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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Thu September 8, 2011

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

Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney (L) looks at Texas Gov. Rick Perry as he speaks at the Ronald Reagan Centennial GOP Presidential Primary Debate.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The reviews are in of last night's Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library. The short of it is that the debate was all about Texas Gov. Rick Perry — the newest in the field and presumed "front runner" — and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Our friend Frank James at It's All Politics has analysis. But here's what others are saying this morning:

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It's All Politics
11:28 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Perry, Romney Rivalry Still Shapes GOP Race After Reagan Library Debate

Candidates (L to R) Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman, Jr. take the stage before the start of the Ronald Reagan Centennial GOP Presidential Primary Candidates Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Wednesday in Simi Valley, Calif.
David McNew Getty Images

Coming into Wednesday's Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library, many of the questions revolved around Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the newest entrant in the field and instant frontrunner.

How well would he perform his first time on the national debate stage? Would he emerge from the debate with his momentum intact or deliver up a gaffe that would stop it cold?

Also, how would he handle the inevitable questions about controversial attacks on entitlement programs in his book Fed Up, including his derision of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme?

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Economy
10:01 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

How To Create More Jobs Divides Capitol Hill

President Obama will be addressing a house deeply divided when he goes before a joint session of Congress on Thursday night. Many of his fellow Democrats are hoping to hear a speech filled with bold proposals to rally a dispirited nation.

"I hope the president keeps his fighting spirit that he displayed on Labor Day, where it was really clear that he is fighting for the middle class and jobs," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). "If he continues with that spirit and lays out a plan on how to get there, I think it'll be very, very riveting."

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Business
10:01 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Yahoo Must Search For A Clear Focus, Analysts Say

Yahoo's future is up in the air. Earlier this week, the Internet company's board of directors ousted its chief executive officer, Carol Bartz, who was hired two years ago to try to revitalize Yahoo.

Though it is still very profitable, Yahoo has been losing its relevance, and it is less clear where the company is headed.

Gregory Thune, an industrial designer in San Francisco, not far from the company's Sunnyvale campus, represents one of Yahoo's biggest problems: He's never once used Yahoo.

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Under Suspicion
10:01 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Mall Counterterrorism Files ID Mostly Minorities

The following is a continuation of an investigation by NPR News and the Center for Investigative Reporting on private counterterrorism programs, like the one at the Mall of America.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
10:01 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Saving The Stories Of Loved Ones Lost On Sept. 11

"It's like the only thing on his mind was to tell the kids that he loved them, and I tell the kids this every day," Monique Ferrer says of her ex-husband.
Harriet Jones NPR

Each year, the oral history project StoryCorps has marked the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with the voices of those directly affected by the events: wives and husbands, grandparents and friends of those who died that day.

But as StoryCorps founder Dave Isay tells Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep, the outpouring of stories about Sept. 11 initially came as something of a surprise.

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It's All Politics
10:01 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Amid Skepticism, Obama Prepares For Jobs Speech

President Obama unveils his jobs plan on Thursday night.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 8, 2011 9:53 am

President Obama will attempt a Hail Mary pass when he speaks to a joint session of Congress tonight. He'll be asking for immediate help to boost job growth, after a month in which U.S. hiring came to a virtual standstill.

"The time for action is now," Obama told supporters in Detroit earlier this week. "Now is not the time for the people you sent to Washington to worry about their jobs. Now is the time for them to worry about your jobs."

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Yes, It's True: Ben & Jerry's Introduces 'Schweddy Balls' Ice Cream Flavor

Schweddy Balls ice cream.
Ben & Jerry's

We thought it would never happen. When we reported that comedian Ana Gasteyer had spilled the beans on a new Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor based on a Saturday Night Live skit that pokes fun at NPR, we thought it would never happen.

But we were wrong. Ben & Jerry's announced today that "Schweddy Balls" ice cream is on its way to store shelves across the country.

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It's All Politics
3:38 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

GOP Reagan Library Debate: What To Expect

The Republican presidential debate from the Ronald Reagan library in Southern California will be voters' first chance to see the current frontrunner for the GOP nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, on the same stage with Mitt Romney, the previous pack leader.

Yes, there will be other candidates on the stage, all of whom have their various supporters who still believe, more or less.

But it takes a prodigious imagination to see a clear path to the nomination for the two current members of Congress now in the field, Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Where Is Billy? A S.F. Giants Fan Goes Missing, And A Team Goes Searching

Billy poses for a photo with San Francisco Giants' Pitcher Matt Cain.
Courtesy of the San Francisco Giants

Billy was always outside the San Francisco Giant's ballpark. As the team's manager Bruce Bochy remembers it, on game days, Billy would be there before he arrived and would stay until he came out.

Sometimes that meant waiting until Bochy finished a meeting and emerged at one or two in the morning. Billy was always there — for years — so they became friends, Bochy told All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.

