The Two Way

The Two-Way
8:43 am
Wed January 8, 2014

December Posts Strongest Job Gains Of 2013, Survey Shows

Job seekers have their resumes reviewed at a job fair expo in Anaheim, Calif., in June 2012.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 11:25 am

This post was updated at 11:20 a.m. ET.

Last year ended on a high note for U.S. employment, with December ticking off 238,000 new private-sector jobs, topping the previous month for the best showing of 2013, according to the latest data from the ADP National Employment Report.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Death Toll From Deep Freeze Tops 20; Warm-Up Is Coming

A man walks through a steam cloud in frigid cold temperatures Tuesday in Manhattan.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:58 am

The deaths of at least 21 people are now being blamed on the winter storms and severe cold weather that have gripped much of the nation since late last week, The Associated Press reported early Wednesday.

At least half have been attributed to weather-related traffic accidents. The wire service adds that:

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Book News: Biography Of Fox's Roger Ailes Alleges Sexism, Anti-Semitism

Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes attends a 2012 Hollywood Reporter celebration of "The 35 Most Powerful People in Media" in New York City.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 9:56 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Ships Break Free In Antarctica, U.S. Icebreaker Not Needed

The Chinese research vessel and icebreaker Xue Long broke free from ice and was back in the open waters off Antarctica on Tuesday.
Zhang Jiansong Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:56 am

There's good news from Antarctica, where two ships that had been stuck in ice — one of them for about two weeks — have managed to get to open waters.

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The Two-Way
6:34 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

U.S. Air Force Helicopter Crashes In England, Killing 4 Service Members

A U.S. Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in Cley, a town in the east coast of England on Tuesday, killing all four service members onboard.

The AP reports:

"Lt. Keenan Kunst at the Royal Air Force station in Lakenheath, Suffolk County, which hosts U.S. Air force units and personnel, said in a telephone interview that the helicopter went down in the coastal village of Cley, near the base. He said the aircraft was based there and on a training mission.

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

With Department Steeped In Scandal, L.A. County Sheriff Will Retire

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announces his unexpected retirement on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Calif.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:55 pm

With his department steeped in scandal, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced he would retire at the end of the month.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Baca said he would not seek reelection for a fifth term as sheriff.

"The reasons for doing so are so many. Some are most personal and private, but the prevailing one is the negative perception this upcoming campaign has brought to the exemplary service provided to the men and women of the Sheriff's Department," Baca said.

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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Ex-Defense Secretary Gates Takes Aim At Obama In New Book

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Obama salute during a farewell ceremony for Gates on June 30, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:37 pm

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a book due out later this month, describes President Obama as "a man of personal integrity" who nonetheless was skeptical of his administration's "surge" strategy in Afghanistan and openly distrustful of the military leadership, The Washington Post and

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Venezuelan Beauty Queen, Telenovela Star Killed In Robbery

The former Miss Venezuela and telenovela star Mónica Spear and her husband were killed after gunman opened fire during what police say was an attempted robbery in Venezuela on Tuesday.

The AP reports:

"It said the couple's 5-year-old daughter was in stable condition after getting medical attention for unspecified injuries."

"The family lived in the United States and was on vacation. Local news reports said they were awaiting a tow truck."

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Extreme Cold Convinces Escaped Convict To Give Up: VIDEO

Robert Vick, in an undated photo provided by Kentucky Department of Corrections. After a cold night and day, he asked to be put back in prison.
AP

Sunday night, 42-year-old Robert Vick escaped from the minimum security Blackburn Correction Complex in Kentucky.

By Monday evening, he'd apparently had enough of the sub-zero temperatures gripping the Bluegrass State and much of the rest of the nation. Vick showed up at the office of the Sunset Motel in Lexington and asked the clerk to call the authorities.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Scores Of Retired NYC Officers, Firefighters Charged In Fraud Case

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:16 pm

Eighty former New York City police officers and firefighters were charged on Tuesday in connection to a fraudulent scheme that prosecutors allege led to undeserved Social Security payments.

Authorities said the public servants falsely claimed that their actions in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, left them unable to work because of psychiatric conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

U.N. Suspends Counting Deaths In Syria's Civil War

Syrians inspect the rubble of destroyed buildings following a government airstrike in Aleppo, in this image provided Monday that was taken by a citizen journalist.
AP

The United Nations says it can no longer verify the death toll in Syria's civil war and, as of Tuesday, will leave the figure at 100,000, where it stood in late July.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

What Is The Polar Vortex And Why Is It Doing This To Us?

