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Economy
1:30 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Stocks Take Nose Dive On Global Economic Fears

The stock market is finishing its worst day since the financial crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 500 points Thursday. Investors are concerned that the U.S. economy will enter another recession and that Europe's debt problems are not closed to being solved.

Major stock indexes fell more than 4 percent.

The Dow is closing with a loss of 513 points, or 4.3 percent, to 11,384.

The S&P 500 is down 60, or 4.8 percent, to 1,200. The Nasdaq is down 137, or 5.1 percent, to 2,556.

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America's Mayors: Governing In Tough Times
1:10 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

In Miami-Dade, Economic Upheaval Ushers In Change

Carlos Gimenez, shown at a cafe earlier this year on Election Day, won a recall election that was part of a national wave of voter anger over taxes.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Part 6 of a 6-part series

The economic upheaval of the past several years has had a big impact on the nation's politics — from the president down to the precinct level.

In Florida's Miami-Dade County, it's changed the whole tone of local government.

Carlos Gimenez has been a fixture here for many years — as a member of the Board of County Commissioners, and before that as city manager and fire chief in the City of Miami.

But now he suddenly finds himself in a new job.

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Technology
12:53 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Money Can Buy You Love On Twitter

Companies can be hired to bring in Twitter followers for their clients.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Earlier this week, the online gossip site Gawker reported that Newt Gingrich — a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination — may have paid to get most of the 1.3 million followers of his Twitter account.

Gingrich's campaign has denied the accusation. But on Twitter, numbers are essential — the more you have the better.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:49 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Yet Another Reason To Say Ick to Ticks

A new bacterial species linked to a flu-like illness in humans has been found in deer ticks, like this one, in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Scott Bauer USDA

Ticks may be most notorious for spreading Lyme disease, but the tiny arachnids pass around plenty of other nasty diseases. Now they've got a new sickening hitchhiker to boast about — a just-discovered species of the ehrlichia bacterium that's making people ill in the Upper Midwest.

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Politics
12:45 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Republicans Seek Uber-Volunteers To Woo Voters

In Iowa, the Ames straw poll is just over a week away, which means the Republican presidential candidates are spending as much time there as they can.

But when they're off wooing voters in other states, it's up to their staffs to generate buzz in their absence.

So attracting the best talent could make a difference in turnout next week. But it's not just who they hire — it's also who they recruit as volunteers.

The Uber-Volunteer

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Budweiser Dresses Up Its Cans For 2011

The 12 Cans Of Budweiser: Bud's new design (far right) emphasizes a bow tie. A 1940s version for soldiers (second from left) used olive drab, presumably to blend into combat situations.
Anheuser-Busch InBev

Is Budweiser puttin' on the Ritz? The self-crowned King of Beers will soon be sold in a newly designed can — one whose graphics are dominated by a bow tie. And the can's new look was created by a London-based design firm.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

FBI Cryptic, Family More Vocal About D.B. Cooper 'Suspect'

Lynn D. Cooper's grave site in Pine Butte Cemetery in Bend, Oregon, about 22 miles from Sisters, Oregon.
David Nogueras Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Oklahoma woman who sparked renewed interest in the 1971 D.B. Cooper skyjacking continues to provide new details about the uncle she identifies as the famous hijacker.

Marla Cooper also revealed plans to write and publish a book for release in November in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the skyjacking.

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Swedish Man Arrested For Trying To Build Nuclear Reactor In His Kitchen

iStockphoto.com

We're a bit late to this story, but it's too good not to pass along: A Swedish man was arrested late last month, after he tried to build a nuclear reactor in his kitchen.

The AP reported, yesterday:

Richard Handl said he had the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium in his flat in southern Sweden when the police showed up.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Japanese Industry Minister Fires Three Nuclear Officials, Plans To Resign

Japan is firing three top nuclear energy officials, nearly five months after the country suffered the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl accident of 1986. And Banri Kaieda, the industry minister in charge of energy policy, said that he will resign as soon as he replaces the officials.

"I'm planning to breathe fresh air into the ministry with a large-scale reshuffle," Kaieda said at a news conference. "I'll have new people rebuild the ministry."

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Shots - Health Blog
11:26 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Antidepressant Use Climbs, As Primary Care Doctors Do The Prescribing

Antidepressants like these have become the second-most prescribed type of medicine in the U.S.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Antidepressants have become some of the most commonly used drugs in the United States, yet most of them aren't prescribed by psychiatrists.

