14 Nations Put On 'Enhanced Screening' List; 'Avatar' Hits $1 Billion

Good morning.

On this first Monday on 2010, here are some of the stories making headlines. National security is again topic No. 1:

— The Associated Press — "U.S. Bound Passengers Face More Screening": The Transportation Security Administration says that staring today, "passengers flying into the United States from certain countries will be subject to enhanced screening techniques, such as body scans and pat-downs." And also starting today, "all passengers on U.S.-bound international flights will be subject to random screening."

Related story by The New York Times — Travelers From 14 Nations Will Face Enhanced Screening. Those nations are: The countries where passengers will face enhanced screening are Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Related story by The Associated Press — Flights Resume In Newark After Search For Man: "A man walked through a screening checkpoint exit into the secure side of a terminal at one of the nation's busiest airports on Sunday night, and flights were grounded for hours and passengers had to be re-screened while air safety officials searched for him. Airline passengers were allowed to begin boarding their planes at Newark Liberty International Airport about six hours after the man was seen bypassing security. ... The man wasn't found."

The Washington Post — Obama Aide Defends Trial For Suspect In Christmas Day Attempt To Bomb Plane": "President Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser on Sunday defended the administration's decision to try in federal court the man charged with attempting to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day and indicated that he would be offered a plea agreement to persuade him to reveal what he knows about al-Qaida operations in Yemen."

Related story on Morning Edition — Obama Returns To Work With Security Atop His Agenda. NPR's Don Gonyea talks with guest host Madeleine Brand:

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The Wall Street Journal — Yemen Turns Up Heat On Al-Qaida: "The Yemeni government ordered an 'unprecedented' number of troops into a region controlled by a branch of al-Qaida, as the U.S. and Britain, concerned about the threat of terrorism, both closed their embassies in the capital of Sana."

— Bloomberg News — "U.S., U.K. Close Yemen Embassies For Second Day": " The U.S. and U.K. shut their embassies in Yemen for a second day, citing security threats, and Yemeni security forces killed two suspected al-Qaida militants near the capital."

Update at 8:20 a.m. ET: France has now closed its embassy in Yemen as well, the BBC reports.

Morning Edition — Health Care Tops List Of Where Jobs Will Be: NPR's John Ydstie takes a look at where the growth in jobs will likely occur in the next few years. Health care remains the field with the greatest potential:

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From a related column by Nobel economist Paul Krugman in today's New York Times — "That 1937 Feeling": "Will the Fed realize, before it's too late, that the job of fighting the slump isn't finished? Will Congress do the same? If they don't, 2010 will be a year that began in false economic hope and ended in grief."

— USA TODAY — "Will Stocks' 'Lost Decade' Usher In Another Bull Market?" "History is on Wall Street's side, says Michael Farr, manager of the Touchstone Capital Appreciation fund: 'While nobody can say with any certainty what stocks will do going forward, returns following these rare periods of underperformance have been excellent. It is not unreasonable to expect long-term stock returns of 7% to 8%.' "

The Los Angeles Times — "Avatar Soars Into $1 Billion Territory:" " Director James Cameron's science-fiction epic on Sunday became only the fifth movie in history to gross more than $1 billion worldwide and, by far, was the fastest to do so."

— WRC-TV — Redskins Fire Coach Jim Zorn: The National Football League's Washington Redskins, as expected after a dismal 4-12 season, have fired Coach Jim Zorn, a team source told News4's Lindsay Czarniak. The team will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. Monday to provide an update."

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