Politics & Government

Siegelman Reports To Prison
4:49 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Former Alabama Governor Reports To Federal Prison

Former Governor Don Siegelman reported to a federal prison in Louisiana today to finish his 78-month sentence.
By Mike Disharoon Wikimedia Commons

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman has reported to a minimum security federal prison in southwest Louisiana.


U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said the 66-year-old Siegelman turned himself in at the federal prison at Oakdale, La. shortly before 2 p.m. on Tuesday.


Siegelman previously served nine months at Oakdale before being released while his conviction on bribery and other charges was being appealed.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Netanyahu Says World Has No 'Moral Right' To Stop Israel From Attacking Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov, not seen, in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Gali Tibbon AP

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 7:26 am

Comments from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are ratcheting up diplomatic tension between Israel and the United States.

During a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Netanyahu expressed his frustration with how world powers are handling Iran and its nuclear program.

"The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time'. And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when?' Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," Netanyahu said.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

The Mysterious Case Of China's Disappearing Heir Apparent

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping addresses the opening ceremony of the autumn semester of the Party School of the Communist Party of China in Beijing on Sept. 1.
Xinhua, Li Tao AP

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 10:21 pm

In the rarefied air of China's leadership circle, anything that strays from strict protocol becomes grist for the rumor mill.

So it is with the mysterious and sudden disappearance of Xi Jinping, the presumptive heir to President Hu Jintao.

Xi, 59, has inexplicably missed a series of important meetings with foreign dignitaries in the past week, including one with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Beijing. The last time anyone saw him in public was Sept. 1.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Moody's Warns Of Downgrade If Congress Doesn't Move On Fiscal Cliff

Speaker of the House John Boehner says he has little of hope of reaching a resolution on the so-called "fiscal cliff."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 11:59 am

We've already heard warnings about the so called "fiscal cliff" from the Federal Reserve and the Congressional Budget Office.

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Politics & Government
8:17 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Ala. PSC Considers Extending Special Electric Rate

http://www.psc.state.al.us/ Alabama Public Service Commission

The Alabama Public Service Commission is meeting to consider extending special electric rates it approved last year to help stimulate Alabama's economy.


The meeting is Tuesday in Montgomery to consider the rates offered through Alabama Power Co.

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Politics & Government
8:13 am
Tue September 11, 2012

State Asks Full Court to Hear Immigration Appeal

The state of Alabama has asked a federal appeals court to reconsider parts of two opinions that struck down some provisions of Alabama's immigration law.


Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said Monday the state was challenging a three-judge panel's decision to strike down parts of Alabama's law concerning harboring illegal immigrants, contracts and collecting school data on immigrants. Bentley said the court was placing an illegal restraint on state government.


The state is asking the full appeals court to review the three-judge panel's decision.

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Presidential Race
4:18 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Romney Campaigns In 'Must-Win' Ohio

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The presidential candidates are toning it down, we're told, on this 9/11. They'll stop their negative ads, they have said. But, of course, the campaigning will continue all fall. And Mitt Romney spent yesterday in Ohio. Over the weekend, Vice President Biden was there, as well. The Midwestern state is becoming like a second home to candidates in this presidential election season.

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Presidential Race
2:31 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Rhetoric Aside, Few Details Of Romney's Tax Plan

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney campaigns at PR Machine Works in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:59 pm

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposal to overhaul the tax code continues to draw scrutiny.

Romney says it is possible to cut tax rates without driving the government deeper into the red, and that he can make up for the lost revenue by closing tax loopholes. But analysts have had a hard time testing Romney's claim because he hasn't offered many specifics.

When he was pressed by NBC's David Gregory this weekend to give an example of a loophole he would close, Romney didn't offer much detail.

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Politics
2:30 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Inside Obama's Decisions: From Libya To Lunch

President Obama answers questions at the White House on Aug. 20.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

To try to get a sense of what it really means to be the president of the United States, writer Michael Lewis spent six months in President Obama's shadow. Lewis hoped to find out just what it's like to be in the president's shoes — down to something as simple as how he decides what to wear every day.

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Middle East
2:30 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Fears Of Currency Devaluation Mount In Egypt

Egypt's stock market has been volatile since Hosni Mubarak was ousted. Though analysts say there are reasons for cautious optimism, concerns about the country's currency remain.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 3:00 pm

Egyptians have been struggling economically since the revolution last year that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian pound has remained relatively stable, though, because the central bank shored it up through foreign reserves, which prevented food prices from skyrocketing.

But despite increasing political stability, concerns about the currency remain.

The market has been volatile since Mubarak was ousted, swinging up and down with Egypt's political unrest.

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U.S.
5:49 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Army Aims To Use Words, Not Weapons, With Afghans

U.S. Army soldiers learn to play khosai, Afghanistan's full-contact national pastime, at Fort Campbell.
Blake Farmer for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:53 pm

The U.S. Army has been ramping up instruction in the languages of Afghanistan, even as troop levels in the country decrease in preparation for the U.S. troop withdrawal in 2014.

This year, key installations have added several hundred speakers of Pashto and Dari to their ranks, more than doubling the number of soldiers trained in the Afghan languages.

But it's not just the country's languages that are foreign to U.S. soldiers — it's the culture, as well.

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September Referendum
5:24 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Tuscaloosa Real Estate Developer Plans No Vote Campaign For Sept. 18

Tuscaloosa real estate developer Stan Pate says he's planning a no vote campaign for Alabama's referendum Sept. 18.
blog.al.com

Politically active real estate developer Stan Pate of Tuscaloosa says he's planning a media campaign in the next few days to encourage no votes on Alabama's referendum Sept. 18.

Pate says Alabama residents elected a Republican governor and Republican-controlled Legislature in 2010 because they wanted less government. He said GOP leaders are doing the opposite by pushing a constitutional amendment that would take $437 million out of a state trust fund to prop up the state General Fund budget for the next three years.

Campaign Finances
5:14 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Aderholt Pays $13K Fine For Finance Reports

U.S. Rep. Aderholt's re-election campaign was fined $13,000 in penalties for filing inaccurate finance reports.
aderholt.house.gov Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt's re-election campaign has paid $13,000 in penalties for filing inaccurate finance reports.

The documents released recently by the Federal Election Commission show Aderholt's campaign account misrepresented how much money it raised; spent; and had on hand for several years.

Records show more than $58,000 in campaign receipts were misstated from 2006 through 2010. And there were inaccurate records about how $129,600 was spent. Another $273,000 wasn't deposited into the campaign account within the required 10-day period.

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Education
3:49 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Chicago Strike Emblematic Of Union Struggle

Chicago public school teachers picket outside William H.Wells Community High School on Monday.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:06 am

The strike that shut schools in Chicago on Monday illustrates a larger, national trend: Teachers unions are having a harder time getting what they want.

For decades, teachers unions have been among the most powerful lobbying groups in nearly every state — and have been arguably even more powerful at the local level, where they've often been able to unseat school board members and even mayors who crossed them.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

AIG Stocks Drop, After U.S. Announces Sell-Off Plans

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 1:38 pm

Over the weekend, the United States Treasury said it has plans to sell $18 billion worth of American International Group stocks. During the financial crisis in 2008, the government pumped $182 billion into AIG stock to keep it from collapsing.

Reuters reports, this morning, that AIG shares fell 1.5 percent because of the news. Reuters adds:

"AIG itself will buy back $5 billion of its own shares in the upcoming stock sale, with the rest of the shares going to the broader public.

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