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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Fri August 26, 2011

52 Dead After Gunmen In Northern Mexico Ignite Fire At Casino

Smoke billows from the Casino Royale in Monterrey, Mexico on Thursday.
AP

Originally published on Fri August 26, 2011 5:40 pm

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Fri August 26, 2011

No Signs Of New Steps In Fed Chief Bernanke's Address

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's much-anticipated speech this morning on the current state of the economy and Fed policy has just been put online by the Fed.

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Economy
8:11 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Bernanke Offers No New Measures To Boost Economy

Chairman Ben Bernanke is proposing no new steps by the Federal Reserve to boost the U.S. economy while hinting that Congress may need to act to stimulate hiring and growth.

Bernanke said Friday that while record-low interest rates will promote growth over time, the weak economy requires further help in the short run. He is speaking at an annual economic conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Damn Yankees! Bronx Bombers Smash Record Three Grand Slams

Cano, Granderson and Martin aren't a "murderers' row" just yet,

But they did something last night that hadn't been done before, not even by the 1927 Yankees and that team's famed murderers' row of Ruth, Gehrig, Lazzeri and others.

In a 22-9 shellacking of the Oakland A's, the Yankees' Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin each hit grand slam home runs. It's the first time any Major League team hit more than two in one game.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Economy Grew At 1 Percent Rate In Second Quarter

The U.S. economy grew at an even slightly slower pace than we thought in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Top Stories: Irene, Libya, Bernanke, Attacks In Nigeria And Mexico

Good morning. There's a lot going on today, so we'll be quick with the top headlines, including some of the news we've already posted about:

-- "Irene On Track To Soak N.C., Barrel North Toward New York."

-- "Explosion At U.N. Building In Nigeria; Bomb Suspected."

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Bernanke To Speak: Interest Is High, But No Surprises Are Expected

Originally published on Fri August 26, 2011 6:19 am

Though "nervous investors" are waiting anxiously to hear what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has to say later this morning when he speaks at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual economic policy conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., in reality he "isn't likely to break much new monetary-policy ground," The Wall Street Journal's

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Libya: Opposition Pushes On; Gadhafi Still On The Run

In Tripoli on Thursday (Aug. 25, 2011), this anti-Gadhafi fighter celebrated.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

As Libya's Transitional National Council prepares to move its leadership from the eastern city of Behghazi to Tripoli, Moammar Gadhafi remains "on the run with his regime in tatters," NPR.org writes this morning.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Developing: Explosion At U.N. Building In Nigeria; Bomb Suspected

Breaking news from The Associated Press:

"A large explosion struck the United Nations' main office in Nigeria's capital Friday, flattening one wing of the building in Abuja. A U.N. official in Geneva called it a bomb attack.

" 'I saw scattered bodies,' said Michael Ofilaje, a UNICEF worker at the building. 'Many people are dead.' He said it felt like 'the blast came from the basement and shook the building.' "

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Irene On Track To Soak N.C., Barrel North Toward New York

Head inland: Nags Head, N.C., is among the many communities along the East Coast that are, or have been, evacuated as Irene draws near.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Though Hurricane Irene has weakened slightly and its projected track has been nudged east just a bit, it's still headed for what could be a devastating collision with the East Coast of the U.S. that will affect tens of millions of people from North Carolina to New England over the weekend.

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Asia
4:17 am
Fri August 26, 2011

After 15 Months In Office Japan's Leader Steps Down

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced his resignation on Friday. He held the top leadership position for 15 months. His popularity dropped after the government was criticized for its handling of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Kenneth Cukier, the Tokyo correspondent for The Economist, about the political situation in Japan.

Around the Nation
3:10 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Texas Drought Takes Its Toll On Wildlife

It's not only people suffering from the drought in Texas. Susan Edwards, manager of Wildlife Rescue, holds a juvenile raccoon. The raccoon should at least be double in size, but its mother's milk was lacking needed nutrients.
John Burnett NPR

The unfolding calamity that is the Texas drought has thrown nature out of balance. Many of the wild things that live in this state are suffering.

Sections of major rivers — like the Brazos, the Guadalupe, the Blanco, Llano and Pedernales — have dried up. In many places, there aren't even mud holes anymore.

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Technology
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Patent Wars Could Dull Tech's Cutting Edge

Some call it an international patent arms race: Tech companies like Apple, Samsung, Nokia and Google are launching lawsuits over competing patent claims related to smartphones and tablets.

