Space
1:14 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Here Come The Suns: New Planet Orbits Two Stars

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a planet that circles two stars instead of one. The planet, shown as the black dot in this artist's illustration, is similar to Saturn, though it is more dense and travels in a 229-day circular orbit around its two stars.
R. Hurt NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 9:03 pm

A trillion is a huge number — when you're talking dollars or euros. But a trillion miles is not so much in the cosmic scheme of things. Astronomers say they've now found a planet that orbits two suns a mere thousand trillion miles from here. It's yet another example of a weird solar system being discovered around nearby stars.

Two years ago, NASA launched the Kepler observatory to look for Earth-like planets beyond our own solar system. It has found more than 1,000 apparent planets around distant suns.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Medal Of Honor Recipient Is Among 'Best Of A Generation,' Obama Says

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty," U.S. Marine Dakota Meyer was just presented with the nation's highest honor for valor on the battlefield. He's the first living Marine since the Vietnam War to receive the Medal of Honor.

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Asia
12:37 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Bomb Explodes At Funeral In Pakistan

Pakistani villagers and officials collect shoes at a funeral ceremony after a suicide bomb struck in Lower Dir, Pakistan, on Thursday.
M.A.Khan AP

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 1:15 pm

At least 31 people, including three children, were killed Thursday in an attack at a funeral service in a Pakistani village near the Afghan border; 75 others were wounded.

According to Police Chief Saleem Khan, a suicide bomber walked up to the crowd of about 200 mourners in the northwest village of Lower Dir and detonated his explosives.

Police say the funeral was for Bakhat Khan, a member of the Mashwani tribe, which is reputed to be rabidly anti-Taliban. Residents near the scene of the bombing have raised volunteer militias against the Taliban.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Feathers Perserved In Amber Give Scientists A More Colorful View Of Dinos

A trove of dinosaur protofeathers and more modern bird feathers, preserved in amber from a Late Cretaceous Canadian site, offers researchers a unique chance to examine the structure, function and even color of the feathers adorning dinosaurs and early birds 70 to 85 million years ago.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 2:12 pm

For most of us, the idea of dinosaurs covered in feathers is still something we're getting used to. It's the same with the idea that they weren't olive-colored creatures, but instead were imbued in a wide array of pigments.

Today, brings news that thumbnail-sized feathers found preserved in amber are telling scientists some new things about these glorious creatures. First, it opens a window — as old as 85 million years — into the evolution of their feathers and secondly it gives scientists a better idea of what they looked like.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Thu September 15, 2011

V.P. Boehner? Not If He Has To Go To Funerals, The Speaker Jokes

One of House Speaker John Boehner's tearful moments came as he took over from Democrat Nancy Pelosi last January.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 2:17 pm

There was a funny moment during House Speaker John Boehner's appearance at The Economic Club of Washington a few minutes ago.

Asked if he might be a possible Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012, Boehner — who's known for his habit of tearing up — joked that it's unlikely he'd be good for that job:

"It's hard enough for me to go to funerals of people I know, much less don't know."

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Europe
11:55 am
Thu September 15, 2011

How The European Debt Crisis Could Spread

A giant logo of the euro can be seen outside the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.
AFP/Getty Images

The world's major central banks are so worried about Europe's debt crisis that they are moving to shore up eurozone banks. The troubled banks hold billions in sovereign debt of Greece, Spain, Portugal and other struggling countries.

Left unchecked, this crisis could spill over into the U.S. economy. Here's how Europe's troubles could migrate to the U.S. and the rest of the world.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Thu September 15, 2011

Postal Service Eyes 250 Processing Facilities For 'Consolidation Or Closure'

U.S. Postal Service mail delivery trucks sit idle at the Manassas post office in Virginia on September 5.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 11:39 am

The beleaguered U.S. Postal Service, which is facing losses of up to $10 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, today proposed what it says are "sweeping changes designed to save the organization up to $3 billion a year by cutting its network of processing facilities by over half and adjusting service standards."

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Around the Nation
11:29 am
Thu September 15, 2011

Into The Wild: Alaskan Train Caters To The Intrepid

The Hurricane Turn is one of the last true whistle-stop trains in the country. Alaskans use it to access homes and cabins in the state's remote interior.
Annie Feidt For NPR

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 7:29 am

There aren't many rules on the train called the Hurricane Turn. Dogs roam the aisles and sit next to their owners on the seats. The baggage car doors are wide open, even when the train is moving.

"Oh yeah, this is like the best job in the whole railroad, you bet," says conductor Wade Sherwood.

The Hurricane Turn is one of the last whistle-stop trains in the U.S. — trains that allow travelers to hop on and off where they choose. With tight schedules to keep, most train operators have abandoned them.

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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Thu September 15, 2011

FIFA Rejects Former Executive's Appeal, Says He Remains Banned For Life

Former President of Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Qatar's Mohammed bin Hammam, arriving at FIFA headquarters in Zurich.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) stood by its decision of a life-time ban against Mohamed bin Hamman, the former Executive Committee member and FIFA presidential candidate.

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