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Upcoming job cuts at Bank of America will reduce its payroll "by approximately 30,000 jobs over the next few years," the company just announced.

The financial giant describes the reductions as part of "Phase I" in its reorganization. "Phase II" covering "businesses and operations that were not reviewed in Phase I," will begin in October.

Bank Of America Planning To Cut 30,000 Jobs

Sep 12, 2011

Bank of America said Monday that it will cut about 30,000 jobs over the next few years in a bid to save $5 billion per year.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank says it expects many of the job cuts will come through attrition and eliminating unfilled positions. Bank of America has been working for several months on finding ways to streamline its operations. The job cuts are part of "Phase I" in a cost-cutting program the bank calls "Project New BAC."

The good folks over at the Shots blog will have more to report about this, but we just couldn't wait to pass on word that:

"The cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants is in hot water from a study suggesting that watching just nine minutes of that program can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year-olds." (The Associated Press)

Will doctors and patients like an insurers' recommendations for treatment any better if they come from a Jeopardy!-winning computer instead of a human? We're about to find out.

At least 2,600 people have been killed in Syria since the start of protests there in mid-March, the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights reported today.

Navi Pillay said in Geneva that the estimate is based on information from "reliable sources on the ground."

"The only member of a top Russian hockey team to survive a plane crash that killed 44 people died Monday of his injuries in a Moscow hospital," The Canadian Press and The Hockey News report.

Alexander Galimov, 26, "died of the severe burns that covered about 90 percent of his body," the news outlets add. He played the forward position.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the first major candidate to drop out of the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has endorsed his one-time rival Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

It looks like we may never know if Happy Feet the wayward penguin makes it home.

"The satellite transmitter that was attached to Happy Feet has not been received since Friday 9 September 2011, NZ time," report the analysts at Sirtrack, which had been following the little guy's progress.

"This leads to the conclusion that either the satellite transmitter has detached or an unknown event has prevented Happy Feet from resurfacing," they add.

Horrific news from Kenya this morning:

"A leaking gasoline pipeline in Nairobi exploded on Monday, turning part of a slum into an inferno in which at least 61 people were killed and more than 100 hurt." (The Associated Press)

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.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



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.