The Two Way

The Two-Way
8:57 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Mass Graves Discovered In South Sudan; Is Civil War Coming?

Troops sent to South Sudan by the U.N. watch as men walk to a camp for refugees near Juba, the nation's capital.
James Akena Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 3:20 pm

The already alarming news from South Sudan grew even more worrisome Tuesday with word from the United Nations of mass graves.

In a statement, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said "we have discovered a mass grave in Bentiu, in Unity State, and there are reportedly at least two other mass graves in Juba," the new nation's capital.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Book News: Efforts To Ban Books On The Rise

Joe Songer AL.COM/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 10:03 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Snowden Says His Mission Is Accomplished; 'I Already Won'

Edward Snowden in an image from an October TV report.
AFP/Getty Images

In his first in-person interviews since his explosive revelations last June, "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden tells The Washington Post that in his mind, "the mission's already accomplished."

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Top Stories: Spacewalk Resumes; Fears Grow In South Sudan

Good morning.

One early Tuesday headline and two from Monday evening:

-- WATCH LIVE: Space Station Spacewalk

-- Alan Turing, Who Cracked Nazi Code, Gets Posthumous Pardon

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Repairs Done, Astronauts Wrap Up Spacewalk

Astronaut Mike Hopkins during Saturday's spacewalk. He's going out again Tuesday.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 4:12 pm

Spacewalking astronauts have successfully replaced a failed coolant pump on the International Space Station.

NPR's Joe Palca reports that American spacewalkers Michael Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio had to bolt the massive pump in place (on the ground, it weighs 780 pounds), connect four ammonia lines and plug in five electrical cables. The ammonia is a refrigerant used in the station's two-part cooling system, which is necessary to dissipate heat from the onboard electrical equipment.

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The Two-Way
8:52 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Alan Turing, Who Cracked Nazi Code, Gets Posthumous Pardon

Detail of a Turing Bombe machine in Bletchley Park Museum in Bletchley, central England. The device, the brainchild of Alan Turning, was instrumental in cracking the German code during World War II.
Alessia Pierdomenico Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 4:18 pm

British mathematician Alan Turing, who helped crack Nazi Germany's 'Enigma' code and laid the groundwork for modern computing, was pardoned on Tuesday, six decades after his conviction for homosexuality is said to have driven him to suicide.

Following his singular contributions toward winning the war against Adolph Hitler, Turing's 1952 conviction is believed to have led two and a half years later to him taking his life by ingesting cyanide.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
7:33 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

150 Marines To Be Sent For Possible Mission In South Sudan

The Pentagon has announced it is sending 150 U.S. Marines to Africa, for a possible mission to evacuate Americans in South Sudan, where political and ethnic violence has claimed hundreds of lives and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

NPR's Tom Bowman says the Marines are being sent from Spain to beef up the U.S. military presence at a base in Eastern Africa. Officials say they'll await orders and could head into South Sudan.

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The Two-Way
7:14 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Al-Qaida Group Admits 'Mistake And Guilt' For Botched Raid

A photo provided by Yemen's Defense Ministry shows damaged vehicles after an al-Qaida affiliate attacked the ministry's complex in Sanaa on Dec. 5.
AP

An al-Qaida affiliate has taken the rare step of apologizing to the families of victims killed in a botched attack in Yemen earlier this month.

The attack on the Defense Ministry in the capital, Sanaa, was meant to hit an area of the complex where al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) says U.S. drones are being controlled. But a hospital on the grounds was also hit in the Dec. 5 attack, and many of the 56 victims were doctors, nurses and patients.

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The Two-Way
5:06 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

On Anniversary Of Apollo 8, How The 'Earthrise' Photo Was Made

The iconic "Earthrise" photo taken by astronaut Bill Anders through a window on the Apollo 8 command module on Dec. 24, 1968.
Bill Anders NASA

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 7:24 am

The first humans to catch a glimpse of the Earth rising over the moon nearly missed seeing it at all, let alone capturing the snapshot that became one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century.

NASA has released an animation commemorating the 45th anniversary of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the moon. The famous "Earthrise" photo was taken on Christmas Eve 1968.

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The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Obama Gives Federal Workers A 1 Percent Raise

People exit a Metro subway station, by escalator, along Pennsylvania Ave., NW, in Washington.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:46 pm

President Obama signed an executive order on Monday, giving federal workers and military personnel a 1 percent raise.

As Government Executive reports, the pay raise is the first across-the-board increase the federal workforce has gotten since 2010. The publication reports:

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

WATCH: A 'Mistletoe Drone' Descends On San Francisco

A couple kisses under a drone mistletoe.
YouTube

Most would agree: We don't usually think of drones as charming.

But two artists — George Zisiadis and Mustafa Khan — have produced a piece of performance art that mixes the unmanned aerial vehicle with a long-loved holiday tradition.

