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Opinion
9:14 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Weekly Standard: Pin The Tail On The Economy

Pundits are wondering if some leaders are blind to America's economic reality.
iStockphoto.com

Mark Hemingway is an editorial page writer for the Washington Examiner.

Much to the frustration of the press corps and the country at large, President Obama went nearly a year without giving a press conference at a time when the country was in a rather precarious state economically and politically. Lately, however it seems that Obama has decided that the debt ceiling debate is the time to reengage — no doubt the looming campaign has something to do with this decision.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Fri August 5, 2011

'Rent Is Too Damn High' Candidate Faces Eviction

Jimmy McMillan of the Rent is Too Damn High Party speaks during the gubernatorial debate at Hofstra University in Oct. 2010.
Getty Images

The man who ran for New York governor with the simple message of "the rent is too damn high," is facing eviction from his rent-controlled apartment, because, he says, his "rent is too damn low."

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NPR Story
8:41 am
Fri August 5, 2011

How European Money Woes Could Stall U.S. Economy

Originally published on Fri August 5, 2011 3:06 pm

The nations belonging to the euro currency zone have been struggling with a debt crisis for more than a year. The wealthier nations — notably, Germany — have helped bail out the troubled nations, including Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Yet these smaller countries have not solved their financial problems, and there is now a growing fear that the debt problems are spreading to the much larger economies of Spain and Italy.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Polar Bear Kills British Tourist In Norway's Arctic

An injured person is carried from a helicopter in Longyearbyen after a polar bear killed one person and left four other members of a British group seriously injured.
Thomas Lysgaard AFP/Getty Images

An adventure trip to the arctic ended in tragedy for a group of British students, when a starving polar bear attacked the expedition, killing one person and injuring four. The group then shot the bear dead.

The Guardian reports:

The party of around 80 were on a five-week expedition in the Arctic run by the [British Schools Exploring Society], a youth development charity.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Senate Approves FAA Bill, Ending Agency Shutdown

The Senate this morning approved a bill that ends the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, reports the AP.

As NPR's Brian Naylor reported this morning, the bill is yet another short-term extension of funding that puts off dealing with the issues that prevented an agreement on a longer term deal.

Brian adds:

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Opinion
7:40 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Weekly Standard: A Pastime Passed It's Prime

Joe DiMaggio of the Yankees passes on a few batting tips to his five-and-a-half-year old son, Joseph III, prior to the Yankees — Washington Senators game at Yankee Stadium, New York, April 27, 1947.
JDC AP

Joseph Epstein, a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, is the author of the forthcoming Gossip, The Untrivial Pursuit.

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Opinion
7:39 am
Fri August 5, 2011

The Nation: Stop The Subsidy-Sucking Sports Stadiums

A coalition of contractors and construction laborers march and rally outside the Barclays Center construction site to protest Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. Organizers say Ratner's promise of contracts and jobs for community residents have not been kept.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Neil deMause, a journalist based in Brooklyn, New York, is a contributing editor to City Limits, a senior editor for Baseball Prospectus and the ­co-author, with Joanna Cagan, of Field of Schemes.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Congress Faces Record Disapproval Rating; Chile Sees Violent Protests

Good morning!

We've already touched on the big news of the day: The early plummet of the world markets in reaction to yesterday's dismal performance of the U.S. markets. We also covered the better-than-expected jobs report that buoyed the world markets and have positioned U.S markets to open higher.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:23 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Salty Snacks For Baby? Even Infants May Get Too Much Sodium

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri August 5, 2011 8:35 am

Salt is a delicious devil ingrained in our diets, with implications for taste and health. Cutting back on salt is a challenge, even for the youngest eaters, it turns out, because processed foods contain so much of the stuff.

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Opinion
6:36 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Foreign Policy: The Expression Of A Revolution

People walk by graffiti showing an arrow pointing at a man, who represents the government, and a hand beating him over the head with a spatula that reads in Arabic "Tahrir" at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, July 23, 2011.
Khalil Hamra AP

Ursula Lindsey is a journalist based in Cairo. She contributes to The Arabist blog.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Hiring Picks Up Slightly In July; Unemployment Drops To 9.1 Percent

U.S. employers added 117,000 jobs last month, according to new numbers from The Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate dropped to 9.1 percent.

The AP reports:

The mild gain may ease investors' concerns after the Dow Jones industrial average plummeted more than 500 points over concerns that the U.S. may be entering another recession.

