The budget deal struck by President Obama and congressional leaders is enough to merit a triple-A credit rating from Fitch Ratings, one of the three big ratings agencies.

Politico reports:

"Agreement was reached on an increase in the United States' debt ceiling and, commensurate with its 'AAA' rating, the risk of sovereign default remains extremely low," the agency said.

The battle over the debt ceiling may be over, but Congress remains deeply divided.

"Republicans are now taking a well-deserved victory lap while the Democrats are in a state of near total dejection," says journalist Robert Draper. "The Republicans got some cuts, they kept some revenue off the table but most of all, what they've done is dramatically shift the ethos in Washington."

The Japanese women's soccer team stunned the United States a few weeks ago. After a tense match in which Team America seemed to have the upper hand throughout, Japan leveled the game with a late equalizer and then went on to win a penalty shootout.

In the years after Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution, Havana's neighborhoods went through an extraordinary upheaval. As wealthy and middle-class families fled, poorer Cubans moved into their homes.

Now, communist authorities are preparing to legalize property sales for the first time in 50 years, and the city's old racial and class divisions are already creeping back.

House Hunting

You know the feeling: You're driving and you spot a little-known memorial that makes you want to pull over and find out more. It could be a monument to some local hero or to a long-forgotten historical moment. NPR is taking a summer-long road trip and exploring the deep — and sometimes mysterious — histories of these spots. Click on the icons below to explore the series.

The military's four-legged warriors now have a more hopeful future in store.

Military working dogs were once euthanized when their service days were over.

But, their fate is changing as military and civilian families pressure the Defense Department to make it easier for handlers to adopt their canine colleagues.

Looking out over Camp Pendleton's K-9 training field in California, Marine Cpl. Daniel Cornier shares stories about Chaak, the dog he deployed with to Afghanistan.

His words are halting and emotional.

A venture into the 23rd annual Wyoming Taxidermy Competition

Wyoming – The call of nature echoes rather lamely from a stuffed elk or kudu, and that can only mean one thing: It's the 23rd annual Wyoming Taxidermy Competition.

Wyoming native and award winning singer songwriter Bryan Ragsdale stopped by for a visit November 17th while touring with the US Capitol Christmas Tree. He talked with Grady Kirkpatrick about putting together the new CD "Cowboy Christmas Tree."

Wyoming native and award winning singer songwriter Bryan Ragsdale
stopped by for a visit November 17th while touring with the US Capitol Christmas Tree.
He talked with Grady Kirkpatrick about putting together the new CD "Cowboy Christmas Tree."

An interview with Rebecca Nelson

Wyoming – One of the women prisoners in Lusk tells Wyoming Public Radio her story.

Riverton readies for Wyoming's first Job Corps.

Wyoming – Job Corps is gearing up for a new facility in Riverton. The facility is expected to address high unemployment numbers in Fremont County, and a workforce that is too small for employers in the rest of the state. WPR's Bob Beck reports.

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