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4:06am

Fri September 30, 2011
Around the Nation

In Wood Pulp Country, A New Plan For Conservation

Roxanne Quimby, here with Millinocket Lake guide Matt Polstein, wants to donate 70,000 acres of land to the National Park Service along with an endowment to manage what would be a national park in Maine's North Woods.
Susan Sharon for NPR

For more than a decade, there's been talk of creating a new national park in the heart of the Maine woods. Most locals were opposed from the start, but as the economy here changes, opposition is softening.

For generations, Maine's North Woods have provided pulp for the state's paper mills and created plenty of good jobs in an area with little other economic activity. But now the paper industry is struggling and a mill job is no longer a guarantee.

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4:04am

Fri September 30, 2011
Opinion

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Joy Of Letters

A simple "Wish you were here" can mean so much more than an overwrought email.
istockphoto.com

Postal workers held rallies around the country this week, trying to save their jobs. The U.S. Postal Service faces a deadline Friday for billions of dollars in debt payments it can't afford. It's considering closing hundreds of branches.

Commentator and former NPR East Africa correspondent Gwen Thompkins says she doesn't plan to cut back on writing letters.

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4:03am

Fri September 30, 2011
Space

Asteroids Pose Less Risk To Earth Than Thought

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 12:05 pm

This picture of the Eros asteroid is the first of an asteroid taken from an orbiting spacecraft. The crater at the center is about 4 miles across.
JPL/JHUAPL NASA

Our planet's risk of being hit by a dangerous outer space rock may be smaller than scientists previously thought. That's according to a survey of the sky that NASA is calling the most accurate census yet of near-Earth asteroids.

A NASA space telescope called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, recently went searching for asteroids lurking nearby — and found far fewer than astronomers had expected.

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4:02am

Fri September 30, 2011
Business

Solar Titan Faces Funding Worries After Solyndra

The spectacular failure of the solar company Solyndra has focused attention on the struggle of America's renewable energy industry to compete in a global marketplace.

But there may be a bright spot in Arizona, where manufacturer First Solar makes those iconic solar panels more cheaply than anyone else.

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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
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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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
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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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

4:59pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Europe

French Feminists Say 'Non' To 'Mademoiselle'

In France, feminists are trying to do away with the word mademoiselle, which they see as separating women into two categories — married and unmarried — in a manner men aren't subjected to.
Thurston Hopkins Getty Images

Feminists in France say the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal has forced the country to confront longstanding sexist attitudes. Buoyed by this new awareness, they are now taking on what they see as one of the most entrenched, if not discreet, barriers to gender equality in France: the word "mademoiselle."

In France, when you fill out a form — whether it's a job application or a parking citation — if you're a woman, you have to choose between madame and mademoiselle.

Too bad if you feel your marital status is nobody's business, there's simply no French equivalent of "Ms."

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4:40pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Politics

It Took Only 5 Minutes? House Votes To Stay Funded

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 7:13 pm

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), pictured here on Tuesday, was one of a few House members present Thursday to vote to keep the government funded till next week. "Once you get to yes, things can move quickly," he says.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The House or Representatives met for exactly 5 minutes and 2 seconds Thursday and — in less time than you can eat lunch — passed a spending bill that will keep the government up and running.

That is, for a few days, anyway.

How It Happened

At 11 a.m., an officer of the sergeant at arms threw open the doors of the House of Representatives to carry in the 4-foot ceremonial mace with the golden eagle on top.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) was in the chair and called on the House chaplain to give the prayer.

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4:32pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Authorities Charge 37 In Drug Sting At Boeing's Penn. Plant

The Justice Department announced that 36 Boeing employees and one non-employee were arrested in connection to a drug sting at the aerospace company's Ridley Park, Penn. plant.

Twenty-three of them were charged with illegal distribution of a prescription drug; while the rest were charged with buying the drugs. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration placed an uncover agent at the plant, after Boeing complained that there was a problem.

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4:24pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Worries About Autism Link Still Hang Over Vaccines

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 1:44 pm

University of Miami pediatrician Judith L. Schaechter gives an HPV vaccination to a 13-year-old girl last week in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Even before Rep. Michele Bachmann made waves by questioning the safety of vaccines against cervical cancer, there was plenty of resistance to routine immunization.

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4:14pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Law

Law Doesn't Mark End Of Alabama Immigration Battle

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 5:37 am

Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters outside the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., on Wednesday. Bentley said he will work with the state attorney general to appeal the parts of the decision that struck down sections of the state's illegal immigrant law.
Dave Martin AP

Alabama's toughest-in-the-nation law on illegal immigration went into effect Thursday, a day after a federal judge upheld some of its key provisions, but the court battle over the issue appears far from over.

State law enforcement can now question and detain without bond people they suspect may be in the country illegally, and public schools are required to verify students' immigration status.

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4:04pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Rick Perry

Can Rick Perry Regain His Momentum?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference this month in Orlando, Fla. The next day, he finished a disappointing second in the Florida GOP straw poll.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Texas Gov. Rick Perry rocketed to the top of the field after he jumped in the race for the GOP nomination for president last month.

