5:37pm

Thu September 15, 2011
It's All Politics

Still Flirting With A Run, Palin Confronts Deadlines And 'Smears'

Former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin addresses a Tea Partly Express Rally in Manchester, N.H., on Sept. 5.
Stephan Savoia AP

This week, Sarah Palin kept the guessing game about her White House intentions alive.

(Still thinking about it, she told her employer, Fox News, and, by the way, the media is not the boss of her timetable.)

She weighed in on the Republican presidential debate.

She took to task her old buddy and White House hopeful, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, for his past support of a program to vaccinate girls against a sexually transmitted and potentially cancer-causing disease.

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5:21pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Middle East

Changing Middle East Leaves Israel Feeling Isolated

Egyptian soldiers guard the badly damaged entrance of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday. Protesters stormed the embassy, contributing to the worst diplomatic crisis between the two countries since they signed a peace treaty in 1979.
Nasser Nasser AP

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan would seem to be an unlikely icon for the Palestinians. Yet he is all the rage these days in the Palestinian territories. His picture is everywhere, even in places you would never expect it.

"All your receipts, all your notepads, everything has the picture of Erdogan," says Abdul Rahman Marra, a grocery store owner in the West Bank.

Mara then gestures to the posters of Erdogan on the walls. The Turkish leader stood up to Israel and defended Palestinian rights, Marra says, calling Erdogan the best leader in the Muslim world.

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5:16pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

First Lady Leans On Darden Restaurants To Shave Calories Off Menus

Menus at Olive Garden and Red Lobster are about to get a health makeover. Darden Restaurants, which owns the brands, is the latest corporation to collaborate with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign aimed ending childhood obesity.

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5:14pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Kentuckians at War

President Praises Kentucky Marine

Bill Estep Lexington Herald-Leader

For the first time in nearly 40 years, a living Marine has been awarded the nation’s highest military honor. Kentucky native Dakota Meyer received the Medal of Honor today. Two years ago in Afghanistan, Meyer traveled through a firefight with Taliban forces to search for missing comrades. He later helped retrieve four fallen soldiers.

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5:01pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Architecture

Who Will Pay To Fix That Bridge In Ohio?

The Brent Spence Bridge (the span on the far right) is one of 1,863 highway bridges determined to be structurally deficient by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Tana Weingartner WVXU

The gun-metal colored bridge spanning the Ohio River opened almost a half century ago with an 85,000 vehicle per day capacity. Today it carries nearly twice that and is rated functionally obsolete by the National Bridge Inventory.

As part of his jobs creation plan, President Obama will be making a trip to a bridge next week. You may not have heard of it, but the chances are you own a lot of things that have been across it. It's one of the busiest trucking routes in North America.

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4:47pm

Thu September 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

Meth Labs on the Increase

Commonwealth's Attorneys from left to right: Lynn Prior, Chris Cohron, Jackie Steele testifying in Frankfort
Stu JOhnson Weku

Prosecutors maintain methamphetamine production in Kentucky is up and deserves further legislative attention.   Last year, the legislature refused to enact restrictions on the sale of a prime ingredient. Chris Cohron,  who’s president of the Kentucky Commonwealth’s Attorneys Association, reports  the number of meth labs is up 20 percent this year.  And, the Warren County prosecutor says that figure only reflects four-fifth of Kentucky’s counties.

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4:39pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Around the Nation

Texas Fire Evacuees Return To Find Only Ashes

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 9:39 pm

Jeans hang on a clothesline next to a burned down trailer home in Bastrop, Texas. A wildfire raging for nearly two weeks has blackened 50 square miles and destroyed more than 1,500 homes.
Erich Schlegel AFP/Getty Images

For 17 years, Linda and Roger Ward lived in their two-story dream house in a subdivision in Bastrop County, southeast of Austin, Texas. They loved to sit on their back deck and listen to the wind in the pines.

On the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 4, everything changed.

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4:15pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Rick Perry

Perry Donor's Radioactive Waste Site Deal Scrutinized

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 9:39 pm

A large earth-mover carries PCB-contaminated soil from the Hudson River in New York to a burial pit at Waste Control Specialists near Andrews, Texas, in October 2009.
Betsy Blaney AP

Presidential candidate Rick Perry's ties to campaign donors came under more scrutiny this week when he was challenged during Monday's Tea Party debate.

Perry defended taking a contribution from a drug company and then mandating use of the company's new vaccine. "I raised about $30 million, and if you're saying I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended," he said.

Actually, the drug company, Merck, has given Perry $28,500 overall. But that's still pocket change compared with what Perry's truly big donors have given.

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4:15pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Tempest In A Lunch Box: Arsenic Traces In Apple Juice

Fears over arsenic in apple juice are overblown, experts say.
iStockphoto.com

A lot of parents might be worried about what's in their kids' sippy cups if they caught a recent report by TV talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz about high levels of arsenic in popular brands of apple juice.

But the Food and Drug Administration and medical experts are attacking Oz's report, saying it's inaccurate and needlessly panics parents.

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4:11pm

Thu September 15, 2011
The Two-Way

'Stagnant': Checking In On The Economy In Chillicothe, Ohio

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 9:39 pm

Chillicothe, Ohio as viewed from the historic Mountain House area.
Don O'Brien via Flickr

The economic indicators may all say that the United States is out of recession. But what is it like in the real world?

NPR's Robert Siegel traveled to Chillicothe, Ohio. Robert had visited in the fall of 2008, when the unemployment rate was 8 percent; he travelled there in January of 2010, when it was 12 percent. Today, it's 10.4 percent.

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