As NPR's Laura Sydell tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, companies are mounting takeovers aimed at gaining control of thousands of patents.

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Science
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Big-Box Stores' Hurricane Prep Starts Early

A convoy of Walmart trucks waited to enter New Orleans on Sept. 1, 2005, after the city was battered by Hurricane Katrina. Government agencies said the massive storm taught them that big-box retailers need to be an integral part of hurricane preparation and relief efforts.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Forecasters don't expect Hurricane Irene to make landfall until Saturday. But for nearly a week now, big-box retailers like Walmart and Home Depot have been getting ready.

They've deployed hundreds of trucks carrying everything from plywood to Pop-Tarts to stores in the storm's path. It's all possible because these retailers have turned hurricane preparation into a science — one that government emergency agencies have begun to embrace.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Drought Puts Texas Ranchers, And Cattle, At Risk

A severe drought has caused shortages of grass, hay and water in most of Texas, forcing ranchers to thin their herds or risk losing their cattle to the drought. Cattle use a tree for shade in late July, as temperatures rose above 100 degrees near Canadian, Texas.
Scott Olson Getty Images

In the cattle town of Emory in East Texas, the worst drought in state history is threatening a way of life. Scorching temperatures and no rain have forced many ranchers to sell off their stock.

Normally before being brought to market, cattle are penned in a rancher's best pasture to be fattened. The heavier the cow, the more the buyer pays.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Western Sanctions May Put Slow Squeeze On Syria

Syrian street vendors display their goods in downtown Damascus on Tuesday, Aug. 23. Syria's economy was hit hard initially by the anti-government uprising. It has bounced back, but now the U.S. is urging the E.U. to join in banning import of crude oil from Syria.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian economy has so far weathered the mass protests and widespread violence that have rocked most every major city. But in a move that could increase the pressure, the European Union is considering a ban on imported Syrian oil, similar to sanctions the U.S. imposed earlier this month.

Western governments say the Syrian regime's harsh response to an anti-government uprising has demonstrated that it is not fit to lead.

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Sports
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Woman Reaches K2's Summit, And A Place In History

Climber Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner sits with her husband, Ralf Dujmovits, in this file photo from 2009. This week, Kaltenbrunner became the first woman to climb all the world's 14 tallest peaks without using supplementary oxygen.
Ralf Dujmovits dapd

At more than 28,000 feet, K2 is the second-highest mountain in the world. And when Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner reached its summit this week, she became the first woman to climb all 14 of the world's tallest peaks without using any supplementary oxygen.

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Sports
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Female Golfing Phenom Seeks Titles, Recognition

The world's top women golfers are battling it out in Mirabel, Quebec, this week at the Canadian Women's Open. In the field is a powerful, yet little-known player: world No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan.

Tseng has been powering and smiling her way around golf courses — and making history. At the relatively tender age of 22, she's already done something that no one who's swung a golf club has done before: Tseng has won five major championships.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

As Economy Teeters, All Eyes On Bernanke

Investors are closely watching Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 26, 2011 9:41 am

Nervous investors will be listening Friday to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for clues to additional steps the Fed might take to shore up the sagging economy.

For the past three decades, central bankers, and the people who watch them, have been gathering each summer in the Rocky Mountain resort to do some deep thinking about the economy. Fiscal watchdog Maya MacGuineas, who has attended several of these meetings, says it's not just the view of the Grand Tetons that makes them special.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Arizona Sues Federal Government Over Voting Rights Act

Arizona is once again challenging the authority of the federal government. This time the state's attorney general is suing the feds to get out from under the Voting Rights Act, which requires Arizona to get prior approval before changing election rules and maps.

NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report:

Tom Horne, the top elected lawyer in Arizona, says the landmark 1965 voting rights law is out of date and forces the state to bend to the whim of the federal Justice Department.

Arizona says the law is unconstitutional.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene: Why One Couple Isn't Heeding Evacuation Orders

Cars pass a mandatory evacuation sign on Hatteras Island in the North Carolina.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Irene is forecast to hit North Carolina hard. The National Hurricane Center says it will be a major Category 3 hurricane as it makes landfall, so state officials have ordered evacuations of the Outer Banks, the barrier islands exposed off the Carolina's Atlantic coast.

