NPR logo Ted Kennedy Mourned; August Ties U.S.' Deadliest Month In Afghanistan Etc

Ted Kennedy Mourned; August Ties U.S.' Deadliest Month In Afghanistan Etc

Good morning from The Two-Way blog at NPR. Here are some of the most important or interesting headlines for Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009.

As mourners prepared to pay their respects to Sen. Edward Kennedy whose body was begin lying in repose at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, the list of his would-be successors was long due to pent-up demand; it was the first open Senate seat in Massachusetts for 25 years, as NPR correspondent Tovia Smith reported on Morning Edition. Still, potential contenders were discrete out of respect for Kennedy though they also ran the risk of waiting too long to make their intentions known.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts Democrats sought to once again give the power to fill the seat to the Democratic governor as Kennedy requested just before his death which would return the law to where it was five years ago when Democrats changed it out of fear a possible vacancy might be filled by the then-Republican governor.

Sen. Kennedy was recalled as a civil-rights champion who made the cause of equality one of his signature issues from almost the start of his legislative career. As NPR's Nina Totenberg reports on Morning Edition, perhaps it was his family's Irish Catholic heritage with its history of anti-immigrant prejudice. There was also the sense of his picking up the mantle from his fallen brothers.

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Sen. Kennedy was determined to have a "good ending" to his life after he was diagnosed with brain cancer 15 months ago and it appeared that he did into his final days, spending time with his family, sailing, sitting on his porch drinking coffee, reading the newspapers, writing his memoir and enjoying his two Portuguese Water Dogs, even as it became clear that his cancer was growing out of control.

The economic recovery which appears to be gaining momentum could be threatened by the existence of millions of payment-option adjustable rate mortgage loans which are due to reset, forcing payments higher by hundreds of dollars and likely adding to the nation's foreclosure problems.

As U.S. law enforcement officials assist the Mexican government in battling the Mexican drug cartels, American officials are resettling drug informants in the U.S. which is increasingly leading to violence crossing the border northward as drug gangs attempt to take revenge.

After the death of a U.S. service member from a roadside bomb on Wednesday, August tied with July for the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Afghanistan in the eight-year war.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. lightened the rules under which private investors can buy troubled banks against a backdrop of 81 bank failures this year, the most since the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. It's also a response to the FDIC's depleted insurance fund.

Because of low inflation, the Internal Revenue Service may limit 2010 contributions to 401(k) retirement accounts to $16,000, $500 less than the current limit for workers under 50.

The Los Angeles crypt above Marilyn Monroe's was recently put on sale by the owner on eBay, drawing what was thought to be a winning bid of $4.6 million. But as NPR's Ina Jaffe reports on Morning Edition, the bid has fallen through.