The Two Way

The Two-Way
10:25 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Colorado Gets Brief Break From Flood Warnings; Rain Is Forecast

Samantha Kinzig of Longmont, Colo., and her daughter Isabel, 5, took a close look at a damaged bridge in Longmont Friday. Heavy rains that fueled widespread flooding in numerous Colorado towns have eased, but forecasters predict more on Saturday and Sunday.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 4:17 pm

The rains that brought severe flooding to parts of northern and central Colorado have eased, allowing people a chance to regroup before more rain comes, possibly as soon as Saturday afternoon. Thousands of residents have been displaced by the flooding, from Fort Collins in the north to Colorado Springs in the south, since waters hit dangerous levels Wednesday.

The floods have been blamed for four deaths, as the Two-Way reported Friday.

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Sat September 14, 2013

U.S. And Russia Form A Plan On Syria's Chemical Weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal from Geneva on Saturday.
Larry Downing AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 1:06 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart have reached a deal that calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. The plan, which Kerry announced in a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Saturday, gives Syria a week to detail its chemical arsenal.

"The world will now expect the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments," Kerry said. "And as I said at the outset of these negotiations, there can be no games, no room for avoidance, or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime."

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The Two-Way
6:52 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Social Security Wrongfully Paid $1.3 Billion In Disability

People line up outside of the Social Security Administration office in San Francisco, in February of 2005.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The Government Accountability Office says that the Social Security Administration made about $1.3 billion in payments over two years to about 36,000 people who were believed to be working, while claiming they were disabled.

The GAO arrived at this number by comparing names on the National Directory of New Hires and people on disability insurance.

While $1.3 billion sounds like a whole lot of money, keep in mind that this only represents less than 1 percent of all the disability benefits paid by the agency.

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The Two-Way
6:09 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Judge Rules 'Ikea Monkey' To Remain In Animal Sanctuary

A still from news video of Darwin's great escape in December.
ABC News

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:12 pm

Darwin the 'Ikea monkey' will no longer be hitting the superstores with a Canadian woman who calls him her son after a judge in Ontario ruled that the primate is not a pet and should remain at an animal sanctuary.

As we wrote in December, Darwin, a Japanese macaque dressed in a heavy shearling coat, attracted considerable attention when he escaped from a locked crate in owner Yasmin Nakhuda's car in Toronto. He made his way through rows of parked cars and ended up inside a nearby Ikea store before staff there cornered him and called in animal control officials.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Hong Kong Bans Shark Fin At Official Functions

This file picture taken on January 2, 2013 shows shark fins drying on the roof of a factory building in Hong Kong.
Antony Dickson AFP/Getty Images

Shark fin will no longer be included on the menus of official government functions in Hong Kong, the country said in a press release on Friday.

"No shark fin, bluefin tuna or black moss will be on the menu at official entertainment functions," the government said. "The items have aroused international and local concern because they are either captured or harvested in ecologically unfriendly or unsustainable ways, or cause other conservation concerns."

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Police Start Clearing Zocalo Of Striking Mexican Teachers

General view of the Zocalo of Mexico City, on September 2, 2013, while thousands of teachers camp in protest against the new education law passed by the Congress.
Ronaldo Schemidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 7:06 pm

This post was last updated at 6:58 p.m. ET.

Riot police moved into Mexico City's Zocalo Plaza on Friday to remove thousands of striking teachers from the historic square.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

37 Killed In Fire At Russian Psychiatric Hospital

In a photo released by Russian officials in Novgorod, firefighters work at the site of a fire at a psychiatric hospital in the village of Luka on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 5:23 pm

A fire at a dilapidated Russian psychiatric facility that broke out early Friday morning has killed at least 37 people, including a nurse who tried to guide patients to safety, officials say.

The fire in the town of Luka, about 120 miles southeast of St. Petersburg, was the second such blaze in recent months. In April, a similar blaze at a psychiatric hospital near Moscow killed 38 people.

