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House & Senate Races
2:50 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

Republican Now Leads In Race To Replace Weiner

Rep. Anthony Weiner announced his resignation on June 16. With just days to go before the special election, the Republican candidate is running neck-and-neck in a heavily Democratic district.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

It's been more than two months since former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned in disgrace after sending lewd messages on the internet and then lying about it. But now the race to fill his seat in Queens and Brooklyn is causing more headaches for Democrats.

With just days to go before a special election, a Siena College poll taken this week showed the Republican candidate with a six-point advantage in a heavily Democratic district.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

Fresh Eurozone Worries Send Markets Tumbling

The situation in Europe has the markets worried today. At one point, the Dow Jones was down 353 points, while the Standard & Poor's shed 3 percent and the Nasdaq wasn't far behind with a 2.9 percent loss.

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Energy
1:19 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

Electric Grid Was Designed To Prevent Arizona Outage

Downtown San Diego is dark after a massive blackout hit Southern California on Thursday. Approximately 1.5 million residents from Southern Orange County to Northern Baja were without power.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:26 am

If you thought that the nation's electrical grid was designed to prevent a single, localized malfunction from triggering a blackout for millions of people, you'd be right.

But that didn't prevent that exact event from happening Thursday in San Diego, parts of Arizona, and Mexico's Baja peninsula. Phoenix-based Arizona Public Service Co. said the blackout started when a piece of monitoring equipment was removed at a substation in Yuma, along the border with Mexico.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
1:19 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

In Afghanistan, Assessing A Rebel Leader's Legacy

Shown here in 1997, the "Lion of the Panjshir," Ahmad Shah Massoud (left), fought against the Soviets in the 1980s, was a central figure in the Afghan civil war of the '90s and led the resistance against the Taliban until his death on Sept. 9, 2001, the victim of al-Qaida suicide bombers.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:26 am

Ten years ago Friday, a team of al-Qaida agents carried out an assassination that was the first step in their plan leading to the Sept. 11 attacks. In the north of Afghanistan, suicide bombers posing as journalists killed Ahmad Shah Massoud, the most famous leader of Afghan resistance against Taliban rule.

Today, posters of Massoud still adorn shops around northern Afghanistan, and admirers held a huge commemoration of him Friday near his home.

But 10 years after his death, Massoud's legacy has been overshadowed by a grueling war that grinds on with no end in sight.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

New Mexico Governor Reveals Her Grandparents Entered Country Illegally

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has fought hard to repeal a law in her state that gives undocumented immigrants driver's licenses. But in an interview with KLUZ-TV, the Univision affiliate in Albuquerque, the Republican governor said her paternal grandparents came into the country illegally.

In the interview, she said her grandmother died when her father was about 1, but she knows they "arrived without documents."

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Economy
1:04 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

Economists Weigh Effectiveness Of Obama Job Plan

President Obama delivers a speech about creating jobs to a joint session of Congress Thursday as Vice President Biden (left) and House Speaker John Boehner look on.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri September 9, 2011 1:05 pm

Economists have been looking over the $447 billion job-creation package President Obama proposed to Congress Thursday night. Predictably, the reaction was mixed, with most economists giving it a thumbs up, and many conservatives turning thumbs down.

Here are a few of the economists' opinions that were blogged, tweeted, reported or emailed around.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Nuclear Regulatory Commission OKs Closure Of Yucca Mountain

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission handed down a long awaited decision today that allows the Obama administration to continue its plans to close Yucca Mountain, the nuclear waste dump in Nevada.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Report: U.K. Police Protected Gadhafi's Son From Assassination Plot In 2004

This morning The Guardian has a report about a 2004 incident concerning one of Moammar Gadhafi's most prominent children. Based on documents the paper found in Gadhafi's compound in Libya, The Guardian reports that in 2004, the United Kingdom offered Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi protection after the government uncovered an assassination plot.

The Guardian reports:

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Why Are Feet Washing Ashore In Washington?

One of the creepier stories in recent weeks has been about feet found along the shores of Washington state and British Columbia. There have been 11 or so discovered since 2007 — usually in athletic shoes.

Jake Ellison at NPR member station KPLU set out to see if he could figure out what's going on, and starts his report with this attention-getting line:

"There are likely hundreds of dead human bodies in the waters of the Northwest at any given time."

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It's All Politics
10:43 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Obama, Nation In Uncharted Economic Territory, Jobs Plan Or Not

President Obama arrives in Richmond, Va to talk jobs, Sept. 9, 2011.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri September 9, 2011 1:23 pm

One of the most unsettling truths facing President Obama and the nation is that there really was little precedent in modern history for the financial crisis that hit the globe in 2007 and continues.

As economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff note in "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," their examination of economic crises going back eight centuries:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:25 am
Fri September 9, 2011

How To Find Out If Your Doctor And Drugmakers Are In A Relationship

iStockphoto.com

There's a hoary bit of advice in journalism that still gets passed from old-school editors to newbies: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out."

So what about your doctor? The nonprofit investigative journalism outfit ProPublica has a tool you can use to see how much money your doctor has received from drug companies. ProPublica is kind enough to share it for all to use, so I've embedded it in this post. Have at it.

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Economy
10:00 am
Fri September 9, 2011

American Jobs Act Holds Promise?

President Obama presented his jobs plan to Congress Thursday evening. It proposes tax cuts to businesses that hire new employees, reforms to the unemployment insurance system and investments in schools and infrastructure. Host Michel Martin discusses the plan with National Urban League President Marc Morial and small business owner Andy Shallal.

Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
9:30 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Security Since Sept. 11: Worth The Cost?

A U.S. Capitol policeman performs a security sweep of the Capitol Dome and roof ahead of President Obama's speech to Congress on Thursday. The U.S. is spending more than $70 billion on homeland security this year, up from $20 billion a decade ago.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Is America safer today than it was a decade ago?

That question has been raised repeatedly in the discussions surrounding the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

But authors John Mueller and Mark S. Stewart feel it's the wrong question. They pose a different one: are the vast increases in security spending justified by the threat of future attacks?

U.S. spending on homeland security and domestic intelligence has consumed nearly a half-trillion dollars over the past decade. It was just over $20 billion in 2001, this year it will top $72 billion.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Fri September 9, 2011

VIDEO: NFL's First Player Born In '90s Scores On 108-Yard Return

Because we all can use a quick break from the day's serious stories:

Not only did the Green Bay Packers' Randall Cobb last night become the first guy born in the 1990s to play in an NFL regular season game, he also tied a league record when he ran a kickoff back 108 yards to score a touchdown.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Fighter Pilots Were Prepared To Die On Sept. 11

An F-16 fighter jet.
Michael Williams 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.

"We wouldn't be shooting it down. We'd be ramming the aircraft. ... I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot."

That's what Maj. Heather "Lucky" Penney tells The Washington Post in a remarkable story today.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
8:35 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Richard Engel: Covering War For A Decade

Richard Engel is NBC News' Chief Foreign Correspondent.
Dan Nelken NBCU

Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for NBC News, has spent the past decade going to some of the more dangerous war zones on the planet. He has filed from Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan — and more recently covered the uprisings in Egypt, where he was tear gassed, and Libya, where he was almost shot in Benghazi while covering the conflict.

It wasn't the first time Engel has had a close call.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Fri September 9, 2011

While Susquehanna River Is Receding, Residents Can't Return Just Yet

Flooding continues along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, New York State and down into Maryland continues.

But as headlines from around the region show, the worst may be over.

Still, there's no word yet on when an estimated 100,000 people who had to leave their homes will be able to return.

Some of the stories:

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Economy
7:55 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Comparing Job Plans: No Shortage Of Ideas

A giant sign reading "jobs" hangs outside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce building in Washington, D.C.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

In the 2012 election cycle, "Job No. 1" for any political candidate will be to lay out persuasive plans for generating more middle-income jobs.

In the more than two years since the Great Recession ended, job growth has been exceptionally slow. Today, 14 million U.S. workers cannot find jobs and the unemployment rate hovers at 9.1 percent. That's nearly twice the level that would reflect a healthy labor market.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
7:50 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Road To Sept. 11: Saudi Arabia's Highway 15 Revisited

A detour along Saudi Arabia's Highway 15.
Charles M. Sennott GlobalPost

The road to Sept. 11 began here on Highway 15 in Al Baha, Saudi Arabia, which stretches from Mecca into a barren desert landscape and up into the winding, rocky passes of the Asir province bordering Yemen.

Osama bin Laden's father, a Saudi construction magnate, built this highway in the 1960s connecting the kingdom to his ancestral homeland of Yemen, and it was along this same stretch of asphalt that Osama bin Laden recruited 12 of the 15 Saudi youths who were among the 19 hijackers to carry out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Today's Top Stories: Jobs Plan, Wildfires, Terror Threat

Good morning.

A lot's been happening since last evening, and we've already posted about:

-- Terror Threat Is 'A Tip,' And Isn't 'Rock-Solid'

-- Power Coming Back On In San Diego; Human Error Blamed

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Shots - Health Blog
7:00 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Medicare Chief Turns 65 And Qualifies For Coverage He Oversees

Today is a big day for Medicare Chief Donald Berwick. He turns 65. And now he is the first head of the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled to also be a beneficiary.

