Brian Naylor

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk.

In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies, including transportation and homeland security.

With more than 30 years of experience at NPR, Naylor has served as National Desk correspondent, White House correspondent, congressional correspondent, foreign correspondent and newscaster during All Things Considered. He has filled in as host on many NPR programs, including Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

During his NPR career, Naylor has covered many of the major world events, including political conventions, the Olympics, the White House, Congress and the mid-Atlantic region. Naylor reported from Tokyo in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, from New Orleans following the BP oil spill, and from West Virginia after the deadly explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine.

While covering the U.S. Congress in the mid-1990s, Naylor's reporting contributed to NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism award for political reporting.

Before coming to NPR in 1982, Naylor worked at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and at a commercial radio station in Maine.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin offered her supporters no hint of her political plans during a speech Saturday at a Tea Party rally in Iowa.

The atmosphere was that of an end-of-summer county fair. There was plenty of food, lots of T-shirts for sale even some country music. But for the 2,000 or so people gathered on a soggy field in Indianola, south of Des Moines, Palin was the main attraction. It wasnt her first visit to Iowa, home of the nation's first presidential caucus next year.

From washed-away roads in North Carolina to historic bridges flooded out in Vermont, Hurricane Irene took its toll up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

But the East is not the only region to suffer from natural disasters this year. There was a string of deadly tornadoes in the South this spring, floods along the Mississippi and in the Upper Midwest, and last May's devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo.

Anyone who flies on an airplane should like some new government regulations that took effect Tuesday. Passengers who get involuntarily bumped will be entitled to more compensation, and airlines face stiffer penalties for long tarmac delays on international flights.

The new rules are aimed at making flying more convenient and hassle-free, according to the Department of Transportation. Secretary Ray LaHood says the new passenger protections will "help ensure that air travelers receive the respect they deserve before, during and after their flight."

Congress and the Obama administration found a way out of the stalemate that forced a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration. The temporary fix means a return to work for thousands of FAA workers and contractors idled by the shutdown. But the underlying issues that prevented agreement on a multi-year FAA bill remain unresolved.

There are two main issues dividing Republicans and Democrats, and the House and Senate, from reaching agreement on reauthorizing funding for the Federal Aviation Administration: a policy on forming unions and subsidized flights at smaller regional airports.

The debt-ceiling debate in Washington is being watched closely in state capitals, as a U.S. default, or a lowering of the country's bond rating, will have a ripple effect in states and communities across the nation.

In states and localities, the sometimes-abstract debate in Washington over the debt ceiling hits closer to home. Although almost every state must balance their budgets, they also rely on borrowing — selling bonds to investors for everything from meeting day-to-day cash-flow needs to funding major capital improvements.

Beginning in 2007, full-body scanners were installed at the nation's airports to address concerns that terrorists could smuggle explosives hidden in their clothing — or, in one infamous case, their underwear — that wouldn't be picked up by standard metal detectors.

The scanners produced a fairly detailed image of a traveler's body, which was viewed on monitors by TSA screeners in a separate room.

The debate over raising the debt ceiling has largely taken place in the halls of Congress and the White House briefing room. But there is another front in the battle — a war on the air. Advocacy groups from each side of the issue are spending millions on commercials.

After Sept. 11, there were widespread reports that public safety agencies responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center had trouble talking to one another. The problem: incompatible radios.

It was a common challenge among public service agencies nationwide. Different first responders had different radios operating on different frequencies. Billions of dollars later, federal, state and local governments have largely solved that challenge.

But many first responders still lack access to the kind of technology that many Americans carry on their waistbands or bags.

As the government copes with this spring's plague of tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest and South, it is still responding to disasters of previous years.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency continues to fund rebuilding projects related to Hurricane Katrina and other major storms in the past. This has caused some cash flow problems at FEMA.