By Mark Memmott

Good morning.

Now that the Senate Finance Committee has passed its version of legislation to overhaul the nation's health care system, work begins on melding that bill with the version passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Meanwhile, as we reported a few minutes ago, there's going to be renewed attention today for the bonuses paid to executives at bailed-out insurance giant AIG. A House committee will hear testimony on the problem that the Treasury Department had trying to understand AIG's compensation plan.

As for other stories making headlines, they include:

-- CBS News -- "Afghan Corruption Could Derail Troop Surge": "Rampant government corruption might derail the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan even if as many as 80,000 additional U.S. troops are sent to the war, the top military commander there has concluded, according to U.S. officials briefed on his recommendations. The conclusion by Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal is part of a still-secret document that requests more troops even as he warns that they ultimately may not prevent terrorists from turning Afghanistan back into a haven."

-- The Guardian -- "Gordon Brown To Send More British Troops To Afghanistan": British Prime Minister Gordon Brown "will announce in parliament today that he has agreed to send 500 more soldiers to Afghanistan, straight after reading out a grim roll call of the 37 troops who were killed in the conflict while MPs were on their summer recess."

-- Morning Edition -- "U.S. Lawmakers Tout Aid Plan That's Heavily Criticized In Pakistan": NPR's Michele Kelemen reports:

-- The Washington Post -- "Health Insurers Emerge As Obama's Top Foe In Reform Effort": "Attacks on the leading Democratic reform plan this week by the insurance lobby left little doubt that two of the most powerful institutions involved in the debate -- the White House and the nation's insurance companies -- have abandoned any real hope of forging a compromise."

Related report on All Things Considered -- "Insurance Lobby Group Says Plan Would Spike Costs":


-- Los Angeles Times -- Southern California Battered By Storm: About 12,000 people in Los Angeles were without power last night as a storm pummeled Southern California. "The storm, which battered the northern part of the state with heavy rain and wind, was losing power but could still dump up to 4 inches of rain in mountain areas ravaged by recent wildfires, according to the National Weather Service. About half an inch of rain was expected in coastal areas."

Related report from NPR News -- Record Rainfall In Many Areas:

-- The Wall Street Journal -- "Drink's iPhone 'App' Gets Anger Flowing": "Energy drinks are meant to be edgy and cool, and drunk by young men. So PepsiCo Inc. decided to release an Apple iPhone application for its Amp Energy drink to appeal to guys out on the prowl. Now the snack and beverage giant is facing a storm of criticism for 'Amp Up Before You Score.' The app, released last Friday, purports to help men pick up any one of 24 types of women, such as the 'sorority girl,' 'cougar,' 'rebound girl' or 'punk rock girl.' "

Related story on Morning Edition -- "Pepsi Apologizes After iPhone App Spurs Complaints". NPR's Laura Sydell reports:

categories: Accidents and Disasters, Afghanistan, Foreign News, Morning Roundup

7:45 - October 14, 2009