His early rise in the polls was based on what Republican voters thought they knew about him. But the debates gave Republicans a chance to see Perry in action — and the normally aggressive Texas governor has been forced into the uncomfortable position of defense.

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3:44pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Around the Nation

L.A. County Prepares To Take On State Prisoners

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

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca says he's already cleared as many as 4,000 beds in the county for the new group of prisoners, and he plans to use more home detention and electronic-monitoring systems.
Damian Dovarganes AP

The state of California will begin shifting responsibility Saturday for tens of thousands of prisoners to local officials. The unprecedented change is under way because the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the state to reduce its dangerously overcrowded prisons.

County officials have had just months to plan for the influx of prisoners and parolees into their communities. Of all the prisoners and parolees leaving the state's system, the bulk are headed to Los Angeles County. Los Angeles is expecting to have to deal with 15,000 additional criminals.

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3:41pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Preview: Health Care, Immigration And Privacy

The Supreme Court gets back to business in October.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The nine justices report back to the Supreme Court on Monday to consider a new docket of cases. It has the potential to be a dynamic term, with decisions on cases concerning health care, immigration and digital privacy expected.

David Savage, Supreme Court reporter for the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, and former U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal previewed the session for Talk of the Nation today. They highlighted the following key cases to watch for.

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3:32pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Music Reviews

Mates Of State: Reaching Surprising New 'Mountaintops'

Mates of State's newest album is Mountaintops.
Glynis Selina Arban

Mates of State's members are literally mates: Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been a duo since 1996, married since 2001, and parents on tour since 2004. Their basic concept is two strong voices, Gardner's slightly predominant, over her keyboards and Hammel's drums. Over the years, the band has expanded its instrumental range and brought in guests for sonic color. But nothing in the pair's catalog anticipated "Palomino," the opening track from the new Mountaintops.

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3:00pm

Thu September 29, 2011
NPR Story

Proposed Alaska Mine Faces Fierce Opposition

In Alaska's picturesque Bristol Bay region, developers are looking to build an enormous copper and gold mine. They promise the effort will be carried out in an environmentally responsible way — and provide area jobs. But fisherman, conservationists and native groups have joined efforts to thwart the mine, fearing it will pollute area fish and wildlife. Melissa Block talks about the battle for Bristol Bay with reporter Daysha Eaton of member station KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska.

2:55pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

China Launches 'Heavenly Palace-1' Into Space; Takes Step Toward Station

With a nighttime liftoff from a launch pad on the edge of the Gobi Desert, China today put its unmanned Tiangong-1 ("Heavenly Palace-1") module into orbit and started a decade-long project aimed at constructing its own space station.

The module will "conduct surveys of Chinese farmland using special cameras, along with experiments involving growing crystals in zero gravity," The Associated Press says. Then, in coming years:

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2:53pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Middle East

In Saudi Arabia, Only Men Vote, And Not Often

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 8:16 pm

Saudi men wait to cast their votes in municipal elections in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday. Turnout appeared to be low. King Abdullah says that women will be allowed to vote in the next municipal elections, in 2015.
Hassan Ammar AP

In Saudi Arabia, where King Abdullah has the only vote that really counts, elections are still a novelty.

Municipal elections on Thursday marked just the third ballot in the kingdom's history. Only men could vote in polls to fill half the seats on some 300 municipal councils. The other half are appointed by the government.

Even before the polls closed, Saudi officials declared the election a success. But turnout appeared low at many voting stations, including in the capital, Riyadh.

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2:50pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Middle East

Americans Seek Answers As New Egypt Emerges

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr during a joint press conference in Washington on Wednesday. Amr sought to assure the U.S. that Egypt is moving toward democracy.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

As Egypt tries to figure out a path forward following its revolution, the country's foreign minister was in Washington this week attempting to reassure the Obama administration that all is going well.

For the Americans, the two big issues are the status of Egypt's elections and the state of Egypt's relations with Israel. There are unanswered questions on both fronts.

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2:10pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Bank Of America's $5 Per Month Debit Card Fee Is Sign Of The Times

Using one of these is starting to cost more.
iStock

Bank of America is next year going to start charging most holders of its debit cards $5 a month if they use them to make purchases. It's the biggest sign so far of how new bank regulations are going to mean big changes for the millions of customers who have come to rely on cards that are tied to their checking accounts — and don't rack up potentially huge interest bills.

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1:48pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Around the Nation

Dozens Arrested In Drug Raid At Pa. Boeing Plant

More than three dozen people have been charged in a prescription drug sweep that included a raid on a Boeing plant near Philadelphia that makes military helicopters.

The arrests happened Thursday morning at the 5,400-employee plant in Ridley Park.

Federal authorities say 37 people were charged with illegal distribution of a prescription drug. All but one is an employee or former employee of the plant.

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1:15pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Germany's OK Of Bailout Means Europe Can Continue To 'Muddle Through'

Word that Germany's parliament today "approved a plan to expand the power of a European bailout fund for troubled countries that use the euro," doesn't mean the crisis across the Atlantic is over, our colleague Jacob Goldstein writes over at the Planet Money blog.

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