The Two-Way
5:32 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Unemployment Rate Edges Down To 8.3 Percent

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 6:41 am

The nation's unemployment rate dipped to 8.3 percent in January from 8.5 percent the month before as private employers added 257,000 jobs to their payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported. Overall, after a small drop at government agencies, employment grew by 243,000.

We'll add more from the report momentarily.

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET. White House, Republican Reactions:

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Egypt Roiling: Deaths At Protests; Two Americans Reportedly Kidnapped

In Cairo earlier today, a masked Egyptian protester prepared to throw back a tear gas canister fired by security forces.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 5:23 am

The news from Egypt is grim again today:

-- "At least two people have been shot and killed in the Egyptian city of Suez, as police used live rounds to hold back crowds during a protest over security forces' failure to prevent a deadly football riot," al-Jazeera reports. And it adds that "one person was killed in Cairo just feet away from the Interior Ministry, as police in Cairo set off salvos of tear gas and fired birdshot."

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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Freddie Mac's Regulator 'Completely Puzzled' By Allegations Of Conflict

Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco during testimony before Congress in December.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Edward DeMarco

Saying he is "completely puzzled by the notion that there was something immoral that went on here," the man at the top of the agency that regulates Freddie Mac has explained why he believes the taxpayer-owned mortgage company did nothing wrong when one of its arms, as NPR and ProPublica have reported, "placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."

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The Two-Way
4:15 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Iran Defiant Amid Talk Of Israeli Attack On Its Nuclear Sites

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2009.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

"We have our own threats to impose at the right time" and "I have no fear of saying that we will back and help any nation or group that wants to confront and fight against the Zionist regime (Israel)," Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today after reports surfaced that Israel could soon mount air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities.

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Around the Nation
3:47 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Wis. Woman Tried To Profit From Facebook IPO

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. OK, there's the graffiti artist who will make millions because he opted for stock over cash for painting murals at Facebook's offices. Then there's the contractor in Oshkosh who took Facebook stock for work on the home of Marianne Oleson. She claims she'd acquired the stock because her daughter knew Facebook's founder. But the stock is fake. Oleson is accused of fraud, and the contractor, not in for millions, but out thousands. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Latin America
3:14 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Man On Thin Ice For Allegedly Stealing 5 Tons Of Ice

Police have apprehended a man accused of stealing five tons of ice from a glacier in Chile. The Guardian reports police nabbed him with the illicit ice in his refrigerated truck. They believe he planned to sell it as designer ice cubes to the trendy bars of Santiago.

Remembrances
2:31 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Profound Poet Szymborska Carried Her Gravity Lightly

Poet Wislawa Szymborska of Poland died this week at the age of 88. Renee Montagne talks to Lawrence Weschler about her death. He covered Poland in the 1980s and '90s as a staff writer for The New Yorker. And Weschler has written about her in his books including his latest Uncanny Valley.

Author Interviews
2:14 am
Fri February 3, 2012

No Doubt: U.S. Remains 'Tremendously Influential'

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama's recent State of the Union message contained an answer to Republicans who claim he believes American is in decline.

(SOUNDBITE OF STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Anyone who tells you that American is in decline or that our influence has waned doesn't know what they're talking about.

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National Security
1:10 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Justice Department Lawyers Play Role In Guantanamo

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 9:57 am

Anyone watching the recent court proceedings in the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay couldn't have helped but notice that several of the lawyers sitting on the prosecution side of the courtroom were not in uniform. That's because two of the five lawyers prosecuting the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole attack aren't members of the military at all: They are lawyers from the Justice Department.

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