As always, there are those who stay put. All Things Considered host Melissa Block spoke to a husband and wife who live in Ocracoke, N.C. and they're planning on weathering the storm at home.

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Environment
3:16 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

'Polarbeargate' Scientist To Head Back To Work

Two polar bears spar on the shoreline of the Hudson Bay in November 2007.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The polar bear scientist who has spent more than a month suspended from his government job has now been told that he should report back to work on Friday — although NPR has learned that his job is changing and he will no longer manage federal contracts.

"Chuck is planning to go to work. He just doesn't know what the work is going to be," says attorney Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which is providing legal representation for wildlife biologist Charles Monnett.

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Around the Nation
2:54 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

New Deportation Rules Give Boost To Gay Rights

Anthony Makk (right) and husband Bradford Wells at their San Francisco home on Aug. 8. Though legally married in 2004, Makk faces deportation back to his native Australia.
Noah Berger San Francisco Chronicle via Polaris Images

Thousands of same-sex married couples now have hopes of staying together in the U.S. thanks to a change in deportation policy. The government says it will now prioritize deportations, giving lower priority to those with families in the U.S.

And the Obama administration has included same-sex couples in its definition of family.

Left In Legal Limbo

Bradford Wells, 55, a longtime resident of San Francisco, has good days and bad days.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:43 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Why The Cardiologist Cares About Your Antidepressant

iStockphoto.com

The Food and Drug Administration is telling doctors and patients not to use high doses of the popular antidepressant Celexa anymore because they can raise the risk for potentially harmful changes in heart rhythms.

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Around the Nation
2:06 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

East Coast Girds For Worst As Hurricane Irene Nears

Jim Abel shopped for hurricane supplies at Home Depot this week as he prepared for the possible arrival of Hurricane Irene in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Hurricane Irene was poised to cause major destruction along the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast over the weekend, and thousands of people were leaving North Carolina's exposed coast Thursday in preparation for the storm's likely first U.S. strike.

"This is everything a hurricane can be, and it's on one of those worst-case tracks for the East Coast," said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.

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Business
2:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Can Apple Fly As High Without Steve Jobs?

Steve Jobs' resignation from Apple Wednesday prompted all sorts of retrospectives on the man who has run the iconic company for the last 14 years.

Jobs will remain as chairman of Apple. But what's next depends on how well Apple can recover from losing the man whose identity, for so long, was tied up with the company's.

Most companies, if they're lucky, have one great idea, but what's made Apple different is its ability to stage wildly successful second, third, and fourth acts

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Around the Nation
1:55 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

After Quake, A New Round Of Coastal Rivalry Erupts

In the east, they'll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. In the west, it's the Golden Gate.
Saul Loeb and Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Even though the Virginia-centered earthquake on Tuesday only resulted in mild damage, it did open up a good-sized, good-natured national chasm – between the East Coast and West Coast of the United States.

"Really all this excitement over a 5.8 quake??? Come on East Coast, we have those for breakfast out here!!!!" California-based comedian Dennis Miller famously quipped. The early salvo was cut-and-pasted throughout the Twitterverse,

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Middle East
1:27 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Iranian Exile Group Lobbies To Get Off Terrorist List

Supporters of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, an Iranian exile group, demonstrate in front of the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, on Aug. 4, 2009. The U.S. State Department is reviewing the group's status on the Foreign Terrorist Organization list.
Valerie Kuypers AFP/Getty Images

An Iranian exile group is ramping up its lobbying campaign to get off a U.S. terrorist list, and the issue has sparked a fierce debate among foreign policy experts about the wisdom of such a move.

Supporters of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq see it as a potentially useful group in countering Iran. It has provided the U.S. information about Iran's nuclear program, for instance. Others see it as a dangerous cult and warn that taking it off the Foreign Terrorist Organization list would undercut peaceful Iranian dissidents, who want nothing to do with the MEK.

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Politics
1:22 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

King Friend: Democrats Should 'Love Their Enemies'

The unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., this week has brought attention to the slain leader's former lieutenants, many of whom became iconic figures in the civil rights movement.

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Business
1:14 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

A 'Good Deal' For BofA, A 'Great Deal' For Buffett

Warren Buffett came to the rescue of Bank of America, the giant financial services company that faces a range of legal and financial problems. Buffett said Thursday he would invest $5 billion in the company and could buy more shares down the road. Buffett's decision to buy into Bank of America sent its share price higher, though the company still has to contend with big challenges.

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