In the latest incident, authorities had long warned that the mostly wooden building dating to the 19th century was unsafe, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

NPR To Offer Voluntary Buyouts In Bid To Balance Budget

NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 1:46 pm

Saying that the goal is to balance its budget in fiscal year 2015, NPR announced late Friday morning that it will soon offer "a voluntary buyout plan across the organization that reduces staffing levels by approximately 10 percent."

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

An 'Ig Nobel' For Proving 'Beer Goggles' Work Both Ways

"Beer goggles" supposedly make the wearer look better too. Hmmm.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Researchers who came to the conclusion that "beer goggles" make you think you're better looking are among this year's winners of the "Ig Nobel" awards.

The Igs "celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology."

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Hawaii: 'Let Nature Take Its Course' On Molasses Spill

John Hernandez of Kailua, Hawaii, who owns John's Fresh Fish, is shown on Thursday. In the background at right is a container ship owned by Matson Navigation Co. A pipe maintained by the company cracked and caused the molasses spill.
Eugene Tanner AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 3:58 pm

State officials in Hawaii say there's little they can do to clean up a 223,000-gallon molasses spill that has killed thousands of fish, as swimmers, surfers and snorkelers were being warned that the massive die-off could attract sharks.

So many fish have been killed by the 1,400-ton leak from a pipeline, first spotted on Tuesday, that it could result in an increase in predator species such as sharks, barracuda and eels, state health officials warned.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Fri September 13, 2013

New Jersey Governor Vows To Rebuild Fire-Ravaged Boardwalk

Firefighters battle a blaze on the Seaside Park boardwalk Thursday in New Jersey. The fire began in the vicinity of an ice cream stand and quickly spread north into neighboring Seaside Heights.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 1:54 pm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said a wind-swept fire that started Thursday and burned through the state's iconic boardwalk destroyed "generations of memories," but vowed that the state would rebuild.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Mount McKinley's Gotten Shorter Again

Mount McKinley. There's a bit less of it than we thought.
Tim Rains/National Park Service Reuters/Landov

Could Alaska's Mount McKinley be in danger of developing a Napoleon complex?

Well, it's still said to be the tallest peak in North America, so perhaps it won't need to worry about its height just yet. But for the second time in recent decades, the mountain's been shortened.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Fri September 13, 2013

He's Down, Not Up: Trans-Atlantic Balloonist Forced To Land

Jonathan Trappe lifted off Thursday from Caribou, Maine. He had to give up his trans-Atlantic trip about 350 miles later.
Mark McBreairty AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 10:09 am

Before we even had a chance to tell you he was up, Jonathan Trappe is down.

"Hmm, this doesn't look like France," says the American aviator on his Facebook page.

Trappe left from Caribou, Maine, on Thursday on a bid to fly across the Atlantic in a small boat hanging beneath about 300 helium-filled balloons. Think Up.

No one's ever made that trip using a "cluster balloon" rig.

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Fri September 13, 2013

'Biblical' Flooding Rages In Colorado

Patrick Tinsley and Mary Kerns walk from their mountain community, Magnolia, where road access is shut off by debris. Flash flooding in Colorado has left at least three people reportedly dead and the widespread high waters have hampered emergency workers' access to affected communities as heavy rains hammered northern Colorado.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 7:15 pm

"As heavy rains brought wide ranging flood conditions across the state Thursday, the Front Range is bracing for more Friday," our colleagues at Northern Colorado's KUNC report.

They add that:

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Top Stories: Indian Rapists Sentenced; Guns To Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:53 am

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Book News: National Book Awards' '5 Under 35' Picks Are All Women

Amanda Coplin received her MFA from the University of Minnesota, and now resides in Portland, Ore.
Corina Bernstein HarperCollins

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 8:44 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Fri September 13, 2013

As Talks Continue, CIA Gets Some Weapons To Syrian Rebels

A Free Syrian Army fighter looks through the scope of his sniper rifle at an area controlled by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad in Aleppo.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 4:13 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman talks with host Steve Inskeep about the crisis in Syria

It's Day Two of talks in Geneva between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who are seeing if they can come to an agreement on Russia's suggestion that Syria hand over its chemical weapons to international monitors — and thus avert a possible strike by the U.S. military.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Death For 4 Men Convicted In Indian Gang Rape And Murder

Outside the courthouse in New Delhi on Friday, demonstrators gathered to call for — and then celebrate — the death sentences handed down for four men convicted in the December gang rape and murder of a young woman.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:44 am

The four men convicted for December's notorious gang rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi, India, were given the death penalty on Friday.

