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3:40pm

Wed July 20, 2011
Around the Nation

Hot, Hotter, Hottest: Nation Sweats It Out

Eric Rebolledo, a repairman for AllTemp heating and air conditioning in Chicago, works on an air-conditioning unit on the roof of an apartment building. "I don't remember it being this hot for at least 10 years that I can recall," he says. "This is unusual, man, so it's gonna create some havoc with the air-conditioning systems."
David Schaper /NPR

The heat wave that's covering the Midwest is slowly moving eastward, but it will be a few days before people in the central part of the country begin to feel any relief.

A combination of stagnant heat and humidity has lead to some type of heat advisory in more than 30 states. In many cases, temperatures are reaching well into the 90s or even topping 100 degrees, with heat index values well into the triple digits.

Melissa Eland was carrying three water bottles, trying to stay cool, as she walked to class at Indiana University.

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3:40pm

Wed July 20, 2011
Crisis In The Housing Market

Debt Drama Could Be Another Blow To Housing

Patrick Fortin, owner of Century 21 Commonwealth, which has 500 real estate agents in the Boston area, says the uncertainty over the debt ceiling is hurting the housing market since it's making people nervous about the economy.
Chris Arnold NPR

Members of Congress appear closer to reaching a deal in the ongoing drama over raising the nation's debt ceiling. The economic stakes are high, and top investors and executives at major companies have been putting increasing pressure on lawmakers to strike a deal.

Take the housing market for example: Industry insiders there worry that if the political theatrics continue much longer, that could spook investors, drive up interest rates, push down home prices and hurt the economy.

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2:45pm

Wed July 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Court: Man's Web Postings About Obama Assassination Are Free Speech

Two weeks before Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, a California man posted racial epithets on a Yahoo! message board and comments that Obama would find himself with a "50 cal in the head soon."

Walter Bagdasarian actually had a .50 caliber weapon in his house and after waiving his right to a trial by jury, and he was found guilty by a federal judge of threatening to kill or do bodily harm to a major presidential candidate.

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2:32pm

Wed July 20, 2011
It's All Politics

Obama Could Agree To Brief Debt-Ceiling Extension With Conditions

In recent weeks, White House aides have left the very strong impression that President Obama wouldn't approve any short-term extension of the debt ceiling just for the sake of avoiding default on Aug 2 or shortly thereafter.

The aim of that warning seemed to be the president's intention to avoid prolonging the debt-ceiling debate any longer than needed. The risks created for the U.S. and global economies by a continuing threat of a U.S. default are just too great.

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2:04pm

Wed July 20, 2011
Politics

How Rick Perry Could Shake Up The GOP Race

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference on June 18, 2011 in New Orleans.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the latest Republican to tantalize the restive party base with the prospect of a 2012 presidential run.

The three-term governor, a favorite of evangelicals and the Tea Party faithful, has been meeting with potential donors and ramping up his public profile. He has also scheduled an attention-getting prayer event at a Houston stadium in August.

Earlier this month, Perry told the Des Moines Register that he's getting "more comfortable every day that this is what I've been called to do."

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