Digital Life
10:01 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Comparing Apple's iPhone 4S And The Droid Bionic

Apple's new iPhone 4S, left, hits the market Friday — where it faces still competition from the speedy Android Bionic, right.


Apple's new smartphone, the iPhone 4S, lands in stores around the country Friday. The company says that consumers pre-ordered more than 1 million of the phones within 24 hours last week, when it became available online.

One of the new iPhone's biggest rivals will be the Motorola Bionic, which runs on Google's Android operating system. Both phones are very capable, and very fast — here's a chart outlining their features:

Test-Driving The iPhone 4S

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10:01 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Gas Drilling Boom Brings New Life To Steel Industry

Chapman Corp. is expanding to take advantage of extra business it expects to get in coming decades because of increasing production in the Marcellus Shale play.

Jeff Brady NPR

A natural gas drilling boom in Pennsylvania is helping the economies of Rust Belt cities long accustomed to bad news. Drilling requires steel — lots of it — and that has manufacturers expanding and hiring new workers.

While much attention has been paid to the environmental risks of drilling into the Marcellus Shale, the economic benefits have been less prominent in the national discussion. But in Youngstown, Ohio, locals have been watching an old industry come back to life.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Will Saudis Play Oil Card To Revenge Iranian Plot?

Adel al-Jubeir, shown in this 2004 photo, is Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. and was the target of an Iranian assassination plot, according to the U.S. government.

Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

In capitals around the world, U.S. diplomats are laying out evidence that elements of Iran's government plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington.

The United States is taking the lead in the push to hold Iran accountable. But Saudi Arabia may want to respond to Iran in its own way, and its weapon could be oil.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

6 People Are Dead In Southern California Salon Shooting

A gunman opened fire killing six and wounding three others at an Orange County, Calif. hair salon this afternoon. The Orange County Register reports that the shooting rampage is one of Seal Beach's worst mass killings.

The paper reports:

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

In Exchange With Congressman, Buffett Discloses His Earnings, Taxes

Warren Buffett.

Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 4:42 pm

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) and billionaire Warren Buffett have been involved in a cordial back-and-forth about Buffett's now-famous New York Times op-ed in which he implored the government to raise his taxes.

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4:18 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Supreme Court Weighs Legality Of Strip Searches

The United States Supreme Court wrestled on Wednesday with a case testing whether some 700,000 people arrested each year on minor charges can be subject to automatic strip searches when taken to jail. Specifically, the issue the justices grappled with was whether jail authorities need some reasonable suspicion to conduct that kind of a search.

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3:09 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Will Free Trade Agreements Really Create Jobs?

Caterpillar products produced in Illinois, like the ones shown above, will be able to be exported to South Korea, Colombia and Panama duty free if Congress passes trade agreements with those countries on Wednesday. Obama says the agreements will provide a major boost to U.S. exports and support tens of thousands of jobs.

Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 7:27 pm

Congress approved with bipartisan support Wednesday much-delayed free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The Obama administration and supporters in Congress have labeled these agreements jobs bills, though there are questions about how many jobs will really be created.

When Bill Lane, the Washington director for the heavy equipment maker Caterpillar, looks at the three trade deals, he sees opportunity.

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National Security
2:57 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

U.S. Will Try To 'Put Iran In A Vise'

In this courtroom sketch, defendant Manssor Arbabsiar and defense attorney Sabrina Shroff, appear in court in New York on Tuesday. Arbabsiar has been charged in an alleged plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.

Elizabeth Williams AP

One day after the U.S. outlined an assassination plot allegedly linked to the Iranian military, a host of U.S. officials began making angry calls for tough action in response.

But what kind of action might that be? The U.S. has been imposing sanctions against Iran ever since U.S. diplomats were seized following the 1979 Islamic revolution. And analysts say they do not expect a U.S. military response.

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The Salt
2:56 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Facing Planetary Enemy No. 1: Agriculture

Early morning view of an automated irrigation system in on a farm in Sudlersville, MD

Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu October 13, 2011 6:43 am

For the past 200 years, ever since Thomas Malthus published his Essay on the Principle of Population, big thinkers have been wondering whether Earth-dwellers will eventually run out of food.

Today, a global group of scientists released a fresh look at the question. They add a different, environmental twist to it. Can we feed the world without destroying the environment?

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Guy Raz is the host of TED Radio Hour, a co-production of NPR and TED that tackles astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems and new ways to think and create. Each radio show is based on talks given by riveting speakers on the renowned TED stage, bound together by a common theme such as the thrill of space exploration, going to extremes, the source of happiness or 'when rights goes wrong' in our justice system. Currently, he is also a Ferris professor of journalism at Princeton University where he teaches radio reporting.