Things will be busy today at the White House, where President Barack Obama meets with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak late this morning, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the early afternoon and former president Bill Clinton in late afternoon. Bill Clinton's trip to North Korea, where he met with leader Kim Jong Il, is sure to be on their agenda.
Also today, at 8:30 a.m. ET, the Commerce Department reports about July home construction.
As for the stories making headlines, two familiar subjects — health care and Afghanistan — lead the way again. And there's word from South Korea that former president Kim Dae-jung, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to bring peace between the North and South, has died. He was 85.
The day's top stories:
— Politico — "Liberals Revolt Over Public Option": "The White House's signal that it's willing to back off support for a public health insurance option has sent congressional liberals into full revolt, bluntly warning the administration that no legislation will pass without a government-run plan."
Related story on Morning Edition — "Even though some Democrats want to hold on to what's known as the public option, the plan is losing appeal. A likely alternative to that plan is a network of nonprofit health co-ops:"
Related story by The New York Times — "Alternate Plan As Health Option Muddies Debate."
— Morning Edition — "Is Britain's Health System Really That Bad?" "The National Health Service in the United Kingdom has become a punching bag for some critics of proposals to remake the U.S. health care system. Britons are offended by how some U.S. media outlets have singled the British system out for what not to do."
Related conversation on Morning Edition — Host Steve Inskeep talks to Lord Ara Darzi, a surgeon and British government advisor, about Britain's National Health Service:
— USA TODAY — "Unemployed Workers Flock To COBRA": "A federal subsidy designed to make health insurance more affordable for laid-off workers has led to a doubling in the number of people who have opted to continue their former employer's coverage. The coverage, known as COBRA, allows people who leave their jobs to continue their former employer's health coverage for up to 18 months."
— The Associated Press — "Bomb Attack Kills At Least 7 Near Kabul": "A suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy Tuesday on the outskirts of Kabul, killing at least seven civilians and wounding 50 people, including several international troops, officials said. A U.N. spokesman said three U.N. staff were also wounded. The attack occurred two days before national elections in which Afghans are to select a new president."
Related story by Reuters — "Suicide Car Bomb, Rockets Strike Kabul Ahead Of Vote."
Related story on Morning Edition — The head of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan says he expects there will be more violence ahead of Thursday's voting:
Related graphic at WashingtonPost.com — How The Afghan Election Will Work. A key point: If no presidential candidate wins more than 50% of the votes, a runoff of the top two will be held, most likely on Oct. 1.
National Hurricane Center; USGS/AP
Locations and projected paths of Ana and Bill.
— The Associated Press — "Hurricane Bill Gathers Strength Out In Atlantic": "The first hurricane of the Atlantic season loomed far out in the ocean Tuesday, gaining power and moving on a track that forecasters said could take it close to Bermuda by the end of the week."
— YnetNews.com — "Israel Agrees To Freeze Settlement Construction As Gesture To U.S.": "In a subtle overture to the U.S., Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Housing Minister Ariel Atias agreed upon a de facto moratorium on new building in the settlements."
— BBC News — "Russia Detains Ship 'Hijackers' ": "Eight people have been arrested for hijacking the cargo ship Arctic Sea, Russia's defense minister says. Anatoly Serdyukov said the group of suspects included Russian, Estonian and Latvian nationals."