The Two-Way
5:20 am
Tue September 20, 2011

At The UN, Palestinian Bid For Membership Dominates Discussions

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the U.N. on Monday (Sept. 19, 2011).
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 6:14 am

As President Obama and other world leaders gather in New York City for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly session, one of the hottest issues is President Mahmoud Abbas' request to make Palestine a member of the U.N.

He's making that push over "heated Israeli objections and a promised U.S. veto" in the Security Council, The Associated Press notes.

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News
5:09 am
Tue September 20, 2011

With Repeal Of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' An Era Ends

A gay member of the U.S. Air Force who wishes not to be identified reads a copy of the new magazine OutServe intended for actively serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender U.S. military members earlier this month.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The law that for almost 18 years has banned openly gay Americans from serving in the armed forces will be officially repealed Tuesday, nine months after Congress voted to end the Clinton-era edict.

President Obama signed the repeal into law last December, but its provisions required time for the Pentagon to prepare for the policy change, and for top military officials to "certify" the law's end.

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Latin America
10:01 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Entrepreneurs Emerge As Cuba Loosens Control

An employee sells products in a religious articles store in Havana, Cuba, in this file photo from January. After Cuban President Raul Castro authorized private businesses as part of economic reforms, Cubans are making their debut as small business owners.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

Since Cuba's communist government loosened its grip on the economy, thousands of small private businesses have sprung up.

It's a new frontier for budding capitalists, but competition is fierce and advertising is still tightly restricted.

Snack bars and food stalls are now all over Havana, but there aren't many as distinctive as Tio Tito, or Uncle Tito. The first thing you notice is the uniformed employees, scrambling to serve up Hawaiian pizzas and fruit drinks as music videos play on a monitor behind the counter.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Gov. Perry Cut Funds For Women's Health In Texas

Texas Gov. Rick Perry likes to hold out the Lone Star State as a model — his vision for the country. But while Texas' growing economy has been a reliable jobs producer, the state's health care system is straining.

Only 48 percent of Texans have private health insurance, and more than a quarter of the state's population has no insurance at all, more than any other state. To fill this gap, the state's hospital emergency rooms and dozens of women's health clinics have stepped in to serve the uninsured across Texas.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Eying Senate, Tommy Thompson Must Face New GOP

Former Wisconsin governor and Bush Cabinet secretary Tommy Thompson is laying the groundwork for a run at his state's open U.S. Senate seat. But as Thompson prepares for his return to politics, the one-time standard bearer for Wisconsin Republicans appears to be facing a conservative backlash.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Is Done; What Now?

Stacy Vasquez was discharged from the military under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Now that the ban has been lifted, she says she is applying to re-enter the military. Vasquez is seen here in 2010 with other former service members (from left) Anthony Woods, David Hall and Todd Belok.
Harry Hamburg AP

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 10:50 am

"Don't ask, don't tell" is over Tuesday.

The ban against gays serving openly in the military has been repealed. Starting Tuesday, gay service members cannot be discriminated against for their sexual identity. But the policy has affected the lives of thousands of people during the 18 years it was in place. NPR spoke with two of them: one who was discharged from the military under the law eight years ago; the other a gay Marine who has been keeping his sexual identity a secret for 14 years.

The Former Army Soldier

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Monkey See
10:01 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Fall TV: Nostalgia For The Glamorous 1960s Needs A Tune-Up

Kelli Garner is one of the stars of ABC's nostalgic Pan Am.
Bob D'Amico ABC

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 10:50 am

Two of this week's most talked-about TV premieres have very similar settings: Pan Am, first airing on Sunday, is about attractive young women working as Pan Am flight attendants in the 1960s. The Playboy Club, which premiered Monday night, is about — well, attractive young women working as Playboy bunnies in the 1960s. Both shows are trying to imitate the success of another show set in the '60s: Mad Men.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Deadly Crackdown Goes Into Its Second Day In Yemen

Protestors carry a wounded protester from the site of clashes with security forces, in Taiz, Yemen on Monday.
Anees Mahyoub AP

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 5:00 pm

Since Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh left for Saudi Arabia to seek medical treatment after an assassination attempt in June, things had been relatively quiet in Yemen. Saleh remained in power, but there were talks about a transition.

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Manhattan Says Goodbye To Its Last Single-Space Parking Meter

Surely, it's not an extinction that will cause many tears: This afternoon Department of Transportation crews ripped out the last single-space parking meter in Manhattan. You know, the kind of meter that sits atop poll and takes quarters.

The New York Times paid its respects, yesterday, with a long obit:

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Presidential Race
3:22 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Will Tough Talk On Immigration Repel Latino Voters?

Republican presidential candidates (from left) Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry cover their hearts during the playing of the national anthem before a Republican presidential debate on Sept. 12.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 4:56 pm

Wherever he goes, GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry proudly waves the flag of conservatism, often introducing himself with, "I simply want to get America working again and make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can."

But the Texas governor, a favorite of conservatives overall, is taking criticism for being too moderate when it comes to immigration. The reason: In 2001, his first full year in office, he signed legislation that grants in-state tuition rates at Texas colleges and universities to some illegal immigrants.

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