On the face of it, the teacher's strike in Chicago is about money, job security and how teachers are evaluated. But it's also about the political pressure on teachers' unions to make concessions that not long ago would've been unheard of. Teachers' collective bargaining rights these days have taken a backseat to bare-bones budgets and to claims that unions are an obstacle to efforts aimed at improving the quality of schools. As NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, all these elements have come together in Chicago.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Let's get the latest, now, from North Africa, in the wake of attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in both Libya and Egypt. In Cairo, as we saw yesterday, protesters went over a wall and took down an American flag. The far more serious attack was against a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where we now know four Americans were killed, including the United States ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. President Obama - and many other people, at this point - have joked that he should name former President Bill Clinton secretary of 'splaining stuff. Clinton has embraced that role, delivering a memorable address at the Democratic convention. And now, campaigning for the president in Florida, he will rally the troops in Orlando later today.
Foreign policy has not played much of a role in the presidential campaign, but we have a reminder this morning of how important it is to any president. And today we continue our series on foreign policy and this fall's election. We're going to focus on Russia. As NPR's Corey Flintoff reports, no matter who wins, Russians are worried.
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Here's some troubling news. Ice covering the Arctic Ocean has melted more dramatically this year than ever before. This year's loss of ice has exceeded the previous record by an area the size of Texas. NPR's Richard Harris reports.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
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Mitt Romney used the 9/11 anniversary to praise servicemembers and talk about his own views of national security. Democrats have been attacking the Republican nominee for president on foreign policy issues, so Romney went to the National Guard convention in Reno, Nevada, to defend himself. He flew all the way across the country and back in one day to deliver this speech. And NPR's Ari Shapiro listened in.
After a scandal, somebody finally gets rich for doing the right thing. It's NPR's business news.
A former banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, has just been awarded $104 million by the IRS. That is believed to be the largest amount ever paid to an individual whistle-blower. Birkenfeld told the IRS how a Swiss bank was helping thousands of Americans evade taxes, and was then thrown in jail.