This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Much of the East Coast is digging out from ice and snow including Washington, D.C. But members of Congress beat the bad weather out of town and are back in their districts for a two week recess, this after a vote to raise the debt ceiling - a vote that came unusual for these times without an ugly showdown.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Much of the eastern part of the country is digging out from fresh layers of snow and slush. Much of the western part of the country is not.
MONTAGNE: Snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is less than 30 percent of what it should be this year. That means farmers and ranchers will have to get by with much less water than they'd like come this spring.
Iran's economy may be struggling, but that doesn't mean everyone is suffering.
In a downtown Tehran restaurant, a well-dressed young man who asks to be identified only as Ahmad sits with a friend enjoying a water pipe of flavored tobacco.
Ahmad is a bit vague about what he does — first he says he's in the petrochemical business, then describes himself as an independent trader. He shares the general consensus that President Hassan Rouhani has brought a better atmosphere to the country but no real economic changes.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in front of the federal district court in Washington, where he filed his lawsuit against the Obama administration and the NSA.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
By filing his lawsuit against the Obama administration, including the National Security Agency, over the intelligence agency's collection of phone call data, Sen. Rand Paul now has ownership of a major issue in a way no other potential 2016 presidential candidate can lay claim.
TV producer Colleen Bell, shown here in a 2013 photo, was a big donor for President Obama before she was nominated to become ambassador to Hungary. Obama has chosen more political appointees than his predecessors.