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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Tue September 20, 2011

No Clemency For Troy Davis, Georgia Death Row Inmate

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 12:48 pm

"The state Board of Pardons and Paroles ... has denied clemency for Troy Anthony Davis after hearing pleas for mercy from Davis' family and calls for his execution by surviving relatives of a murdered Savannah police officer," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Now, the newspaper adds:

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Tue September 20, 2011

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Fades Away, Media Say

Copies of a new magazine called OutServe, intended for actively serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members of the U.S. military.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

There are plenty of stories to choose from about today's milestone for the U.S. military — the end of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that barred openly gay Americans from serving in the armed forces.

Our NPR.org colleague Liz Halloran focused on two men who were "immersed in efforts to repeal the controversial measure."

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue September 20, 2011

Murdoch's Media Co. Offers $4.7M To Family Victimized In Hacking Scandal

Rupert Murdoch in July.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

There's a new development in the story that turned the U.K.'s "hacking scandal" into front-page news:

"Milly Dowler's family have been made a £3m offer by Rupert Murdoch's News International in an attempt to settle the phone-hacking case that led to the closure of the News of the World and the resignation of the company's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks," The Guardian reports.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Tue September 20, 2011

At The UN, Palestinian Bid For Membership Dominates Discussions

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the U.N. on Monday (Sept. 19, 2011).
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 8:14 am

As President Obama and other world leaders gather in New York City for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly session, one of the hottest issues is President Mahmoud Abbas' request to make Palestine a member of the U.N.

He's making that push over "heated Israeli objections and a promised U.S. veto" in the Security Council, The Associated Press notes.

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News
7:09 am
Tue September 20, 2011

With Repeal Of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' An Era Ends

A gay member of the U.S. Air Force who wishes not to be identified reads a copy of the new magazine OutServe intended for actively serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender U.S. military members earlier this month.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The law that for almost 18 years has banned openly gay Americans from serving in the armed forces will be officially repealed Tuesday, nine months after Congress voted to end the Clinton-era edict.

President Obama signed the repeal into law last December, but its provisions required time for the Pentagon to prepare for the policy change, and for top military officials to "certify" the law's end.

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Politics
12:01 am
Tue September 20, 2011

Gov. Perry Cut Funds For Women's Health In Texas

Texas Gov. Rick Perry likes to hold out the Lone Star State as a model — his vision for the country. But while Texas' growing economy has been a reliable jobs producer, the state's health care system is straining.

Only 48 percent of Texans have private health insurance, and more than a quarter of the state's population has no insurance at all, more than any other state. To fill this gap, the state's hospital emergency rooms and dozens of women's health clinics have stepped in to serve the uninsured across Texas.

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Latin America
12:01 am
Tue September 20, 2011

Entrepreneurs Emerge As Cuba Loosens Control

An employee sells products in a religious articles store in Havana, Cuba, in this file photo from January. After Cuban President Raul Castro authorized private businesses as part of economic reforms, Cubans are making their debut as small business owners.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

Since Cuba's communist government loosened its grip on the economy, thousands of small private businesses have sprung up.

It's a new frontier for budding capitalists, but competition is fierce and advertising is still tightly restricted.

Snack bars and food stalls are now all over Havana, but there aren't many as distinctive as Tio Tito, or Uncle Tito. The first thing you notice is the uniformed employees, scrambling to serve up Hawaiian pizzas and fruit drinks as music videos play on a monitor behind the counter.

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Monkey See
12:01 am
Tue September 20, 2011

Fall TV: Nostalgia For The Glamorous 1960s Needs A Tune-Up

Kelli Garner is one of the stars of ABC's nostalgic Pan Am.
Bob D'Amico ABC

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 12:50 pm

Two of this week's most talked-about TV premieres have very similar settings: Pan Am, first airing on Sunday, is about attractive young women working as Pan Am flight attendants in the 1960s. The Playboy Club, which premiered Monday night, is about — well, attractive young women working as Playboy bunnies in the 1960s. Both shows are trying to imitate the success of another show set in the '60s: Mad Men.

