KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Top Stories

Unfortunately, this news is not a surprise:

"As Syria's civil war has intensified, thousands of children have died in brutal attacks and many more have been injured, traumatized or forced to flee their homes," the international charity Save the Children reports. And it warns that "boys and girls continue to be killed, maimed and tortured. These appalling violations against children must stop and those carrying them out held to account."

"President Barack Obama will warn Iran on Tuesday that the United States will 'do what we must' to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and appeal to world leaders for a united front against further attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Muslim countries," Reuters reports this morning.

Update at 8:30 a.m. ET. According to excerpts released by the White House, the president will say:

Football fans are furious. Bettors are out an estimated $150 million. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin — the Republican who's famous for battling with organized labor — is on the side of the referees union. And the NFL is in something of a "prevent defense," saying that nothing can be done to change the outcome.

The NFL announced fines against Denver Broncos coach John Fox and the team's defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio after they challenged replacement officials in an aggressive manner last Monday.

The new international peace envoy to Syria gave a bleak assessment of the situation in the country and the prospects for peace.

The Los Angeles Times reports that in comments to reporter Lakhdar Brahimi, special envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League, said the situation in Syria was "very, very grim."

The Times added:

Starting today, New York commuters are passing controversial new ads equating radical Muslims with "savages."

New York's Metro Transit Authority posted the ads in 10 subway stations today after a losing a legal battle with the pro-Israel group the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

The Marine Corps said it will court-martial two servicemen for allegedly urinating on the bodies of Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

The incident became public after a video surfaced in January that showed four Marines urinating on three bodies.

The AP reports:

BuzzFeed says an email exchange between a journalist and one of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's top aides grew quite heated and profane on Sunday — marking at least the second time in recent months that a spokesman for a major political figure used an obscenity to get across his point.

This time it was the journalist who fired off the first word we can't repeat. But the Clinton aide deploys more verbal bombs.

2012 SAT Reading Scores Lowest Since 1972

Sep 24, 2012

NPR's Claudio Sanchez brings us this bit of bad academic news: The class of 2012 scored the lowest average SAT reading score since 1972. A bit of good news is that math scores were up.

Claudio filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Writing, too, is down nine points since the SAT introduced a writing section in 2006. The average score in math was 514 out of 800, five points higher than it was 40 years ago.

Ad Age just unveiled its "top 10 female ad icons of all time" list:

-- Morton Salt's 'umbrella girl"

-- Betty Crocker

-- Miss Chiquita

-- Rosie the Riveter

-- Josephine the Plumber (Comet cleanser)

-- Mrs. Olson (for Folgers coffee)

-- Madge the manicurist (Palmolive soap)

-- Rosie the waitress (Bounty paper towels)

Apple sold more than 5 million iPhones this weekend, the company said in a press release. That surpasses the initial sales of the previous version.

As Bloomberg news reports, demand for the new phone quickly exceeded the initial supply, but some analysts expected bigger sales.

They report:

One of the most interesting stories from over the weekend was the move by people in Benghazi, Libya, against the armed extremist groups that had been operating in their city and which have been linked to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate there that left Ambassador Chris Stevens dead.

(Note, if you're easily offended by juvenile humor, this post and video might not be for you.)

The video's been going around since Friday, but it's too funny not to pass along just because it's a few days old. And we bet many folks missed it over the weekend.

The first official presidential debate isn't until Oct. 3 in Denver. But as The New York Times writes, last night on CBS News' 60 Minutes there was something of a "shadow debate that offered a likely preview of the tone and substance" of what will happen on stage next week.

Sunday's sad news about the death of a giant panda cub that was just less than a week old is being followed this morning with reports about how the staff at Washington's National Zoo tried hard to save it and have been hit hard by its death.

Giant Panda Cub Found Dead At National Zoo

Sep 23, 2012

The giant panda cub born to much excitement at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., last weekend was found dead this morning.

The Associated Press reports panda-keepers were alerted by sounds of distress from the cub's mother, Mei Xiang, but it was too late. The cause of death is not yet known, but zoo officials are planning a press conference at 1 p.m. ET.

A little-known, but longtime nuclear standoff ended this week when U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lifted a 26-year-old ban that kept New Zealand naval ships from docking at U.S. bases.

If you had a sudden urge to put a horn on your head, not use your knees and chew on some leaves, you may be catching the spirit of World Rhino Day. It's being celebrated all over the world with art shows, auctions, walk-a-thons and lectures with the theme of "Five Rhino Species Forever."

Residents of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, are engaging in a community-wide flushing of toilets today.

Is it a symbolic washing away of waste? A sign of protest? A commode "flash mob?"

None of the above.

Muslims have been demonstrating from North Africa to Southeast Asia, often violently, over the film that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad. But, in America, Muslims have been virtually silent over the video Innocence Of Muslims.

Why the subdued response in the U.S.?

Even as it has received praise for bringing innovative ideas to life, Kickstarter has been criticized for allowing creators to be a little fuzzy about their plans — and for providing little recourse to investors who become unsatisfied with the project they've supported. The site has now announced changes that it hopes will ease those troubles.

The biggest change is a new section called "Risks and Challenges," which requires potential entrepreneurs to list the obstacles they face, and how they plan to deal with them.

The Space Shuttle Endeavour has landed safely in Los Angeles, after giving admirers around the city a chance to take historic photos of its last flight.

"Amazing, amazing, amazing," Derek Johns, 41, told The Los Angeles Times. Johns took photos from a pier.

"I got chills," El Segundo councilman Dave Atkinson told the paper. "This is America at its finest."

Despite complaints from NFL coaches and players, the league and its locked-out officials are no closer to reaching a deal than they were last week, according to reports. The two sides are separated by "significant and serious economic gaps," an anonymous source tells the AP.

A representative of the NFL Referees Association confirmed that talks had taken place, but he would not go into detail, the AP reports.

Mitt Romney and his wife Ann paid $1,935,708 in federal taxes last year on income of $13,696,951, an effective tax rate for the couple of 14.1 percent, the Republican presidential nominee's campaign just reported.

"Americans' distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly," the pollsters at Gallup report today.

Be honest, now.

Is 1-2-3-4 the password to some of your supposedly secure accounts?

If so, as Nick Berry of the analysis firm Data Genetics told All Things Considered's Robert Siegel, you're definitely not alone. When it comes to bank cards, he says, "the single most common password is 1-2-3-4 and over 10 percent of all cards use that particular number."

After an investigation that lasted two years, the House Ethics Committee has cleared Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of charges that she tried to influence regulators when a bank that her husband owns stock in went looking for a federal bailout in 2008.

Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, acting chairman of the ethics panel, announced the decision this morning.

Drought conditions remain dreadful in much of the country; the Drought Monitor produced by the Drought Mitigation Center says 54.25 percent of the United States is in moderate drought or experiencing something more sinister. This includes "severe, extreme and exceptional", the worst categories in the drought conditions index.

Pages