These improvements in smartphones bring us to our last word in business: enhance it. It's a scene from countless movies and TV shows, computer experts race to analyze a blurry photograph to find a clue to catch the bad guy.
U.S. authorities have charged two Iranians in a plot to kill a Saudi envoy. Steve Inskeep talks to David Ignatius, a best-selling novelist and foreign policy columnist for "The Washington Post," and to Karim Sadjadpour, an expert on Iran and the Middle East with the Carnegie Endowment, about the plot which sounds like it came out of a spy novel.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
Rebel fighters now control most of Moammar Gadhafi's hometown. They blasted their way into Sirte during one of the bloodiest battles of Libyan civil war with civilians caught in the middle and accusations of brutality on both sides. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro was in Sirte yesterday. And we advise you that some people will find the details of her four-minute report disturbing.
<p> Ali Madaan, 45, is one of the Bedouin guards protecting the al-Midan station in Egypt's northern Sinai. The natural gas pipeline there has come under repeated attacks.</p>
Credit Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson / NPR
<p> In recent months, local residents say Islamists have attacked and damaged this shrine in Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai. Egyptian and Western officials have raised concerns about Islamist groups springing up in North Sinai, but the locals say they wield no power here.</p>
Credit Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson / NPR
<p> Fayez Eid, 61, says he and five other Bedouins guard the al-Midan station. He says the company turned down the Egyptian military's offer to guard the 14 stations for nearly $2 million a year.</p>
The Sinai Peninsula has proven a major security headache for Egypt's military rulers since a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak eight months ago.
Gunmen who crossed over the border into Israel from southern Sinai killed eight civilians in August. In northern Sinai, unknown assailants have repeatedly attacked a natural gas pipeline feeding Israel and Jordan.
But what ultimately may prove more problematic for Egyptian authorities is the growing number of northern Sinai residents who are arming themselves with heavy weapons coming in from Libya.
Republican donor Ray Washburne was a major contributor to George W. Bush's presidential campaign, and he was the national finance chairman for Tim Pawlenty. But when Pawlenty pulled out of the presidential race, Washburne tells Steve Inskeep that it took some time before deciding to back Mitt Romney's campaign.
A natural gas drilling boom in Pennsylvania is helping the economies of Rust Belt cities long accustomed to bad news. Drilling requires steel — lots of it — and that has manufacturers expanding and hiring new workers.
While much attention has been paid to the environmental risks of drilling into the Marcellus Shale, the economic benefits have been less prominent in the national discussion. But in Youngstown, Ohio, locals have been watching an old industry come back to life.
Apple's new smartphone, the iPhone 4S, lands in stores around the country Friday. The company says that consumers pre-ordered more than 1 million of the phones within 24 hours last week, when it became available online.
One of the new iPhone's biggest rivals will be the Motorola Bionic, which runs on Google's Android operating system. Both phones are very capable, and very fast — here's a chart outlining their features:
<p>Ayman al-Zawahiri (shown here in a still image posted online by al-Qaida in July) replaced Osama bin Laden at the top of al-Qaida's leadership. Some argue that eliminating a few key leaders would significantly weaken the group; others say the more dangerous threat — from al-Qaida affiliates — would be unaffected by changes in the group's core leadership.</p>
A debate is raging in the intelligence community about what it means to defeat al-Qaida. Because America's efforts to capture or kill al-Qaida's key members have been so effective, some officials say the core group — al-Qaida's founders and longtime members hiding out in Pakistan — is near collapse.
One camp, which includes members of the Obama administration, says al-Qaida's core group is three to five members away from collapse. Others, however, say with al-Qaida affiliates gathering strength, any victory over the core will be a hollow one.