4:01am

Fri September 30, 2011
Afghanistan

Afghan Factions Vie For Position Amid Civil War Fears

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 2:54 pm

Afghans hold portraits of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, as they shout anti-government slogans during a demonstration in Kabul on Tuesday. Last week's killing of Rabbani, an ethnic Tajik, was the latest targeting his party and it has stoked fears of increased factionalism.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Last week's assassination of the former Afghan president, Burhanuddin Rabbani, not only dashed hopes for peace negotiations, it also increased the talk of civil war.

It came at the time that American troops are preparing to begin a gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan, exposing deep anxiety among Afghans about what lies ahead.

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4:00am

Fri September 30, 2011
Middle East

U.S.-Born Radical Cleric Awlaki Reportedly Killed

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 9:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, Host:

And I'm David Greene.

In Yemen, the government announced the death today of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Yemen's Defense Ministry announced the death in a statement but provided very few other details.

INSKEEP: Awlaki is perhaps the best-known English speaking advocate of violence against the United States. And he has been linked to major crimes in the United States.

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4:00am

Fri September 30, 2011
Europe

International Debt Inspectors Return To Greece

In Greece, financial inspectors returned Thursday to review whether the government was complying with the terms of a $150 billion bailout that it agreed to last year. But the inspectors were met with loud demonstrations protesting further wage and pension cuts, public sector layoffs and higher taxes.

4:00am

Fri September 30, 2011
Politics

Mitch Daniels: Avoid 'Fiscal Niagara' On Social Security

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 9:06 am

Social Security has been compared to Ponzi schemes for decades, says Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. In his new book, he lays out ideas for improving the system.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels urges a new approach for Social Security in his new book, Keeping the Republic. In the book, Daniels writes that Carlo Ponzi — the con man whose name became synonymous with a swindling scheme — would have been "an ideal Social Security commissioner."

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7:08pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

New York Unions Vow To Support Wall Street Protesters

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 7:11 pm

Demonstrators with "Occupy Wall Street" occupy Zuccotti Park in New York. The encampment in the financial district of New York City is now on Day 13.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The group of young people who have set up camp in lower Manhattan in order to protest what they say is the corruption of Wall Street have been dismissed by some as being a disorganized movement with no real focus.

New York Magazine reports that next week, the professionals have vowed to help "Occupy Wall Street" put some people on the street:

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6:33pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Music Interviews

Feist: A Pop Star With A Punk-Rock Past

Feist's new album, Metals, comes out Oct. 4.
Mary Rozzi

It's been four years since Leslie Feist released "1234," the career-making single that also became a testament to the power of a still-nascent YouTube. Feist, who performs under her last name, took some time off from performing after that surge in popularity. But she'll return next week with Metals, her first new album since 2007.

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5:48pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Man Accused Of Poisoning Toomer's Corner Oaks Apologizes To Auburn

It was a sports rivalry gone too far: You may remember that in February of this year, Auburn University football fans received some heady news.

Their beloved 130-year-old oak trees, which for years fans toilet papered to celebrate sports victories, had been poisoned with a herbicide that would kill them slowly. Spike 80DF disrupts a tree's photosynthesis process and in a painstaking process, it produces fewer leaves in each shoot until the entire tree is dead.

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5:17pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Research News

Using Twitter To Tap Into The Mood Of The Planet

iSockphoto.com

Right now, armies of marketers, pollsters and social scientists are trying to figure out what Americans are thinking about — issues like global warming or Lady Gaga's latest outfit. And surveys are only so good: It's hard to get a big enough sample to be sure of the results. That's particularly vexing for social scientists who want a high standard of accuracy.

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5:16pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Salt

Scent Of Rotten Fruit Signals Sex, At Least For Fruit Flies

Waitin' on a lady
digicla Flickr

If you're into sexual chemistry, set an aging banana peel or apple core out on your kitchen counter, pull up a chair, and wait — for the fruit flies.

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5:05pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Animals

Chicago-Area Skunk Population Raises A Stink

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 6:15 pm

This small juvenile skunk was caught by Des Plaines, Ill., homeowner Richard Kaulback. He says there have always been raccoons and opossums in the Chicago area, but this year, skunks have become prolific.
Cheryl Corley NPR

There is a slight stench as Brandon Owen steps out of his truck. The biologist is a wildlife technician with ABC Humane Wildlife Control, and his company has captured 687 skunks so far this year in northeastern Illinois — about 200 more than last year.

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