Reporter's Notebook
3:24 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

A New Destination For Kayakers: The L.A. River?

The fifth graders from L.A.'s Pico Union neighborhood, who rarely get to spend time in nature, say it was the best field trip ever.
Mandalit del Barco NPR

The once-polluted and often ridiculed Los Angeles River is now open to kayak and canoe adventures. City officials and the Army Corps of Engineers are running a pilot program that allows people to explore the river.

In the South American rain forest, I once paddled in a dugout canoe through the lush Amazon River, filled with pink dolphins and flesh-eating piranhas. So the thought of navigating down the Los Angeles River at first seemed almost ridiculous.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

Maryland Man's Robocall Scam Nets Him $4 Million

From the annals of ingenious scams, comes this report from the AP:

A pay phone owner is being charged with using his Washington-area phones to ring in $4 million in fraudulent 50-cent calls.

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Barack Obama
2:37 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

With Leadership Questioned, Obama Gets In The Fray

President Obama speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House on Monday. Obama laid out a plan for trillions in deficit cuts but warned Republicans he will veto any bill that makes structural changes to Medicare unless they agree to additional revenues.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

There's been a sea change at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It's almost as if the cerebral, detached president went into a phone booth and came out a fighting Democrat.

In the Rose Garden on Monday, as President Obama laid out his vision for how the congressional supercommittee could find trillions in savings, he was no longer above the fray. He was right in the fray. And he made it clear he has given up on his so far fruitless search for common ground with the Republicans.

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Pop Culture
2:28 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

Hollywood Seen Through Paparazzi-Colored Glasses

The TMZ Tour promises "Secrets and Celebrity Hot Spots," all seen from the comfort of a bus that seats 24.
Ben Bergman NPR

Since its debut six years ago, TMZ has fed millions of fans a steady diet of celebrity news on its highly trafficked blog. There's also the TMZ TV show, syndicated on hundreds of stations. And now, for the truly TMZ obsessed, there's a TMZ Tour of Hollywood.

The traditional Hollywood tour has been around almost as long as Hollywood itself.

For decades, tourists have come here to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars — or at least a glimpse of where they eat.

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Conflict In Libya
1:54 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

President Obama Praises Libya's Political Transition

President Obama meets with Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the Libyan Transitional National Council, at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday.
Allan Tannenbaum-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 5:20 pm

President Obama met Libya's interim leader Tuesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly and held up the country as a model of what the U.N. can do to protect civilians from atrocities.

Obama also pledged continued support and encouraged Libya's new leaders to keep their promises to forge a just, democratic society.

Libyan rebels have yet to find ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi and fighting continues in the country. Still, Obama went to the meeting with a hopeful message.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

Is Another Shutdown Showdown Looming In Washington?

The Capitol building.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 1:49 pm

Less than two months after nearly shutting down the federal government as they argued over the best way to reduce the budget deficit, there's word that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are again at odds and that another shutdown showdown is possible.

Politico reports that:

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

VIDEO: Oops, Or How A $1.5M Ferrari Ends Up In The Ocean

A Ferrari goes for a swim.
screenshot thepatrickweir

Today, the Canadian press picked up on a video that seems to have been making the rounds on car sites for a few days. Here's how the Toronto Sun introduces it:

Zahir Rana wanted to give spectators at the Targa Newfoundland rally a show they'd never forget — he did just that after putting a $1.5 million Ferrari into the Atlantic Ocean.

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Middle East
1:20 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

The Palestinian Bid And The Possible Outcomes

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) meets U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the U.N. on Monday. Abbas says he will apply for Palestinian statehood after he addresses the General Assembly on Friday.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 3:10 pm

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he will submit his formal request for Palestinian statehood and U.N. membership on Friday, immediately after addressing the General Assembly.

This has already touched off intense diplomatic wrangling, and even more is expected in the weeks and months that follow.

"I don't remember any event in the last 25 to 30 years where it was so difficult to predict what will happen," says Yoram Peri, director of the University of Maryland Institute for Israel Studies.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:44 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

FDA Confirms Source Of Cantaloupe Contamination

A label to look for when choosing cantaloupe. These melons were recalled by Jensen Farms.
FDA Flickr

There's closure in the investigation of a multistate outbreak of listeriosis linked to cantaloupes.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

What A Bright Idea: 'A Liter Of Light' For The Poor

That's a bottle of water shining brightly.
A Liter of Light

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 12:20 pm

A BBC report this week about a project in the Philippines that has brought virtually free light to dark homes in some of that country's poorest neighborhoods brightened our day so much that we went looking to find out more.

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