"I'm excited," he told Shots in a pre-birthday interview Thursday. "I feel like I'm in my 20s still. I don't feel 65. It's going to be a great day to celebrate."

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Fri September 9, 2011

President's Plan Would Have 'Substantial, Powerful Effect,' Geithner Says

Moments ago on Morning Edition, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that if the Obama administration's latest jobs plan is enacted it should have a "substantial, powerful effect" on the economy.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Interpol Issues Arrest Warrants For Gadhafi And His Son

Interpol's online "wanted" poster for ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Interpol

Originally published on Fri September 9, 2011 6:01 am

The international police agency Interpol today issued "red notices" — arrest warrants, in effect — for ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, his son Saf Al-Islam Gadhafi, and Libya's former director of military intelligence, Abdullah Al-Senussi.

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It's All Politics
5:54 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Did Obama's Jobs Speech Seize The 'Big Moment'?

President Obama's jobs speech on Thursday had been characterized in the wide world of punditry as his "Moment of Truth." His "Last Chance." His "Big Speech." His ... well, you get the picture.

There was a lot riding on the president's address to a joint session of Congress, in which he laid out an expansive and expensive — nearly $450 billion — plan to "jolt" the nation's anemic employment market.

To gauge Obama's performance in a speech pivotal to his efforts to win re-election next year, we turned to a couple of political media consultants for their takes.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Texas Wildfires: 'Aerial Assault' To Start Today

"Firefighters are planning their biggest aerial assault yet Friday of a massive wildfire that has raged for days across Central Texas, destroying nearly 1,400 homes and tens of thousands of acres of drought-parched land," The Associated Press writes.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
10:01 pm
Thu September 8, 2011

Port Authority Cops: Recovering From Sept. 11

Retired Port Authority Police officers Brian Patrick Tierney (left) and Kevin Devlin visited the World Trade Center site this week. Both men say it's been a struggle to adjust to normal life after losing friends and searching for remains at Ground Zero.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Fri September 9, 2011 6:01 am

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, inflicted the single greatest loss of life ever suffered by a police department in U.S. history. The department wasn't the New York Police — it was the less well-known Port Authority Police Department. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey polices the bridges and tunnels around New York, and it also was in charge of security at the Twin Towers. It's a small, tight-knit department, and it lost 37 officers that day.

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Business
10:01 pm
Thu September 8, 2011

Amazon Agrees To Collect State Tax In California

Amazon and California have reached a deal on sales taxes. The online retailing giant, which doesn't collect sales taxes in the state has agreed to start collecting them a year from now.

Amazon has long enjoyed a huge advantage by not collecting the tax — like brick-and-mortar stores do. Consumers pay that much less for the same goods.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
10:01 pm
Thu September 8, 2011

For U.S. Ambassador, A Decade On The Hot Seat

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan (shown here in a file photo from July 2010), says that while he understands Americans' feeling of war fatigue, leaving Afghanistan would have a far worse consequence: "If we think the war is expensive — and it is — it is a lot cheaper than another 9/11."
Presidential Palace AP

Since Sept. 11, 2001, no U.S. diplomat has spent more time in more sensitive places than Ryan Crocker. He was ambassador to Pakistan as that country struggled with political turmoil and violence; he was ambassador to Iraq as the U.S. military surge changed the complexion of the war; and now he is ambassador to Afghanistan.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
10:01 pm
Thu September 8, 2011

'The Banality Of Evil': Following The Steps To Sept. 11

Ten years ago Friday morning, the men who would become the Sept. 11 hijackers were ready. They woke up on Sept. 9, 2001, in small motels along the East Coast. Their leader, Mohammed Atta, was one of the last ones on the move. He was checking in with the teams on his way to Boston.

The White House counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke, was also at work that day. He was watching something happening in al-Qaida email chatter — he just didn't know what.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
10:01 pm
Thu September 8, 2011

Slain Priest: 'Bury His Heart, But Not His Love'

A mortally injured Father Mychal Judge is carried out of the World Trade Center by first responders, including Bill Cosgrove (in white shirt). Cosgrove says, "everybody you see in that picture was saved" from the North Tower's collapse, moments later.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Father Mychal Judge was a Franciscan friar and a chaplain to the New York City Fire Department. He was also a true New York character. Born in Brooklyn, Mychal Judge seemed to know everyone in the city, from the homeless to the mayor.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Father Mychal arrived at the World Trade Center shortly after the first plane hit. And as firefighters and other rescue personnel ran into the North Tower, he went with them.

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