4:49pm

Wed September 21, 2011
Economy

Political Heat Is Nothing New For The Fed

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 8:20 pm

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in July 2010. Bernanke has been heavily criticized by Republican presidential candidates in recent months.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday took the latest step in its effort to revive the economy, saying it will shift its portfolio of Treasury securities in a bid to drive down interest rates.

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4:40pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

With A Few Hours Left Before Troy Davis Execution, Protests Mount

People hold placards of rights group Amnesty International during a demonstration in Paris on Wednesday.
Pierre Verdy AFP/Getty Images

At 7 p.m. ET today, Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed in the state of Georgia. Davis' case has garnered international attention and he's been at this point three times before. As The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, on one occasion, the state stayed his execution two-hours before it was set to take place.

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4:32pm

Wed September 21, 2011
All Politics are Local

New Williams Ad Addresses Likability, Toughness

Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams released his third TV ad in the race for Kentucky governor Wednesday, which embraces his reputation for not “playing too nice” in Frankfort. The spot features two men discussing Williams’s platform to cut spending and reform the tax code, adding that he will stand up to President Obama. The state Senate president’s likeability have plagued him in the polls and the ad seeks to pivot that to Williams fighting for job losses to neighboring states. Check it out:

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4:30pm

Wed September 21, 2011
Middle East

In West Bank, Tensions Run High Before U.N. Vote

A Palestinian girl waves a flag during a demonstration in support the Palestinian bid for recognition of statehood at the U.N. on Sept. 21 in Ramallah, West Bank. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to submit a letter to the U.N. Security Council to petition for statehood during the U.N. General Assembly.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

With a diplomatic showdown looming at the United Nations, Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the West Bank both see their futures at stake, and emotions are running high.

In the Jewish settlement of Itamar this week, residents staged a march around what they call "the neighborhood." About 200 people were walking past hillside homes, separated by less than a mile from the large Palestinian city of Nablus.

Moshe Goldsmith, the mayor of Itamar, said the march was meant to show the world that the settlers are opposed to any U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.

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4:28pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

I-64 Bridge Inspection At Midpoint

Engineers say it will take another week-and-a-half to finish their inspection of the Sherman Minton Bridge.   Then they’ll be able to determine how long it will take to repair the bridge and re-open it to traffic. The bridge has been closed since September 9, when inspectors found a crack in a load-bearing support.  Now its getting a thorough examination to determine if there are other faults, and inspectors are on schedule to finish the job in about ten days.

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4:26pm

Wed September 21, 2011
All Politics are Local

McConnell Questions Obama's Motives

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., questioned the motives of President Obama’s planned visit to the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati, alleging it’s more about his re-election than solving the country’s economic woes.

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4:06pm

Wed September 21, 2011
Middle East

Tiny Nation Played Pivotal Role In Americans' Release

The two American men who stepped out of an Iranian prison Wednesday after spending more than two years in custody may have a tiny Persian Gulf nation to thank for greasing the wheels of their release.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 29, had been accused of espionage along with fellow American Sarah Shourd and sentenced to eight years in prison. They were freed in exchange for $1 million dollars and flown to Oman.

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4:00pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Troubled Ohio River Bridges in Spotlight

Bearing the weight of Interstate-75. the aging Brent Spence Bridge (left) is the main link between Kentucky, Ohio and other points north.

Kentucky has big bridge problems. Cracks have closed the Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville, which bears the weight of Interstate-64. Democrat Ben Chandler says it’s crippling daily commutes.  “The situation in Louisville is particularly troubling at the moment because one of the bridges has gone out recently and they have terrible traffic jams in Louisville right now,” said Chandler.  The Louisville Bridge is one of several Ohio River bridges causing trouble in the Commonwealth.  Loads on the Ironton-Russell Bridge in northeast Kentucky have been restricted.  Earlier this year, work crews in western Kentucky found a hole in a deck on the Owensboro Bridge.

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3:48pm

Wed September 21, 2011
Conflict In Libya

What Role Will Islamists Play In Libya?

Libyan rebels pray before going out on patrol outside the port city of Misrata on April 30. Religion plays a major role in Libyan life, and Islamist groups want to be part of the new government.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

As Libyans work to form an interim government, some of those competing for power are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, raising fears that Islamist radicals may try to hijack the revolution. But many Libyans say those fears are mostly in the minds of Westerners.

Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi banned the Muslim Brotherhood. The group attempted to overthrow Gadhafi in the 1990s, and he responded with a ferocious crackdown that put many of its members in jail.

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3:31pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Billy, Giants' Missing Fan Is Found, Says 'I'm Fine... Just Broke Right Now'

Billy (left) poses for a photo with San Francisco Giants' Pitcher Matt Cain.
Courtesy of the San Francisco Giants

Earlier this month, we reported a heartbreaking story about Billy, a San Francisco Giants fan, who showed up to every game for years, until one day he just stopped coming. The Giants went searching. Giants manager Bruce Bochy told NPR's All Things Considered that he was worried, "hoping to get some good news."

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