Current Events Sept 20-Sept 26

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Sentencing Shift Gives New Leverage to Prosecutors

Empowered by years of tough sentencing-law changes in state legislatures and Congress, prosecutors have more muscle to extract guilty pleas from defendants and avoid trial.

Saudi Monarch Grants Women Right to Vote

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Sunday granted women the right to vote and run for elected office, the biggest change in a decade for women in the puritanical kingdom.

Flood Victims Getting Fed Up With Congress

Flood victims in northeastern Pennsylvania, already traumatized by the loss of their homes, were further disheartened by word that the federal disaster relief fund was running short of money.

Europe Stews on Greece, and Markets Sweat Out the Wait

Once an aid plan for Greece is wrapped up, it will likely be weeks or even months before any action on a broader rescue for Europe comes to pass.

In a Bronx Complex, Doing Good Mixes With Looking Good

Via Verde, a subsidized housing development in the South Bronx, rewrites rules and assumptions behind low- and middle-income housing.

A Campaign Finance Ruling Turned to Labor's Advantage

Unions are seizing on last year's Supreme Court campaign finance ruling to change how they engage in politics and counter corporate money flowing into conservative groups.

Putin Once More Moves to Assume Top Job in Russia

The current president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, will take Vladimir V. Putin's place as prime minister after presidential elections in March, which Mr. Putin is assured of winning.

Small Donors Are Slow to Return to the Obama Fold

The frustration and disillusionment that have dragged down Mr. Obama's approval ratings have crept into the ranks of his vaunted small-donor army.

A Brutal Afghan Clan Bedevils the U.S.

The members of the Haqqani network are the Sopranos of the Afghanistan war, and officials are losing faith that anything can be done to stop them.

Europe Seeks to Ratchet Up Effort on Debt

Under global pressure, European leaders are working to intensify their response to the Continent's debt problems.

Stalking the Biggest Star in Hollywood: Its Sign

More are finding their way to the Hollywood landmark. Annoyed residents respond: We want to be alone.

Worried Greeks Fear Collapse of Middle Class Welfare State

While European leaders hold abstract talks about a potential Greek default, the country's middle class is contending with raised taxes and cuts to salaries and pensions.

Palestinians Request U.N. Status; Powers Press for Talks

After the Palestinian Authority asked for full membership, international powers reached a timetable they hoped would restart Israeli-Palestinian talks.

U.S. Pushes Europe to Act With Force on Debt Crisis

President Obama is lobbying Germany and France to take coordinated measures to prevent Greece's woes from engulfing its neighbors.

Obama Turns Some Powers of Education Back to States

With his declaration that he would waive the most contentious provisions of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, President Obama rerouted a decade of federal influence.

After Four Months, Saleh Is Back in Yemen

Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's president, left for medical treatment in early June, after an attack on his palace.

In Time of Scrimping, Fun Stuff Is Still Selling

Consumers have been splurging on indulgences while paring many humdrum household expenses, according to industry data for the last year.

A 'God' With Baton vs. the Met's Mortal Needs

Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, is in a sticky situation when it comes to the ailing James Levine, the ensemble's music director.

Pakistan's Spy Agency Is Tied to Attack on U.S. Embassy

Pakistan's intelligence agency aided insurgents who attacked the embassy in Kabul last week, said Adm. Mike Mullen, the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In Rush to Assist Solyndra, U.S. Missed Warning Signs

Industry analysts and government auditors say the administration failed to take note of trouble already evident in the solar energy marketplace.

Old Saturn Plant Could Get a Second Chance

General Motors and the United Automobile Workers union agreed to bring jobs back to a plant in Tennessee.

Stocks Decline a Day After Fed Sets Latest Stimulus Measure

Investor pessimism about the outlook for the United States and European economies was deepened by weak data for the euro zone and a grim assessment from the Federal Reserve.

From Cruise Control, a Shift to Panic Mode in Boston and Atlanta

If the Red Sox and the Braves continue their late-season descents, this September could produce two historic collapses.

