2:05pm

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

In Vermont, Rough Roads Reconnected To All But One Community

Some of the damage: Route 107 near Bethel, Vt.
Chip Allen Getty Images

"Extremely rough" roads have been reopened to all but one of the communities in Vermont that were devastated by floods after Hurricane Irene passed over New England, the state's Emergency Management agency reports.

Wardsboro, which is still cut off, could be reconnected later today, officials add.

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2:04pm

Wed August 31, 2011
National Security

Report: U.S. Safer Than On 9/11, But Not Safe Enough

A newspaper left by visitors on May 2 in Shanksville, Pa., at the fence surrounding the crash site of Flight 93. The chairmen of the 9/11 Commission say the U.S. has improved security over the past decade, but gaps in the system remain.
Jeff Swensen Getty Images

Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the United States is "undoubtedly safer and more secure," but gaps in coordination among the government agencies responsible for security remain a problem.

That's the conclusion reached by two highly influential analysts of American security, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton.

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2:03pm

Wed August 31, 2011
The Picture Show

Hubble Captures Time-Lapse Videos Of Stars Being Born

Stop-motion videos show footage of star formation.
NASA

The birth of star is just as traumatic as the birth of a person, only on a much larger scale.

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1:35pm

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Provocative Read: 10 'More Important' Events Than The Sept. 11 Attacks

As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks nears, news outlets and blogs are taking their turns at anniversary stories.

Foreign Policy offers this from blogger/author David J. Rothkopf: "10 events that were more important than 9/11." Counting down, Rothkopf says they are:

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1:15pm

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

140 Mexican Schools Shut Down Amid Extortion Fears

Originally published on Wed August 31, 2011 3:40 pm

The casino arson last week in Monterrey in which 52 people were killed really put a face on just how serious the drug violence in Mexico has become. Police believe that arson was likely the result of extortion.

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12:57pm

Wed August 31, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Latest Frontier In Reducing Childhood Mortality: Neonatal Deaths

Changes by country in neonatal mortality rates between 1990 and 2009.
PLoS Medicine

If you want to live a long life, it's critical to survive the first month after birth, when humans are especially vulnerable.

Neonatal mortality — death within the first 28 days of birth — is getting more public health attention, as countries around the world strive to meet a United Nations goal of dramatically reducing childhood mortality by 2015.

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12:20pm

Wed August 31, 2011
It's All Politics

Obama's Address To Joint Session Would Be Same Time As GOP Debate

President Obama just told House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that he wants to address a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. ET, to lay out his latest jobs plan.

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12:09pm

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama Asks To Address Congress Next Week To Lay Out Jobs Plan

President Obama wants to lay out his latest jobs plan before a joint session of Congress next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

In a letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and just released to the news media, the president writes that:

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11:43am

Wed August 31, 2011
Economy

What's Left To Fix The Economy If It Gets Worse?

With the U.S. economy stuck in neutral, analysts are busy adjusting their forecasts to include the possibility of another recession. Most aren't predicting another downturn, they're just saying that the odds have increased.

Meanwhile, policymakers at the Federal Reserve are divided about what to do next. Some are arguing for more aggressive action while others think that would be a mistake, according to minutes from their last meeting released on Tuesday.

Both the Fed and Congress are running out of ideas that they haven't already tried.

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11:15am

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Justice Dept. Sues To Block AT&T's Acquisition Of T-Mobile

The Justice Department just confirmed that it has "filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T Inc.'s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc."

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