It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning.
At the United Nations today, President Obama told world leaders that there's no place for violence and intolerance. The president has been struggling to contain widespread anger in the Muslim world, sparked in part by an anti-Islam video.
The Alabama Department of Industrial Relations and the Alabama Department of Labor will merge Oct. 1, with the new department known as the Department of Labor.
Labor Commissioner Jim Bennett is retiring after nine years in the post, and Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees will lead the combined department.
The Legislature approved the merger with the support of the governor, and it's supposed to save $100,000 to $200,000 per year. Surtees said that will come from eliminating rent and other operating expenses and consolidating functions.
It's not so much what Mitt Romney said about whether the government should guarantee people health care in his interview on CBS's 60 Minutes Sunday that has health care policy types buzzing. It's how that compares to what he has said before.
To back up a bit, Scott Pelley asked the former Massachusetts governor if he thinks "the government has a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don't have it today?"
State Attorney General Luther Strange says claims forms are being mailed to more than 29,000 Alabama borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between 2008 and 2011 and may be eligible for payments.
The payments are from a $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement. Borrowers eligible for the settlement had mortgages serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. Strange said the national settlement administrator mailed postcards to eligible borrowers nationwide last week.
So six weeks to go before Election Day, but in-person early voting has already started in a handful of states. Many others will begin soon, and more and more of us are choosing to vote early. In Colorado, for example, where we just heard from Ari Shapiro, nearly 80 percent of votes were cast early in the 2008 presidential election.
Michael McDonald tracks these trends with the U.S. Elections Project at George Mason University and he joins me now. Welcome to the program.
U.S. voters are just a few weeks shy of casting their ballot for president. Both candidates have discussed several issues during their campaigns, with economic recovery taking the forefront. That’s an issue that resonates with residents in Alabama’s first congressional district, which includes Mobile. Several developments over the summer are spurring economic growth in the coastal city, including an agreement with Airbus.
Huntsville attorney Joe Ritch has been nominated by President Barack Obama to become the second Alabamian to serve on the Tennessee Valley Authority board during its 79-year history.
Ritch told The Huntsville Times that it's an honor to be nominated. His nomination is subject to Senate approval. Ritch has been active in economic development work and is the longtime chairman of the Tennessee Valley BRAC Committee.
The first official presidential debate isn't until Oct. 3 in Denver. But as The New York Times writes, last night on CBS News' 60 Minutes there was something of a "shadow debate that offered a likely preview of the tone and substance" of what will happen on stage next week.
The city of Nuevo Laredo, which hugs the border of south Texas, is the latest hotspot in Mexico's violent drug war. Over the past two weeks, over 70 people have been killed there in drug-related violence. Monica Ortiz Uribe from member station KJZZ visited the city and she found a community terrified and afraid to even speak.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
It's the final week before the debates begin and the presidential candidates are stepping up their campaigning as they try to shake loose what polls are still showing to be a very tight race. We'll hear about one of those polls of rural voters in just a minute. But first, both President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney appeared last night on the CBS program "60 Minutes."
Violent protests in eastern Libya have set in motion a movement to take back the nation from dozens of militias born from the revolt against strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Since the dictator's demise, Libya has been beholden to men with guns.
The transitional state is weak, and it depends on the militias to help secure the streets. The state has now promised to integrate the militias into the security forces.