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Obama Stresses 'Unbreakable Alliance' On Visit To Israel

President Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday. He is there to visit Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discuss some of the major challenges facing the region, including Iran's suspect nuclear program, the conflict in Israel's neighbor Syria and the moribund Middle East peace process. Scott Horsley talks to Melissa Block.
NPR

Senate Approves Plan To Keep Government Funded Through September

With a potential government shutdown a week away, the Senate has been slogging through a spending bill that will pay for federal operations through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Tamara Keith talks to Robert Siegel.
NPR

Assault Weapons Ban Not Expected To Make It Out Of Congress

Just three months after 20 children and six adults were gunned down in a Connecticut elementary school, an attempt to ban assault rifles like the one used that morning appear dead on Capitol Hill. The Democratically-controlled Senate will bring a gun bill to the floor, but it does not include a ban on assault weapons or high-capacity ammunition magazines.
NPR

NYC Mayor's Campaign Against Teen Pregnancy Widely Criticized

New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg is mired in another health controversy; this time it's a campaign against teen pregnancy. It has provoked negative reactions from every quarter — the right, the left, mayoral candidates and even health advocates.
NPR

Federal Reserve To Hold Interest Rates Low Until Unemployment Improves

The Federal Reserve will maintain its hold on record low borrowing costs to stimulate the economy. Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday that while the U.S. economy has improved, it still needs support from the Fed to help lower unemployment. Bernanke says that short-term interest rates will stay near zero until unemployment falls to 6.5 percent. Forecasters expect that won't happen sooner than 2015.
NPR

Calls To Free Spy Jonathan Pollard Grow Louder

Activists in Israel and the U.S. are pushing President Obama to give clemency to Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. Pollard betrayed the U.S. in the 1980s, selling intelligence secrets to Israel, and he was sentenced to life in prison. Robert Siegel talks to R. James Woolsey, head of the CIA during the Clinton Administration, about why used to oppose releasing Pollard, and why he supports clemency now.

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