And what's more, almost three-quarters of the prescriptions are written without a specific diagnosis, according to a new study, raising the question of whether antidepressants are being prescribed too often.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Flower Once Thought Extinct Will Come Off Endangered List

The Tennessee purple coneflower, a wild Echinacea plant, was first discovered in the late 1800s. But it was believed to be extinct before a botanist found a sample in the 1960s.
J.S. Peterson USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

Fifty years after it was brought back from extinction, a Southern flower has taken another step toward survival, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to take it off its Threatened and Endangered Species list.

The Tennessee purple coneflower is only the fifth plant ever to be removed from the list due to recovery. The move, announced Wednesday, will become official on Sept. 2.

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Africa
10:00 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Protests Rage On As Mubarak Stands Trial

The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who had served longer than any other ruler of Egypt in modern times, began Wednesday in Cairo. He is charged with ordering the killings of hundreds of protesters, and could receive the death penalty if convicted.

Host Michel Martin speaks with young Egyptian activist Wessam el-Deweny about seeing the once mighty Mubarak wheeled into the courtroom in a cage.

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World
10:00 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Political Volatility Persists During Mubarak Trial

Host Michel Martin and Al Jazeera International's Aberrahim Foukara discuss the charges former Egyptian President Mubarak is facing, and what his trial means for the governmental transition in Egypt and the wider Arab Spring.

The Two-Way
9:55 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Economic Pessimism Sends Stock Markets Tumbling

At one point this morning, the Dow Jones industrial was down 350 points, mirroring the drop in Standard & Poor's and most stock markets in Europe. As the Los Angeles Times puts it, today the market came down from yesterday's U.S.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Report Of Gunman At Virginia Tech Appears To Be False Alarm

Virginia Tech was put on lockdown earlier this morning after police received a report that a man was walking around campus with what looked like a handgun "covered by a cloth of some sort."

The university in Blacksburg, Virginia was the site of a 2007 shooting rampage. Officials issued a warning and told students to lock doors and stay inside.

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Economy
8:38 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Unionizing, Flight Subsidies Central To FAA Standoff

A provision attached to a Federal Aviation Administration budget extension would cut subsidies for flights to rural airports. Among the airports that could be affected is one in Ely, Nev., home state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

There are two main issues dividing Republicans and Democrats, and the House and Senate, from reaching agreement on reauthorizing funding for the Federal Aviation Administration: a policy on forming unions and subsidized flights at smaller regional airports.

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Gadhafi's Son Says Libya Is Forging Ties With Islamists

In an interview with The New York Times, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, said his father's government was aligning itself with radical Islamists among the rebels.

The Times reports:

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Asia
7:37 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Farmers Seek Fair Share Amid India's Housing Boom

Workers construct an apartment building in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Aug. 3, 2011. As many as 100,000 new apartment units are scheduled to be built on land that previously belonged to farmers. A court has halted some development on the grounds that the farmers weren't fairly compensated.
Gurinder Osan AP

A land crisis is gripping India. The country's growing prosperity has created a rapidly expanding middle class that is demanding modern housing and has the money to pay for it.

But building millions of new houses and apartments isn't easy, especially in a country where land is hard to come by.

A land battle on the outskirts of New Delhi illustrates the point.

The property, in an area known as Greater Noida, is undergoing the transition from cropland to towering apartment blocks. Right now, though, it's a visual and legal mess.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:31 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Salmonella Leads Cargill To Recall 36 Million Pounds Of Ground Turkey

When it comes to food recalls, Cargill's decision to pull 36 million pounds of ground turkey from the market is a big one — a really big one.

The food giant's taking the action for turkey produced at a plant in Springdale, Ark., because the meat may be contaminated with a strain of salmonella resistant to multiple antibiotics.

