Today's Takeaway: Sussing Out the Political Drama Over Obama's Jobs Speech

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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Rethinking American Infrastructure; What Does It Take for a Dictator to Surrender?; Venus Williams Pulls Out of U.S. Open; Is Our Blood Pressure Rising With the Foreclosure Rate?; Sussing Out the Political Drama Over Obama's Jobs Speech; Education Week: Why Teachers Sometimes Cheat; Justice Department Plans to Halt AT&T Merger With T-Mobile; Angry With An Airline? Try Tweeting; Police Begin to Pull Out of Ciudad Juárez; Governor Shumlin on Rebuilding Vermont

Top of the Hour: Northeast Struggles After Irene, Morning Headlines

New York, New Jersey, and Vermont are still struggling to recover from the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Irene. Forty-five people were killed by the storm, and almost two million remain without power.

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Rethinking American Infrastructure

Within a week, the northeastern United States was hit by both an earthquake and hurricane. Following Hurricane Irene, four million homes and businesses lost electricity. According to experts like Dan Genest of Dominion Virginia Power, turning the lights back on will be no easy task. He told the AP that "one broken pole can take six to seven hours to repair."

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Venus Williams Pulls Out of U.S. Open

The United States is faring well in the U.S. Open so far, with Christina McHale hailing a victory against France yesterday. But there was bad news for the U.S. team yesterday, as well. Venus Williams announced that she has pulled out of the tournament, due to health problems related to Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes joint pain and fatigue.

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What Does It Take for a Dictator to Surrender?

Rebels in Libya continue to struggle with each other over who will control the country, and with Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists, who rejected their offer for the missing leader to surrender. Meanwhile, nearly two weeks over rebels took over Tripoli, Gadhafi remains separated from his wife and two children, who fled to Algeria earlier this week. What will it take for Gadhafi to step down?

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Tripoli's Drinking Water Problem

Today, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron are co-hosting a "friends of Libya" meeting in Paris. On the docket is how to help the National Transitional Council the future of Libya. One of the problems that will need sorting out quickly is the lack of drinking water in Tripoli. The BBC's Kevin Connolly filed this report.

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Is Our Blood Pressure Rising With the Foreclosure Rate?

It doesn't take a scientist to conclude that going through the foreclosure process is stressful. Even the threat of being foreclosed on can make one's blood pressure rise. But science can show the very real effects that these tough economic times are having on America's health. A new study links the rise in foreclosures to more hospital visits related to diabetes and hypertension. More specifically, for every 100 foreclosures there was a 7.2 percent rise in emergency room visits, an 8.1 percent increase in diabetes cases for people aged 20 to 49, and 12 percent more hospital visits related to anxiety in the same age category.

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Top of the Hour: Libyan NTC Meets With World Leaders in Paris, Morning Headlines

Leaders of the National Transitional Council are meeting today in Paris with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and world leaders from 60 countries, including Russia and China.

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The Political Theater Over Obama's Jobs Speech

President Obama's jobs speech is already shrouded in partisan controversy, after the president attempted to schedule his talk for 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7 — the same date as the second debate for GOP presidential candidates. House Speaker John Boehner asked Obama to reschedule, and Obama complied, changing the date for the speech to September 8. Could this be a preview of future party wars over the jobs agenda?

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World Leaders Meet in Paris for Libya Summit

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron are hosting Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) at a summit with world leaders in Paris today. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in attendance, as are representatives from China and Russia. The NTC, Libya's transitional government, is expected to ask for international aid for providing security and request that Libyan assets in foreign banks be unfrozen.

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Justice Department Sues to Halt AT&T Merger With T-Mobile

AT&T, the one-time sole carrier of Apple’s iPhone, has had its fare share of problems: dropped calls, consumer discontent, and a shoddy network across the northeast coast made the company a "second tier" cellular carrier as far as its hard core data plan users were concerned. Until yesterday, the company had plans to fix that. AT&T was working on a $39 billion dollar merger deal with Deutsche Telekom to acquire T-Mobile USA, and expand its data and voice service across the country. But the U.S. Department of Justice may be stopping that plan dead in its tracks.

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Angry With An Airline? Try Tweeting

In the days after Hurricane Irene, many travelers find themselves stranded after cancelled flights or suspended train service kept them from going where they wanted to go. Even without extreme weather conditions complicating travel, most travelers have an an airline horror story or two, and many times the source of the problem is not the cancelled trip or lost bag, but inadequate customer service or lack of information from the airline. Several airlines are seeking to remedy this problem by using social networking for customer relations — a tactic many different types of companies are employing nowadays.

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Police Begin to Pull Out of Ciudad Juárez

Mexico's War on Drugs, which President Felipe Calderón declared in January of 2007, has already resulted in the deaths of some 40,000 Mexicans, according to the Congressional Research Service. The epicenter of the violence is Ciudad Juárez, a city in northern Mexico less than five miles from El Paso, Texas. Last year, over 4,500 federal police began patrolling there, replacing army units that had been stationed there previously. Today, those police will leave the city.

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Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin on Rebuilding After Irene

Tropical Storm Irene has been called the worst natural disaster to ever hit Vermont. Twelve thousand people remain without power thereand over 250 roads were closed, with six state highway bridges completely destroyed. The federal government has pledged $5 million to Vermont for initial rebuilding. Relief efforts are underway, and progress is already being made for the many towns and highways irreparably damaged by the storm.

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FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate on Responding to Irene

As residents of the East Coast begin putting their lives back together after Tropical Storm Irene devastated homes and businesses across the region, questions are being asked about how prepared communities were for the onslaught and whether they have the resources needed to recover quickly. Craig Fugate, administrator of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is in charge of preparing and responding to natural disasters like Irene. He's been visiting the areas impacted the most by the storm, and discusses the recovery process.

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