Asia
1:26 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Tweeting To Electoral Victory In China? Maybe Not

Labor activist Liu Ping (center) has unleashed a wave of candidates in the latest round of local elections. Here, she and two other campaigners hold a banner that declares, "Fighting fake [things] should start with elections. One person, one vote will change China."
Courtesy of Liu Ping

Liu Ping's phone is tapped. She's followed by men in black cars. Her electricity was cut off. And she was detained and held incommunicado in a hotel for four days.

Her crime? Trying to run for election to the local People's Congress in her hometown of Xinyu in China's southeastern Jiangxi province.

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Rick Perry
1:08 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Perry Focuses On Faith At Christian University

At an evangelical Christian school in Virginia on Wednesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry found an audience warmly receptive to his message about his own religious commitment.

Perry, the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, visited Liberty University after what some considered a lackluster showing in this week's Tea Party debate in Tampa.

Perry didn't deliver his traditional stump speech: Instead of attacks on President Obama and his GOP challengers, Perry spoke about his inspirations and his personal faith.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Al Gore: It's An Honor To Be Attacked On Climate Change

"There's a long tradition of people who don't like a particular message turning to attack the person delivering the message," former Vice President Al Gore just said on NPR's Talk of the Nation.

That's why, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee added, "I view it as an honor, really," to be the target of Republican jabs on the issue of climate change.

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Conflict In Libya
12:40 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Libya's Bankers: Treasury Protected From Plunder

A fighter loyal to the Transitional National Council sits with money that has been donated to pay fighters at a checkpoint outside Bani Walid, Libya, on Monday. It was widely feared that ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi and his supporters spirited away much of the country's wealth. But those fears have yet to materialize, as Libya's central bank holdings appear to remain largely intact.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 14, 2011 3:26 pm

As a new Libyan leadership assesses the country's financial condition, there were fears that ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi, his family and his cronies had looted the treasury.

But it now appears much of that wealth remains frozen in foreign accounts, and Libyan bankers say the billions of dollars worth of gold and cash held by the Central Bank remained basically intact throughout the chaos of the revolution.

One of the many rumors and claims was that a convoy of more than 200 Libyan military vehicles had crossed the border into neighboring Niger.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:22 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

CDC Basks In 'Contagion's' Admiring Take On Disease Detectives

Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Ellis Cheever and Kate Winslet as Dr. Erin Mears in the thriller Contagion. Winslet's character was modeled on CDC epidemiologist Dr. Anne Schuchat.
Claudette Barius Warner Bro. Pictures

It's not often that a federal health agency gets to toot its horn about its portrayal in a Hollywood thriller. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took full advantage of the opportunity Tuesday, on the heels of the release of Contagion, a feature film about a deadly global pandemic and the public health workers who try to stop it.

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Planet Money
12:15 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

A Slow-Motion Bank Run In Europe

MICHEL GANGNE AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 9:39 am

Update: This post was published on Sept. 14. On Sept. 15, the European Central Bank, along with other central banks from around the world, announced a new lending program to fight the slow-motion run on Europe's banks. Here's more on that program.

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Europe
12:14 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

For U.S. And Russia, Distrust Still Runs High

President Obama meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Deauville, France, on May 26. Obama's "reset" policy with Russia led to improved relations, but the countries are now facing some difficult issues.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

President Obama's policy of engagement with Russia has paid off in several concrete achievements, including a nuclear arms control agreement and greater cooperation on Iran and Afghanistan.

But both supporters and critics of the so-called reset policy worry that further victories will be harder to win.

Both nations are distracted by presidential politics, preventing policymakers from talking seriously about matters such as missile defense.

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Asia
12:07 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Mentally Ill In Indonesia Still Live In Chains

Nengah, 35, suffers from schizophrenia. Until recently, her family on Bali in Indonesia kept her chained to a concrete pit for nearly a decade.
Cokorda Bagus Jaya Lesmana Courtesy of GlobalPost

Originally published on Wed September 14, 2011 12:36 pm

The harsh, tropical sunlight that dapples Bali's tourist-thronged beaches streams through the fingers of a palm leaf and lands on the shoulders of Nengah, who slumps like a rag doll amid a pile of tattered pillows in the island's far eastern reaches.

The poor village of Abang is remote, and Nengah spends her days in a heap, staring at hands that lie in her lap like dry leaves.

Today, Nengah is not alone. Neighbors have gathered in the mid-July heat to watch as her brother uses a stone to break a chain that has bound her to a concrete pit — her home — for nearly a decade.

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

NASA Unveils Next Generation 'Monster' Space Rocket

Artist concept of SLS launching.
NASA

If things go without a hitch NASA announced that its new Space Launch System could take its first manned test flight in 2017.

The new design looks a lot like the Apollo era rockets that took American astronauts to the moon, but NASA said the new spacecraft is much more powerful than any other rocket they've made before and could set up astronauts for deep space exploration. The SLS will be NASA's first exploration-calss vehicle since the Saturn V took astronauts to the moon.

At the unveiling of the plans Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) called it a "monster rocket."

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Afghanistan
11:32 am
Wed September 14, 2011

As Wars Drag On, U.S. Interest Wanes

Darryl St. George, a Navy corpsman, walks along a mud compound wall in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. Next month will mark 10 years for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
David Gilkey NPR

When U.S. forces launched the war in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, they were riding a wave of anger and a call for justice by a broad swath of the American public.

Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, says the initial support for the Afghan invasion was around 90 percent, and the war was closely followed by a large number of people. But since then, the public has been slowly disengaging, he says.

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