This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Ari Shapiro in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Well, Congress averted the milk cliff. A five-year farm bill was set to expire, and it could have doubled the price of milk if that had happened. But instead of passing a new five-year plan, Congress extended parts of the old farm bill. That renews subsidies for grain, cotton and soybeans; it cuts budgets for some organic and environmental initiatives.
President Obama is moving to fill two key posts on his national security team with the nomination of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican, to be secretary of defense and current White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
We're updating this post as he speaks, so be sure to hit your "refresh" button. We've also added an audio player so you can, if you wish, hear NPR's coverage and the president's remarks.
Update at 1:35 p.m. ET. Hagel Pledges To "Always Do My Best":
After nearly a month of health problems that culminated with a stay in a New York City hospital for treatment of a blood clot in a vein between her brain and her skull, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was back in her office Monday morning.
The State Department released a photo of the 65-year-old, soon-to-be-retired Clinton chairing a weekly meeting of assistant secretaries.
From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman on the Hagel nomination
President Obama will announce today that he plans to nominate John Brennan to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, an administration official with knowledge of the decision tells NPR's Tom Bowman.
On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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President Obama wants a Republican to be his next secretary of Defense, and some Republicans really don't like the choice.
INSKEEP: Senator Chuck Hagel is a Vietnam veteran. He's a former Nebraska senator, but some of his former colleagues in Congress insist they want answers to a variety of objections that have been raised in recent days.
For the first time since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has been allowed to expire. The reason? Political gridlock. Weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden talks to NPR's justice correspondent Carrie Johnson about what happened to the long-standing law, what it means for women and what options are on the table.