The Two Way

The Two-Way
7:12 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Egyptians Go To Polls With Opposition Largely Silenced

A woman casts her ballot Tuesday at a polling station in Nasr City, Cairo.
Amru Salahuddien Xinhua/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Leila Fadel talks with Renee Montagne about the voting in Egypt

As Egyptians begin voting on a new constitution, the opposition to the huge role that nation's military plays in life there has been pushed to the side, NPR's Leila Fadel reported Tuesday from Cairo.

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The Two-Way
9:33 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Lawyers Seek Justice Department Records On Would-Be Bomber

Lawyers for a young Portland man convicted of trying to blow up a Christmas tree ceremony are asking a judge to order the Justice Department to open its files and share "facts and circumstances" of electronic surveillance that prosecutors disclosed only months after his conviction.

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The Two-Way
8:15 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Water Bans Lifted In Several West Virginia Areas

In West Virginia, a ban on water use has been lifted in at least three areas affected by a chemical spill. Here, Al Jones of the state's General Services department tests the water as he flushes a faucet and opens a restroom on the first floor of the Capitol in Charleston on Monday.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:10 am

A ban on using tap water has been lifted in at least three areas affected by a chemical spill in West Virginia, where some 300,000 water customers received "do not use" advisories Thursday. Since then, water has been trucked in to the affected area, which includes nine counties.

West Virginia American Water residents were told they should use the water only for flushing toilets — not for drinking, cooking or washing.

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The Two-Way
6:53 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Desegregation Pact Gets Judge's Approval In Arkansas

A long-running school desegregation fight in Arkansas is over, after a federal judge accepted a settlement reached by the state, lawyers for black students, and three school districts in and around Little Rock. Under the deal, the state will no longer have to send payments — around $70 million this year — to aid desegregation.

According to the terms of the deal, those payments can stop after the 2017-2018 school year. They had been mandated by a court-ordered program that also included forming magnet schools and shifting students between school districts.

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The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Federal Health Care Enrollees: Older Outnumber Younger

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 9:10 pm

For the first time, we are getting some demographic information about the more than 2 million people who have signed up for private health insurance through the exchanges set up by the federal government.

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration said older, less healthy enrollees outnumber healthy, younger ones. The Times adds:

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The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Alex Rodriguez Sues Baseball, Players Union Over Suspension

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, playing for the Yankees' minor league affiliate Charleston RiverDogs, runs to first base during a game in July 2013.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:25 pm

Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez is suing Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association in federal court, trying to overturn a 162-game suspension.

The judge hearing the complaint also agreed to allow the Yankees third baseman and his lawyers to release an unredacted version of the decision handed down by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz.

ESPN reports:

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Side Effect Of Legal Pot: Police Budgets Take A Hit

The legalization of marijuana could dry up a revenue stream for police, according to reports. Here, two men share a water pipe underneath the Space Needle shortly after a law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana took effect in Seattle in 2012.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Some U.S. states are viewing the legalization of marijuana as a chance to gain new sources of tax revenue. Several states allow its use for medical reasons; Colorado has approved its recreational use, and Washington will follow suit this year.

But the decriminalization of pot also stands to remove a funding source for police: property forfeitures from drug dealers. Such funding is "going up in smoke," The Wall Street Journal reports.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Chomp! Fish Snatches Bird In Flight: VIDEO

My what big teeth you have. An African tigerfish.
Smithsonian Channel

The Smithsonian Channel doesn't call it "the ferocious tigerfish" for nothing.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Review Of Terrorism Cases Finds NSA Spying Helped Very Little

A graph from a study about the efficacy of NSA programs.
New America Foundation

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 3:53 pm

Surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency helped very little when it came to cases brought against individuals the United States says were linked to al-Qaida.

That's according to a review of 225 cases by the New America Foundation, which describes itself as a "nonpartisan public policy institute."

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Letter: Kalashnikov Suffered Remorse Over Rifle He Invented

Russian President Vladimir Putin pauses by a portrait of Mikhail Kalashnikov at the arms designer's funeral in December.
Sergei Chirikov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 2:37 pm

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 rifle who died last month at the age of 94, wrote a letter in 2012 to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church expressing "spiritual pain" over the deaths caused by the ubiquitous weapon.

More than 100 million AK-47 and variants have been sold worldwide since it was first produced in the Soviet Union in 1949. The Kalashnikov rifle quickly developed a reputation for being cheap to make, reliable and easy to use, making it the weapon of choice for many of the world's infantry soldiers, freedom fighters and terrorists.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Japan's Suntory To Buy Maker Of Jim Beam, Maker's Mark

Three bourbon whiskeys.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:59 pm

A piece of legendary Americana will now be owned by a Japanese firm.

Beam Inc., the maker of the bourbons Jim Beam and Maker's Mark, will be sold to Japan's Suntory in a deal the companies say is worth $16 billion, including assumed debt.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Mon January 13, 2014

New Problem For Christie: Audit Of Sandy-Related Spending

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, in one of the "Stronger Than The Storm" ads aimed at bringing tourists back to his state after Hurricane Sandy.
StrongerThanTheStorm YouTube channel

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:01 pm

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is going to examine how the state of New Jersey spent $25 million of the federal aid it received after 2012's Hurricane Sandy, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., has announced.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Pope Calls Abortion Evidence Of 'The Throwaway Culture'

Pope Francis received applause from hundreds of worldwide ambassadors to the Holy See on Monday as he entered a huge hall in Vatican City.
Osservatore Romano Press Office EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 2:28 pm

Pope Francis, criticized by some conservative Catholics as not speaking out forcefully against abortion, said Monday that the practice is "horrific" and evidence of "the throwaway culture."

