The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Energy Secretary Chu Defends How Administration Handled Solyndra

In an interview with NPR, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu vigorously defended the actions of the Department of Energy with regards $528 million in loans it gave the now-bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra.

Chu told All Things Considered's Melissa Block that neither he nor any of his staff working on DOE loans program was swayed by politics and that even in hindsight there was no way to know that Solyndra would fail.

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As NPR's correspondent covering campaign finance and lobbying, Peter Overby totes around a business card that reads Power, Money & Influence Correspondent. Some of his lobbyist sources call it the best job title in Washington.

Overby was awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia silver baton for his coverage of the 2000 campaign and the 2001 Senate vote to tighten the rules on campaign finance. The citation said his reporting "set the bar" for the beat.

In 2008, he teamed up with the Center for Investigative Reporting on the Secret Money Project, an extended multimedia investigation of outside-money groups in federal elections.

Newt Gingrich
4:27 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Why Did Freddie Mac Pay Newt Gingrich $300,000?

Polls continue to show former House Speaker Newt Gingrich solidly in the top tier of Republican presidential contenders. But at the same time, he is dogged by questions about a job he had after leaving Congress: consulting for the mortgage giant Freddie Mac — but not, he says, lobbying.

The questions began at the candidates' debate in Michigan last Wednesday, when CNBC's John Harwood asked Gingrich what he did for a $300,000 contract with Freddie Mac in 2006.

"I offered them advice on precisely what they didn't do," Gingrich said last week.

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The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Siding With Mayor, Judge Rules Against Occupy Wall Street Encampment

Protester Leina Bocar stands outside Zuccotti Park after police removed the Occupy Wall Street protesters from the park early this morning.
Mario Tama Getty Images

A State Supreme Court judge has backed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the owners of Zuccotti Park, saying police had a right to enforce rules that prohibit camping at the park overnight. In the pre-dawn hours, Bloomberg ordered the removal of protesters from the park.

Earlier, another Supreme Court judge had issued a temporary injunction and ruled the protesters could return to the park with tents and sleeping bags.

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Middle East
4:11 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Syria Faces Growing Pressure As Bloodshed Spikes

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that his brutal crackdown on opponents threatens to place him on a list of leaders who "feed on blood."
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 15, 2011 6:19 pm

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It's All Politics
4:11 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

'Obamacare' Will Rank Among The Longest Supreme Court Arguments Ever

The US Supreme Court announced this week that it will hear arguments over President Obama's health care reform law.
KAREN BLEIER AFP/Getty Images

When the United States Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a challenge to the health care reform law, the Court also announced that the parties would have more than the usual one hour to argue the case before the justices. That is not unheard of in particularly important cases — Bush v. Gore was allotted ninety minutes. But at five and a half hours, the length of time given for the health care case is nearly unprecedented in the modern Court.

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Asia
4:10 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

From Crushing Poverty To South Korea's Presidency

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (shown here as a young accountant, working for Hyundai's office in Thailand in the early 1960s) overcame a poverty-stricken childhood to become a student activist, successful business executive and, ultimately, leader of his country.
Courtesy of Lee Myung-bak

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 3:29 pm

When Lee Myung-bak was inaugurated as the 10th president of South Korea in February 2008, it was an astonishing outcome for a poor boy from Pohang, whose No. 1 dream had been simply to get a job.

Lee's life journey is a literal rags-to-riches story. He has made a political journey, too, from a student radical imprisoned for his activism to a conservative head of state.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:38 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Fluoride In Drinking Water? No Thanks, Says Florida County

Public health officials say the evidence is solid that fluoridated drinking water helps protect teeth.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 9:15 am

The federal Centers for Disease Control calls fluoridated water one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century. But many people still aren't convinced.

In Florida, opponents recently persuaded Pinellas County commissioners to stop adding fluoride to the water supply — a practice the county began in 2003. By the end of the year, Pinellas will once again be the largest county in Florida without fluoridated water.

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Around the Nation
2:59 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

As Occupy Camps Close, What's Next For Movement?

Occupy Wall Street protesters regroup in Foley Square after New York City police in riot gear removed the protesters from Zuccotti Park early Tuesday. The evacuation followed similar moves in Oakland, Calif., and Portland, Ore.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 10:09 am

As pressure mounts in cities across the country to evict Occupy protesters from parks and squares, the movement's supporters face a decision about what to do next.

After months-long sit-ins that have brought international attention to the movement's demand for greater economic equality, as well as occasional clashes between demonstrators and police, cities in recent days have moved in force to end the protests.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:55 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

The Pill: Not Just For Pregnancy Prevention

iStockphoto.com

Well, here's another twist in the debate over whether birth control is an essential health benefit. More than 1.5 million American women use birth control pills for reasons other than preventing pregnancy, a new analysis finds.

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