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Around the Nation
3:06 am
Fri September 30, 2011

In Wood Pulp Country, A New Plan For Conservation

Roxanne Quimby, here with Millinocket Lake guide Matt Polstein, wants to donate 70,000 acres of land to the National Park Service along with an endowment to manage what would be a national park in Maine's North Woods.
Susan Sharon for NPR

For more than a decade, there's been talk of creating a new national park in the heart of the Maine woods. Most locals were opposed from the start, but as the economy here changes, opposition is softening.

For generations, Maine's North Woods have provided pulp for the state's paper mills and created plenty of good jobs in an area with little other economic activity. But now the paper industry is struggling and a mill job is no longer a guarantee.

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3:04 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Joy Of Letters

A simple "Wish you were here" can mean so much more than an overwrought email.

Postal workers held rallies around the country this week, trying to save their jobs. The U.S. Postal Service faces a deadline Friday for billions of dollars in debt payments it can't afford. It's considering closing hundreds of branches.

Commentator and former NPR East Africa correspondent Gwen Thompkins says she doesn't plan to cut back on writing letters.

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3:03 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Asteroids Pose Less Risk To Earth Than Thought

This picture of the Eros asteroid is the first of an asteroid taken from an orbiting spacecraft. The crater at the center is about 4 miles across.

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 11:05 am

Our planet's risk of being hit by a dangerous outer space rock may be smaller than scientists previously thought. That's according to a survey of the sky that NASA is calling the most accurate census yet of near-Earth asteroids.

A NASA space telescope called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, recently went searching for asteroids lurking nearby — and found far fewer than astronomers had expected.

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3:02 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Solar Titan Faces Funding Worries After Solyndra

The spectacular failure of the solar company Solyndra has focused attention on the struggle of America's renewable energy industry to compete in a global marketplace.

But there may be a bright spot in Arizona, where manufacturer First Solar makes those iconic solar panels more cheaply than anyone else.

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3:01 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Afghan Factions Vie For Position Amid Civil War Fears

Afghans hold portraits of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, as they shout anti-government slogans during a demonstration in Kabul on Tuesday. Last week's killing of Rabbani, an ethnic Tajik, was the latest targeting his party and it has stoked fears of increased factionalism.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 1:54 pm

Last week's assassination of the former Afghan president, Burhanuddin Rabbani, not only dashed hopes for peace negotiations, it also increased the talk of civil war.

It came at the time that American troops are preparing to begin a gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan, exposing deep anxiety among Afghans about what lies ahead.

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