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Opinion
7:11 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Weekly Standard: Syria Hearing Worth Listening To

In this photo taken during a government-organized tour for foreign diplomats and the media, US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford covers his nose from the smell of the dead bodies during his visit with other foreign diplomats to a mass grave, in Jisr el-Shughour, north of Syria, on Monday, June 20, 2011.
Bassem Tellawi AP

Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, was a deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration

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Opinion
7:09 am
Thu August 4, 2011

New Republic: The Rhetoric Isn't Helping Syria

A young Syrian who lives in Greece shouts slogans during a protest outside the Syrian embassy in Athens, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. About 80 people gathered outside the embassy as Syrian troops killed nearly 100 people in two days, firing at worshippers heading to Ramadan prayers in the city on Hama, an opposition stronghold.
Thanasssis Stavrakis AP

David Schenker is the Aufzien fellow and director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Japan Takes Action To Weaken The Yen

A money trader reacts in front of the yen-dollar exchange rate at a money market brokerage firm in Tokyo.
Shuji Kajiyama AP

Originally published on Thu August 4, 2011 8:08 am

During the early morning hours, Japan sold yen and bought dollars in order to stop the yen from strengthening. Dow Jones estimates that Japan may have spent as much as $20 billion to $30 billion in the transactions, pushing the yen 3.8 percent lower against the dollar.

The AP reports:

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Opinion
7:01 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Weekly Standard: A Dem Challenge Obama? Get Real

President Barack Obama talks with supporters after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011.
Paul Beaty AP

Jay Cost is a staff writer for The Weekly Standard.

Froma Harrop wrote a column this week, arguing that Democrats should primary Obama:

"Ed Rendell, do you have plans for 2012? Hillary Clinton? If you, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, or you, the secretary of state, are free next year and wouldn't mind, would you please launch a primary challenge against President Obama?"

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Opinion
6:58 am
Thu August 4, 2011

The Nation: Time For The White House To Push Back

Democrats and Republicans are locked in a contentious battle even after agreeing to spending cuts and raising the debt ceiling.
iStockphoto.com

Ari Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation.

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Middle East
6:54 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Turkey Undergoes A 'Silent Revolution'

Turkish Chief of Staff General Isik Kosaner during a military ceremony in Ankara on Aug. 28, 2010. Kosaner stepped down on July 29, and the entire military command has resigned in a dispute with the government.
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

Politics in Turkey have just undergone a profound shift.

For decades, Turkey's military leaders repeatedly launched coups and other interventions to bring about an end to civilian governments they felt were straying too far from the country's secular traditions.

But with the resignations last week of the top Turkish commanders — including the chiefs of staff of each service branch — civilian authorities have, for the first time in the nation's history, clearly gained the upper hand.

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Jerry Lewis Will No Longer Host MDA Telethons

Jerry Lewis speaks during "The Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis" panel at Television Critics Association Tour in Beverly Hills.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

The Muscular Dystrophy Association announced last night that comedian Jerry Lewis will no longer serve as the organization's chairman, nor as the host of its annual Labor Day telethon. Lewis has hosted the telethons since 1966.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Haiti Faces Tropical Storm; Tiger Woods Makes Comeback

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner arrives before U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House on August 2.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Good morning!

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Latin America
3:01 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Business Booms On Mexican Border Despite Violence

Mexican federal police man a checkpoint in downtown Juarez, Mexico, on July 13. Despite being hard hit by drug violence, Mexican border cities remain attractive to foreign businesses seeking cheap labor and easy access to the U.S.
Jesus Alcazar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 4, 2011 7:01 am

Over the last four years of the Mexican drug war, the country's northern border has become one of the most violent parts of the country. Yet recently that same part of Mexico has been booming economically.

The duty-free maquiladora assembly plants along the border are rapidly adding jobs, and exports to the United States are reaching record levels.

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America's Mayors: Governing In Tough Times
3:00 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Progress And Promise For A Town Once In Crisis

Wayne Seybold of Marion, Ind., grew up in a trailer park on the factory side of town. As mayor, he's downsized the city's government and expanded the business community.
Noah Adams NPR

Part 5 of a 6-part series

Let's say you're the mayor. It's your city, it's where you wake up. But are you thinking about Washington each morning, or do you zip out of the house in your mayor's outfit with your smartphone, and see what you can get done yourself?

If you're Wayne Seybold, the mayor of Marion, Ind., it's a bit of both.

The 47-year-old Republican is now in his second term. His city, in north-central Indiana, is home to 30,000 people who've been though a tough economy.

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Business
3:00 am
Thu August 4, 2011

The Economic Legacy Of Atlanta's Olympic Games

This Olympic Village housing for athletes taking part in the 1996 Centennial Olympics is located on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
AFP/Getty Images

Bringing the 1996 Summer Olympic Games to Atlanta was a long shot. Athens, Greece was the sentimental favorite to host the centennial games, and tension was palpable as IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch made the announcement back on September 18, 1990.

"The International Olympic Committee has awarded the 1996 Olympic Games to the city of ... Atlanta," Samaranch revealed.

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