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Tue September 20, 2011

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Is Done; What Now?

Stacy Vasquez was discharged from the military under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Now that the ban has been lifted, she says she is applying to re-enter the military. Vasquez is seen here in 2010 with other former service members (from left) Anthony Woods, David Hall and Todd Belok.
Harry Hamburg AP

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 12:50 pm

"Don't ask, don't tell" is over Tuesday.

The ban against gays serving openly in the military has been repealed. Starting Tuesday, gay service members cannot be discriminated against for their sexual identity. But the policy has affected the lives of thousands of people during the 18 years it was in place. NPR spoke with two of them: one who was discharged from the military under the law eight years ago; the other a gay Marine who has been keeping his sexual identity a secret for 14 years.

The Former Army Soldier

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Politics
12:01 am
Tue September 20, 2011

Eying Senate, Tommy Thompson Must Face New GOP

Former Wisconsin governor and Bush Cabinet secretary Tommy Thompson is laying the groundwork for a run at his state's open U.S. Senate seat. But as Thompson prepares for his return to politics, the one-time standard bearer for Wisconsin Republicans appears to be facing a conservative backlash.

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The Two-Way
6:49 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Deadly Crackdown Goes Into Its Second Day In Yemen

Protestors carry a wounded protester from the site of clashes with security forces, in Taiz, Yemen on Monday.
Anees Mahyoub AP

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 7:00 pm

Since Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh left for Saudi Arabia to seek medical treatment after an assassination attempt in June, things had been relatively quiet in Yemen. Saleh remained in power, but there were talks about a transition.

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The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Manhattan Says Goodbye To Its Last Single-Space Parking Meter

Surely, it's not an extinction that will cause many tears: This afternoon Department of Transportation crews ripped out the last single-space parking meter in Manhattan. You know, the kind of meter that sits atop poll and takes quarters.

The New York Times paid its respects, yesterday, with a long obit:

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Middle East
5:23 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

With Police Lurking, Dissidents Meet In Syria

More than 300 Syrian dissidents met near Damascus on Sunday, and afterward they held a news conference and called for more protests to oust President Bashar Assad's government. From left: Rajaa Nasser, Hussein Awdat, Hassan Abdul Azim, Saleh Mohammed and Samir Aita.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

It was an unprecedented gathering in Syria: The security police were monitoring, but they did not break up, a six-hour meeting of more than 300 dissidents at a farmhouse outside the capital Damascus.

Syria's traditional dissidents, men and women who have spent years in jail, have met before. For the first time, they sat together Sunday with young street organizers of the current unrest.

Samir Aita, an opposition figure who lives in Paris, attended the gathering and talked about the significance when he reached Beirut.

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Presidential Race
5:22 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Will Tough Talk On Immigration Repel Latino Voters?

Republican presidential candidates (from left) Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry cover their hearts during the playing of the national anthem before a Republican presidential debate on Sept. 12.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 6:56 pm

Wherever he goes, GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry proudly waves the flag of conservatism, often introducing himself with, "I simply want to get America working again and make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can."

But the Texas governor, a favorite of conservatives overall, is taking criticism for being too moderate when it comes to immigration. The reason: In 2001, his first full year in office, he signed legislation that grants in-state tuition rates at Texas colleges and universities to some illegal immigrants.

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Politics
5:09 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Tax Winners And Losers Under Obama's Deficit Plan

Specialists on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange watch President Obama's televised speech on debt reduction Monday. Obama wants to require investment fund managers to pay at least the same percentage in taxes as middle-income Americans.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 9:20 pm

If enacted, President Obama's deficit-reduction plan would increase tax revenues by about $1.5 trillion over the coming decade. The wealthiest taxpayers could see significantly higher taxes, but the vast majority of Americans would pay less, at least through 2012.

These are some of the groups that could see higher tax bills starting in 2013:

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Shots - Health Blog
5:02 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Gamers Solve Stubborn Viral Mystery: The Shape Of A Key Enzyme

A screenshot from the Foldit puzzle for an enzyme found in HIV-like viruses.
UW Center for Game Science

See, Mom? Playing online video games can pay off.

