's a high stakes budget meeting at the White House today among President Obama, Republican House Speaker John Boehner and other key Congressional Democrats. If Democrats and Republicans don't solve the budget stalemate, the federal government could shut down in four days. As Frank tells us on It's All Politics, both sides are already sniping at each other.

NPR's Mara Liasson tells Morning Edition nobody knows whether there'll be a shutdown but they've agreed on how much to cut - $33 billion dollars for the rest of the fiscal year. The question is what to cut: mandatory or discretionary funding programs.

A year ago today, a huge explosion erupted within Massey's Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, killing 29 miners. The West Virginia Register Herald says the mines will go idle for one minute, 29 seconds today, while West Virginia acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will join relatives of the dead at a memorial service today. NPR's coverage of the mine disaster is here.

Where is Ai Weiwei? The Chinese modern artist disappeared Sunday while boarding a plane in Beijing. Reuters reports Chinese intellectuals worry he's the latest dissident arrested for questioning China's repression of free speech. Ai Weiwei is known for co-designing Beijing's Olympic 'Bird's Nest' stadium for the 2008 games.

Striking musicians for the Detroit Symphony reached a tentative contract with the Orchestra. They've been off the job for six months. The Detroit News says the musicians haven't yet voted on the final deal but agreed to return to work Thursday. They're offering free concerts this weekend: Dvorak's 'New World' Symphony.

And - it was UConn over Butler in the men's NCAA basketball final Monday night, 53-41. NPR's Mike Pesca tells Morning Edition, the Butler Bulldogs 'were worse, a lot worse. They missed 52 shots on the night. They made only 12. Of those 12, only three were 2-pointers'. Mike says it's hard to know who to blame for the team's worst shooting performance of the season. Sports Illustrated adds UConn coach Jim Calhoun, who's 68, becomes the oldest coach to ever win the championship - plus he's won it three times now.

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