Ice has built up along Lake Michigan in Chicago as temperatures have plunged in recent days. A dip in the polar vortex is to blame.
Scott Olson Getty Images
  • On 'Morning Edition': science writer Andrew Freedman talks with NPR's David Greene about the polar vortex

We've mentioned the polar vortex several times in recent days.

We've said, for instance, that it's "a low pressure system that's usually whirling around the North Pole but has weakened and come south."

But we're still getting asked this question:

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Frolicking Fido, Cozy Cats: How Your Pets Are Chilling Out

Izzy Haywood/Instagram

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 11:10 am

We asked you for photos of how your pets are dealing with the frigid weather — and you folks sure did deliver. Here are some of the images you tagged #nprfrostypaws on Instagram.

Just a reminder, though, that we are seeing record-breaking low temperatures in some places, so please keep your pets warm.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Tue January 7, 2014

First Batch Of Chemical Weapons Material Shipped Out Of Syria

The first batch of chemical weapons material from Syria's stockpile has been loaded onto a Danish commercial ship and is now in international waters, a United Nations official said Tuesday.

Sigrid Kaag, special coordinator for the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, told reporters that the ship was loaded with "priority chemicals," that eventually will be destroyed.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Run Run Shaw, Kung Fu Movie Pioneer, Dies

Sir Run Run Shaw in 2010.
Bobby Yip Reuters/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's David Greene talks about Run Run Shaw

"If you've ever enjoyed an action-packed Kung Fu film," Morning Edition host David Greene says, "take a moment to thank Sir Run Run Shaw, who passed away Tuesday."

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Tue January 7, 2014

JPMorgan Chase To Pay $1.7 Billion To Madoff Victims

Bernard L. Madoff in 2009.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:30 pm

After striking a deal with federal prosecutors, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to the victims of Bernard Madoff's multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

The bank will be criminally charged with two violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and will admit to the violations. But under the agreement, the bank will receive a deferred prosecution.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Dennis Rodman Defends North Korean 'Basketball Diplomacy'

Former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Monday.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 11:48 am

In a combative interview from North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman defended his "basketball diplomacy" in the repressive country and seemed to imply that he believes American businessman Kenneth Bae, sentenced to 15 years' hard labor for allegedly trying to overthrow the Kim Jong Un regime, is guilty.

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Deaths Are Bitter Reminder Of Cold Snap's Dangers

This woman in Chicago was well protected from the cold on Monday.
Kamil Krzaczynski EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 11:56 am

While this week's super-cold conditions across much of the nation are fascinating and fun for many of us, there is a far more serious side to the story.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Skier Lindsey Vonn Will Miss Winter Olympics Due To Injury

Skier Lindsey Vonn in November, before her latest injury.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:38 pm

Saying she is "devastated" to have to miss the competition, Team USA's best-known and most dominant Alpine skier said Tuesday that she will not be competing in next month's Winter Olympics.

Here's what Linsey Vonn posted on her Facebook page:

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Senate Votes To Move Ahead On Extending Unemployment Benefits

President Obama listens as Katherine Hackett of Moodus, Conn., speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, on Tuesday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 1:25 pm

This post was updated at 12:00 p.m. ET.

A three-month extension of federal unemployment benefits for 1.3 million jobless Americans won a key procedural vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

The 60-37 vote indicates there's enough Republican support to move the Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which expired on Dec. 28, forward to a full vote. As The Associated Press writes, the measure "is the leading edge of a Democratic program that also includes raising the minimum wage and closing tax loopholes on the wealthy and corporations."

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Hang In There Another Day Or So — Warmer Air Is Coming

Dealing with it in Detroit: A woman protects her face from the cold on Monday.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 11:20 am

Yes, it's going to be awfully cold again Tuesday for 150 million or so Americans.

But if below-zero temperatures aren't to your liking, take heart:

"Bitterly cold air over the eastern two-thirds of the country will slowly moderate through Wednesday," the National Weather Service says.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Book News: Scores Of Books Burned In Lebanese Library Torching

A man inspects burnt books in north Lebanon's majority Sunni city of Tripoli on Saturday, a day after a decades-old library owned by a Greek Orthodox priest was burned.
Ibrahim Chalhoub AFP/Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Florida State Wins A Thriller To Take College Championship

The winning catch: Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin of the Florida State Seminoles catches the 2-yard pass for a touchdown that put his team ahead for good with just 13 seconds left in the game.
Harry How Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 12:34 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman on the championship game

Florida State and Auburn put on a show Monday night with a college football championship game that went down to the wire and ended with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston throwing a touchdown pass with just 13 seconds to go to bring Florida State the crown.

At one point, the Seminoles were behind by 18 points.

The final score: Florida State 34, Auburn 31.

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