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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Unemployment Rate Dips To 9 Percent; 80,000 Jobs Added

The nation's unemployment rate ticked down to 9 percent in October from 9.1 percent in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

Meanwhile, there was a net gain of 80,000 jobs on public and private payrolls. Private-sector employment went up by 104,000 jobs. Government agencies reduced their payrolls by 20,000.

We'll have more from the report shortly.

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. More Details:

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Corzine Resigns From MF Global

Jon Corzine.
Rich Schultz AP

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 1:42 pm

(A new top and some other material were added to this post at 11:50 a.m. ET.)

Jon Corzine is now the unofficial "poster child of the times" and the "fall guy" that all those who blame Wall Street for much of the nation's economic troubles can point to, Reuters columnists Antony Currie and Jeffrey Goldfarb write.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Pakistan: 'The Ally From Hell' That Hides Its Nukes From The U.S.

On the Afghan side of the border with Pakistan, a U.S. soldier stood guard last month as a boy walked by in Nangarhar province.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

The headlines this morning on the websites of The Atlantic and National Journal certainly grab your attention:

-- "The Ally From Hell." (The Atlantic)

-- "The Pentagon's Secret Plans To Secure Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal." (National Journal)

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Jobs Report May Offer Glimmer Of Good News

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 5:01 am

The most-anticipated economic news of the week — word about the October unemployment rate and, hopefully, how many jobs were added to payrolls last month — is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

A month ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the jobless rate in September was 9.1 percent and that 103,000 jobs were added to private and government payrolls.

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Strange News
3:53 am
Fri November 4, 2011

England's Oldest Family-Run Business Still Selling

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 8:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with congratulations to R.J. Balson and Son. The butcher shop on the south coast of England has been named Britain's oldest family-run business, and is it ever. Balson's began selling sausages and bacon in 1535 when Henry VIII was king and still married to Ann Boleyn. Twenty-five generations later, owner Richard Balson tells the Daily Mail his son will join the business next year, and that son has a son, too. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Strange News
3:46 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Employee Cleans Up German Artwork

A cleaning woman working at the Ostwall Museum in Berlin noticed a wet stain on the floor by a modern-art sculpture. She scrubbed away the stain, not realizing it was part of the piece called, "When It Starts Dripping From the Ceiling." Back in 1986, another cleaner in Germany wiped away a grease stain valued at 400,000 euros.

Generational Politics: Silents to Millennials
3:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Millennials Uncertain Of Loyalty Toward Obama

Millennials cheer for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at a rally in Roanoke, Va., in 2008. Young voters are poised to play a key role in choosing the next president.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 8:25 am

It felt like 2008 all over again in Philadelphia this week. A DJ played a song by the Black Eyed Peas to warm up a crowd of about 500 students from local colleges. President Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, exhorted the crowd at the University of Pennsylvania to volunteer, to apply for internships and, of course, to vote.

"There's 8 million registered voters who are 18 to 21 who weren't old enough to vote last time, who are going to cast their first vote, and they're going to do it for Barack Obama," Messina said. "Raise your hand if you're 18 to 21!"

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Europe
2:25 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Housing, Banks Weigh On Spain's Fragile Economy

A broker uses a phone in front of the main screen at the Stock Exchange in Madrid, Spain. The country's central bank recently warned of "troubled exposure" to real estate, heightening fears about the stability of Spain's banks.
Daniel Ochoa de Olza AP

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 10:22 am

With Greece in flux over whether it'll remain in the eurozone, other weak economies like Spain are feeling the heat.

The worst could be yet to come in Spain — not because of public debt, but because its banks are still laden with unpaid real estate loans, putting both the banks and the housing market in jeopardy. Real estate prices in Madrid are still high, though salaries are frozen and unemployment soars. When Ireland's housing bubble burst, prices dropped more than 40 percent. But in Spain it's an 18 percent drop on average.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Greek Prime Minister Struggles To Retain Power

Prime Minister George Papandreou has backed down from a referendum on the European Union bailout package and he faces a vote of confidence Friday. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli tells host Steve Inskeep his future is uncertain.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Europe's Debt Dominates G-20 Summit

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 8:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the political and economic drama in Greece this week has moved to a glamorous resort in the South of France. European Union leaders are gathered in Cannes as part of a meeting of the world's most important economies. The group of 20 would have preferred a broad agenda, but Europe's troubles have overshadowed everything else at Cannes.

