Law
1:03 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

New ATF Chief Inherits Agency Fighting For Survival

B. Todd Jones, the top federal prosecutor in Minnesota, speaks during a press conference with Attorney General Eric Holder last year. Jones has been tapped as acting chief of the troubled Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 7, 2011 5:27 pm

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is fighting for its life. The agency is under pressure from Republicans in Congress after a botched gun-trafficking operation known as "Fast and Furious," and the scandal has already cost the ATF leader and a top prosecutor their jobs.

Now, the Obama administration is counting on a new leader, B. Todd Jones, to try to get the agency back on track. Jones spent years as a U.S. Marine, and he's got the direct approach to prove it.

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National Security
1:00 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Terrorism, Budget Among Panetta's Challenges

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is managing two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with the fight against al-Qaida.
Susan Walsh AP

Leon Panetta has been defense secretary for just over two months, and the challenges are already mounting. The biggest of all: figuring out how to keep America safe and keep putting pressure on al-Qaida — all for less money.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Rumsfeld: Obama Has Embraced Bush's Post Sept. 11 Policies

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks draws closer, we're pointing to some of the stories being told about that day and the days since.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
12:07 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Post-Sept. 11 Saudi Arabia Modernizing, Slowly

Standing amid the rubble, a man calls out to potential survivors after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Fifteen Saudis were among the hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks.
Doug Kanter AFP/Getty Images

Abdulaziz Al Rabah remembers it was a Tuesday. The call to evening prayer was echoing across his hometown of Hafr-al-Batin, Saudi Arabia, and bearded religious police had shooed him and his friends off the neighborhood soccer pitch.

"Have you seen what happened to America?" a wide-eyed friend asked the 13-year-old.

Racing home, Al Rabah joined his mother to watch the satellite television newscasts of America's agony unfolding on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I remember she was sad to see two guys jumping to the ground," he recalled.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Libya: Another Day On The Gadhafi'a Trail, Brings Another Bout Of Rumors

Another day in the hunt for Libya's deposed leader and another report from the rebels that they have him surrounded.

This time, Anis Sharif, the spokesman for Abdel Hakim Belhaj, the leader of one of the largest rebel militias in the country, told the AP the rebels had positioned themselves around an undisclosed location where they said Moammar Gadhafi was in.

Sharif said a combination of high technology and human intelligence

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Margot Williams is a NPR News Investigations database correspondent. Along with her reporting, Williams works behind the scenes compiling, mining and analyzing data for investigative reports, ferreting for information, and connecting the dots.

Daniel Zwerdling is a correspondent in NPR's Investigations Unit.

Shots - Health Blog
11:01 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Maine Senator Postpones Potato Nutrition Battle, For Now

Potatoes, especially served like this, are at the center of a school lunch debate.
iStockphoto.com

It's hard not to think of french fries as a key part of school lunch, glistening like a beacon from the battered plastic tray. But if the folks at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have their way, we could see a lot fewer of them.

And that's not right, says Sen. Susan Collins. "The problem is that the potato has been unfairly singled out," she tells the Portland Press Herald. Collins, a Republican, is from Maine, the sixth largest potato-growing state in the country.

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Law
10:58 am
Wed September 7, 2011

U.S. Scientist Pleads Guilty To Espionage Charge

A scientist who worked for the federal government pleaded guilty to attempted espionage on Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Stewart David Nozette tried to pass classified information to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer.

Nozette admitted in federal court that he tried to provide Israel with top secret information about satellites, early warning systems, ways of retaliating against large-scale attack, communications intelligence information and major elements of defense strategy.

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Latin America
10:55 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Brazil Hopes To Add Oil Wealth To A Booming Economy

Brazil's energy company, Petrobras, inaugurated a new offshore platform on June 3 in Angra dos Reis. Brazil has located major offshore oil fields and plans to greatly increase production in the coming years.
Ari Versiani AFP/Getty Images

When people say Brazil won't be the next Saudi Arabia, they mean it in a good way.

Brazil has discovered enormous oil reserves far off its coast, but the country's robust and varied economy means it shouldn't become dependent on oil.

"Brazil is not just going to be an oil exporting country," says Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. "That's not all it's going to do."

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