7:55am

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Today's Headlines: Irene's Aftermath; Sept. 11 Panel's Report

Good morning.

States from North Carolina north to New England continue to cope with the aftereffects of Hurricane Irene, as we reported earlier. The Associated Press says 2.5 million customers still don't have power and that the death toll now stands at 44 people in 13 states. Flood waters continue to be huge problems in New Jersey and states to the north.

Meanwhile, other stories making headlines include:

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7:30am

Wed August 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Rebuilding After Irene Is Not Going To Boost The Economy

Originally published on Wed August 31, 2011 8:40 am

While Hurricane Irene may, according to The New York Times, "prove to be one of the 10 costliest catastrophes in the nation's history," the recovery efforts as work gets going to repair the estimated $7 billion to $10 billion in damages are not going to give the overall U.S. economy a much-needed lift, our Planet Money colleague Adam Davidson says.

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7:28am

Wed August 31, 2011
Arts & Life

Australian Artist Profits From Government Grant

An Australian artist received a government grant for $20,000 in cash. He neatly stacked the money into a pile. Voila, art! The piece is called Currency. It went up for auction and the winning buyer will pay $21,350.

7:09am

Wed August 31, 2011
Around the Nation

Air Traveler Sues Over Airport Searches

At airport security in Richmond, VA., Aaron Tobey stripped to his shorts showing off that on his chest was the Constitution's Fourth Amendment which forbids unreasonable searches. Tobey was detained and he sued the government. A judge has thrown out most of the suit but the court will hear Tobey's claim that his free speech rights were violated.

4:00am

Wed August 31, 2011
Business

AT&T Promises To Bring Back Call Center Jobs

AT&T is trying to convince regulators to approve its $39 billion deal to merge with T-Mobile. Regulators and lawmakers have worried the merger would mean job losses. So the company is promising to bring back 5,000 call center jobs that are now overseas.

4:00am

Wed August 31, 2011
Africa

BBC's 'Tripoli Witness' Comes Out Of Hiding

Six months ago, the BBC's reporter in Tripoli went into hiding. Rana Jawad has reported from Libya for the past seven years, but after fears for her safety became too great, she resorted to publishing anonymous reports under the name Tripoli Witness on the BBC website. Now that rebels largely control Tripoli, Jawad has returned to the airwaves. She talked to Steve Inskeep about living undercover.

4:00am

Wed August 31, 2011
Africa

Libyan Rebels Ask Police To Return To Tripoli

Libya's Transitional National Council is calling on police to return to the streets of Tripoli. The police fled as rebels took control of the capital. Despite being associated with Moammar Gadhafi's regime, and no money to pay them, some police are returning to work.

4:00am

Wed August 31, 2011
Politics

Budget Cuts Threaten NOAA's Weather Forecasts

Communities on the East Coast planned for hurricane Irene with help from analysts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA forecasters use data from federally-funded weather satellites to predict storms. One of those satellite programs is facing deep cuts in the latest round of congressional belt-tightening.

4:00am

Wed August 31, 2011
Business

NTSB Blames PG&E For Deadly Gas Explosion

One of the nation's largest gas companies Pacific Gas & Electric is to blame for an explosion that killed eight people and burned down a neighborhood in California's Bay Area last year. That's the unanimous finding of the National Transportation Safety Board. The panel says substandard welds and other safety problems date back to the mid-1950s and that regulation was lax.

4:00am

Wed August 31, 2011
Politics

Obama, GOP Candidates Address Veteran Groups

President Obama spoke to the 93rd annual convention of the American Legion in Minneapolis Tuesday. The president laid the groundwork for the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, and for his speech next week on jobs and the deficit. GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry addressed the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in San Antonio, Texas.

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