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Libyan Arms Flow Into Egypt Across Northern Sinai

Oct 13, 2011

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.

In capitals around the world, U.S. diplomats are laying out evidence that elements of Iran's government plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.

The United States is taking the lead in the push to hold Iran accountable. But Saudi Arabia may want to respond to Iran in its own way, and its weapon could be oil.

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 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:

Test-Driving The iPhone 4S

How Close Is Al-Qaida To Defeat?

Oct 13, 2011

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.

U.S. Banks Can't Hide From Europe's Debt Crisis

Oct 13, 2011

For months now, Europe's debt crisis has hung ominously over the U.S. markets and economy. But even as U.S. banks begin lessening their investments in Europe, it remains difficult to quantify the threat they face.

A gunman opened fire killing six and wounding three others at an Orange County, Calif. hair salon this afternoon. The Orange County Register reports that the shooting rampage is one of Seal Beach's worst mass killings.

The paper reports:

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) and billionaire Warren Buffett have been involved in a cordial back-and-forth about Buffett's now-famous New York Times op-ed in which he implored the government to raise his taxes.

Supreme Court Weighs Legality Of Strip Searches

Oct 12, 2011

The United States Supreme Court wrestled on Wednesday with a case testing whether some 700,000 people arrested each year on minor charges can be subject to automatic strip searches when taken to jail. Specifically, the issue the justices grappled with was whether jail authorities need some reasonable suspicion to conduct that kind of a search.

Will Free Trade Agreements Really Create Jobs?

Oct 12, 2011

Congress approved with bipartisan support Wednesday much-delayed free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The Obama administration and supporters in Congress have labeled these agreements jobs bills, though there are questions about how many jobs will really be created.

When Bill Lane, the Washington director for the heavy equipment maker Caterpillar, looks at the three trade deals, he sees opportunity.

U.S. Will Try To 'Put Iran In A Vice'

Oct 12, 2011

One day after the U.S. outlined an assassination plot allegedly linked to the Iranian military, a host of U.S. officials began making angry calls for tough action in response.

But what kind of action might that be? The U.S. has been imposing sanctions against Iran ever since U.S. diplomats were seized following the 1979 Islamic revolution. And analysts say they do not expect a U.S. military response.

Facing Planetary Enemy No. 1: Agriculture

Oct 12, 2011

For the past 200 years, ever since Thomas Malthus published his Essay on the Principle of Population, big thinkers have been wondering whether Earth-dwellers will eventually run out of food.

Today, a global group of scientists released a fresh look at the question. They add a different, environmental twist to it. Can we feed the world without destroying the environment?

At last night's GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire, Newt Gingrich condemned the government's latest effort to discourage men from routinely getting blood tests for prostate cancer by citing the views of Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach.

Gingrich stressed some of von Eschenbach's prestigious bona fides, including heading the National Cancer Institute and practicing at one of the country's major cancer centers.

The hits keep coming for Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation: While the company is still dealing with the consequences of its phone hacking scandal in the U.K., yesterday the publisher of The Wall Street Journal's European edition stepped down.

Today on All Things Considered, Alisha Niehaus of the Girl Scouts of the USA talks to host Guy Raz about a big update: For the first time in a quarter-century, they've completely overhauled the system of badges that Scouts can earn.

A budget battle between the city of Topeka, Kan. and Shawnee County has led to the repeal of the city's domestic violence law and freed about 30 people charged with abuse.

Here's how the Kansas City Star tells the story:

It started when Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor announced that a 10 percent budget cut would force him to end his office's prosecution of misdemeanor cases, almost half of which last year were domestic battery cases.

Taiwan might be known to most Americans for its export economy, but it's also been importing musical styles — from avant garde jazz to hip-hop. I first learned about Taiwan's thriving music scene from Joshua Samuel Brown. He's a travel writer who authored the last two editions of Lonely Planet: Taiwan.

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Cook County Investigates Gacy Cold Cases

Oct 12, 2011

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Christmas Day Bomber Pleads Guilty

Oct 12, 2011

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National Book Awards Finalists Announced

Oct 12, 2011

Our colleagues at Oregon Public Broadcasting's Think Out Loud hosted today's announcement of the 20 finalists for this year's National Book Awards.

They report that the nominees are:

Decoded DNA Reveals Details Of Black Death Germ

Oct 12, 2011

Scientists have used DNA lurking inside the teeth of medieval Black Death victims to figure out the entire genetic code of the deadly bacterium that swept across Europe more than 600 years ago, killing an estimated half of the population.

The researchers didn't find any genetic feature that could explain why the plague was so virulent, according to a report just published in the journal Nature.

A tiny portion of a secret cable released last month by WikiLeaks is just now making its way to the United States. In the Sept. 2009 cable, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos tells the Obama administration that Japan doesn't think it's a good idea for President Obama to visit Hiroshima or to apologize for using an atomic bomb on two Japanese cities during World War II.

The contents of the cable were reported back in September by The Japan Times and ABC News picked it up, today.

Before Politics, Huntsman Aspired To Rock Star Fame

Oct 12, 2011

Third in a series

GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman says he is the most qualified Republican in the White House race, thanks to his background as governor of Utah, a corporate executive, and U.S. ambassador to China. But if Huntsman had lived out his youthful ambition, he would have been none of those things.

"My initial passion in life was to be a rock 'n' roll musician," Huntsman told graduates at the University of South Carolina in May.

The alleged plot by two Iranians to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, which U.S. investigators say had the support of some "factions" within Iran's government, marks a "dangerous escalation" in that nation's support for terrorism, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said this morning.

For a long time, the Irish economy airline Ryanair has been the leader in slashing costs. It's also been known as the airline that made the current nickle-and-dime model of charging for food and carry-on luggage popular.

At one point last year, Ryanair briefly considered charging passengers to use the toilet. Now, Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary has put another cost-saving plan on the table: Removing two of the three on-board lavatories to make room for more seats.

After a 4-3 vote by the Harrisburg, Pa., city council Tuesday night to file for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy protection, a council member delivered the necessary documents to court today.

But now, The Associated Press reports, Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson (D) is making the case that the council doesn't have the authority to seek bankruptcy.

A Picture Of Poaching: Baby Gorilla Rescued

Oct 12, 2011

The folks at Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, alerted news media this week about a baby gorilla rescued from the clutches of poachers. You can tell a lot about little Shamavu's recent ordeal from this photo. With less than 900 mountain gorillas remaining on Earth, according to Virunga National Park, one gorilla saved is an accomplishment.

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