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Poverty in America increased last year to 44 million people. One longtime advocate calls it a "national emergency." Will Washington treat it that way? How many poor people vote? Also, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's in New York for the opening of the UN, and a massive oil-company drill may be able to help rescue Chilean miners trapped 2000 feet underground for the past six weeks.  

Banner image: Norma Lopez pushes a cart full of groceries out the World Harvest food bank on September 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. For a nominal donation or an exchange of a few hours of work people can receive a cart full of groceries. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Making News Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York 7 MIN, 32 SEC

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in New York for the opening of the UN General Assembly, saying this weekend's release of Sarah Shourd should be met by what he called a comparable "humanitarian gesture" by the US.  Shourd is one of three Americans arrested last year and charged with spying near the Iraq-Iran border.  The US is holding several Iranians on various charges. Reza Aslan is a columnist for the Daily Beast and author of No god But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam.     

Reza Aslan, University of California, Riverside (@rezaaslan‎)

No god but God

Reza Aslan

Main Topic Census Bureau Says One in Seven Americans Lives in Poverty 36 MIN

The National Bureau of Economic Research said today the Great Recession that started in December 2007 officially ended in June of last year.  But don't tell that to the 43.6 million people who are trying to live below the poverty line.  That's 14.3% overall, or one in seven Americans and includes 20% of all children, 25% of blacks and Hispanics.  It's the highest poverty rate since 1994, and the Census Bureau says it would have been worse except for government safety nets. Food banks, shelters and job-opportunity centers around the country tell us they're serving a new and different class of people, the recently unemployed. What's the reaction in Washington, six weeks before the November election? Will the private sector start hiring or should government create new jobs?

Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs
Jason Perkins-Cohen, Executive Director, Job Opportunities Task Force
Frank Spencer, Executive Director, Stewpot Community Services
Beverly Damore, Chief Communications Officer, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
Stephen Moore, Heritage Foundation (@StephenMoore)
Heidi Shierholz, Economist, Economic Policy Institute (@EconomicPolicy)

Reporter's Notebook The Plight of the Chilean Miners 7 MIN, 6 SEC

Yesterday Chilean President Sebastián Piñera made his fifth visit to the copper and gold mine where 33 miners have been trapped underground for more than six weeks. Novelist Isabel Allende visited, too. Two tunnels have already been drilled, but are too small for the men to be pulled some 2000 feet to the surface. Today, the men got some good news.  A massive oil-company drill has reached the scene and may be able to reach them sooner than had been expected, as Gideon Long reports for the BBC.

Gideon Long, Chile Correspondent, BBC

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