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11:00am

Tue August 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Cheney: Iraq War Did Not Hurt Reputation Of U.S.; Was Sound Policy

"Critics here at home" argue that the war in Iraq has hurt the reputation of the United States around the world, former Vice President Dick Cheney acknowledged this morning. But he doesn't believe that's true.

"In fact I think it was sound policy that dealt with a very serious problem" — then-Iraqi leader Sadaam Hussein — Cheney said on NBC-TV's The Today Show.

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10:26am

Tue August 30, 2011
Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001

The 'Top Secret America' Created After 9/11

A K-9 police officer and his partner "Bart" patrol New York's Grand Central Terminal in 2003. Less visible are the clandestine security measures the government has implemented since 2001.
Joe Kohen AP Photo

Thousands of government organizations and private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence. Last December, The Washington Post reported that this "top-secret world ... has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work."

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10:15am

Tue August 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Consumer Confidence 'Plummeted In August'

Blunt words from The Conference Board in its just-released report on how consumers are feeling:

"The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved slightly in July, plummeted in August."

The widely watched index now stands at 44.5, its lowest point in more than two years, vs. 59.2 in July. In good times, the index often stays well above 100.

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9:50am

Tue August 30, 2011
The Two-Way

White House Counsels Officials On How To Commemorate Sept. 11 Attacks

The towers of the World Trade Center. Sept. 11, 2001.
Robert Giroux Getty Images

Guidelines sent by the White House to U.S. government officials around the world about how to commemorate the Sept. 11 attacks on their 10th anniversary focus on honoring the victims, stressing the need to be prepared for another attack and recognizing that other nations have also been targeted by terrorists, The New York Times reports this morning.

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9:15am

Tue August 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Home Prices Rose Modestly In Second Quarter, But Still Below Year Ago

One widely watched measure of U.S. home prices rose 3.6 percent in the second quarter from first-quarter 2011.

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8:45am

Tue August 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Top Stories: Irene Aftermath; Hunt For Gadhafi; New Leader In Japan

Good morning.

The death toll from Hurricane Irene and its aftermath continues to rise, as we reported earlier. There are now 40 confirmed deaths.

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8:35am

Tue August 30, 2011
The Two-Way

In Libya: 'Biggest Fear' Is Gadhafi Disappearing, Continuing To Fight

The news that ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's wife and three of his children have fled to Algeria underscores "the biggest fear" for many Libyans, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Tripoli — that Gadhafi will elude capture and that his forces will continue to battle for weeks, months or perhaps years.

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8:11am

Tue August 30, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Lung Cancer Pill Holds Promise For Those Who Pass Test

Originally published on Wed August 31, 2011 11:23 am

From Pfizer, a drugmaker known best for medicines to treat millions, there is now a twice-a-day pill to treat lung cancer that will be prescribed for only a few thousand people each year.

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8:00am

Tue August 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Irene's Deadly Toll Rises; 40 Confirmed Deaths

The death toll from Hurricane Irene and the storm's aftermath continues to grow. As the day begins, The Associated Press says there are now 40 confirmed fatalities — up from 35 as of Monday afternoon. And, the AP adds, towns in New England continued to battle "epic floods and millions faced the dispiriting prospect of several days without electricity."

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7:30am

Tue August 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Muslim Americans 'Overwhelmingly' Satisfied With Their Lives, Poll Finds

In New York City last September, Aliza Fatima of Queens took part in the American Muslim Day Parade.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

"As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, a comprehensive public opinion survey finds no indication of increased alienation or anger among Muslim Americans in response to concerns about home-grown Islamic terrorists, controversies about the building of mosques and other pressures that have been brought to bear on this high-profile minority group in recent years," the Pew Research Center reports today.

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12:01am

Tue August 30, 2011
Closing Walter Reed

Walter Reed Center's Closure May Be A Boon To D.C.

This satellite image shows how the Walter Reed Campus will be divided between the District of Columbia (purple) and the State Department (yellow). The District's 67-acre portion includes both the old and new hospital buildings.
D.C. Planning and Economic Development Office

The Walter Reed Army Medical Center has a storied past. It has been the country's leading Army hospital for more than 100 years, sitting on a complex that includes a Civil War battlefield. There was a time when 16,000 patients a year sought treatment for wounds of war or illness.

By the end of August, all the patients and doctors will have left, moved to Bethesda and Fort Belvoir as the Army consolidates its bases. But as one era closes, another opens: Washington, D.C., may be left with nearly 70 acres of prime real estate.

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12:01am

Tue August 30, 2011
Around the Nation

Female Vets Navigate Post-War Stress, Home Duties

The first in a series about the challenges female veterans face as they transition to civilian life.

America's female veteran population has grown to an estimated 1.9 million, and the Department of Veterans Affairs projects 50,000 more servicewomen will join that population in the next five years. When they return, many will pick up where they left off, as mothers, wives and caretakers.

