Economy
5:57 am
Sat September 24, 2011

Clean Car Loan Program Adds Fuel To Shutdown Fears

The once-rare possibility of a federal government shutdown has reared its head again, this time over House Republicans' desire to offset spending for disaster relief with money for other unrelated projects.

A clean-car loan program has become a key battleground. The House spending bill would take $1.5 billion from the program for disaster relief. Democrats say that would be a huge mistake.

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National Security
5:37 am
Sat September 24, 2011

Defense Leaders Make Their Case Against Budget Cuts

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, right, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 22. The Pentagon is tasked with cutting $450 billion from its budget in the next 10 years.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

The congressional super committee has two months to come up with a way to slash more than a trillion dollars from the federal deficit, or risk deeper cuts that would be triggered automatically. Everything is on the table in the debate — including defense spending.

The Pentagon is on a mission to prevent the defense budget from taking the brunt of the cuts, and the threat of losing funding has both the military branches and the defense industry fighting back.

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Europe
5:25 am
Sat September 24, 2011

As Europe Ages, Its Economies Look Vulnerable

A pensioner shops in Athens' central market on May 12. The rapidly aging population in Europe will increasingly strain national budgets across the continent, where more retirees will be depending on fewer workers.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

"Old Europe" is getting old, and fast.

The share of seniors in the population of Western European countries is growing rapidly, due to a combination of increased longevity and low fertility rates.

That fact is having two major effects on many economies within the European Union. Over the short term, many nations are struggling to pay for generous health coverage and pensions.

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Research News
4:55 am
Sat September 24, 2011

Bones From The Badlands Belong To New Dinosaur

A skeletal reconstruction of Talos sampsoni, with the pieces of the raptor specimen found highlighted in red.
PLoSONE.org

Originally published on Sat September 24, 2011 7:46 pm

Researchers made quite a find this week in Utah: a new species of raptor dinosaur. The ancient creature, a meat-eater, was small and fast, with talon-like toes.

"These animals were incredibly fast, incredibly intelligent and some of them wielded very significant claws and sharp teeth," Dr. Lindsay Zanno of the New University of Wisconsin tells NPR's Scott Simon. Zanno led the dig team that made the discovery.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Sat September 24, 2011

Sports: The Mighty Clinch, But The Red Sox Cling

Originally published on Sat September 24, 2011 8:00 am

The Arizona Diamondbacks, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Texas Rangers all won division titles Friday night. But in New England, the Boston Red Sox have been falling like leaves from a mighty oak in the race for the American League wild card spot. Host Scott Simon talks sports with sports commentator Howard Bryant about this story and more.

Politics
5:45 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

PoliticsOhio: Lawmakers Approve Redistricting Map

Emily McCord speaks to Jo Ingles from Ohio Public Radio in the week's installment of PoliticsOhio. Ingles discusses the changes made this week to the map and how now it will be harder to put it up for a referendum. But she says Democrats who are upset about the new map are still weighing their options.

The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

HP's Whitman Says She'll Continue With Her Predecessor's Strategies

Former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman was chosen to take over at Hewlett-Packard
Tom Pennington Getty Images

After Hewlett-Packard announced that it was replacing its CEO with Meg Whitman, lots of talk erupted about the state of the technology behemoth.

Most of it wasn't pretty. Perhaps NPR's Richard Gonzales got the most succinct analysis of the situation from Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, who called HP "a clown without a circus, a tragicomedy."

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Syrians Continue Protests, As Evidence Of Regime's Violence Mounts

Amnesty International offered new evidence today of what it said was the Syrian regime's brutal crackdown on protesters. The human rights organization said the mutilated body of 18-year-old Zainab al-Hosni, the first woman known to have died in custody during Syria's recent unrest, was discovered by her family in "horrific circumstances."

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Shots - Health Blog
4:26 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

DIY Bedbug Extermination Can Make You Sick

Bedbug insecticide products are displayed at a bedbug summit in Illinois.
Brian Kersey Getty Images

That anyone with bedbugs in their home would resort to desperate measures to get rid of them comes as no surprise. The insects are some of the most aggravating and entrenched of any bug that bites or buzzes around us. But a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the DIY approach to bedbug control is a pretty risky enterprise.

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Latin America
4:04 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Mexican Drug Cartels Now Menace Social Media

Mexican journalists march in a protest against violence directed against the media on Sept. 11, in Mexico City. Drug cartels, which have been responsible for many of the deaths, are now intimidating social media sites.
Ronaldo Schemidt AFP/Getty Images

The Mexican drug cartels silenced the mainstream media by threatening and killing journalists. Now they seem to be extending the practice to social media.

Many Mexicans have had to rely on social media to find out what's going on in their cities after newspapers, TV and radio stations stopped reporting on drug-related violence.

But last week, the mangled bodies of a young man and woman were hung from a highway bridge in Nuevo Laredo along with a sign that read: "This is what happens to people who post funny things on the internet. Pay attention."

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