Politics
10:01 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Lawmakers Seek Transparency From Supercommittee

The newly formed congressional supercommittee's 12 members are charged with finding more than $1 trillion in budget savings this fall. Their clout could attract more campaign contributions, and lawmakers are demanding greater accountability for the money the panel's members take in.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has a mixed voting record when it comes to campaign finance reform, but he is adamant about making the six Republicans and six Democrats on the deficit-reduction supercommittee more accountable.

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Environment
10:01 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Arctic Ice Hits Near-Record Low, Threatening Wildlife

Ice on the Arctic Ocean has melted to its second-lowest level on record. Above, ice in a fjord in Greenland.
Slim Allagui AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 10:00 pm

Ice on the Arctic Ocean has melted to its second-lowest level on record, according to researchers in Colorado who track this trend. The summertime melt coincides with a dramatic warming over the past decade, and it's already affecting wildlife in the Arctic Ocean.

The Arctic ice comes and goes with the seasons; typically about half of the wintertime ice melts away by mid-September. After that low point, the ice regrows. In 2007, the amount of ice left in September hit a dramatic low.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

California Turns To China For New Bay Bridge

Catwalks hang over a section of the newly constructed eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in Oakland, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

California is spending more than $7 billion building what it says will be an architectural marvel: the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. But the state saved a lot of money sending some of the construction work overseas.

The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge will have a distinctive design to rival its more famous cousin, the Golden Gate Bridge.

Bart Ney, a spokesman for the project, recently stood near the top of a gleaming white tower, more than 500 feet above the San Francisco Bay.

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Afghanistan
10:01 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

U.S. Now Relies On Alternate Afghan Supply Routes

For the first seven years of the Afghanistan war, almost all U.S. and NATO supplies were trucked overland to Afghanistan through parts of Pakistan effectively controlled by the Taliban. Here, smoke and flame rise from a burning NATO supplies oil tanker after armed militants torched the tankers in Mithri, Pakistan, Feb. 7.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Napoleon declared that "an army marches on its stomach," and Gen. Omar Bradley said, "amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics." Successful military commanders have long recognized that few requirements rank higher in wartime than the need to maintain reliable supply lines.

Nowhere is that adage more relevant than in Afghanistan, a landlocked country flanked by hostile or wary neighbors. The shipment of supplies and equipment to U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan over the last 10 years has been handicapped by high costs, pilferage, and the threat of ambush.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

New Programs Aim To Close The Wealth Gap

With the help of a San Francisco nonprofit, Helena Edwards was able to buy a home. The group helped her set up a matched savings account and also gave her financial advice.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Sun September 18, 2011 4:55 pm

Part two of a two-part report.

The gap in the wealth of white families and what's owned by blacks and Hispanics has widened in recent years. Researchers say it will widen even more unless steps are taken to break what's become a vicious cycle — the rich getting richer and the poor struggling to keep from falling further behind.

The city of San Francisco is taking one step to help even the playing field. Children entering the city's kindergartens are getting their own college savings accounts.

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It's All Politics
5:38 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

The Senator Who Almost Shut Down The FAA

A partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration was averted right around 6:30 p.m., EST. That's when the U.S. Senate voted 92-6 in favor of a bill to temporarily extend funding for both the FAA and highway projects.

Sounds like an easy vote, right? Think again.

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Things We Say Today And Owe To Shakespeare

Becky via Tumblr

A 20-year-old girl named Becky from London posted a picture of one the pages of her Moleskine notebook on Tumblr that, as they say, has gone viral and less than a week later is making waves across the Internet.

It's a simple thing: Becky wrote down, the "things we say today which we own to Shakespeare." It's phrases like "send him packing," "makes your hair stand on end," and "lie low."

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It's All Politics
4:04 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Boehner Lobs Supply Side Shell In Fiscal Trench War With Obama

The latest rhetorical artillery shell to be launched in the trench warfare between Washington Keynesians and supply-siders landed Thursday in the form of House Speaker John Boehner's speech to the Economic Club of Washington.

Something of a rebuttal to President Obama announcement of his jobs plan last week, a John Maynard Keynes-inspired stimulus in everything but name, Boehner didn't have nearly as catchy a hook as the president's "pass this bill."

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Helle Thorning-Schmidt To Become Denmark's First Female Prime Minister

In this photo taken on September 9, 2011, Social Democrats leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt holds roses during an election campaign in Copenhagen.
Bax Lindhardt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 4:10 pm

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, of Denmark's center-left opposition, will become Denmark's first female prime minister. The Associated Press reports that the incumbent Lars Loekke Rasmussen conceded defeat with nearly all the votes counted.

"There is no parliamentary support for our government. Tomorrow (Friday) I will go to the queen at 11 o'clock and inform her of the outcome of the election and present the government's resignation," Rasmussen told Danish TV.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Nigeria Says To Its People: A Phone Call Can't Kill You

Nigeria's government had to step in, today, after a strange rumor started spreading across the country through text messages. The Nigerian Communications Commission issued a statement saying that receiving a call from the number 09141 cannot kill you.

The BBC reports that the text message warned that between seven and 10 people had died because of the phone call. The BBC adds:

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