Still, the economy needs twice as many net jobs per month to rapidly reduce unemployment. The rate has topped 9 percent in every month except two since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri August 5, 2011

World Markets In Turmoil, As U.S. Awaits Employment Numbers

A day after U.S. markets posted their worst losses since the financial crisis, world markets followed suit. As we explained, yesterday, two big things were on the minds of investors as the big sell-off took place: Worry about a U.S. economy that experts say can swing back into recession and worry that the European debt crisis is spreading to Italy and Spain.

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Economy
4:34 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Wall Street Awaits A Nail-Biter Of A Jobs Report

Investors seeking reason for optimism after the worst stock-market sell-off since the 2008 financial crisis probably won't find it in Friday's July jobs report.

Economists are forecasting that employers added only 90,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.2 percent, according to a survey by FactSet.

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Politics
3:02 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Rick Perry's Religious Revival Sparks A Holy War

Texas Gov. Rick Perry looks on during a speech at a Boy Scout ceremony in June aboard the USS Midway in San Diego. At that dinner, he said the federal government is rudderless. Now, he's calling for a "day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our nation."
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 8:55 am

Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor of Texas, is a Methodist by tradition who, with his wife, Anita, now attends an evangelical megachurch in Austin. He is open about his deep Christian faith.

On Saturday, Perry, who is widely expected to enter the race for the White House, is hosting a religious revival in Houston to pray for what he calls "a nation in crisis."

While the governor claims it's nothing more than a Christian prayer rally, the event has touched off a holy war among critics, who claim it is Jesus-exclusive and political.

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Space
3:00 am
Fri August 5, 2011

New NASA Missions Will Tour The Solar System

The Juno spacecraft, seen above Jupiter in this artist's rendering. Juno's primary mission is to improve our understanding of Jupiter's formation and evolution.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's space shuttle may be down for the count, but robotic planetary missions are up, up and away. Before the end of this year, three new solar system probes are due to launch.

Juno To Jupiter

Why Jupiter? Well it's big. "It's the largest of all the planets. In fact, it's got more material in it than all the rest of the solar system combined," says Scott Bolton, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute and principal investigator for the Juno mission.

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Around the Nation
3:00 am
Fri August 5, 2011

After Twister, Joplin Holds On To Broken Relics

Volunteers clear debris from a tornado-damaged apartment complex late last month, two months after a tornado ripped through town, killing 160 people and destroying a third of the city.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Residents of Joplin, Mo., have worked overtime to move debris and make a fresh start after one of the most destructive tornadoes demolished a third of the city in May. Still, many cling to what to outsiders might look like battered junk in order to keep memories of the event from slipping away.

Just after the storm, for example, Randy Brown walked away from his splintered home pushing a trashcan full of whatever he could salvage, possibly for a shrine.

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Space
2:59 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Dark Streaks On Mars May Be Sign Of Liquid Water

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Originally published on Fri August 5, 2011 11:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Scientists have discovered features on Mars that could be signs of running water. If that's true, it would be big news for scientists looking for signs of life on Mars. After all, practically everywhere on Earth where there's running water, there's also life.

NPR's Richard Harris has the story.

RICHARD HARRIS: First off, we already know that Mars has water on it, lots of water. But Phil Christensen, a long-term Mars watcher from Arizona State University, says that knowledge isn't all that exciting to biologists.

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U.S.
2:00 am
Fri August 5, 2011

FAA Deal Puts Off Reckoning On Labor, Other Issues

Congress and the Obama administration found a way out of the stalemate that forced a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration. The temporary fix means a return to work for thousands of FAA workers and contractors idled by the shutdown. But the underlying issues that prevented agreement on a multi-year FAA bill remain unresolved.

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U.S.
2:00 am
Fri August 5, 2011

City Leaders, Labor Battle Over Scrapping Pensions

San Diego city leaders who want to eliminate pensions for most new city employees are trying to get a measure on next year's municipal ballot. Such measures require thousands of voters to sign a petition saying they want to vote on the matter. But a labor-backed group is fighting the effort with a radio ad that links signing the petition to the possibility of identity theft.

Europe
2:00 am
Fri August 5, 2011

As Neighbors Founder, Italy's Borrowing Costs Spike

Italy is the latest country to be in the cross hairs of investors alarmed by Europe's growing debt crisis. In many ways, Italy's financial situation is quite healthy. But it is being harmed by severe debt problems in neighboring countries and by the inability of European policymakers to act forcefully and in unison.