President Obama is there meeting with EU leaders and urging them to resolve the financial crisis. NPR's Eric Westervelt is also at the G-20 meeting and joined us. Good morning.

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Afghanistan
2:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Afghan Security Under Fire As Troops Leave

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 8:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Last weekend brought the deadliest attack yet on NATO forces in Kabul, one of a series of attacks bold enough to make headlines, beginning with the 20-hour siege of the American embassy. Those attacks over several weeks raised new concerns about security in Afghanistan's capital. One militant group in particular, the Haqqani Network, is thought to have orchestrated the most spectacular attacks. Seth Jones is the author of "In the Graveyard of Empires." Good morning.

SETH JONES: Good morning, Renee.

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World
2:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Details Unearthed On America's 'Ally From Hell'

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 8:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Ever since the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a fresh layer of tension has crept into relations between the U.S. and Pakistan. The Navy Seals who landed undetected in Abbottabad left Pakistanis wondering if they might land somewhere else next. Some Pakistanis ask if the U.S. might seize Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

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Asia
2:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Pakistan, India Trade Deal Sprouts New Possibility

Pakistan has opened the door to billions of dollars worth of new trade with India. The decision might help reduce political and military tensions between the two rival nations.

Economy
2:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Revitalizing Pakistan's Swat Valley

Swat Valley was once Pakistan's premier vacation spot. The area is trying to regain its appeal after regional conflict and massive floods. Co-hosts Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne report on an effort underway to rebuild Swat Valley's economy.

Business
2:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Airline Prices Stay Up Despite Fewer Travelers

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 8:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The sluggish economy means fewer travelers will be heading home for Thanksgiving this year, although it hasn't brought down prices. And as NPR's David Schaper reports, those who do fly will still find their flights packed.

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Economy
2:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Expectations For October's Jobs Numbers

Friday morning, the Labor Department releases its unemployment report for October. The unemployment rate has been stuck above 9 percent for most of the past three years, and it's not expected to dip below that this month. Host Renee Montagne speaks with NPR's Jim Zarroli about the numbers and the outlook for the U.S. economy.

Election 2012
8:47 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Cain Leads In Polls, But Some Doubt His Strategy

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is at the center of a media firestorm after revelations he was accused of sexual harassment in the 1990s. Although details of the allegations continue to trickle out, several polls show him near the head of the Republican pack. But for many political watchers, there's a lingering question: Is Herman Cain serious?

Cain doesn't fit the mold of a typical presidential candidate — and he's proud of it.

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StoryCorps
8:00 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Memory Loss Sparks A Plan For Running, And Living

Gweneviere Mann with her boyfriend, Yasir Salem, visited StoryCorps in New York City, where the pair will be running their second marathon Sunday.
StoryCorps

Remembering even the smallest details of her life can be hard for Gweneviere Mann. She has suffered from short-term memory loss since 2008, caused by complications from an operation. But that's not enough to stop Mann and her boyfriend, Yasir Salem, from running a marathon — with a unique strategy.

Recently, Mann, 41, sat down with Salem, 34, to talk about her daily life.

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Election 2012
7:44 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Cain Has Long Ties To Koch Brothers-Linked Group

Republican Herman Cain, facing allegations of sexual harassment, returns Friday to a familiar, and presumably friendly, venue — the annual convention of Americans for Prosperity, the conservative group founded by billionaire businessmen David and Charles Koch.

The group has a long relationship with Cain. The organization first enlisted him in 2005 to spearhead what it called the Prosperity Expansion Project. Cain went on the road, networking at state chapters of AFP. When he landed in Wisconsin, he met his campaign-manager-to-be, Mark Block.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Census: More Grown Men Are Living With Their Parents

Census

The Census has some news for parents who thought they had an empty nest, only to find their grown child is back in the basement: You are not alone.

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Politics
4:50 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Income Gap Becomes Politicians' Latest Battleground

There's been a shift in the economic discussion in American politics. For months, the debate was focused on government spending, regulations, debt and taxes. Now there's something new: income inequality.

And it's not just the Occupy Wall Street protesters who are worried about the growing gap between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America. The gap has been growing for 30 years, but in the midst of the recession, it appears to have reached a tipping point.

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Generational Politics: Silents to Millennials
3:55 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Generation Gap: How Age Shapes Political Outlook

A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds wide gaps in how different generations view politics. Older voters are more conservative, more angry at the government and less hopeful about the future of the country. Younger voters lean left, wish the government played a greater role in their lives and believe the nation's best days are yet to come.

