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The local newspaper reports it has been told there was "no radiation leak" earlier today after an explosion at a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in southern France.

But much remains unknown about just what happened at the plant in Marcoule, near the Mediterranean Sea.

Good morning.

The nation paused over the weekend to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to honor those who sacrificed that day and in the years since. If you want to look back at the weekend's events, our posts are collected here and NPR's "Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001" special series of stories is here.

Ohio Woman 'Trashes' Mayor's Office

Sep 12, 2011

Officials in Portsmouth, Ohio, made changes to the garbage pick-up last week, following a holiday. But Janice Shanks was overlooked, and so her trash piled up. Wanting to send a message, she bagged up the garbage and delivered it to the mayor's office.

Phil Mathis said he wanted to do something crazy. So the 58-year-old Ohio man told his bride-to-be that he would only get married if they went skydiving together. Gail decided to take the leap. The couple held the ceremony in a plane, and then tumbled out from 7,500 feet.

With the solemn ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks now over, Washington returns to the subject most likely to dominate the political debate between now and the November 2012 presidential election:


President Obama says for all that's changed in the decade since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, America's character as a nation has endured, stronger than ever. Obama spoke at a memorial concert in Washington, D.C. Sunday night, marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks. It was one of many ceremonies held across the country, honoring a decade of loss and survival.

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NPR's business news starts with French banks stirring up more anxiety.

(Soundbite of music)

The Last Word in Business

Sep 12, 2011

David Greene has the Last Word in business.



It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. Renee Montagne is on assignment in Afghanistan. I'm David Greene.


And I'm Steve Inskeep.

If there was ever a day to set aside politics, it might have been yesterday, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

GREENE: At a memorial service in New York yesterday morning, President Obama read aloud from the Bible. Former President Bush joined him to read a letter by Abraham Lincoln.

Politics In The News

Sep 12, 2011

David Greene talks to NPR's Cokie Roberts about the week in politics.

Late Saturday night, a Taliban truck bomb ripped through a military base in eastern Afghanistan, injuring 77 U.S. troops. It also sent shrapnel up to a mile away, killing an Afghan policeman and four civilians.

It's been six years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, and the rebuilding continues. In Mississippi, the largest project under construction is the Port of Gulfport. Some $500 million in statewide recovery funds are being used to rebuild the port. The state calls it a critical resource, but some residents hit hard by Katrina fear they won't see the benefits.

The Port of Gulfport sits just off Highway 90, a main road that runs all along the coast. Katrina's 30-foot storm surge nearly destroyed this facility, which is the size of about 50 city blocks.

Scientists say they have figured out how a very clever virus outwits a very hungry caterpillar.

The caterpillar is the gypsy moth in its larval stage, and the invasive species damages roughly a million acres of forest in the U.S. each year by devouring tree leaves.

But the damage would be greater if it weren't for something called a baculovirus that can infect these caterpillars and cause them to engage in reckless, even suicidal behavior, scientists say. The virus is so effective that the government actually sprays it on trees to help control gypsy moth outbreaks.

NATO planes are still in the air and bombing targets over Libya and Moammar Gadhafi is still on the loose. Nonetheless, NATO is taking something of a victory lap in the wake of an operation that broke new ground for the military alliance.

But the Libyan operation also raised questions about its mission, its future role in such conflicts, and how it determines when to intervene.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told NPR he sees the Libya operation as a template for future NATO missions and proof the United Nations can outsource its muscle to the alliance.

The Return Of Toxie

Sep 11, 2011

Last year, as part of a reporting project, we bought a toxic asset — one of those complicated financial instruments that that nearly brought down the global economy.

We spent $1000 of our own money and bought a tiny slice of a bond backed by mortgages. We paid just a fraction of what it originally cost. It was such a good deal, we thought maybe we'd make a few bucks, which we'd give to charity.

For several decades, psychiatrists who work with the dying have been trying to come up with new psychotherapies that can help people cope with the reality of their death. One of these therapies asks the dying to tell the story of their life.

This end-of-life treatment, called dignity therapy, was created by a man named Harvey Chochinov. When Chochinov was a young psychiatrist working with the dying, he had a powerful experience with one of the patients he was trying to counsel — a man with an inoperable brain tumor.

When Leon Panetta was CIA director, he helped lead the effort to find and kill Osama bin Laden.

Now, Panetta may have an even harder job.

