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Phone-Hacking Scandal Widens; Casey Anthony To Be Sentenced

Good morning.

There's a budget summit of sorts at the White House today, and as we reported earlier there are signs of a deal between Democrats, led by President Obama, and Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

We've also already passed on word about The Washington Post's story that Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb program, says he has documents showing that North Korea bribed Pakistani officials to get access to his know-how.

As for other stories making headlines this morning, they include:

-- "Phone-Hacking Scandal Escalates":"Families of members of the armed forces killed in Afghanistan and Iraq have expressed disgust at the revelation they were targeted by Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator who worked for the News of the World. ... News International, which also publishes the Sunand the Times at the center of a huge political storm following days of shocking revelations about phone hacking, including news that the paper intercepted voicemails left on a phone belonging to the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and targeted the phones of families of the victims of the 7/7 attacks." ( The Guardian)

-- Casey Anthony To Be Sentenced:In Orange County, Fla., "Chief Judge Belvin Perry will decide at a 9 a.m. hearing how much jail time — if any — [Casey] Anthony will serve for her recent conviction of four counts of lying to law-enforcement. Each count carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison. If she is sentenced to time-served for the 997 days she's spent in jail, she could be released from jail today." ( Orlando Sentinel)

Anthony was found not guilty of killing her two-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008. On ABC News' Nightline, juror Jennifer Ford said that among the important questions the prosecution didn't answer was how the little girl died.

-- Minnesota Government Shutdown; Day 7 And "No End In Sight": "Nearly a week into Minnesota's government shutdown, budget talks blew up Wednesday, with [Democratic] Gov. Mark Dayton accusing Republicans of untruths and Republicans visibly upset that Dayton still insists on raising taxes." ( Star Tribune)

As NPR's David Schaper said on Morning Edition, the two sides remain "a billion or $2 billion apart."

-- Court Orders Halt To "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy: "A federal appeals court ordered a halt Wednesday to the armed forces' policy of discharging openly gay service members, citing the impending demise of "don't ask, don't tell" and the Obama administration's escalating criticism of antigay laws. ... The administration could ask the Supreme Court to reinstate the law. Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said the department is reviewing the ruling." ( The San Francisco Chronicle) The policy is due to end later this year, after a Pentagon review of the effects.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.