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It's All Politics
2:44 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Drought And Wildfires Haven't Changed Perry's Views On Climate Change

Firefighting helicopters dump water and flame retardant after loading up with water from a pond at Lost Pines Golf Club as they fight a fire in Bastrop State Park on September 6, 2011 in Bastrop, Texas.
Erich Schlegel Getty Images

Rick Perry heats up the atmosphere every time he talks about climate change. He's an avowed global warming doubter who once quipped, "The biggest source of carbon dioxide is Al Gore's mouth."

Perry set off the debate again in New Hampshire recently when he said, "I think we're seeing weekly, and even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change."

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Study: 33 Percent Of Americans Raised Middle Class Move Downward As Adults

Factors in downward mobility.
Pew Charitable Trusts

That headline may not seem significant, but here's how Pew Charitable Trusts sells its finding that 33 percent of adults who grew up middle class end up sliding downward:

The idea that children will grow up to be better off than their parents is a central component of the American Dream, and sustains American optimism. However, Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking up from the American Dream finds that a middle-class upbringing does not guarantee the same status over the course of a lifetime.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
1:57 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Unlikely Star: A Woman Turns 9/11 Grief Into Action

Carie Lemack, pictured in May, lost her mother Judy Laroque in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Ten years later, Lemack is on a first-name basis with Sen. John Kerry as part of her mission to raise awareness so that another Sept. 11 doesn't happen.
The Washington Post Getty Images

Carie Lemack, 36, gave up a long time ago trying to make sense of the Sept. 11 attacks that killed her mother, Judy Larocque.

"That's not possible," Lemack says.

But she says she will never quit trying to prevent that kind of tragedy from ever happening again.

Ten years after her mother's unfathomable death, Lemack is on a mission that's taken her down a road she also never could have imagined.

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Around the Nation
1:51 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

USDA: Food Aid Kept Hunger Rate Down

A sign in a New York City market window advertises the acceptance of food stamps.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 8, 2011 2:17 am

Despite the bad economy, the number of Americans who struggled to get enough to eat did not grow last year, and in some cases declined, according to new government data. Still, a near-record number — almost 49 million people — were affected.

Federal officials say an increase in government food aid kept the numbers from going even higher.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

San Francisco May Make Nudists Cover Their Seats

Hanging out in San Francisco's Castro district; Nov. 3, 2010.
Jeremy Brooks Flickr.com

Walking around San Francisco with no clothes on?

No problem as long as you're not a public nuisance or being lewd or ... (how do we put this?) ... looking like you're enjoying yourself a little too much. (And given how cold it can be there, perhaps arousal isn't a big issue.)

But if you sit down on a public bench or go into a restaurant, city Supervisor Scott Wiener (yes, that's correct) says you should bring something along to cover either the seat, if outdoors, or yourself, when in a restaurant.

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Law
1:03 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

New ATF Chief Inherits Agency Fighting For Survival

B. Todd Jones, the top federal prosecutor in Minnesota, speaks during a press conference with Attorney General Eric Holder last year. Jones has been tapped as acting chief of the troubled Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 7, 2011 5:27 pm

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is fighting for its life. The agency is under pressure from Republicans in Congress after a botched gun-trafficking operation known as "Fast and Furious," and the scandal has already cost the ATF leader and a top prosecutor their jobs.

Now, the Obama administration is counting on a new leader, B. Todd Jones, to try to get the agency back on track. Jones spent years as a U.S. Marine, and he's got the direct approach to prove it.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Rumsfeld: Obama Has Embraced Bush's Post Sept. 11 Policies

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks draws closer, we're pointing to some of the stories being told about that day and the days since.

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National Security
1:00 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Terrorism, Budget Among Panetta's Challenges

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is managing two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with the fight against al-Qaida.
Susan Walsh AP

Leon Panetta has been defense secretary for just over two months, and the challenges are already mounting. The biggest of all: figuring out how to keep America safe and keep putting pressure on al-Qaida — all for less money.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
12:07 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Post-Sept. 11 Saudi Arabia Modernizing, Slowly

Standing amid the rubble, a man calls out to potential survivors after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Fifteen Saudis were among the hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks.
Doug Kanter AFP/Getty Images

Abdulaziz Al Rabah remembers it was a Tuesday. The call to evening prayer was echoing across his hometown of Hafr-al-Batin, Saudi Arabia, and bearded religious police had shooed him and his friends off the neighborhood soccer pitch.

"Have you seen what happened to America?" a wide-eyed friend asked the 13-year-old.

Racing home, Al Rabah joined his mother to watch the satellite television newscasts of America's agony unfolding on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I remember she was sad to see two guys jumping to the ground," he recalled.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Libya: Another Day On The Gadhafi'a Trail, Brings Another Bout Of Rumors

Another day in the hunt for Libya's deposed leader and another report from the rebels that they have him surrounded.

This time, Anis Sharif, the spokesman for Abdel Hakim Belhaj, the leader of one of the largest rebel militias in the country, told the AP the rebels had positioned themselves around an undisclosed location where they said Moammar Gadhafi was in.