He's two months into his tenure as secretary of defense and here's what Panetta has to do: Run two ground wars, keep up the fight against al-Qaida and at the same time figure out how to cut what could end up being a trillion dollars from a Pentagon's budget.

The Laugh

In Libya, there's growing concern over the vast arsenals of weapons that have flooded on to the streets since Moammar Gadhafi's ouster. Warehouses of surface-to-air missiles, mortars and anti-tank mines have been looted.

Soon after the rebels overran the headquarters of Gadhafi's much feared Khamis Brigade on the south side of Tripoli, rebels and ordinary citizens scavenged through a bombed-out warehouse on the base.

Behind The War On Terror's Dark Curtain

Sep 11, 2011

On Sept. 12, 2001, Ali H. Soufan, a special agent with the FBI, was handed a secret file. Soufan had spent nearly a decade investigating terrorism cases, like the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. He says that this file was one he had requested before the attacks, and that had it been given to him earlier it may have helped to prevent them.

PHOTOS: Commemorating Sept. 11 In Afghanistan

Sep 11, 2011

It's been said many times, today: that one of Sept. 11's most significant legacy are the two wars still being fought the by the United States. Perhaps, that's why this set of pictures feels so important. It shows American service members commemorating the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 in simple terms: raising an American flag or bowing in prayer:

It seems there are two types of stories about how children who experienced Sept. 11: First, of course, there are the stories about the children who lost parents on that day, and then there are those who are too young to remember what life was like before the attacks.

NPR's Zoe Chace talked to some of those kids in New York. She filed this report:

Kate Bralauer is 11. She's from Manhattan, she's never seen the skyline with the towers in it. But 9/11 matters to her.

NORAD scrambled two F-16 fighter jets to escort an American Airlines flight traveling from Los Angeles to New York, today, after three passengers locked themselves in a bathroom and refused to come out.

The AP reports:

Flight 34 landed safely after 4 p.m. Sunday. The nature of the incident was unclear but a law enforcement official says it isn't thought to be terrorism.

How Aaron Brown Became CNN's Voice Of Sept. 11

Sep 11, 2011

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Aaron Brown came into work at CNN still preparing for his new role as the anchor of the network's flagship evening broadcast. He wasn't supposed to go on air for several more weeks, but on that morning and in the days that followed, Brown became the guide for millions of viewers glued to their television sets.

As he scurried to the roof of CNN's headquarters in New York shortly after the towers were hit, Brown remembers stopping in the middle of 8th Avenue and telling himself to stay calm.

It took journalist and author William Langewiesche several days to get to ground zero after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The airports were closed, and he lived in California.

But as soon as he arrived, he and his editors at the Atlantic Monthly began frantically trying to gain access to the highly restricted site where the Twin Towers had stood.

Langewiesche contacted the head of an obscure city agency, the Department of Design and Construction, Kenneth Holden.

John Ashcroft's term as attorney general under George W. Bush was redefined by Sept. 11.

And he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, that the techniques endorsed by his Justice Department were necessary, from warrantless wiretaps to so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques."

Defending The Patriot Act

One of Ashcroft's most controversial legacies is the Patriot Act, a piece of legislation that dramatically expanded the surveillance capabilities of law enforcement for monitoring terrorism suspects.

Honoring The Four-Legged Heroes

Sep 11, 2011

NPR's Joel Rose was in New Jersey today, where he stumbled upon another Sept. 11 tribute:

A different breed of heroes from September 11th gathered across the Hudson River from Ground Zero. Dozens of service and therapy dogs from around the country gathered with their handlers at Liberty State Park. The event, billed as "Finding One Another," was intended to celebrate the contributions of search and rescue dogs on 9/11 and since.

Though it is widely recognized as "one of the finest pieces of American presidential prose," as The Associated Press wrote in 2008, the "Bixby Letter" that President George W. Bush read this morning during the Sept. 11 memorial service in New York City has been the subject of several questions over the years.

Rebels Face Resistance From Pro-Gadhafi Forces

Sep 11, 2011

Libyan rebels are massed Sunday outside two cities that remain in the hands of forces loyal to ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Rebels tried to advance Saturday on the town of Bani Waleed, about 90 miles southeast of Tripoli, but the advance was aborted, apparently to clear the way for NATO airstrikes on loyalist positions.

At Ground Zero, Families Are Exploring The New Quiet Space

Sep 11, 2011

(As we continue covering the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, NPR's Brendan Banaszak tells us that at Ground Zero, families of those killed there are already turning the new memorial into a quiet place of remembrance.)