8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

Amid Protests, Bahrain Votes With U.S. Blessing

Originally published on Sat September 24, 2011 11:17 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It's election day in the Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain. Voters there will fill seats left vacant when the leading Shi'ite opposition party walked out of parliament to protest the crushing of unrest back in March. The opposition is calling for a boycott; street protests have continued, but the government, with the encouragement of the U.S. government, insists it will maintain order and usher in genuine reforms. NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Bahrain and has this report.

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8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
Politics

Government Shutdown Threatens Again

The once-rare possibility of a federal government shutdown reared its head again this week. This time it was over House Republicans' desire to pay for disaster relief costs with money for other, unrelated projects. NPR's David Welna explains the Capitol Hill machinations ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline.

8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

Italian Scientists On Trial Over Deadly Earthquake

The trial of seven Italian scientists began this week. They are charged with manslaughter for failing to adequately warn the residents of L'Aquila, Italy, about the risk of an earthquake in 2009. Host Scott Simon speaks with Rick Aster, president of the Seismological Society of America, about the trial.

8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

Fla. Straw Poll Generates Heat, Not So Much Light

It decides nothing, and may be totally meaningless, but like many other political events, the Florida straw poll gets a lot of attention from candidates and the media. This year, the poll is expected to draw 3,500 party activists to take part in Orlando, where NPR's Greg Allen reports from the Conservative Political Action Conference.

8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

On The West Bank, Cheers For Mahmoud Abbas

Tens of thousands of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank took to the streets Friday night to celebrate their formal bid for statehood at the United Nations. Watching on large television screens set up in city squares, Palestinians reacted with joy at the uncharacteristically impassioned speech given by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. From Ramallah, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro talks with host Scott Simon.

8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

Nations Duel Over Palestinian Statehood Bid

The UN Security Council now has before it an application from the Palestinians to join the United Nations as a full member. The U.S. is promising to veto the bid as diplomats try to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, the parties sound very far apart.

8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

Out Of Economic Chaos, A New Order May Be Rising

Every week it seems there are more people looking for work, more companies laying people off, and more nations teetering at the edge of unrecoverable debt. But beyond the latest headlines of gloom, there is a fundamental shift going on in our economy and our world. Host Scott Simon talks with Mike Hawley, formerly of MIT's Media Lab, who says that shift may also hold great promise.

8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

'Book Of CIA Humor' Declassifies Top-Secret Jokes

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: A man named Ed Mickolus joins us now. Two spies walk into a bar. One spy says to the other...

ED MICKOLUS: I'm sorry, Scott. You're not cleared for that punchline.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Mr. Mickolus is a 33-year veteran of the CIA and a former stand-up comic. He's now written a new book called "The Secret Book of CIA Humor."

Thanks so much for being with us

MICKOLUS: Hey, just delighted to be here.

SIMON: Is that a smile face on your CIA I.D.?

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5:57am

Sat September 24, 2011
Economy

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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5:37am

Sat September 24, 2011
National Security

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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