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2:09pm

Wed August 17, 2011
Politics

Pa. Senator On Deficit Panel A Tea Party Favorite

The legislation that finally resolved the debt-ceiling debate earlier this summer also created a panel of 12 lawmakers charged with finding more than $1 trillion in cuts to the federal deficit.

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, dubbed the "supercommittee," has a big job to finish by a Thanksgiving deadline.

Among the six Democrats and six Republicans appointed to the group is Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), a Tea Party favorite who was swept into office with the GOP tide last year.

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2:04pm

Wed August 17, 2011
Middle East

In Syrian Conflict, Tactics Grow Increasingly Brutal

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 7:40 pm

This screen grab, taken from an amateur YouTube video, shows a crowd beating a man in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour. This video cannot be independently verified.
YouTube

Syrian tanks and gunships are attacking neighborhoods in towns and cities around the country that have been hotbeds of anti-government protest, as the government pushes ahead with what's being called a Ramadan offensive.

Activists say the latest, most grisly trend is to detain protesters, torture them to death, then release their bodies for all to see. Activists say of the 70 deaths in detention they've documented so far, nearly 40 have been in the central city of Homs.

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1:45pm

Wed August 17, 2011
It's All Politics

Obama Prepares Ground For Campaign Against 'Do-Nothing Congress'

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 10:39 am

President Obama works rope line in Atkinson, Ill., Aug. 17, 2011.
Carolyn Kaster AP

It's safe to say President Obama probably isn't going to get much of anything that can be seen as an initiative of his administration through Congress in the next 15 months.

Obama and congressional Republicans have two entirely different prescriptions for how to create jobs, for instance. Obama emphasizes investments in infrastructure that would employ construction workers, for instance.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans argue that their agenda of tax cuts and fewer regulations would cure a too-high jobless rate.

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1:18pm

Wed August 17, 2011
Music Reviews

Four Decades Later, Country Artists Return To 'Fox Hollow'

Tom T. Hall (third from left) poses with some of the collaborators who helped remake Songs of Fox Hollow, including co-producers Eric Brace (third from right) and Peter Cooper (second from right).
Courtesy of the artist

While a lot of rock musicians have recorded music for families recently, far fewer country musicians have done so. But a new release pays tribute to a Nashville kids' record that's nearly 40 years old.

In 1974, the children's album Songs of Fox Hollow by Tom T. Hall charted at No. 3 — not on the kids' music charts, but on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Hall drew inspiration from his farm, penning lyrics about baby ducks, one-legged chickens, and root-beer-drinking snakes, with a gentleness that calmed and reassured little kids.

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1:11pm

Wed August 17, 2011
The Two-Way

In India, Thousands Protest In Support Of Anti-Corruption Activist

Tens of thousands of Indians took the streets in a peaceful protest today. The protesters came out in support of Anna Hazare, an anti-corruption crusader, who has captured the imagination of the country and forced the government into a corner.

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