National Security
3:28 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

President Obama: All Troops Out of Iraq By Dec. 31

President Barack Obama announced Friday that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of this year, ending nearly nine years of war.

Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

President Obama, a critic of the Iraq war from the very beginning, announced Friday that all U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of December. After nearly nine years, he said, the war will be over.

The president spoke after a video-conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki. The White House says the two men agreed this is the best way forward for both countries.

The president's announcement fulfills a campaign promise he made more than four years ago.

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It's All Politics
3:26 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

New Poll: Cain Leads In Iowa, Romney Second, Rest Of Field Lagging

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigned in Iowa on Thursday. The latest poll numbers might not make him feel so welcome.

Charlie Neibergall AP

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has begun showing more interest on the ground in Iowa.

Rep. Michele Bachmann has staked the future of her campaign on a strong showing in the state's Jan. 3 GOP presidential caucuses.

But it's Herman Cain, the surging former pizza executive, who appears to be capturing the imagination of Hawkeye State Republican voters just 10 weeks out from decision day.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

NATO Mission In Libya To End Oct. 31

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said today that NATO had made a preliminary decision to end its mission in Libya on Oct. 31.

The AP reports:

He said Friday the bloc made a preliminary decision to end air operation on Oct. 31, and will make a formal decision next week.

After Libya's former rebels killed Gadhafi on Thursday, officials said they expected the aerial operation to end very soon.

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It's All Politics
3:06 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Will Cain's New 9-0-9 Tax Plan Really Help The Poor?

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks on Friday while unveiling his "Opportunity Zone" economic plan in front of the Michigan Central Station, an abandoned train depot in Detroit.

Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan has taken a lot of heat recently. One of the biggest criticisms: several independent analysts have found that under the plan, poor and middle class families would pay higher taxes while the richest of the rich would see a substantial tax cut. Today in Detroit, Cain unveiled his response.

"If you're at or below the poverty level, your plan isn't 9-9-9," said Cain with the abandoned Michigan Central Station in the background. "It's 9-0-9."

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It's All Politics
3:04 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

With Revised Tax Plan, Cain Faces Questions About Consistency

On the day he revised his tax plan to 9-0-9, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain signs a supporter's "999" sign after unveiling his "Opportunity Zone" economic plan in front of the Michigan Central Station, an abandoned train depot in Detroit.

Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 3:29 pm

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's much discussed 9-9-9 tax plan just got a major facelift after intensifying criticism that it would shift the tax burden to the least fortunate Americans.

In a Detroit speech Friday, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO created another numbers scheme for those "at or below poverty level."

"Your plan isn't 9-9-9," Cain said, addressing low-income voters. "It is 9-0-9."

"Say amen y'all," said Cain, also a Baptist minister. "9-0-9."

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David Welna is NPR's national security correspondent.

Having previously covered Congress over a 13-year period starting in 2001, Welna reported extensively on matters related to national security. He covered the debates on Capitol Hill over authorizing the use of military force prior to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the expansion of government surveillance practices arising from Congress' approval of the USA Patriot Act. Welna also reported on congressional probes into the use of torture by U.S. officials interrogating terrorism suspects. He also traveled with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Afghanistan on the Pentagon chief's first overseas trip in that post.

The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

For Poor, Cain Says His 9-9-9 Plan Is Now 9-0-9

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain steps out of his campaign bus to at a rally where he unveiled his "Opportunity Zone" economic plan in front of the Michigan Central Station, an abandoned train depot in Detroit.

Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 2:33 pm

This past week, republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has been hit hard over his 9-9-9 tax overhaul plan. During the last Republican debate, Cain's plan was attacked as regressive, meaning that it would hit the middle-class and poor Americans hardest.

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Job 1: Careers That Shaped The GOP Candidates
2:17 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Bachmann Once Prosecuted Tax Evaders For The IRS

Rep. Michele Bachmann, shown speaking at a reception by the anti-tax group Iowans for Tax Relief, was once a prosecutor for the IRS. On the campaign trail, she's made that part of her resume a selling point. "I went to the inside to learn how they work, because I want to defeat them," she said in South Carolina.

Steve Pope Getty Images

Fifth in a series

Perhaps more than any other Republican running for president this year, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has railed against taxes. She says they're too high, and that the current tax code should be repealed.

But Bachmann had a somewhat surprising early career: going after tax evaders as a prosecutor for the Internal Revenue Service.

'Know Your Enemy'?

At times, the congresswoman and former state senator has seemed to deny that for nearly her entire professional life, she's been on the public payroll.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Roig-Franzia Discusses Questions About Rubio's Background

Robert Siegel speaks Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia about Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's background — and why it is being questioned.

World
2:00 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Why Has Gadhafi's Burial Been Delayed?

Libyan leaders debate what to do with the body of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi — amid calls from a U.N. commission for an investigation into the circumstances of his death Thursday. Melissa Block talks to NPR's Grant Clark for more.

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