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National Security
4:37 am
Sat September 24, 2011

Defense Leaders Make Their Case Against Budget Cuts

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, right, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 22. The Pentagon is tasked with cutting $450 billion from its budget in the next 10 years.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

The congressional super committee has two months to come up with a way to slash more than a trillion dollars from the federal deficit, or risk deeper cuts that would be triggered automatically. Everything is on the table in the debate — including defense spending.

The Pentagon is on a mission to prevent the defense budget from taking the brunt of the cuts, and the threat of losing funding has both the military branches and the defense industry fighting back.

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Europe
4:25 am
Sat September 24, 2011

As Europe Ages, Its Economies Look Vulnerable

A pensioner shops in Athens' central market on May 12. The rapidly aging population in Europe will increasingly strain national budgets across the continent, where more retirees will be depending on fewer workers.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

"Old Europe" is getting old, and fast.

The share of seniors in the population of Western European countries is growing rapidly, due to a combination of increased longevity and low fertility rates.

That fact is having two major effects on many economies within the European Union. Over the short term, many nations are struggling to pay for generous health coverage and pensions.

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Research News
3:55 am
Sat September 24, 2011

Bones From The Badlands Belong To New Dinosaur

A skeletal reconstruction of Talos sampsoni, with the pieces of the raptor specimen found highlighted in red.
PLoSONE.org

Originally published on Sat September 24, 2011 6:46 pm

Researchers made quite a find this week in Utah: a new species of raptor dinosaur. The ancient creature, a meat-eater, was small and fast, with talon-like toes.

"These animals were incredibly fast, incredibly intelligent and some of them wielded very significant claws and sharp teeth," Dr. Lindsay Zanno of the New University of Wisconsin tells NPR's Scott Simon. Zanno led the dig team that made the discovery.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Sat September 24, 2011

Sports: The Mighty Clinch, But The Red Sox Cling

Originally published on Sat September 24, 2011 7:00 am

The Arizona Diamondbacks, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Texas Rangers all won division titles Friday night. But in New England, the Boston Red Sox have been falling like leaves from a mighty oak in the race for the American League wild card spot. Host Scott Simon talks sports with sports commentator Howard Bryant about this story and more.

Monkey See
11:01 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Rin Tin Tin: From Battlefield To Hollywood, A Story Of Friendship

The original Rin Tin Tin was born in 1918 and died in 1932.
Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

The story of how Rin Tin Tin became one of the most celebrated animals in film history is almost as Hollywood-tinged as cinema itself.

The short version: Lee Duncan, an American serviceman during World War I, found a mostly destroyed dog kennel right on the field of battle. Duncan rescued the pup who became Rin Tin Tin, brought him home to California, and later put him in the movies.

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Music Interviews
6:32 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Gavin DeGraw: Make Do And Mend

Gavin DeGraw's new album is titled Sweeter.
Patrick Fraser

Gavin DeGraw charged onto the music scene in 2003 with his debut album, Chariot. It had hits that included the title track, "Follow Through," and his double-platinum smash, "I Don't Wanna Be."

He's gone through some hard knocks since then, but the 34-year-old singer-songwriter has taken it all in stride and has just released his fourth album, Sweeter. He tells Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon that his latest set of songs "straddles the line between sexuality and masculinity."

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

HP's Whitman Says She'll Continue With Her Predecessor's Strategies

Former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman was chosen to take over at Hewlett-Packard
Tom Pennington Getty Images

After Hewlett-Packard announced that it was replacing its CEO with Meg Whitman, lots of talk erupted about the state of the technology behemoth.

Most of it wasn't pretty. Perhaps NPR's Richard Gonzales got the most succinct analysis of the situation from Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, who called HP "a clown without a circus, a tragicomedy."

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Syrians Continue Protests, As Evidence Of Regime's Violence Mounts

Amnesty International offered new evidence today of what it said was the Syrian regime's brutal crackdown on protesters. The human rights organization said the mutilated body of 18-year-old Zainab al-Hosni, the first woman known to have died in custody during Syria's recent unrest, was discovered by her family in "horrific circumstances."

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Shots - Health Blog
3:26 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

DIY Bedbug Extermination Can Make You Sick

Bedbug insecticide products are displayed at a bedbug summit in Illinois.
Brian Kersey Getty Images

That anyone with bedbugs in their home would resort to desperate measures to get rid of them comes as no surprise. The insects are some of the most aggravating and entrenched of any bug that bites or buzzes around us. But a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the DIY approach to bedbug control is a pretty risky enterprise.

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Latin America
3:04 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Mexican Drug Cartels Now Menace Social Media

Mexican journalists march in a protest against violence directed against the media on Sept. 11, in Mexico City. Drug cartels, which have been responsible for many of the deaths, are now intimidating social media sites.
Ronaldo Schemidt AFP/Getty Images

The Mexican drug cartels silenced the mainstream media by threatening and killing journalists. Now they seem to be extending the practice to social media.

Many Mexicans have had to rely on social media to find out what's going on in their cities after newspapers, TV and radio stations stopped reporting on drug-related violence.

But last week, the mangled bodies of a young man and woman were hung from a highway bridge in Nuevo Laredo along with a sign that read: "This is what happens to people who post funny things on the internet. Pay attention."

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It's All Politics
2:50 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Death Penalty Retains Support, Even With Pro-Life Catholics, Despite Flaws

Public approval for death penalty over time.
Gallup Gallup

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 6:01 pm

Debate over the constitutionality and morality of the death penalty has long been an under-the-radar skirmish that occasionally emerges as part of a larger national conversation.

These past few weeks it has emerged in a big way.

It was first roused at a GOP presidential debate during which the record number of state-sponsored executions overseen by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (234 at the time; 235 as of this writing) was a surprisingly enthusiastic applause line for the candidate.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Scientists: We Can See What's In Your Mind

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley found that by looking at brain activity, they could get a fairly good picture of a human's visual experiences. The study is published in the current issue of Current Biology.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

10 Years Later, Remembering One Of The Nation's Worst Mine Disasters

Ten years ago today, as a horrified America struggled to respond to the September 11 attacks, 13 coal miners died in multiple explosions at the Jim Walter Resources coal mine in Brookwood, Alabama.

The overwhelming and justifiable attention to the thousands of deaths in New York, The Pentagon and Pennsylvania 12 days before kept the Jim Walter mine disaster in the shadows. It was the nation's worst mine disaster in nearly two decades and it involved a methane gas explosion, a familiar danger underground.

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Conflict In Libya
2:05 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

In Libya, Some Just Learning Of Gadhafi's Demise

Libyans flee on foot along the main road heading west, away from Sirte, on Tuesday. Sirte, cut off from the rest of the country, is the last major town controlled by forces loyal to toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Gaia Anderson AP

In Libya, civilians are fleeing from Sirte, the last major town that is still in the hands of forces loyal to ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Many say they were cut off from the rest of the country, without electricity and with dwindling food supplies. Some say they knew nothing of the rebel advances in the past month, including the capture of the capital, Tripoli.

They didn't know that they would be emerging into a new country.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

What Happens If FEMA Runs Out Of Money?

A resident speaks to a Federal Emergency Management Agency agent atop his destroyed house in the devastated town of Hueytown, Ala., on May 1. FEMA will run out of money to help disaster victims by early next week unless Congress acts.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Congress is at odds over a measure needed to keep the government operating past the end of the month.

While lawmakers have a week to work out their differences before the government faces another partial shutdown, one agency faces a much earlier deadline.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will run out of money early next week, putting a halt to projects in communities around the country still struggling to recover from this year's spate of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires.

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