In Philadelphia, some female veterans are dealing with family responsibilities while still struggling to cope with the lingering effects of war.

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12:01am

Tue August 30, 2011
Law

Immigrant Witness Says U.S. Reneged On Protection

Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, shown here in 2010, is one former Justice Department official supporting the case of an Albanian witness asking for government protection.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Ten years ago, an Albanian immigrant agreed to help the Justice Department build a case against a mobster accused of human smuggling. In exchange, he says, federal prosecutors promised him a green card and protection for his family. But the mobster fled the country and the informant, Ed Demiraj, says the U.S. government reneged on its commitment — with violent results.

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12:01am

Tue August 30, 2011
Hurricane Irene Hits East Coast

In Irene, Politicians Navigate Tides Of Public Opinion

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:28 am

On Saturday, President Obama and FEMA administrator Craig Fugate attended a video teleconference led by FEMA as Irene made its way up the Eastern Seaboard.
Pool Getty Images

The effects of Hurricane Irene are still being felt and their costs being measured — from billion-dollar damages in New Jersey to ongoing flooding in New England.

For local and national leaders, natural disasters can sometimes be political disasters — or opportunities.

The lessons of Hurricane Katrina are seared into the memory of President Obama and every other politician in America. The president made sure that his emergency team was prepared and competent. He showed up at FEMA headquarters over the weekend, and Monday he gave an update from the Rose Garden.

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12:01am

Tue August 30, 2011
Hurricane Irene Hits East Coast

Costs Of Irene Add Up As FEMA Runs Out Of Cash

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, shown at a press briefing last week in Washington, says his agency will postpone some repair work on earlier disasters in order to pay for the immediate needs of Irene.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

From washed-away roads in North Carolina to historic bridges flooded out in Vermont, Hurricane Irene took its toll up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

But the East is not the only region to suffer from natural disasters this year. There was a string of deadly tornadoes in the South this spring, floods along the Mississippi and in the Upper Midwest, and last May's devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo.

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7:38pm

Mon August 29, 2011
All Tech Considered

Farmville Burns, Is Saved; No Need To Panic

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's George Mathis may have started a panic earlier today, when he wrote the headline "Farmville is burning." But he quickly clarified that this was an actual, not a virtual, fire:

Before you rush off to rescue your Facebook plantation, know that this Farmville is an unincorporated area in Gordon County, located in northwest Georgia.

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7:00pm

Mon August 29, 2011
Around the Nation

From Cheerleader To Air Force To A New Life

"I had to learn to deal with it on my own," Victoria Blumenberg, 25, says of the stress of her deployment to Iraq with the Air Force Reserves. Here, she visits a restaurant in Charlotte, N.C., with Pete Kneski.
Julie Rose WFAE

The second part of our series about the challenges female veterans face as they transition back into civilian life.

What happens when a teenage girl spends her formative years in the military — tracking terrorists, enduring rocket attacks and holding her own in a rough, male-dominated environment?

The skills that make an excellent airman don't always match what the world expects of a young civilian woman.

Victoria Blumenberg was a champion cheerleader in high school.

"I was on dance teams. I did all of that girlie stuff," she says.

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6:57pm

Mon August 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Polygamist Warren Jeffs In Critical Condition

Warren Jeffs arrives at the Tom Green County Courthouse in San Angelo, Texas, on July 29, 2011.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Three weeks after a conviction for child sexual abuse, polygamist leader Warren Jeffs remains in critical but stable condition in a Texas hospital.

Jeffs, 55, was rushed from prison Sunday night to a hospital in Tyler, Tx. Officials there refuse to discuss Jeffs' condition but a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) says Jeffs was hospitalized after a three-day fast.

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5:54pm

Mon August 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Vermont Floods May Be As Bad As 'Monumental' 1927 Flood

In Vermont, Tropical Storm Irene will not be remembered as overhyped. The flash floods its pounding rains created have proved historic. Scott Whittier of the National Weather Service told Vermont Public Radio they will compared the floods of 1973 and the "monumental flood" of 1927.

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5:50pm

Mon August 29, 2011
Latin America

Wiretapping Scandal Shakes Colombia

Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (left) speaks during a public congressional hearing in Bogota Aug. 8 about allegations that the country's intelligence service spied on high court judges during his government.
Eitan Abramovich AFP/Getty Images

In Colombia, a major scandal involving the country's intelligence service is unfolding. Colombia's chief prosecutor says the spy service bugged the Supreme Court, intercepted the phones of its justices and followed their every move.

Prosecutors also say the illegal surveillance was directed from the offices of former President Alvaro Uribe, who in his eight years in power was Washington's closest ally in Latin America.

