11:04 am
Thu September 8, 2011

Federal Court Tosses Lawsuit Over Health Reform

A federal appeals court in Virginia has dismissed two lawsuits that had claimed President Obama's health care overhaul was unconstitutional.

The unanimous decision was issued Thursday by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It is the second appellate court ruling affirming the government's right to require individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. A federal appeals court in Cincinnati also upheld the law, but an appeals court in Atlanta struck down the insurance mandate.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:18 am
Thu September 8, 2011

Thousands Ordered Evacuated, As Rain Continues To Pound Northeast

The headline of today's Philadelphia Enquirer says it all:

Enough already with rain!

Philadelphia along with the rest of the Northeast has had a period of intense rainfall that in some places extends 10 days since the tropical cyclone Irene worked its way across the region.

Read more
Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
9:54 am
Thu September 8, 2011

Growing Violence Clouds Afghanistan's Future

Alissa Rubin is a reporter for The New York Times. She is currently the Bureau Chief in Kabul. She was previously based in Baghdad.
The New York Times

August was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in the nearly 10-year-old war in Afghanistan. Sixty-six U.S. service members were killed, including 30 Americans who were shot down in a Chinook transport helicopter by the Taliban on August 6.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:05 am
Thu September 8, 2011

Kabul To Jalalabad: A Postcard From The Road

A predator drone in the Jalalabad sky.
Nishant Dahiya NPR

The road from Kabul to Jalalabad that NPR Morning Edition host Renee Montagne and I took earlier this week passes through some spectacular scenery — the road carves its way through the Kabul Gorge, between craggy, rock cliffs on one side and the Kabul River on the other –- often, a dizzying 1,000 feet below.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:28 am
Thu September 8, 2011

Look Up! It's A Star In The Midst Of A Violent, Bright Death

These images show Type Ia supernova PTF 11kly, the youngest ever detected—over the past three nights.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Something violent is going on the night sky, right now. And scientists studying the phenomenon said yesterday that with a pair good binoculars or a telescope you can see a star in its final throes causing a spectacular explosion called a supernova.

Even though the star is 21 million light years away from Earth, the explosion is the closest and brightest astronomers have found in decades. Today will be its brightest night.

Reuters reports:

Read more
7:43 am
Thu September 8, 2011

Europe's Shaky Finances Rattle U.S. Economy

In 1999, the core European Union countries created a common currency, the euro, which is used by about 327 million Europeans.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

For nearly two years, the Greek debt crisis has been causing financial and political turmoil in Europe.

Now, the widening European troubles are undermining U.S. stock prices and increasing the odds of a global recession.

The crushing debt loads incurred by Greece, as well as Italy, Ireland and others, have "badly rattled global financial markets," Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm, said Wednesday.

Read more
It's All Politics
7:41 am
Thu September 8, 2011

Perry's Debate Debut Suggests Texas-Sized Hurdles Ahead

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (right) takes the stage with Mitt Romney and Rep. Michele Bachmann before Wednesday night's GOP presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
David McNew AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 8, 2011 1:22 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has always had a mantra of sorts that he would frequently resort to when taking heat from opponents during political debates back home.

It went something like this: Texas is great. People want to live here. Businesses want to move here. And, by the way, Texas is great.

Unfortunately for Perry, he couldn't play the card that served him so well in his three terms as governor during his first presidential debate Wednesday night.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:24 am
Thu September 8, 2011

Top News: Gadhafi Says He's Still In Libya; Nevada Mourns Shooting Victims

Good morning!

The news we've already posted about, today:

-- Texas Wildfires Rage On With More Than 1,000 Homes Destroyed

-- The Day After: Who Came Out On Top In The GOP Debate

And here some other stories making headlines:

Read more
Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
7:00 am
Thu September 8, 2011

After Sept. 11: The Not-So-Brave New World

An Amtrak Police K-9 watches while commuters depart for rush hour during "Operation Railsafe" at Union Station in Washington, D.C., last October.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 8, 2011 5:56 pm

Midmorning on a recent Tuesday in Washington and life is a-bustling at Union Station, the railroad terminal just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. People come and go, sidestepping the Jersey barriers at the entrance, making for the platform gates, some talking on cellphones, others to each other, still others moving in purposeful silence.

Not a soul seems to be paying attention to the security signs or videos.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu September 8, 2011

Texas Wildfires Rage On With More Than 1,000 Homes Destroyed

Hillary Polly looks through the family belongings as Thomas Polly tries to pry open a fireproof gun safe with his father Louie Polly in the background amongst the rubble of their burned house near Bastrop, Texas.
Erich Schlegel Getty Images

Texas authorities said today that the wildfires that began Sunday in Bastrop have destroyed 1,386 homes. The Austin American Statesman reports that officials came to that number by going "house by house and driveway by driveway."

Read more