"It took all of 90 seconds" for the judge to announce his decision and then leave the courtroom, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from New Delhi. One of the four convicted men "shrieked and slumped," while outside a cheer went up when spectators heard the news, she adds.

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

WATCH: Waterspout On Lake Michigan

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:04 pm

At least two waterspouts were seen over Lake Michigan on Thursday, near the Wisconsin border, amid strong winds and a marine warning issued by the National Weather Service.

The Associated Press says the waterspouts — tornadoes that form over the water — merged into one and then split again. The video below, taken by an amateur in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., appears to be a single, merged, waterspout:

The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Twitter Says It Intends To Go Public

In this Nov. 8, 2011, photo, NASA fan David Parmet signs his name on a Twitter logo during a tweetup event for about 50 of NASA's Twitter followers at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
Brock Vergakis AP

After much speculation, Twitter announced its intention to be traded as a public company, on Thursday.

Naturally, the 200-million-user microblogging service made the announcement through a tweet:

While pondering an announcement, USA Today reported that this initial public offering would be watched very carefully by other tech companies looking to take the plunge. The paper added:

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Fire Sweeps Through Businesses Along Jersey's Seaside Boardwalk

Firefighters battle a raging fire on boardwalk in Seaside Park, N.J., on Thursday.
Fox 29/AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:36 pm

A fire that started in an ice cream shop is spreading elsewhere along New Jersey's famous boardwalk in Seaside Park.

News video shows the boardwalk — located in an area that had just been rebuilt after it was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy nearly a year ago — clouded by thick smoke.

Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd tells The Star-Ledger the fire spread to adjacent structures around 2:30 p.m.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Frightened By Friday The 13th? Say Paraskevidekatriaphobia

iStockphoto.com

It's baaaaack.

Friday the 13th, that is.

So in what's become a Two-Way tradition, we again offer something that's supposed to help.

Learning how to say paraskevidekatriaphobia supposedly cures one of any Friday the 13th-related fears.

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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

WATCH: An Amazing Rescue In Colorado

In this image made with a slow shutter speed which blurred the rushing water, flood waters course through a small park in Boulder, Colo., on Thursday.
Jud Valeski AP

Despite the bad news out of Colorado — where massive flooding has left three people dead — there is a bright spot: Rescue workers were able to extract three drivers stuck inside submerged vehicles.

Video of one of those rescues is awe-inspiring. Via ABC News, it speaks for itself:

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Bulgaria Closes Cold War 'Umbrella Murder' Case

Georgi Markov in a photo taken in September 1978, the same month he died. The Bulgarian defector worked for the BBC and was killed by an unknown assassin in London using a ricin-tipped umbrella.
AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 6:56 pm

Thirty-five years after the assassination of Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov by a ricin-tipped umbrella as he waited for a bus in London, no one knows for sure who was responsible. And now it's quite possible that no one ever will.

Bulgaria's chief prosecutor said Thursday that his office is officially closing the Cold War cold case, saying the statute of limitations has run out. If there's ever to be a resolution, it's entirely up to British authorities, he says.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Decades-Long Peace Vigil At White House Is Interrupted

Concepcion Picciotto, also known as Conchita or Connie, is seen at her daily protest in front of the White House on March 5, 2010 in Washington, DC. Picciotto has lived in the small camp on Lafayette Square directly opposite the presidential mansion since August 1, 1981 in protest of nuclear arms.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

If you've ever made the trip to Washington, D.C., you've likely visited the White House and in the small park in front of it, you've likely noticed an aging protester at the helm of an encampment.

She is Concepcion "Connie" Picciotto, 77, and she has kept a peace vigil in front of the presidential residence since the 1980s.

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