The Two-Way
9:10 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Those Muffins Did Not Cost $16 Each, Hilton Says

Kevin D. Weeks for NPR

Half-baked.

That's what you might say about one much-reported part of the much-discussed report this week that the Justice Department bought some very expensive food for its conferences in recent years.

Hilton Worldwide says the muffins it provided for a 2009 Justice conference in Washington did not cost $16 each, as was reported by Justice's inspector general.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Fri September 23, 2011

From Pakistan: 'Vehement Denials' And Indignation After U.S. Accusations

There are "vehement denials and also ... a good degree of indignation" from Pakistan today, Los Angeles Times correspondent Alex Rodriguez tells NPR from Islamabad. Officials there are responding to comments from the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff — who said Thursday that "extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers."

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Boos Heard At GOP Debate After Gay Soldier Asks About 'Don't Ask'

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum during Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in Orlando.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Read and listen to the reaction from some in the audience at last night's Republican presidential debate after a video question from Stephen Hill, a gay soldier who Fox News said is serving in Iraq. The question was directed to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and here is Fox News' transcript:

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Saleh Returns And For Yemen, 'Next 24 Hours Will Be Decisive'

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Riyadh on Sept. 19, 2011.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 7:49 am

More than three months after being seriously injured in a rocket attack and then going to Saudi Arabia for treatment, President Ali Abdullah Saleh made a surprise return to Yemen today.

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Jackie Northam is Foreign Affairs correspondent for NPR news. The veteran journalist has more than two decades of experience covering the world's hot spots and reporting on a broad tapestry of international and foreign policy issues.

Based in Washington, D.C., Northam is assigned to the leading stories of the day, traveling regularly overseas to report the news - from Afghanistan and Pakistan, to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Northam just completed a five year stint as NPR's National Security Correspondent, covering US defense and intelligence policies. She led the network's coverage of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, traveling regularly to the controversial base to report on conditions there, and on US efforts to prosecute detainees.

It's All Politics
2:32 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Romney Ensures Perry Has Long, Hard Night At Orlando GOP Debate

Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, makes a point as Texas Gov. Rick Perry listens, during a debate in Orlando, Fla.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 9:28 am

Accepting the premise that the race for the Republican presidential nomination has come down to a two-man contest between the frontrunner Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, the question is which of those two candidates helped himself the most in Thursday evening's debate in Orlando, Fla.?

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Politics
12:01 am
Fri September 23, 2011

A Foe Of Big Government Seeks Aid For Joplin

Rep. Billy Long talks with President Obama after arriving in Joplin, Mo., to visit tornado victims. The Tea Party freshman has faced criticism over his efforts to get federal aid for his Missouri district, which includes Joplin.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 2:07 pm

Billy Long is a Tea Party stalwart who ran for Congress as a man fed up with Washington.

Long won in a landslide and now represents Joplin, Mo., where he fired up a Tea Party crowd in April pretending to auction off the national debt.

Five weeks later, Long was back in Joplin, this time in the dark and rain, surveying the aftermath of an apocalyptic tornado. And this time, the federal government was his friend.

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Business
12:01 am
Fri September 23, 2011

High Costs Make It Harder To Grow Young Farmers

Austin Bruns stands on land owned by a contractor for Monsanto, an agriculture corporation. Bruns helps with seed corn production there, and also rents 150 acres elsewhere.
Clay Masters for NPR

In farm country, business is still booming. Commodity prices remain high, and investors are funneling millions of dollars into buying farmland, making it quite enticing for the would-be farmer who wants to leave the rat race.

But surprisingly, these factors make it that much harder for the next generation of farmers to secure the financing they need to get on the tractor.

A High Cost To Start Out

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Europe
12:01 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Europe's Debt Crisis Casts Cloud Over U.S. Economy

U.S Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (left) speaks to French Finance Minister Francois Baroin (right) during talks in Marseille earlier this month. The U.S. is increasingly concerned that the European debt crisis will have an impact on the U.S. economy.
Lionel Cironneau AP

With all the worry over the ailing U.S. economy, Europe's debt crisis may have seemed a long way off.

But not anymore. The faint tinkle of alarm bells a few months ago are now clanging loudly. What began as a crisis in smaller countries, like Greece, Portugal and Ireland, is now creating serious issues in much larger economies like Italy, France and Germany.

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