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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.

The Two-Way
8:50 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Disbelief, Shock In Carson City After Shooting Rampage

Ralph Swagler was in his family's barbecue restaurant in Carson City, Nev., Tuesday morning when he heard gunshots outside and saw a man armed with what authorities say was an AK-47 walk into a nearby IHOP restaurant.

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World
8:19 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Jet Carrying Russian Hockey Team Crashes

A Russian jet carrying a top ice hockey team crashed while taking off Wednesday in western Russia, killing at least 36 people and leaving one critically injured, officials said.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the Yak-42 plane crashed as it was trying to take off from Yaroslavl airport, about 185 miles east of Moscow. It said one person survived the crash with grave injuries.

The weather was sunny and clear at the time.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin immediately sent the nation's transport minister to the site, 10 miles east of Yaroslavl.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:53 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Despite Deficit, Enzi Supports Federal Spending On Autism

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) is expected to vote for a bill that would continue funding for autism research and treatment.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) has been among the more outspoken members of Congress calling for major reductions in federal spending to reduce the budget deficit.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Wed September 7, 2011

With Perry In Mix, Tonight's GOP Debate Is Highly Anticipated

Our friend Frank James over at It's All Politics will be watching the action, but we do want to at least take note of tonight's Republican presidential debate and pass along the coordinates in case you want to check it out.

A key story line, according to the conventional wisdom: How will the new "front runner," Texas Gov. Rick Perry, do in his first appearance with the other seven?

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Remembering Sept. 11: 'I Threw The Phone Down, I Screamed'

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.

Madeleine V. Leckie Elementary School in Washington, D.C., has a strong, painful connection to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reported earlier on Morning Edition.

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U.S.
6:43 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Five Ways The Postal Service Could Reinvent Itself

U.S. Postal Service mail delivery trucks sit idle at the Manassas Post Office in Virginia on September 5.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

By the end of September, the U.S. Postal Service will be on the brink of defaulting on its employee pension obligations, unable to borrow more money and have just enough cash to cover operations for a week.

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe issued the warning to a Senate committee on Tuesday as he pleaded with Congress to intervene before Sept. 30 by granting him unprecedented authority to make radical changes that could steer the agency from financial ruin. He said the Postal Service could report losses of up to $10 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Bomb Attacks In India, Pakistan; Gadhafi Still On Run

Good morning.

The news we've already posted about today:

-- Reports: Obama To Propose $300 Billion Package Aimed At Boosting Jobs

-- Wildfires Still Raging In Texas, Arson Suspected In One, Two More Deaths

As for other stories making headlines, they include:

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Wildfires Still Raging In Texas, Arson Suspected In One, Two More Deaths

The remains of their burned home in the background, Gaye Jaco (front) hugged her stepdaughter Jennifer Leaver on Tuesday in Bastrop, Texas.
Erich Schlegel Getty Images

"As wildfires continued to torch homes and the drought-stricken landscape across Central Texas on Tuesday, officials said two bodies had been found among the charred ruins of the fires in Bastrop County," Austin's American-Statesman reports.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Reports: Obama To Propose $300 Billion Package Aimed At Boosting Jobs

President Obama on Labor Day in Detroit.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

President Obama will propose "$300 billion in federal spending and tax cuts" when he addresses the nation Thursday night during a joint session of Congress, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

The AP says that:

"According to people familiar with the White House deliberations, two of the biggest measures in the president's proposals for 2012 are expected to be a one-year extension of a payroll tax cut for workers and an extension of expiring jobless benefits. Together those two would total about $170 billion. ...

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National Security
2:34 am
Wed September 7, 2011

For Now, Shoes Still Come Off At Airport Security

Homeland Security Department Secretary Janet Napolitano predicted Tuesday that airline passengers in the future will no longer be instructed to remove their shoes at airport security checkpoints, but she said the technology to scan shoe-wearing passengers for bombs does not yet exist and may not be available soon.

No technology meets government standards to screen shoes for explosives at airports while passengers wear them. Officials have not been able to say for certain that this technology will exist in the future, though they are working to develop it.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Faith Community Helps Steady Cathedral After Quake

The National Cathedral has hosted some of the most memorable prayer services and state funerals from the past 100 years. President Obama will speak there on Sunday to mark the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11; he also held his inaugural prayer service at the historic church, like many presidents have done.

But the structure was hit hard by last month's 5.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled the East Coast. Now, it could take years for the landmark to recover.

Crumbling Masonry

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