An online group of gamers has correctly deduced the structure of an enzyme that AIDS-like viruses use for reproduction. By playing the online-game Foldit, the group figured out the structure of an important viral protein that has baffled scientists for more than a decade.

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The Two-Way
4:55 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Yankees' Mariano Rivera Becomes Top Closer In Baseball History

Alex Peluso, right, and his friend Chris Filomio, of Wappinger Falls, N.Y. show their support for New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera during batting practice.
Kathy Kmonicek AP

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 5:02 pm

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera earned his 602nd career save, today, making him the top closer in baseball history. In a drama-free, 1-2-3 inning, Rivera surpassed Trevor Hoffman as the new record holder for most saves.

ESPN reports:

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Justice Department Expresses Concern Over Texas Redistricting Plan

The United States Justice Department expressed concern Monday about whether new Texas redistricting plans for four U.S. House seats comply with the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects the interests of minority voters.

In a filing with a special three-judge court panel in Washington D.C., civil rights lawyers at Justice wrote that they doubted new boundaries for the House seats "maintain or increase the ability of minority voters to elect their candidate of choice."

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Education
4:05 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Parents Fight Over Pledging Allegiance In Schools

Martin Rosenthal, a parent in Brookline, Mass., says he willingly pledges allegiance to the flag but has filed a measure that he says would protect public school students from being pressured into saying the pledge in their classrooms.
Tovia Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 6:01 pm

Residents are waving the flag in Brookline, Mass., both for — and against — the Pledge of Allegiance.

Courts have ruled that public schools cannot compel students to recite the pledge, so in Brookline, as elsewhere, the pledge is voluntary.

But critics say there's still pressure on students to conform, and they want the pledge out of the classroom altogether.

A Concern About Peer Pressure

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Pirate Party Wins Seats In Berlin Elections

Deputies of the Pirate Party pose in the House of Representatives in Berlin today. Free wireless Internet and public transport; voting rights for over-14s are just some of the policies of the "Pirate Party."
Hannibal Hanschke AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 4:01 pm

Germany's state parliament now has representatives from a brand new political party that focuses heavily on Internet freedoms. The Pirate Party won 8.5 percent of the vote for the Berlin state parliament and ousted the Free Democrats, which is part of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition.

And who are the party members? Here's how Der Spiegel opens their story today:

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Damaged By 1928 Flood, Pompeii Painting By John Martin Now Restored

A museum employee looked at John Martin's recently restored The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, at the Tate Britain in central London on Monday (Sept. 19, 2011).
Andrew Winning Reuters/Landov

"A painting considered beyond repair after being submerged in filthy floodwater when the Thames breached its banks in 1928 will be seen in something approaching its wild and lurid former glory on Tuesday when it goes on public display for the first time in a century," The Guardian writes.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:37 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

To Cut Deficit, Obama Takes A Scalpel To Health Programs

President Barack Obama describes his plan to reduce the deficit in remarks delivered Monday in the White House Rose Garden.
Susan Walsh AP

President Obama's plan to cut the deficit doesn't exactly spare Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health programs. But he also doesn't propose the sweeping sorts of changes envisioned by House Republicans earlier this year.

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Mon September 19, 2011

Man's Call To America: Turn Off That Air Conditioner

Stan Cox has air conditioning in his Kansas house — but he only runs the unit about once a year, he says.
Bryan Thompson Kansas Public Radio

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 12:01 am

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this summer has been the second-hottest ever recorded in the United States, helping to push power demand in homes to record levels. As some worry that the growing use of fossil fuels to produce electricity for cooling is unsustainable, one man is urging Americans to live without air conditioning.

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Three Books...
9:51 am
Tue September 6, 2011

What's In Store: 3 Tales Of A Terrifying Future

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 9:53 pm

When I was a kid, I assumed that in the future things would get better and better until we were all driving flying cars and playing badminton with space aliens on top of 500-story buildings. Frankly, I kind of counted on this happening. But now I don't assume that we'll just keep going up anymore.

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