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The Salt
3:51 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

FDA Officials In China To Plug New Food Safety Law

A worker monitors the loading of containers on to a ship at a harbor in China's Shandong province. Under a new U.S. law, Chinese food exporters will now have to share more food safety information with American food importers.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Fifteen percent of the food Americans eat is imported, including 80 percent of the seafood, and two-thirds of the fruit and vegetables. Our current food safety system can't even begin to keep tabs on the 24 million shipping containers loaded with food that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates arrived this year from overseas. Increasingly, that food is coming from China, which has suffered a series of scandals involving tainted food.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Scientists Unveil Fossil Of 'Saber-Toothed Squirrel' That Lived Among Dinos

Reconstruction of Cronopio dentiacutus in its native environment at La Buitrera locality, Patagonia, Argentina, during the early Late Cretaceous (approximately 94 Million years ago).
Jorge Gonzalez Courtesy of Guillermo Rougier

Imagine a critter about the size of a squirrel. Imagine it with big eyes and a long snout. Now imagine it with canine fangs about one-fifth the length of its head. That's the kind of a mammal that scientists said today was walking among dinosaurs more than 100 million years ago.

Scientists found the fossils in Argentina and the find is significant because scientists say it closes a 60-million-year gap in what they knew about mammals in South America during the late Cretaceous period.

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Politics
3:13 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

An Inside Look At The 'Dark Art' Of Politics

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain wipes his brow during a discussion on health care Wednesday in Washington. The former head of the National Restaurant Association has been under fire in recent days over sexual harassment allegations and his response to them.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

No one seems to be talking about Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan this week — including Herman Cain. Instead, he's had to deal with allegations that he committed sexual harassment when he was head of the National Restaurant Association.

On Wednesday night, he accused Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign of planting the story. Perry's campaign flatly denied it, and Cain has backed off.

Regardless, some political consultants have seen the invisible hand of opposition research during this campaign season — what's known as the "dark art of politics."

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It's All Politics
3:02 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Cain Accuser Won't Release Name As New Details Of Harassment Emerge

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain spoke in Virginia on Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

One of two women who settled sexual harassment complaints against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain when he headed the National Restaurant Association will know by Friday whether the group will release her from a confidentiality clause that prevents her from speaking about the agreement.

The woman, however, is unlikely to go public even if the lobbying group lifts the confidentiality requirements imposed as part of the 1999 cash settlement, her lawyer says.

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National Security
2:59 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

China, Russia Top List Of U.S. Economic Cyberspies

A poster warns U.S. companies of the threat of cyber-espionage. A new report released Thursday names China and Russia as the top culprits in the theft of U.S. intellectual property and technology.
Courtesy of the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive

Privately, U.S. officials have long complained that China and Russia are out to steal U.S. trade secrets, intellectual property and high technology. But in public they've been reluctant to point fingers and instead have referred obliquely to "some nations" or "our rivals."

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Crisis In The Housing Market
2:36 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

As Foreclosures Surge, Help Is Often Hard to Find

Residents pack an auditorium during a town hall on mortgages organized by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, or VOICE, in Northern Virginia.
Todd Parola Todd Parola Photography

President Obama's new plan to help millions of people stay in their homes by refinancing their mortgages at low rates raised hopes of easing the housing crisis.

But federal budget cuts have sharply reduced the number of housing counselors who can help distressed homeowners in the nation's hardest hit communities. Banks that own the properties are slow to pick up the tab.

"We are definitely concerned about counseling capacity," says Lemar Wooley, a spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Report: Many Large Corporations Are Paying No Income Taxes

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 2:31 pm

As the U.S. faces a presidential election in the middle of tough economic times, taxes have been firmly in the spotlight. A study (pdf) released today is bound to add more fuel to the fire.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:47 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Insurance Penalties For Smokers Draw Wide Support

A woman smokes outside an office building in New York City.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 2:19 pm

When it comes to improving health, there are carrots and there are sticks.

One way to try to influence people's habits is by tying how much they pay for health coverage to their behavior.

Starting next year, for instance, Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, will charge workers who smoke a penalty ranging from $260 to $2,340 annually on health insurance. That's a pretty big stick. As for a carrot, the retailer will offer free smoking-cessation help.

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