The artists propped a mistletoe on a Parrot AR Drone 2.0 and flew it over San Francisco's Union Square.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

White House Grants Extra Day For Obamacare Sign-Up

This image shows part of the HealthCare.gov website in Washington on Friday noting a Dec. 23 enrollment deadline for coverage starting Jan. 1.
Jon Elswick AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 3:03 pm

A midnight deadline to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act that starts Jan. 1 has been extended by a day in what the White House describes as an effort to accommodate people in different time zones.

The deadline that had been midnight on Dec. 23 has been pushed to Christmas Eve at midnight.

The Washington Post reports:

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The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

VIDEO: Carlos Santana Reunites With Homeless Ex-bandmate

Carlos Santana, left, and Marcus Malone when they reunited in Oakland. Malone was part of Santana's band in the late '60s, then spent the past four decades or so living on the streets or in prison.
YouTube

Our good-news story of the day comes from the Bay Area, where a KRON-TV report earlier this month has led to a homeless man's reunion with a famous former friend — guitarist Carlos Santana.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Customers Sue Target Over Credit Card Breach

A couple of shoppers leave a Target store on a rainy afternoon in Alhambra, California.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

At least 11 customers have filed lawsuits against Target over a security breach that exposed the credit card information of 40 million customers.

The BBC reports:

"The lawsuits, each seeking class-action status, have been filed in US courts in the past several days.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Reports: Mikhail Kalashnikov, Inventor Of AK-47, Dies

Mikhail Kalashnikov, with his AK-47, in 2002.
Jens Meyer ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mikhail Kalashnikov, whose name will forever be connected to one of the world's most popular and deadly weapons, has died, according to news reports from Russia.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Two Takeaways From An Offensive Tweet Heard 'Round The World

Public relations professional Justine Sacco is now an unemployed public relations professional after tweeting Friday that she was:

"Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!"

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Mon December 23, 2013

UPDATED: Gay Marriages Will Continue In Utah, Federal Judge Rules

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:19 pm

Update at 1:22 p.m. ET. Gay Marriages Will Continue:

A federal judge on Monday refused to set aside a ruling that invalidated Utah's ban on gay marriage.

That means same-sex couples will be able to continue to receive marriage licenses across the state, even though the ruling will be appealed before a higher court.

Utah had asked U.S. District Court judge Robert Shelby for an emergency stay of the ruling he issued on Friday. The state argued that gay marriages should be put on hold, while the state appealed.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Ice Storm Leaves Tens Of Thousands In The Dark

Heather Griffin, of Buffalo, N.Y., and her dog Sal walk beneath ice-covered trees on Sunday in Buffalo.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:06 pm

About 200,000 households are in the dark across the country, after a massive ice storm swept through Midwest and the Eastern Seaboard.

The Associated Press estimates that some 95,000 households are without power in New York, Vermont and Maine. MLive.com reports that 155,000 are without power in Michigan.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Peyton Or Tom? Which QB Do You Want When Game's On The Line?

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, left, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in 2012.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:07 pm

There's nothing like a "who's the best quarterback" debate to get NFL fans going.

So, on this day after Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos broke the single-season record for touchdown passes, we're wondering what Two-Way football fans think about one of the ongoing topics of conversation in recent years:

Who's the quarterback you'd like to see in charge when your team's behind in a playoff game with time running out?

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Mon December 23, 2013

'I Am A Lover ... Not A Hater,' Says 'Duck Dynasty' Star

Duck Dynasty plastic drinking glasses with Phil Robertson's image are among the merchandise on sale at the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La., and at other businesses around the nation.
Matthew Hinton AP

"I love all men and women. I am a lover of humanity, not a hater," Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson told a Bible study group Sunday in his first public comments following his suspension from the A&E reality show because of things he said to GQ magazine about homosexuality.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Book News: 'It's Kind Of A Funny Story' Author Mourned

Ned Vizzini
Sabra Embury HarperCollins Children's Books/PR Newswire

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

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Their Release Is Just A 'PR Stunt,' Pussy Riot Member Says

Maria Alyokhina, after her release from prison on Monday in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
Sergei Karpukhin Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:03 pm

The remaining members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot have been released from prison in Russia, a few months short of serving their full two-year sentences for "hooliganism" — a charge that the band's supporters say was just a trumped-up effort to quash free speech.

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The Two-Way
4:53 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

With 51 Touchdowns, Peyton Manning Breaks Season Record

Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos celebrates after throwing his fourth touchdown during the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on Sunday in Houston.
Scott Halleran Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 8:17 am

Throwing his 51st touchdown pass of the season, the Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning set a new NFL record on Sunday.

Manning bested Tom Brady's record for most touchdown passes in a single NFL season.

As ESPN reports, the record pass was Manning's fourth during a 37-13 win against the Houston Texans. The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Americans Are Safely Airlifted Out Of South Sudan

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 5:41 pm

A day after abandoning a rescue mission because of incoming fire, American citizens were safely airlifted from Bor, South Sudan, on Sunday.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement:

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