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3:41am

Thu October 27, 2011
Middle East

Iran's Largest Banks Swindled Out Of $2.6 Billion

The banking scandal has political implications in Iran, and the president's top adviser, Rahim Mashaei, has come under criticism. He's shown here in a 2007 photo.

Paul White AP

A bank fraud scandal of unprecedented proportions is shaking domestic politics in Iran.

Several of Iran's largest banks have been swindled out of an estimated $2.6 billion. The scandal has sparked a widening investigation with more than 30 arrests so far. It has also led to charges that some of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's closest advisers were involved.

On its face, it appears it was easy for some of Iran's most important bankers to steal so much money.

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3:40am

Thu October 27, 2011
Politics

Protests Pick Up Steam; Will Obama Get Burned?

It's not clear yet whether the Occupy Wall Street protests will be a good thing or a bad thing for Democrats. That's why President Obama always treads carefully when asked about them.

"People are frustrated, and that frustration has expressed itself in a lot of different ways," he said Tuesday on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. "It expressed itself in the Tea Party. It's expressing itself in Occupy Wall Street."

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3:40am

Thu October 27, 2011
Law

In Boston Terrorism Trial, A Free Speech Defense

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 6:25 am

Opening statements are expected to begin Thursday in an unusual terrorism trial, involving a young Massachusetts man named Tarek Mehanna. What makes this case unusual isn't the alleged terrorist's plot. It's his defense: the First Amendment.

Mehanna's lawyers asked the judge Wednesday to instruct the jury about free-speech rights under the U.S. Constitution. Prosecutors say 29-year-old Mehanna tried to help al-Qaida by promoting its cause in an online blog. Mehanna's attorneys say he was just exercising his right to free speech — and isn't a terrorist at all.

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3:38am

Thu October 27, 2011
Economy

Back From China: Furniture Maker Returns To N.C.

After working as a consultant for several years in China, Bruce Cochrane (above) has returned to his native Lincolnton, N.C., to open a new furniture plant (below).

Greg Collard WFAE

The self-proclaimed "world's largest furniture market" in High Point, N.C., is the industry's showpiece event, where manufacturers hawk their products to retailers. And this week, the market also has an old-school component: a large pavilion dedicated to furniture that's made in America.

In fact, there are signs that market conditions stemming from China's fast growth could spur a comeback for furniture makers in the United States.

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3:00am

Thu October 27, 2011
NPR News Investigations

Native Survivors Of Foster Care Return Home

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 4:02 pm

When Dwayne Stenstrom was 8 years old a state worker told him that he and his brother were going to a special camp for the summer. Instead, he spent 12 years in foster care.

John Poole NPR

Part 3 of a three-part investigation

Dwayne Stenstrom is a professor of American history. His office is lined with towers of obscure books and poetry on the walls. There's even a copy of the Declaration of Independence in a binder.

He teaches this document like many other professors, beginning with, "We hold these truths to be self evident." But he stops on another phrase — "the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages."

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