World
2:00 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Asian, European Markets Rattled By U.S. Losses

It's the end of a turbulent week that started with the U.S. government narrowly averting a failure to pay its bills. A market selloff that began some days before has continued all week. The Dow lost 512 points Thursday alone. European stock markets were down Friday. Asian markets fell, too.

Middle East
2:00 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Anxiety Spreads In Hama Amid Violence, Isolation

Residents of the Syrian city of Hama are bracing for another day of shelling and shooting as the regime continues its military crackdown on the first Friday of Ramadan. Hama residents say they're trapped in their houses, often without electricity or water.

StoryCorps
8:00 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

A Love Story That Started With A Song

James "Jay" McKnight and his wife, Andrea, at a recent visit to StoryCorps in New York City.
StoryCorps

It didn't take very long for James "Jay" McKnight to know that the teenage girl watching him sing with his buddies on a Brooklyn street corner more than 50 years ago would one day become his wife.

McKnight was almost 19. The girl, Andrea, was 14. "I looked at a friend of mine who I was singing with, and I said, 'I'm going to marry her,' " Jay says. "You know what he told me? 'You're going to jail. She's too young.' "

One day when Andrea was by herself, Jay approached her and in a deep voice meant to impress, he asked her how she was doing.

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The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Pet Owners Win: Chinese City Relents On Dog Ban

Dog lovers in China and elsewhere can sleep easier tonight, after officials in Jiangmen withdrew a proposed ban on dogs in the city. The near-total ban, which would have resulted in thousands of dogs being either killed or transported to rural areas, was prompted by fears of rabies in the city of 3.8 million.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:44 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

USDA's Advice For Eating Right Is Hard On The Wallet

The government needs to make the most nutritious fruits and vegetables more affordable, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

There are myriad reasons why it's hard to follow a healthy diet in this day and age, and the formidable obesity epidemic in this country is a testament to the fact that too many of us simply can't do it.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

The Coach Who Was Cool To The Cafeteria Dude

Ray Horton made an unusual bargain with a cafeteria worker when he left his job coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers' secondary.
NFL Getty Images

An unlikely story has emerged from the world of the NFL, which until recently exported only tales of internecine warfare among millionaires. But first: If you're a football fan — but love to hate the Pittsburgh Steelers — you may want to just click away now. Because what happened recently may diminish your ability to despise the Steel Curtain.

The day before Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton left to become the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator, he stopped by the team complex for some final farewells.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:29 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Scorpion Venom Meets Its Match

Ryleigh Wagley is the youngest patient in the U.S. to receive Anascorp, an antivenom against scorpion toxin. She was just 25 days old when she was stung by a scorpion in her crib. Her doctor credits the drug with helping save her life from the potentially deadly sting.
Monica Ortiz Uribe KWRG

Spiders and snakes don't bother me much. But scorpions? Get them away!

If you haven't spent time in the Southwest, you might be surprised to learn how common the creatures are there. And Arizona bark scorpions, in particular, can really do some damage, especially to kids.

When these scorpions sting, they inject a potent neurotoxin, which can be life-threatening for young children and infants. Severe reactions to the stings are seen in more than 200 children each year in Arizona.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Video: A World Guinness Parallel Parking Attempt In The Tightest Of Spots

A tight fit.
World Guinness

Originally published on Thu August 4, 2011 5:49 pm

Imagine trying this in a tight parking spot in the city:

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Economy
1:48 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Double Dip: Is U.S. Headed For Another Recession?

Stock markets plummeted Thursday amid growing worries about the U.S. economy and Europe's mounting debt problems. In late-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 500 points, or 4 percent, and other indexes saw similar drops.

The U.S. economy barely grew in the first half of the year. And economists aren't expecting good news about jobs from the Labor Department on Friday.

These indicators and more are raising questions about whether the United States is headed for a double-dip recession

No Growth 'Surge' In Sight

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Politics
1:42 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Congress Reaches Deal To End FAA Shutdown

Construction crews working on a new FAA air traffic control tower at Oakland International Airport were told to stop working after the House of Representatives refused to reauthorize routine funding of the Federal Aviation Administration. A deal to restore funding was reached Thursday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Congress has reached a bipartisan compromise to end the two-week partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that has idled 74,000 federal employees and construction workers and cost the government about $30 million a day in uncollected airline ticket taxes, the Senate Democratic leader said Thursday.

The deal would allow the Senate to approve a House bill extending the FAA's operating authority through mid-September, including a provision that eliminates $16.5 million in air service subsidies to 13 rural communities. A vote on the bill is expected Friday.

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