7:12am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Progress Still 'Elusive' On Deficit-Reduction Deal

Though the negotiations that many care most about are over ending the NFL lockout, we'll look first at where things stand in the deficit-reduction talks — one day before what the White House had said is the deadline for reaching a deal if everything is going to be written, passed and signed by Aug. 2, when the federal government reaches its "debt ceiling."

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7:05am

Thu July 21, 2011
Around the Nation

Ex-Astronaut Says Camera Was A Gift From NASA

Edgar Mitchell traveled to the Moon aboard Apollo 14. After that 1971 journey, Mitchell took home a movie camera from the mission. He recently tried to auction it, but the space agency sued. Mitchell's lawyer says the camera was a gift, and in any event, NASA waited too long to ask for it back.

6:56am

Thu July 21, 2011
Around the Nation

'Post' Wants A Creative Name For Heat Wave

Washington, D.C. is suffering from intensive heat. The folks at The Washington Post blog "Capital Weather Gang" are trying to name it. Among the finalists: Helter Swelter, The Beltway Meltaway, and Sweat Ceiling.

5:24am

Thu July 21, 2011
Politics

Bachmann Courts 'King Makers' In South Carolina

After several weeks of campaigning, Michele Bachmann has become a series contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. She's been campaigning in South Carolina, which hosts the first Southern primary of 2012. The winner in South Carolina has gone on to win every Republican nomination since 1980.

5:17am

Thu July 21, 2011
NPR Story

Mayor Bloomberg Donates $50 Million To Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is getting a big boost in its effort to shut down coal-fired power plants. The plants produce nearly half the nation's electricity. But they also pump out lots of pollution that contributes to climate change, makes people sick and causes premature deaths. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg supporting the organization's efforts with a donation of $50 million.

4:59am

Thu July 21, 2011
Business

Entrepreneur Bets On Happiness With Grilled Cheese

Entrepreneur Jonathan Kaplan, who created the Flip camera and sold it to Cisco, is opening a chain of grilled cheese restaurants in August.
The Melt

Jonathan Kaplan describes himself as a "serial entrepreneur." He started his first businesses when he was a kid, with a paper route, snow shoveling, then landscaping. He's had a printing company, and a DJ service, playing Sweet 16 parties and bar mitzvahs — all before Kaplan hit college.

He's picked up speed since then, founding several technology companies, including the one that created the Flip digital camera. He sold that to Cisco for more than $500 million. The company later discontinued the camera.

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4:59am

Thu July 21, 2011
Economy

Debt's Impact Could Be Worse If Interest Rates Rise

Originally published on Fri July 22, 2011 12:01 am

For all the attention lately on the ballooning size of the national debt, short-term interest rates are so low that the government, at least at the moment, can borrow that money almost for free.

"Right now, with money as cheap as it is, the deficit is not a drag at all," said Albert "Pete" Kyle, a finance professor at the University of Maryland. "But if you look at what's coming in the future, the potential drag that you see in the future is a really big problem."

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4:50am

Thu July 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Atlantis On Schedule For Landing In Florida

Space shuttle Atlantis has just started a three-minute "de-orbit burn" and is beginning its descent into Earth's atmosphere. It's coming home after NASA's last shuttle mission into space.

The shuttle and its four-member crew are due to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:56 a.m. ET. They've been in space nearly 13 days.

We'll update this post as things happen. Be sure to hit your "refresh" button to see our latest additions.

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4:00am

Thu July 21, 2011
Space

Atlantis Landing Ends 30 Years Of Shuttle Missions

Atlantis and its four crew members landed at the Kennedy Space Center just before 6 a.m. Now that Atlantis has returned to Earth, there will be no more shuttle flights. The program is ending after 30 years.

4:00am

Thu July 21, 2011
Business

UAW Prepares To Bargain With Detroit's Big 3

The United Auto Workers union begins contract talks next week in Detroit with the Big Three automakers. It's the first time since the economic collapse that the car companies and the union have sat down to work out a deal. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports that since the last talks, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are more profitable.

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