Sharif said a combination of high technology and human intelligence

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Shots - Health Blog
11:01 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Maine Senator Postpones Potato Nutrition Battle, For Now

Potatoes, especially served like this, are at the center of a school lunch debate.
iStockphoto.com

It's hard not to think of french fries as a key part of school lunch, glistening like a beacon from the battered plastic tray. But if the folks at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have their way, we could see a lot fewer of them.

And that's not right, says Sen. Susan Collins. "The problem is that the potato has been unfairly singled out," she tells the Portland Press Herald. Collins, a Republican, is from Maine, the sixth largest potato-growing state in the country.

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Law
10:58 am
Wed September 7, 2011

U.S. Scientist Pleads Guilty To Espionage Charge

A scientist who worked for the federal government pleaded guilty to attempted espionage on Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Stewart David Nozette tried to pass classified information to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer.

Nozette admitted in federal court that he tried to provide Israel with top secret information about satellites, early warning systems, ways of retaliating against large-scale attack, communications intelligence information and major elements of defense strategy.

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Latin America
10:55 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Brazil Hopes To Add Oil Wealth To A Booming Economy

Brazil's energy company, Petrobras, inaugurated a new offshore platform on June 3 in Angra dos Reis. Brazil has located major offshore oil fields and plans to greatly increase production in the coming years.
Ari Versiani AFP/Getty Images

When people say Brazil won't be the next Saudi Arabia, they mean it in a good way.

Brazil has discovered enormous oil reserves far off its coast, but the country's robust and varied economy means it shouldn't become dependent on oil.

"Brazil is not just going to be an oil exporting country," says Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. "That's not all it's going to do."

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Though Shuttles Are Retired, NASA Needs More Astronauts, Panel Says

The Mercury 7, NASA's original astronauts, in 1959. More than 50 years later, the agency still needs astronauts — and in fact needs a few more than it has — a panel says.
NASA Getty Images

NASA needs to hire a few more astronauts. That's according to a panel of outside experts enlisted by the agency to review the size of the astronaut corps now that the space shuttles are retired. (The panel's report is posted here.)

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Shots - Health Blog
10:20 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Med Schools Fall Short On LGBT Education

Many medical school deans recognize that they're not doing as much as they could to develop curriculum on LGBT patients, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

How well are medical schools preparing the next generation of doctors to care for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients? Not too well, it seems.

In a survey of medical school deans in the U.S. and Canada, a group of researchers found that the median number of teaching hours dedicated to LGBT content during an a four-year medical education was just five hours. While the researchers said there was a lot of variation between schools, they noted that five hours as a median was "small."

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Rick Perry
10:10 am
Wed September 7, 2011

With Perry In Race, Sparks Could Fly at GOP Debate

The stage where Gov. Rick Perry gathered with supporters on election night in 2010.
Ben Sklar Getty Images

If the wildfires in his home state don't change his plans, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is scheduled to make his national debut Wednesday in his first debate with seven fellow candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

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Under Suspicion
10:03 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Shoppers Entangled In War On Terror

Mall of America officials say that thousands of mall visitors have been stopped and questioned in recent years. The interviews at the mall are part of a counterterrorism initiative that acts as the private eyes and ears of law enforcement authorities but has often ensnared innocent people, according to an investigation by NPR and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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Under Suspicion
10:02 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Finding Meaning In Suspicious Activity Reports

At a fusion center in Las Vegas workers like Daniel Burns, a program coordinator, analyze suspicious activity reports.
Monica Lam Center for Investigative Reporting

The suspicious activity reports submitted by the Mall of America's security team frequently land at the Minnesota Joint Analysis Center, one of 72 "fusion centers" in the United States started with federal funding.

The reports are routed through various law enforcement and intelligence networks, often ending up in front of local analysts and the FBI.

Those networks include local police databases and state fusion centers that collect and disseminate homeland security intelligence, along with systems run by the FBI and other federal agencies.

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Under Suspicion
10:01 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Under Suspicion At The Mall Of America

The Mall of America, one of the nation's largest shopping and entertainment venues, is also home to its own counterterrorism unit.
Dawn Villela AP

Originally published on Thu September 8, 2011 8:42 am

Since Sept. 11, the nation's leaders have warned that government agencies like the CIA and the FBI can't protect the country on their own — private businesses and ordinary citizens have to look out for terrorists, too. So the Obama administration has been promoting programs like "See Something, Say Something" and the "Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative."

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World
10:00 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Mubarak Trial Resumes Amid 'Circus' Atmosphere

The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resumes today following scuffles inside and outside the courtroom. Libyan officials loyal to Moammar Gadhafi reportedly fled to neighboring Niger. And Turkey announced it was "totally suspending" all trade, military and defense ties with Israel. Guest host Jacki Lyden discusses the latest news in the Middle East and North Africa with Al Jazeera International's Abderrahim Foukara and NPR Foreign Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson.

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