Howard Berkes is a correspondent for the NPR Investigations Unit.

The Two-Way
9:38 am
Tue October 25, 2011

Consumer Confidence Back Down To Recession Level

A sharp drop in a widely watched gauge of consumer confidence has brought that key economic barometer to a low "last seen during the 2008-2009 recession," Conference Board director of consumer research Lynn Franco says in a report released by the private research group this morning.

The board says its consumer confidence index fell this month to 39.8, from 46.4 in September. Other measures of consumer sentiment, about current conditions and expectations, also declined.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Tue October 25, 2011

Union: W. Va. Mine Disaster Was 'Industrial Homicide'

The United Mine Workers report.

NPR

The United Mine Workers union (UMWA) is out with its own report this morning about last year's Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster in West Virginia in which 29 workers died.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Tue October 25, 2011

All The Poop About The #no2trial Is Being Tweeted

If you need a break from the "real news:"

The Washington Post's Justin Jouvenal is "live-tweeting" from the so-called #no2trial today in Fairfax, Va.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:55 am
Tue October 25, 2011

High-Deductible Health Plans More Common On Employers' Menus

iStockphoto.com

Health plan deductibles keep inching up.

When employees sign up for coverage this fall during their company's annual enrollment period, nearly a quarter will face annual deductibles of at least $1,000, according to a recent employer survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KHN is an editorially-independent program of the foundation.)

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Tue October 25, 2011

What A Show! Northern Lights Seen Across Much Of Nation

The Northern Lights over Marquette, Mich., last night.

Courtesy of Shawn Malone/LakeSuperiorPhoto.com

From Alabama and Georgia north to the border with Canada, there are reports from all over the continental U.S. today about a fantastic show last night:

An intense geomagnetic storm that produced some of the best "Northern Lights" in recent memory, reports SpaceWeather.com.

Many folks are posting photos and videos. Here's one that the poster says was taken in Michigan.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Tue October 25, 2011

VIDEO: 2-Week Old Girl Rescued From Rubble In Turkey

Though the death toll (more than 360) continues to climb and the chances of finding more survivors are dimming, there is this bit of good news about what's happening in eastern Turkey, where a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck on Sunday:

A 2-week-old baby girl, Azra Karaduman, was rescued today from the rubble of an apartment building.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Tue October 25, 2011

Mundane Mixup Helps Rangers Take 3-2 Lead In World Series

A little too late: Pitcher Marc Rzepczynski of the St. Louis Cardinals is removed by manager Tony La Russa in the eighth inning during Game Five of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers. Earlier in the inning, Rzepczynski was mistakenly left in the game because of a miscommunication between LaRussa and his bullpen. And the pitcher gave up the game-winning hit.

Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 5:01 pm

If anyone asks you why the Texas Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 last night to take a 3-2 lead in the World Series, tell them it was a missed call.

But it wasn't, as NPR's Mike Pesca said on Morning Edition, a mistake made by an umpire.

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Opinion
6:18 am
Tue October 25, 2011

Occupy Wall Street's Most Unlikely Ally: The Pope

Pope Benedict XVI rides in his popemobile through Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, last month. The Vatican has released a document on world economics, condemning "idolatry of the market."

Thomas Niedermueller Getty Images

Thomas J. Reese is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, and a former editor of America, the national Catholic weekly magazine.

The Vatican released a document on the world economy on Monday that will cause heartburn in the Tea Party, but will be cheered by the folks occupying Wall Street.

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