Ticket-Fixing Inquiry Grows Into Scandal on Police Leaks

Investigators in New York worry that officers were tipped off about moves by the Internal Affairs Bureau.

Fed Will Shift Debt Holdings to Lift Growth

The Federal Reserve is shifting $400 billion from short- to long-term Treasury securities to push interest rates down and encourage companies to borrow and spend.

Obama Rebuffed as Palestinians Pursue U.N. Seat

An extraordinary tableau at the United Nations underscored that the United States may have to share, or even cede, its decades-long role as the architect of Middle East peacemaking.

Taking a Stand, and Shedding Arafat's Shadow

Will this moment of unparalleled prestige for President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, produce concrete results or a new and more dangerous set of risks?

House Rebukes G.O.P. Leaders Over Spending

House Republicans suffered a surprising setback when the House rejected their version of a stopgap spending bill, leaving unclear how Congress will keep the government open and aid natural disaster victims.

Davis Is Executed in Georgia

The execution of Troy Davis, 42, occurred at 11:08 p.m., when the United States Supreme Court refused to grant a stay after four hours of deliberation.

Young Adults Make Gains in Health Insurance Coverage

Young adults, long the group most likely to be uninsured, are gaining health coverage faster than expected since the 2010 health law began allowing parents to cover them as dependents on family policies.

Assassination Deals Blow to Peace Process in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber's attack on Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former president and the leader of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, may prove devastating to talks with the Taliban.

House Republicans Discover a Growing Bond With Netanyahu

The relationship between Israel and the Republican Party has complicated President Obama's efforts to avert a confrontation over the Palestinian bid for membership at the United Nations.

Marines Hit the Ground Running in Seeking Recruits at Gay Center

With "don't ask, don't tell" over, a gay community center in Tulsa, Okla., asked the military to send recruiters, and the Marines agreed to do so.

Father's Role in Bank Venture Poses Test for Cuomo

Former Gov. Mario M. Cuomo is a lead investor in a group aiming to acquire a small Long Island bank with a line of lending aimed at municipal governments in the state.

Political Shift in California Trips Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown said he found dealing with Republicans in Sacramento far harder than it had been in his previous term.

Poker Web Site Cheated Users, U.S. Suit Says

Federal prosecutors who blocked three poker sites in April said Full Tilt Poker had been improperly paying out money from customer accounts to the company's owners.

Amorous Squid Seeks Partner: Any Sex Will Do

A squid that lives a solitary life in the dark waters of the Pacific Ocean is the latest addition to the hundreds of species that are known to engage in same-sex sex.

S.E.C. Hid Its Lawyer's Madoff Ties

A conflict-of-interest case involving David M. Becker, the former general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is being referred to the Department of Justice for a possible criminal investigation.

Obama Draws New Hard Line on Long-Term Debt Reduction

President Obama insisted that any long-term debt-reduction plan must not shave future Medicare benefits without also raising taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers and corporations.

Greece Nears the Precipice, Raising Fear

Economists are beginning to wonder whether a default or a more radical debt restructuring might be no worse for Greece than the miserable path it is currently on.

New Fields May Propel Americas to Top of Oil Companies' Lists

New fields in the Americas are an emerging prize in the global energy market, with Western oil companies looking to exploit untapped reserves in a part of the world with greater political stability.

In Small Towns, Gossip Moves to the Web, and Turns Vicious

As more people share gossip over the Internet rather than over coffee and eggs, anonymous, and startlingly negative, posts have provoked fights, divorce and worse.

Colleges Run to (Pay)daylight

Realignment could result in four 16-team conferences made up of the most prominent and marketable football programs. The cost of being on the outside of the new deals could be millions of dollars.

A Glimpse of a Mayor's Baronial Side, at Home

Michael R. Bloomberg is protective of his privacy, but on an interior decorator's Web site there are glimpses of his living quarters — old master paintings, Egyptian marble and five-figure sconces.

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