The Two-Way
5:00 am
Thu September 1, 2011

Today's Top Stories: Speech Flap; CIA Flights; Libya

Good morning.

The story that the news media seem to believe is this morning's important news is word that the back-and-forth over which night next week President Obama will address a joint session of Congress has ended with the White House agreeing to do it on Thursday (the 8th) instead of Wednesday, which it had requested.

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Politics
3:29 am
Thu September 1, 2011

Obama Changes Speech Date After Dust-Up With GOP

What should have been a simple matter of scheduling turned into a Washington political incident Wednesday. At issue: when and where would President Obama give a policy speech about jobs.

The date and place have been set. But before it was, there was much drama in the nation's capital. All the major players said the matter had nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with logistics.

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Food
10:01 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

In Soda Revival, Fizzy Taste Bubbles Up From The Past

Phosphates and bitters, a mixture of herbs steeped in alcohol, are part of the revival of old-timey soda fountain drinks at places like PS7's in Washington, D.C.
Maggie Starbard NPR

If you're hankering for something new to drink — something more interesting than the usual cocktail or soda — you may want to look to the past. Way back in the 19th century, pharmacists and soda-jerks created all sorts of exotic, lip-smacking sensations by mixing fizzy mineral water with unique blends of sweet syrups and bitters.

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Asia
10:01 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

Pakistan's Biggest City Torn By Ethnic Violence

A man walks past a burning van in Karachi, Pakistan, on Aug. 4. Hundreds of extra paramilitary troops have been deployed in Pakistan's economic capital, which is struggling to end violence that has killed more than 300 people in recent weeks.
Asif Hassan AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan's long list of problems has a new addition this summer: vicious communal violence in Karachi.

More than 300 people have been killed in recent weeks, some under grisly circumstances that include decapitations, torture chambers and bodies placed in gunnysacks and dumped on the side of the road.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

Labor's Criticism Of Obama Grows Louder

Organized labor is traditionally one of the strongest sources of money and organizing power for Democrats, but lately union leaders have strongly criticized President Obama.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

Will Consumer Queasiness Drag Down The Economy?

Customers shop for kitchen appliances at a Home Depot store in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

When it comes to the economy, there's lots to worry about: Jobs, home prices, debt. And all those concerns seemed to have come together in the latest snapshot of consumer confidence — it plunged to its lowest level in two years.

The concern is that a country full of increasingly pessimistic consumers will stop spending and undermine the recovery.

But the relationship between consumer confidence and spending habits isn't at all straightforward.

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Law
10:01 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

Obama Takes Tougher Stance On Abortion Protesters

The Obama Justice Department has been taking a more aggressive approach against people who block access to abortion clinics, using a 1994 law to bring cases in greater numbers than its predecessor.

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Ron Elving is the NPR News' Senior Washington Editor directing coverage of the nation's capital and national politics and providing on-air political analysis for many NPR programs.

Elving can regularly be heard on Talk of the Nation providing analysis of the latest in politics. He is also heard on the "It's All Politics" weekly podcast along with NPR's Ken Rudin.

It's All Politics
5:46 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

Washington Partisans Pick Up Right Where They Left Off

Job creation may be the biggest issue facing the nation this fall, but it's not what set off the latest test of wills between the White House and Republican leaders of Congress today.

The president's promised speech on job creation could be a pivotal event in itself, but it's not what caused the latest outbreak of stunning childishness in Washington.

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News
5:36 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

Victims of explosion have been named

Wyoming's chief workplace safety official
has released the names of three workers he says were at the scene
of a fatal oilfield explosion earlier this week northeast of
Casper.
     J.D. Danni is manager of the Wyoming Occupational Safety &
Health Administration program. He identified the men on the scene
as 55-year-old James Turner, of Double D Welding and Fabrication of
Casper, 32-year-old Llewellyn Dort and Gerardo Alatorre, no age
available, both of Wild West Construction.
     Attempts to reach company officials for comment were

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