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WASHINGTON (AP) A key adviser to President Barack Obama defends the White House's refusal to allow its social secretary to testify to a House panel investigating the breach in security at a state dinner. Valerie Jarrett says social secretary Desiree Rogers did not need to appear before the House Homeland Security Committee today because "we think we've really answered the questions fully."

WASHINGTON (AP) Independent safety monitors with the Tri-State Oversight Committee have inspected live Metro tracks after a monthslong dispute over access to the tracks. Three crews walked tracks yesterday where maintenance work was being performed.

WASHINGTON (AP) Oliver Stone is taking on Wall Street, again. The 63-year-old Hollywood filmmaker just wrapped up "Wall Street 2," the sequel to 1987's "Wall Street." He talked about the film last night to a class at American University in Washington that focuses on his work.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Awarded MacArthur Fellowship

She is one of the first cartoonists to be recognized. Besides her graphic novels and memoirs, Bechdel developed a simple three-question test for how women are represented in films.

Sweet: Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme Pump Up Pledge On Palm Oil

Two major doughnut chains have bowed to consumer pressure to better police their palm oil purchases. Environmentalists say it's a win for consumers, trees and animals.

Congress Quietly Extends The Budget — Past Election Day, Anyway

Since the GOP retook the House, the chamber once brought the country to the brink of a debt default and once shut down the government. But in election years, including this one, there's no such drama.

Look, Mom, I Finally Made It To Broadway!

NPR's Michel Martin will sit down with a panel of award-winning playwrights to ask about diversity in theater. Follow here or join us on Twitter on Friday at 7 p.m. ET, using #NPRMichel.

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