Dwayne Stenstrom is a professor of American history. His office is lined with towers of obscure books and poetry on the walls. There's even a copy of the Declaration of Independence in a binder.
He teaches this document like many other professors, beginning with, "We hold these truths to be self evident." But he stops on another phrase — "the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages."
<p>To feed China's insatiable demand for coal, U.S. companies are trying to sell and ship the lucrative commodity to the Asian market from new West Coast ports. Above, the cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant are seen on the outskirts of Beijing.</p>
This is the second of two reports on plans to export U.S. coal to China.
Coal producers in Wyoming and Montana are hoping new export terminals will be built in Washington state so they can ramp up their sales to China. Activists are trying to stop those ports, in part because they're concerned about global warming. But a thriving export market could also drive up the price of coal here in the United States, and that has climate implications as well.
The 12-member supercommittee charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budget cuts next month met publicly for the first time in six weeks Wednesday — and agreed on little more than the fact that time is indeed growing short for them to approve a deal. Co-chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., said a lot of hard work has been done to find common ground and agree on a balanced, bipartisan plan for deficit reduction. But, she added, "We're not there yet."
European leaders met through the night in Brussels and finally emerged Thursday with a debt deal they say is wide-ranging. They're hopeful it will guide the continent out of the widening debt crisis that started with Greece. But it's unclear whether they have the political will and economic flexibility to implement it.
Protestors in Oakland, California gathered again in front of City Hall. Oakland's Occupy Wall Street last night was much more peaceful than the night before, when police used tear gas and non-lethal bullets to disperse the crowd. The confrontation left one protester hospitalized and it left allegations of excessive police force under investigation. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.
(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: Protesters by the hundreds streamed into Oakland's downtown city hall plaza.
It's been a week of mixed messaging from two of the campaigns on the presidential trail: that of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and current Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Romney revived accusations that he's a flip-flopper when he waded into a battle over a ballot proposal in Ohio. Perry created his own distraction by revisiting questions about President Obama's place of birth.
As the Occupy Wall Street movement got going, a Tumblr blog emerged that strived to tell the story of the so-called 99 percent. The idea was simple: Americans would jot their stories down on a piece of paper and hold it up in front of a camera. The site has collected hundreds of pictures since it launched in early September. Most of them are serious but quite a few of them are funny.
NATO's role in Libya was crucial to the rebellion that toppled Moammar Gadhafi, but that assistance came at a cost, according to some Libyans.
Mohammed Abueishi lives in the Souq al-Juma neighborhood of Tripoli, near an apartment building on a quiet residential street that was hit by a NATO airstrike a little after 1 a.m. on June 19.
"I was sleeping and suddenly there was an enormous blast and all the doors and the windows burst open. There was a huge amount of dust in the house," he said. "I stumbled out to find my uncle's house destroyed."