September 2013

Sep 30, 2013

In Historic Call, Obama and Iranian Leader Talk

By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani agreed during a historic telephone conversation Friday to move “with a sense of urgency,” and with allies, to reach a negotiated agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

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Al-Shabab Shifts Focus From Territory To Terrorism

By Tom Gjelten, NPR

Al-Shabab has been around for years as a militia group fighting for territory in Somalia.

When al-Shabab militants, dressed in casual clothes, turned up in a ritzy shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, last weekend and gunned down men, women and children, the group shifted from an insurgent movement to a terrorist organization.

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Politics Strategic Command No. 2 Suspension Linked to Probe of Counterfeit Poker Chips

With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

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Government Heads Toward Shutdown

By Janet Hook and Kristina Peterson, Wall Street Journal

The nation braced for a partial shutdown of the federal government, as time for Congress to pass a budget before a Monday midnight deadline grew perilously short and lawmakers gave no signs Sunday they were moving toward a resolution.

Leaders of both parties said they wanted to avoid the first federal closure since 1996, but their public appearances seemed aimed more at affixing blame for the impasse.

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Sep 27, 2013

NSA Chief Deflects Tracking Questions

By Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press

The nation’s top intelligence official sidestepped questions Thursday from a senator about whether the National Security Agency has ever used Americans’ cellphone signals to collect information on their whereabouts that would allow tracking of the movements of individual callers.

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Positive Spin on Iran Nuclear Talks Faces Test Next Month

By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan & Kambiz Foroohar, Bloomberg News

Foreign ministers from the U.S. and five other powers met with Iran’s top diplomat to see whether the Islamic Republic’s new administration is serious about resolving disputes over its nuclear program.

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The Medium Is (Most of) the Message

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

On Oct. 1 Americans will begin to sign up for health care plans as part of the Affordable Care Act. Despite all the efforts to sell Obamacare, a majority of Americans are still fearing the day. According to the latest CBS News/New York Times poll, 51 percent of Americans disapprove of the health care law and only 39 percent approve of it. Seventy-nine percent believe implementation will either not affect them or leave them worse off. On the eve of this long-fought-over moment—the day Obamacare takes affect—President Obama’s best sales tool may come down to a website:

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Senate to Advance Stopgap Bill

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

The Senate is on track to approve Friday a stopgap spending bill that sets Congress up for a weekend of partisan jockeying to resolve a shutdown threat before Monday's deadline.

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Cruz, Corker Clash on Senate Floor

By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

The months-long divide in ideology and tactics splintering Senate Republicans was laid bare on the Senate floor Thursday in an incredibly rare, heated exchange between three senators.

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Why Do We Even Have a Debt Ceiling?

With Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

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Sep 26, 2013

Another Clinton presidential campaign?

By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

So, will Hillary Rodham Clinton run for president?

In an interview with New York Magazine published this week, the former secretary of State acknowledged that she's wrestling with the idea but still needs time "to weigh what the factors are" before "making a decision one way or the other."

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Justice Department Pushes New Thinking On Kids And Crime

By Carrie Johnson, NPR

For a man who spent the bulk of his career as a public defender, Robert Listenbee's new role walking around the halls of the U.S. Justice Department may not be the most comfortable fit.

But Listenbee, who became earlier this year, says his transition has been smooth. And besides, he says, he couldn't resist the "extraordinary opportunity."

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