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4:52pm

Mon August 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Artist, Social Critic Ai Weiwei Breaks Silence, Attacks Chinese Government

Ai Weiwei in October 2009.
Miguel Villagran Getty Images

The dissident artist Ai Weiwei has struggled with the Chinese government for years. Earlier this year, the conflict came to a head, when Ai was detained by the government for about 80 days. He was let go under the condition that he would not talk to the press.

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4:51pm

Mon August 29, 2011
Around the Nation

After The Storm: A Fight For Recognition, Housing

Pamela Landry lived in a FEMA trailer for a little more than two years after Hurricane Katrina. Since then, she has built herself a home out of two sheds. She was one of the plaintiffs in a 2009 lawsuit against the Mississippi housing department over unmet housing needs after the storm.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Pamela Landry didn't get any storm-surge damage during Hurricane Katrina, but the wrath of the storm's wind proved furious. She lives far away from the ocean in Picayune, Miss., in Pearl River County, about 45 miles from New Orleans and from Gulfport.

Like many low-income residents in Mississippi, Landry lived in a 1960s mobile home when the hurricane hit on Aug. 29, 2005. Katrina was not kind to her trailer, and her county got little help from the state.

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4:28pm

Mon August 29, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Uninsured Largely Unaware Of Benefits Coming From Overhaul

When it comes to last year's Affordable Care Act, there's not much people agree on. Except, says Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman, this one thing: "It really does help the uninsured; 32 million uninsured people will get coverage."

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4:15pm

Mon August 29, 2011
U.S.

Irene Disrupts Power, Commutes, Travel Plans

Irene knocked out power to millions and threatened transportation systems up and down the east coast. The restoration of most subway and bus lines in New York City helped avoid the commuting nightmare that some had feared, but the storm will leave many without power for days.

Hurricane Irene caused havoc for many rail lines, forcing crews to face a maze of downed trees and branches on the tracks and restoring power to some lines.

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3:35pm

Mon August 29, 2011
Afghanistan

Afghan President Pardons Would-Be Suicide Bombers

Incarcerated children sit at the Kabul Juvenile Rehabilitation Center May 18, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The four boys were believed to have been recruited by the Taliban as suicide bombers. In an end-of-Ramadan tradition, President Hamid Karzai recently ordered the release of two dozen children held as suspected suicide bombers.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

As part of the traditional celebration of the end of Ramadan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned prisoners from Kabul's juvenile detention center. This time it was two dozen youths who had been arrested for planned or attempted suicide bomb attacks, and many were under the age of 12.

Karzai presented the captured suicide bombers on national television — the youngest only 8 years old.

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3:34pm

Mon August 29, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Even If Chocolate Doesn't Ward Off Heart Disease, It's Still Yummy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, but the tools to fend it off — low-fat diets, exercise, statin drugs — leave a little bit to be desired in the charm department.

Then there's chocolate. It's hard to resist the notion that eating lots of one of the world's most delicious foods could be the key to cardiovascular health.

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3:24pm

Mon August 29, 2011
Asia

In Japan, Next Prime Minister Faces Many Skeptics

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda was chosen leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. That all but assures his selection as Japan's next prime minister.
Hiro Komae AP

Japan is about to get a new prime minster — the sixth in five years.

As early as Tuesday, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda could formally get the job.

He all but captured the post Monday when he won the leadership race of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan. The challenges he faces will be huge. They include helping Japan recover from last spring's devastating nuclear and natural disasters and winning over a skeptical public.

That skepticism was on display Monday.

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3:15pm

Mon August 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Irene's Toll: At Least 35 Deaths In 10 States

A somber update from The Associated Press:

"Hurricane Irene has led to the deaths of at least 35 people in 10 states."

The wire service says:

-- Two deaths have been reported in Connecticut. An 89-year-old woman died in a fire started by downed power lines, and a 46-year-old man drowned when his canoe capsized on a flooded street.

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3:09pm

Mon August 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Two Disqualifications Roil World Athletics Championships

The World Athletics Championships have been roiled by controversy. Two days in a row elite runners have been disqualified and medals have been awarded by default.

Today, Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles was stripped of his gold medal in the 110 meter hurdles after he seemingly reached for China's Liu Xiang with his right hand. Robles was disqualified after China launched a complaint. The gold went to the United States' Jason Richardson who finished 13.16 seconds.

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2:58pm

Mon August 29, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Bird Flu Flies Again, Prompting UN Advisory

Workers at the Jurong Bird Park in Singapore catch flamingos last year as part of a drive to vaccinate them against avian flu.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Out of the public eye, the bird flu has been making a comeback.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization warned today about a "possible major resurgence" of H5N1 influenza, including a mutant virus that appears to be unfazed by available vaccines.

The latest fatality from the infection occurred in Cambodia earlier this month. A 6-year-old girl became the eight person to die from avian flu there this year, the World Health Organization said.

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