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Garage rock has undergone a serious rejuvenation in recent memory. Over the last few years, bands like The Black Keys and Best Coast have surfaced in the mainstream, and as a result, garage-rock artists that might have gone unnoticed less than a decade ago are now landing major attention (see: Thee Oh Sees and Black Lips).

One of the major sticking points between the House and the Senate as they face off over end-of-year legislation is the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The bill the House passed Tuesday contains a provision forcing President Obama to decide on the pipeline within 60 days.

Republicans say this project should move ahead quickly because it will create thousands of jobs. But just how many jobs would be created is a matter of contention.

Part 2 of a four-part series, Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities

Karen Howe couldn't believe her luck. As a single mom working a minimum-wage job and living with two kids in a crowded one-bedroom apartment in Ponca City, Okla., she was desperate for a three-bedroom house and a lawn.

Howe, a member of the Ponca tribe, was offered tribal housing in a small, tree-lined subdivision of 11 homes on the southern, rural edge of the city.

From Los Angeles to New York City and Miami to Dallas, professional basketball fans face November without the NBA. The league keeps canceling games because of the ongoing lockout as players and owners squabble over future contracts.

Most NBA cities have other professional sports to turn to with hoops on hiatus. But some markets, like downtown Oklahoma City, only have one game in town.

It's been so hot and dry this summer that climatologists say the southern part of the United States is going through an "exceptional drought."

Parts of Oklahoma have seen little rain since October — not to mention a string of 100-degree days. The steamy conditions are pressuring the state's water needs.

About 1.2 million people live in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, and they are putting a drain on the city's water supplies.

America's South, Midwest and Southwest are suffering through drought and high heat. Those regions have braved a string of days that saw temperatures in the high 90s, with heat indexes commonly reaching above 110 degrees.

But forecasters say much of the eastern U.S. will experience a gradual cool-down in the next few days. "New York and the D.C. area will drop down intothe lower 80s by Friday," the AP said, "while Atlanta drops to the upper 80s Friday and Saturday."

Before he was in the national spotlight, Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who now faces charges of giving classified material to WikiLeaks, was an isolated young man with a troubled family life, according to Frontline correspondent Martin Smith.

In a profile of the jailed soldier for Frontline, Smith conducted extensive interviews with Manning's family and friends. Smith says his goal was to explore Manning's life before his arrest last summer.

President Obama's Friday news conference, which reporters were informed of the day earlier, was initially intended to give him a chance to respond to increasing Republican attacks on his energy policy.

With rising gas prices in recent weeks as the backdrop, Republicans have charged that his administration's restrictions on domestic oil production were keeping gas prices higher than they'd be otherwise.

A federal judge on Monday temporarily stopped Oklahoma's new anti-Shariah law from taking effect.

Oklahoma's law -- a ballot initiative approved by 70 percent of Oklahomans in the Nov. 2 elections -- would change the state constitution to prohibit courts from considering international or Muslim law when deciding cases.

Muneer Awad, head of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, wasn't surprised at the Nov. 2 vote -- but he was sad and worried.

Forty U.S. billionaires pledged Wednesday to give at least half of their wealth to charity -- either during their lifetimes or after death.

That could be a big boost to nonprofits, which have suffered from the recent economic downturn.

The list of those taking the pledge includes some of the nation's wealthiest individuals: Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, T. Boone Pickens, Michael Bloomberg and George Lucas of Star Wars fame.

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