With the solemn ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks now over, Washington returns to the subject most likely to dominate the political debate between now and the November 2012 presidential election:
Last year, as part of a reporting project, we bought a toxic asset — one of those complicated financial instruments that that nearly brought down the global economy.
We spent $1000 of our own money and bought a tiny slice of a bond backed by mortgages. We paid just a fraction of what it originally cost. It was such a good deal, we thought maybe we'd make a few bucks, which we'd give to charity.
NATO planes are still in the air and bombing targets over Libya and Moammar Gadhafi is still on the loose. Nonetheless, NATO is taking something of a victory lap in the wake of an operation that broke new ground for the military alliance.
But the Libyan operation also raised questions about its mission, its future role in such conflicts, and how it determines when to intervene.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told NPR he sees the Libya operation as a template for future NATO missions and proof the United Nations can outsource its muscle to the alliance.
Scientists say they have figured out how a very clever virus outwits a very hungry caterpillar.
The caterpillar is the gypsy moth in its larval stage, and the invasive species damages roughly a million acres of forest in the U.S. each year by devouring tree leaves.
But the damage would be greater if it weren't for something called a baculovirus that can infect these caterpillars and cause them to engage in reckless, even suicidal behavior, scientists say. The virus is so effective that the government actually sprays it on trees to help control gypsy moth outbreaks.
It's been six years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, and the rebuilding continues. In Mississippi, the largest project under construction is the Port of Gulfport. Some $500 million in statewide recovery funds are being used to rebuild the port. The state calls it a critical resource, but some residents hit hard by Katrina fear they won't see the benefits.
The Port of Gulfport sits just off Highway 90, a main road that runs all along the coast. Katrina's 30-foot storm surge nearly destroyed this facility, which is the size of about 50 city blocks.
In Libya, there's growing concern over the vast arsenals of weapons that have flooded on to the streets since Moammar Gadhafi's ouster. Warehouses of surface-to-air missiles, mortars and anti-tank mines have been looted.
Soon after the rebels overran the headquarters of Gadhafi's much feared Khamis Brigade on the south side of Tripoli, rebels and ordinary citizens scavenged through a bombed-out warehouse on the base.
When Leon Panetta was CIA director, he helped lead the effort to find and kill Osama bin Laden.
Now, Panetta may have an even harder job.
He's two months into his tenure as secretary of defense and here's what Panetta has to do: Run two ground wars, keep up the fight against al-Qaida and at the same time figure out how to cut what could end up being a trillion dollars from a Pentagon's budget.
For several decades, psychiatrists who work with the dying have been trying to come up with new psychotherapies that can help people cope with the reality of their death. One of these therapies asks the dying to tell the story of their life.
This end-of-life treatment, called dignity therapy, was created by a man named Harvey Chochinov. When Chochinov was a young psychiatrist working with the dying, he had a powerful experience with one of the patients he was trying to counsel — a man with an inoperable brain tumor.
It's been said many times, today: that one of Sept. 11's most significant legacy are the two wars still being fought the by the United States. Perhaps, that's why this set of pictures feels so important. It shows American service members commemorating the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 in simple terms: raising an American flag or bowing in prayer:
Originally published on Mon September 12, 2011 5:38 am
It seems there are two types of stories about how children who experienced Sept. 11: First, of course, there are the stories about the children who lost parents on that day, and then there are those who are too young to remember what life was like before the attacks.
NPR's Zoe Chace talked to some of those kids in New York. She filed this report:
Kate Bralauer is 11. She's from Manhattan, she's never seen the skyline with the towers in it. But 9/11 matters to her.