In an annual speech known as the pontiff's "State of the World" address, Francis told diplomats and journalists gathered at the Holy See that it "is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."

Hunger, he said, is a threat to world peace, noting that food, like human life, is being discarded as unnecessary.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Mon January 13, 2014

UPDATED: Airliner That Landed At Wrong Airport, Takes Off Safely

A frame grab provided by KSPR-TV shows Southwest Airlines Flight 4013 at Taney County Airport on Sunday.
AP

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 5:26 pm

Update at 5:18 p.m. ET. Takes Off Safely:

The Southwest Airlines 737 that landed at a wrong airport in Missouri has taken off safely despite a short runway.

The airline said the plane took off after a thorough inspection.

"The aircraft is scheduled to resume regular service later today," Southwest Airlines said. "We continue to support the NTSB in their investigation to uncover the circumstances which led the Pilot in command of flight 4013 from Chicago Midway to land at PLK, six (6) nautical miles from the Branson Airport we serve."

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Supreme Court Ends Arizona's Bid To Reinstate 20-Week Abortion Ban

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:59 pm

The United States Supreme Court on Monday refused to revisit a lower court ruling that struck down Arizona's ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The AP reports:

"The justices on Monday declined to reconsider a lower court ruling that the law violates a woman's constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is able to survive outside the womb.

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Gates Says He Wept Each Evening Over Troops' Deaths

Robert Gates in June 2011 during his final official news conference as secretary of defense.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:08 am

The news from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' interviews with NPR and other news outlets — notably, how he uses a new book to criticize many in the White House — has now been widely reported.

But we also want to point to two passages in his conversation with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that particularly struck us.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Thailand's Opposition Launches Mass Rallies To Close Bangkok

Anti-government protesters cheer as they occupy a major intersection in central Bangkok on Monday. Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters occupied parts of the capital.
Damir Sagolj Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 4:12 pm

Anti-government protesters in Thailand have thronged key intersections in the capital, Bangkok, in the start of a mass demonstration aimed at thwarting elections and forcing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office.

For months, opposition protesters have been engaged in an on-again, off-again effort to topple Yingluck, and have said they want to replace her government with an unelected ruling council.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Permit To Hunt And Kill One Black Rhino Sold For $350,000

A black rhino in Namibia's Etosha National Park.
Frans Lanting DPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 11:23 am

The Dallas Safari Club's controversial auction of a permit to hunt one black rhino in Namibia raised $350,000 over the weekend, the club confirms on its Facebook page.

That's at the lower end of the range that club executive Ben Carter had expected. In December, he told NPR that he hoped the auction would raise $225,000 to $1 million.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Slowly, Water Is Flowing Again In West Virginia

On Saturday in South Charleston, W.Va., Cathy Mabe was one of many who came to get water from a temporary filling station.
Lisa Hechesky Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:20 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Ashton Marra reports from West Virginia

Relief is finally arriving for the 300,000 or so people in nine West Virginia counties who haven't been able to drink, cook or clean with their tap water for more than four days.

Officials announced at noon Monday that tests show the level of a potentially harmful chemical have fallen to the point where the water can be turned back on. But, they cautioned that the process of bringing customers back on line will take several days and has to be done systematically.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Ariel Sharon Remembered As Man Of War And Peace

Israeli soldiers carry the coffin of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday in Jerusalem.
Daniel Naupold DPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:19 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Emily Harris reports on the funeral for Ariel Sharon

As Israelis paid their respects Monday to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a memorial service and funeral, one of his contemporaries on the world stage offered this view of the general and statesman who an iconic and controversial figure:

"The idea that he changed from man of war to a man of peace," is mistaken, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said during a memorial service at the Knesset, Israel's legislature.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Book News: Adichie, Tartt Are Finalists For National Book Critic's Circle Awards

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
12:01 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Gates: Obama Made Solid Decisions, But Was Swayed By Factious Staff

Robert Gates in June 2011, his last month as secretary of defense.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:07 am

  • Part II of the 'Morning Edition' conversation with Robert Gates

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says his criticism of President Obama is more nuanced than media reports about his new book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, would have you believe.

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Pope Francis Names 19 New Cardinals, None From The U.S.

Pope Francis continues to shake up the Vatican establishment. Today, speaking from his studio window to followers in St. Peter's square, he announced 19 new cardinals from some surprising places, the AP reports.

Francis did not name any cardinals from the United States and chose instead to represent poorer nations.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Iran, World Powers Will Begin Implementing Interim Nuclear Agreement

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 1:52 pm

Iran and six world powers will begin implementing an interim agreement designed to pause parts of Iran's nuclear program.

The White House said that beginning Jan. 20, Iran will begin eliminating its stockpile of "higher levels of enriched uranium and dismantling some of the infrastructure that makes such enrichment possible."

In return the the five permanent members of the United Nations — the U.S., Russia, China, the U.K. and France — plus Germany will ease some sanctions on Iran.

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