4:56am

Thu September 29, 2011
National Security

Unit's Autonomy May Be Why FBI Missed Bias

The first inkling that something was amiss in the counterterrorism training given to local and federal law enforcement came in March. That's when NPR reported on the cottage industry of independent counterterrorism trainers who signed up to teach local and federal law enforcement officials about terrorism.

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4:55am

Thu September 29, 2011
Law

'Underwear Bomber' Set To Act As His Own Lawyer

An undated photo of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab posing in London.
Mike Rimmer AFP/Getty Images

When prospective jurors file into a Detroit courthouse next week for the start of a major terrorism trial, all eyes will be on the defendant, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The young man from Nigeria may be best known for allegedly trying to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear on a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day 2009. Lately, his decision to fire his lawyers and defend himself is putting him back in the spotlight all over again.

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4:54am

Thu September 29, 2011
Law

Violent Attacks On Transgender People Raise Alarm

Earline Budd, a transgender advocate, speaks to a D.C. police officer about a spate of attacks in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Dakota Fine

A series of shootings and violent attacks put Washington, D.C.'s transgender community on edge this summer. Police hesitate to call the attacks hate crimes, but they've stepped up their patrols. Still, the transgender community is demanding more action.

It's 2 o'clock in the afternoon on Dix Street in northeast Washington. The neighborhood is a popular gathering place for transgender women, but tensions arose when Lashai Mclean, 23, was murdered here in late July.

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4:45am

Thu September 29, 2011
Life In Retirement: The Not-So-Golden Years

'Retirement Heist': How Firms Trimmed Pensions

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 12:03 pm

As companies have been moving away from traditional pension plans, they have been shifting employees to new retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, that transfer the cost — and the risk — to workers.

Companies have claimed for years that old-style pensions were unsustainable. Author Ellen Schultz tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that there's another explanation.

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4:22am

Thu September 29, 2011
Europe

German Lawmakers Pass Expanded Euro Bailout Fund

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 4:53 pm

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou speak during talks Tuesday in Berlin. Germany's lower house of parliament voted 523-85 to bolster the European bailout fund, which is designed to help Greece and other troubled countries.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Germany's parliament approved a plan Thursday to expand the power of a European bailout fund for troubled countries that use the euro.

The Bundestag, or lower house, passed the bill 523-85 in a vote considered one of the biggest in Chancellor Angela Merkel's career.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle welcomed the result, saying, "This signals to our European partners that you can rely on Germany."

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4:00am

Thu September 29, 2011
Sports

Red Sox Shut Out Of Playoffs As Rays Clinch Wild Card

The Tampa Bay Rays rallied from a seven-run deficit Wednesday to beat the New York Yankees and advance to the playoffs. The win shuts out the Boston Red Sox, who lost a close game to the Baltimore Orioles.

4:00am

Thu September 29, 2011
U.S.

Alabama's Controversial Immigration Law Takes Effect

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 7:56 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, Host:

And I'm David Greene.

How to handle illegal immigration has been a big topic on the presidential campaign trail and a big debate in many states. Alabama has what's considered to be the toughest law against illegal immigration in the country, and much of that law takes effect today. A Birmingham federal judge refused to block some of the most stringent provisions in the state's crackdown.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.

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4:00am

Thu September 29, 2011
Europe

British Leaders Object To EU's Proposed Tax

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 7:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, Host:

NPR's business news starts with a call for banks to pay up.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The head of the European Commission has renewed calls for a tax on financial transactions. He said yesterday it was time for banks to step up and contribute to solving Europe's debt crisis. But Europe's financial center lies in London, and as Vicki Barker reports, the British government is likely to veto such a plan.

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4:00am

Thu September 29, 2011
Middle East

Saudi Woman's Driving Violation Spurs Controversy

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 7:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, Host:

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1:25am

Thu September 29, 2011
The Salt

The Pawpaw: Foraging For America's Forgotten Fruit

Pawpaws may look like mangos, but unlike other tropical fruits, they are native to North America.
Abby Verbosky for NPR

So what the heck is a pawpaw?

Recently, I heard about a secret snack. Kayakers who paddle the waters near Washington, D.C., told me about a mango-like fruit that grows along the banks of the Potomac — a speckled and homely skin that hides a tasty treat.

A tropical-like fruit here, really? Yep. It's the only temperate member of a tropical family of trees. You can't buy the pawpaw in stores, so for years, the only way to eat them was straight from the tree.

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