2:14am

Thu September 20, 2012
Africa

Libyan Group Denies Role In U.S. Consulate Attack

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:36 pm

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

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.

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12:35am

Thu September 20, 2012
Middle East

U.S., Libyan Versions Of Consulate Attack Diverge

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:24 am

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was in flames during an attack on Sept. 11. There are competing narratives on whether the attack was premeditated.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters /Landov

The attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last week has led to dueling versions of what unfolded that night in Benghazi.

To hear the Obama administration tell it, the attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans was spontaneous — and staged by local extremists who saw an opportunity to hijack peaceful demonstrations against an offensive film.

The Libyans have a different view. They say it was a premeditated strike, launched by foreign fighters with ties to al-Qaida.

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12:33am

Thu September 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

New Experimental Drug Offers Autism Hope

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 7:10 am

Andy Tranfaglia, 23, who has Fragile X syndrome, rides a horse with his mother, Katie Clapp.
Katie Clapp

An experimental drug that helps people who have Fragile X syndrome is raising hopes of a treatment for autism.

The drug, called arbaclofen, made people with Fragile X less likely to avoid social interactions, according to a study in Science Translational Medicine. Researchers suspect it might do the same for people with autism.

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12:32am

Thu September 20, 2012
Planet Money

Insurance Companies Send Out Rebate Checks; Economists Get Nervous

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:41 pm

iStockphoto.com

Nearly 13 million Americans have gotten, or will soon be getting, rebates from their health insurance companies. This is because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that's supposed to force insurance companies to run better.

But while the idea of getting a check from your health insurance company may sound great, some economists worry this rule could actually make health insurance more expensive.

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12:31am

Thu September 20, 2012
It's All Politics

Military Vote Seen As A Key To Capturing Virginia

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:38 pm

Mitt Romney takes the stage at a campaign rally at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Va., on Sept. 8.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Both presidential campaigns are focusing on just a few swing states, and the relatively few remaining undecided voters. One of those states is Virginia, where a key swing constituency is military veterans.

Troops and veterans have long been considered a natural part of the Republican base. But President Obama is pushing hard for the veterans' vote to help him in a state he captured in 2008.

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12:30am

Thu September 20, 2012
Sports

'Itch' For Baseball Returns After Year In The Minors

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:14 am

Baseball player Reid Gorecki, seen here at a former teammate's home in Glassboro, N.J., says that despite being traded, "I thought the season was pretty awesome."
Kevin Leahy NPR

When Reid Gorecki began his quest to make it to baseball's major leagues this year, he probably didn't expect things to end up in Camden, N.J. The city is the home of Campbell's Soup — and Campbell 's Field, where the Camden Riversharks play their games.

And that's where Gorecki now plays, after being traded by the Long Island Ducks. Tuesday night's game was supposed to be one of the last of his season. But the game was canceled owing to rain, and the stadium was quiet.

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12:29am

Thu September 20, 2012
Election 2012

Voter Purges Under Review Ahead Of Election Day

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:14 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'

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12:29am

Thu September 20, 2012
World

Father Of Pakistan's Nukes Enters Politics

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 7:56 am

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

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.

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12:28am

Thu September 20, 2012
Science

Why Pictures Can Sway Your Moral Judgment

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:41 am

iStockphoto.com

When we think about morality, many of us think about religion or what our parents taught us when we were young. Those influences are powerful, but many scientists now think of the brain as a more basic source for our moral instincts.

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8:48pm

Wed September 19, 2012
City Visions: September 24, 2012

Bright Lights, Big City: Who Benefits From Billboard Deals?

São Paulo banned billboards in 2006.

Some safety advocates have called those bright, changing digital billboards on the freeway “television on a stick," which -- in addition to texting -- give drivers one more reason to take their eyes off the road. 

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