Politics & Government

Unemployment Rate
5:13 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Alabama Unemployment Rate Rises To 8.5 Percent

The Alabama Department of Industrial Relations says the state's unemployment rate is up again.
http://dir.alabama.gov Alabama Dept. of Industrial Relations

Alabama's unemployment rate has risen for the fourth consecutive month to 8.5 percent for August.

The figure announced Friday by the state Department of Industrial Relations represents more than 183,000 unemployed people.

Alabama's unemployment rate has been going up since measuring 7.2 percent in April. It was 7.4 percent in May, 7.8 percent in June and 8.3 percent in July.

Alabama's unemployment rate a year ago was 9.1 percent.

Politics & Government
7:17 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Alabama remembers POW/MIA's

Microsoft

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A ceremony will be held in Montgomery to commemorate national POW/MIA Recognition Day. The ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Saturday on the south lawn of the Alabama Capitol. It will include remarks by World War II prisoner of war Seymour "Sy" Lichtenfeld of Mobile. Lichtenfeld was captured in 1944 by the Germans while fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. He was sent to Stalag IV-B in Brandenburg. Suffering from frostbite, he and 5,000 other American POWS were forced to march 110 miles to another camp.

The Two-Way
7:02 am
Fri September 21, 2012

As Last Surge Troops Leave, Some Afghans Take Up Arms Against Taliban

January 2011: Boys in the Andar district of Afghanistan gathered to collect candy from passing U.S. Army soldiers. Now, there are reports from that area of locals rising up against the Taliban.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notes that the last of the 33,000 so-called surge troops who were added to the U.S. force in Afghanistan last year have now left the country, there's this interesting news:

Read more
The Two-Way
6:33 am
Fri September 21, 2012

More Protests In Muslim Nations; Some Violence

In Islamabad today, this demonstrator threw a tear gas canister back toward police.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:45 am

(Check below for updates.)

Tens of thousands of people are protesting in all of Pakistan's major cities today, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from Islamabad, as those who oppose U.S. policy in the region continue to use outrage over an anti-Islam video to whip up anti-American sentiment.

There are also reports of new protests in other Muslim nations, including Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Read more
Alabama Immigration
5:11 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Mexican Government Reviewing Complaint On Ala. Law

The NAFTA Initialing Ceremony from October 1992 with then President George H.W. Bush.
George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Wikimedia Commons

The Mexican government is reviewing a labor union's complaint that Alabama's crackdown on illegal immigrants violates an international trade agreement.


An official with Mexico's labor department confirms the review in a letter released Thursday by the group that filed the complaint, the Service Employees International Union.


The labor organization and a Mexican attorneys group filed a complaint in April.

Read more
Africa
5:07 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Libyan Militiaman Says He Warned U.S. Of Dangers

U.S. officials and Libyan militiamen met to discuss the deteriorating security in Benghazi just two days before the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Stevens is shown here at the consulate in June.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:15 pm

Two days before the deadly Sept. 11 attack on Americans in Libya, three U.S. officials met pro-government militias working to provide security in the city of Benghazi.

In that meeting, which included the American economic and political counselors, Mohammed el Gharabi, a leader of a prominent militia, says he warned the Americans that the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating.

Assassinations are becoming rampant; no one is safe, including militiamen like himself, he says he told the Americans.

Read more
Election 2012
5:05 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Senate Race Tough To Call As Wisconsin Swings

Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin sits with state delegates during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5.
David Goldman AP

Republicans hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate in November's elections are banking on Wisconsin where they want to flip the seat held by Democrat Herb Kohl, who's retiring.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:46 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Despite Obama's High Latino Support, Univision Puts Him On Hot Seat

President Obama got few if any softball questions when he had his turn at a Univision forum for the two major-party presidential candidates.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:46 pm

President Obama may have the overwhelming support of Latino voters in his race against Republican Mitt Romney, but that didn't get him a free pass during his appearance Thursday at Univision's presidential candidate forum.

Obama faced repeated tough questions from the hosts of the forum on the Spanish-language channel, and from some in the audience, for his failure to deliver on his promise as a candidate in 2008 to push comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in the White House.

Read more
Middle East
4:15 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Mideast Violence Prompts Calls For New U.S. Policy

Egyptians destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Sept. 11, during a protest over the film that insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:05 pm

The protests and violence aimed at U.S. interests in the Middle East have set off a domestic debate about what the U.S. could or should do to relate to new political movements in the region. The Obama administration says it will continue to engage the region. The campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, says the U.S. needs to do more to lead.

But there are others who say that both parties have it wrong, and that U.S. policies from both Republican and Democratic administrations have failed.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

White House: 'Self-Evident' Attack On Consulate 'Was A Terrorist Attack'

The Obama administration continued walking a fine line today when describing the attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

"It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," White House spokesman Jay Carney said aboard Air Force One, according to Reuters. "Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials. So, again, that's self-evident."

Read more
It's All Politics
12:00 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Tim Pawlenty Exits Romney Campaign To Lead Bank Lobbying Group

Tim Pawlenty at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 1:03 pm

With less than seven weeks to go before the presidential election, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is leaving his job as co-chairman of the Mitt Romney campaign to take a top Washington lobbying job.

Pawlenty, 51, will become the next CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, whose 100 members include many of the nation's largest banks and insurance and securities companies.

Read more
It's All Politics
10:55 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Hispanics Certain To Back Obama, But In What Numbers?

Four years ago, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was greeted warmly at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's awards gala in Washington, D.C. Polls show Obama retains strong Hispanic support this year, but also that many who are eligible don't plan to vote.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:13 am

There appears to be no question that President Obama will win the lion's share of Hispanic support. But there are still very big questions to be answered about how many votes such support will translate into.

"What we know is that we don't know," says Ruy Teixeira, a political analyst at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.

"If you're the Obama campaign, there's cause for concern, because at least so far, [Hispanic support] is not translating into encouraging data on the turnout front," he says.

Read more
Africa
4:37 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Libyan Group Denies Role In U.S. Consulate Attack

A Libyan follower of Ansar al-Sharia Brigades carries a placard reads in Arabic "our Islamic holies are red line," during a protest in front of the Tibesti Hotel, in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 14, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 7:36 pm

Ansar al-Sharia, the ultraconservative armed Islamist group accused of taking part in the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, denies it was involved. But the group's leadership stopped short of condemning the deadly attack. A top U.S. counterterrorism official says they are looking at the group in connection with the assault.

Ansar al-Sharia is one of the most powerful Islamist militias in eastern Libya. The brigade claims hundreds of men who fought, with U.S. and NATO support, to unseat strongman Moammar Gadhafi last year.

Read more
Election 2012
2:29 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Voter Purges Under Review Ahead Of Election Day

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:14 am

Noncitizens aren't allowed to vote in federal and state elections, but efforts to remove them from the nation's voter registration rolls have produced more angst than results.

Opponents say the scope of the problem has been overblown; those behind the efforts say they've just begun to look at the problem.

'Early Stages'

Read more
World
2:29 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Father Of Pakistan's Nukes Enters Politics

Pakistani lawyers carry posters of Khan at a rally in support of him in Lahore in 2008.
Arif Ali AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 9:56 am

The man known as the father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, Abdul Qadeer Kahn, is a national hero in Pakistan — and a villain in much of the West.

Now, the controversial scientist is trying his hand at politics at the age of 76.

In the U.S., Khan is best known for selling nuclear technology to nations such as North Korea and Iran. In 2004, at the urging of the U.S., Pakistan placed Khan under house arrest. But in 2009, he was freed.

Read more

Pages