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12:14pm

Wed September 14, 2011
Europe

For U.S. And Russia, Distrust Still Runs High

President Obama meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Deauville, France, on May 26. Obama's "reset" policy with Russia led to improved relations, but the countries are now facing some difficult issues.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

President Obama's policy of engagement with Russia has paid off in several concrete achievements, including a nuclear arms control agreement and greater cooperation on Iran and Afghanistan.

But both supporters and critics of the so-called reset policy worry that further victories will be harder to win.

Both nations are distracted by presidential politics, preventing policymakers from talking seriously about matters such as missile defense.

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12:07pm

Wed September 14, 2011
Asia

Mentally Ill In Indonesia Still Live In Chains

Originally published on Wed September 14, 2011 12:36 pm

Nengah, 35, suffers from schizophrenia. Until recently, her family on Bali in Indonesia kept her chained to a concrete pit for nearly a decade.
Cokorda Bagus Jaya Lesmana Courtesy of GlobalPost

The harsh, tropical sunlight that dapples Bali's tourist-thronged beaches streams through the fingers of a palm leaf and lands on the shoulders of Nengah, who slumps like a rag doll amid a pile of tattered pillows in the island's far eastern reaches.

The poor village of Abang is remote, and Nengah spends her days in a heap, staring at hands that lie in her lap like dry leaves.

Today, Nengah is not alone. Neighbors have gathered in the mid-July heat to watch as her brother uses a stone to break a chain that has bound her to a concrete pit — her home — for nearly a decade.

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12:02pm

Wed September 14, 2011
The Two-Way

NASA Unveils Next Generation 'Monster' Space Rocket

Artist concept of SLS launching.
NASA

If things go without a hitch NASA announced that its new Space Launch System could take its first manned test flight in 2017.

The new design looks a lot like the Apollo era rockets that took American astronauts to the moon, but NASA said the new spacecraft is much more powerful than any other rocket they've made before and could set up astronauts for deep space exploration. The SLS will be NASA's first exploration-calss vehicle since the Saturn V took astronauts to the moon.

At the unveiling of the plans Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) called it a "monster rocket."

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11:32am

Wed September 14, 2011
Afghanistan

As Wars Drag On, U.S. Interest Wanes

Darryl St. George, a Navy corpsman, walks along a mud compound wall in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. Next month will mark 10 years for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
David Gilkey NPR

When U.S. forces launched the war in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, they were riding a wave of anger and a call for justice by a broad swath of the American public.

Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, says the initial support for the Afghan invasion was around 90 percent, and the war was closely followed by a large number of people. But since then, the public has been slowly disengaging, he says.

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11:23am

Wed September 14, 2011
It's All Politics

White House's Haste On Solar Firm Loan Creates Political Headaches

While there are still many open questions, some things are more certain in the sorry tale of Solyndra, the now bankrupt solar-cell manufacturer President Obama once praised as a model for the nation's renewable energy future.

One, U.S. taxpayers will take a loss on their $535 million federal loan guarantee that was part of the stimulus program.

Two, 1,100 workers have been laid off.

Three, the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week raided Solyndra's offices.

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