8:35am

Fri July 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Only 18,000 Jobs Added In June, Jobless Rate Edged Up To 9.2 Percent

The nation's unemployment rate ticked up to 9.2 percent in June from 9.1 percent the month before as businesses and government agencies added only 18,000 jobs to their payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

Both figures are well below the already modest pre-report forecasts from economists.

We'll add more details from the report shortly.

President Obama is scheduled to make a statement about the news at 10:35 a.m. ET, the White House says.

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8:21am

Fri July 8, 2011
Space

Bad Weather Hangs Over Kennedy Space Center

The space shuttle Atlantis is fueled and the astronauts are waiting to see if there will be a launch Friday. The weather could delay the final bast off of a shuttle. After 30 years, NASA is ending the program. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce and Wade Goodwyn talk to Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne about the mission.

7:50am

Fri July 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Atlantis Blasts Off On Shuttle Program's Final Mission

Originally published on Fri July 8, 2011 11:23 am

The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
John Raoux AP

Space shuttle Atlantis roared off the launch pad at Florida's Kennedy Space Center this morning, beginning a 12-day mission to the International Space Station that marks the end of NASA's 30-year-old shuttle program.

With hundreds of thousands of people looking on from highways, beaches and balconies along Florida's "Space Coast," and millions more watching on television or the Web, the shuttle and its crew of four lifted off after a morning of uncertainty about whether storms in the area might force a postponement.

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7:47am

Fri July 8, 2011
Around the Nation

Court Rules Against Dillard's In Hot Dog Case

Nolan Koewler was fired from a Dillard's department store in Evansville, Ind., after July 4, 2010. He'd taken two leftover hot dogs after a company picnic. After losing his job, Koewler sued. He said he didn't hear his boss's instructions to save them. Indiana's Court of Appeals has ordered the store to pay him unemployment benefits.

7:41am

Fri July 8, 2011
Strange News

Fried Fish Boycott 'News Of The World'

Just before word came that the scandal-ridden News of the World would fold, one final insult: a boycott. Fish and chips are traditionally wrapped in newspapers. And according to a satirical website, fish were refusing to be wrapped in the British tabloid.

7:28am

Fri July 8, 2011
Opinion

Foreign Policy: Drunk With Power In North Korea

In this undated photo released by Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service in Tokyo December 2009, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, left, looks at a bottle containing an alcoholic beverage as he visits a factory of the Rason Taehung Trading Company in North Hamgyong Province, North Korea.
Korea Central News Agency AP

Simon Henderson is the Baker fellow and director of the Gulf and Energy Policy program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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7:22am

Fri July 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Day's Other Major Story: June Jobs Report

Good morning.

As we wait to hear whether Atlantis is still on schedule to launch today on the last mission into space for the space shuttle program, here's a quick look at other stories making headlines.

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7:10am

Fri July 8, 2011
Space

'Space Junkie' Expects To Cry At Last Launch

Self-described "Space Junkie" Lloyd Behrendt was only 18 months old when his Dad took him to see the first rocket launch from Cape Canaveral in 1950. He's been to hundreds of launches since. Behrendt will be at the Kennedy Space Center for the final shuttle launch.

7:05am

Fri July 8, 2011
Afghanistan

Ambassador Eikenberry To Leave Afghanistan

The top American diplomat in Afghanistan steps down this month. Renee Montagne speaks with the outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, who has worked there over the last decade — first as an Army general and currently as ambassador.

7:01am

Fri July 8, 2011
Around the Nation

Royal Couple To Visit Southern California

Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visit Southern California this weekend. They'll hobnob with celebrities, meet veterans, inner-city children and attend a polo match.

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