The Two Way

The Two-Way
8:24 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Split Decisions: Ukraine Signs Up With EU, Russia Wraps Up Crimea

As Russian soldiers walked one way in the distance, a departing Ukrainian soldier carried some of his belongings Friday at a military base in Perevalne, Crimea.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:57 am

There will be few days that better symbolize the crisis in Ukraine.

On Friday:

As Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was signing an agreement on closer relations with the European Union ...

... Russian President Vladimir Putin was signing the laws his country has put in place to take Crimea from Ukraine and make it part of the Russian Federation.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Book News: Khushwant Singh, Who Wrote Of India's Bloody Partition, Dies

Khushwant Singh, pictured in 2010, sits in his house in New Delhi, India.
Manish Swarup AP

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

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Nothing So Far In Search For Debris From Malaysian Jet

Searching from the air and on the sea: The view Friday from a Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion. The Norwegian car transport ship Hoegh St. Petersburg is below. They're part of the search in the southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Justin Benson-Cooper/pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:05 pm

We have woven some updates into this post.

Two weeks after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the first "credible lead" in the search for the Boeing 777 and the 239 people on board is still just that — a lead, not a discovery.

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The Two-Way
1:20 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Taliban Militants Attack Kabul Hotel, Killing 9

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:59 am

Four gunmen attacked a luxury hotel frequented by foreigners in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, killing nine people before being killed themselves. Two security guards were also wounded.

The assailants were killed after a standoff in the Serena hotel's restaurant.

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The Two-Way
7:30 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

'We'll Eradicate Twitter,' Turkey's Prime Minister Vows

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Adam Berry Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 11:57 am

Reeling from the anonymous release of audio that seems to implicate him in a corruption scandal, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would ban Twitter, no matter what the international community says.

"We now have a court order. We'll eradicate Twitter," Erdogan told supporters according to Hurriyet Daily News. The paper adds:

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The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Gallup: Americans Put The Environment Over Economic Growth Again

Gallup

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 7:27 pm

In 2009, when the Great Recession took hold of the United States, Americans reversed a long-running trend in polling: For the first time since Gallup first asked the question in the 1980s, more Americans said they favored economic growth over protecting the environment.

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The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Lawrence Walsh: His Judgment Came Not From Confidence But From Insecurity

Lawrence Walsh in 1988.
Bob Daugherty AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:36 am

In 2003 the American Bar Association published Lawrence Walsh's autobiography, The Gift of Insecurity; A Lawyer's Life. Walsh died Wednesday at age 102. The following is the foreword NPR's Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg wrote for the book.

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The Two-Way
5:29 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Lawrence Walsh, Who Investigated Iran-Contra Scandal, Dies At 102

Iran-Contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh speaks to reporters in 1989.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:20 pm

Lawrence Walsh, the special prosecutor who investigated charges of wrongdoing and criminality by top Reagan administration officials in the Iran-Contra scandal, has died.

He was 102.

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Thrill-Seeking Teen Sneaks To Top Of 1 World Trade Center

A screen grab from an NBC New York video showing Casquejo leaving court on Thursday.
NBC New York

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 8:48 pm

A 16-year-old boy sneaked past security guards in the middle of the night and made his way to the top of Manhattan's 1 World Trade Center, where he

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Google Says It's Beefed Up Encryption Because Of NSA Revelations

A Google data center in Changhua, Taiwan.
Sam Yeh AFP/Getty Images

Google announced on Thursday that it has beefed up its security in response to reports that the National Security Agency was scooping up data from its servers.

In a statement, Nicolas Lidzborski, Gmail security engineering lead, says Google is now encrypting data as a it moves between the company's servers and every session of Gmail will now use a secure HTTPS connection.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Reds Pitcher Expected To Recover After Line Drive To Face

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman last month. Now, he's recovering from being hit in the face by a batted ball last night.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:28 pm

All-Star relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds is expected to make a full recovery and pitch again despite the injuries he suffered Wednesday night when he was hit square in the face by batted ball.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Sub-Hunting Planes Use High-Tech Gear To Search For Flight 370

A P-8A Poseidon (top) and a P-3 Orion are shown flying off the coast of Maryland.
U.S. Navy

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:42 pm

Two of the most advanced maritime surveillance aircraft are being pressed into service to search for possible wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps Sr. Dies

July 2007: The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. prepares to protest outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:03 am

The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., whose tiny Westboro Baptist Church has protested outside the funerals of fallen soldiers and celebrities to spread its views about homosexuality and abortion, has died, according to news reports. He was 84.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Top Stories: Search For Missing Jet Narrows; Westboro Baptist Founder Dies

Good afternoon.

Sorry for being late in our daily roundup. Here's what has been happening so far today:

-- Search For Missing Jet Focuses On Objects Seen Off Australia

-- Ukrainian Troops' Departure From Crimea Isn't A Simple Matter

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Thu March 20, 2014

U.S. To Impose Sanctions On More Russian Officials

President Obama on the south lawn of the White House Thursday as he spoke about new sanctions on some Russian officials.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 9:23 pm

More senior Russian officials are being added to the list of those who the U.S. will seek to penalize for their nation's interference in Ukraine's affairs, President Obama announced Thursday morning.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Reprimand, $20K Fine, No Jail Time For General's Sexual Misconduct

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair as he arrived for his court-martial case Thursday at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C.
Chris Keane Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:45 pm

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair avoided jail time Thursday and instead "was reprimanded and fined a total of $20,000 for inappropriate relationships with three subordinates in a closely watched court case," The Associated Press reports from Fort Bragg, N.C.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Toward Lower End Of Recent Range

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:09 am

There were 320,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration says.

While that's 5,000 more than were filed the week before, it's also a level that's at the lower end of the recent range for such claims and is roughly the pace they were running before the economy slipped into its most recent recession in December 2007.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ukrainian Troops' Departure From Crimea Isn't A Simple Matter

A Russian flag flies behind him Thursday as a Ukrainian soldier leaves what was one of his military's bases outside Simferopol, on the Crimean Peninsula. Local "self-defense forces," followed by Russian troops, have seized many strategic locations.
Yuri Kochetkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:36 pm

Ukraine's plans to withdraw its troops from Crimea, which as we reported were announced Wednesday, have apparently been complicated by the issue of whether they will be allowed to take their weapons and other equipment with them.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Book News: Meg Wolitzer To Publish A YA Novel Inspired By Sylvia Plath

Meg Wolitzer's novel Belzhar is scheduled for release on Sept. 30.
Courtesy of Dutton Children's Books

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:43 am

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

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Search For Missing Jet Focuses On Objects Seen Off Australia

This map adds in routes that investigators believe Malaysia Flight 370 might have taken.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:14 pm

This post is being updated.

Satellite images showing objects floating in the Indian Ocean have focused the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people who were on board to an area about 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.

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The Two-Way
9:29 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Houston Police Find 109 People In Suspected 'Stash House'

Police in Houston on Wednesday found more than 100 people being kept by suspected smugglers in a so-called "stash house."

KHOU-TV reports that the conditions inside the house were "awful." The station adds:

"'There is no hot water in the house. There is a toilet that partially works—one bathroom for in excess of 100 people,' said HPD spokesman John Cannon.

"Police said there was human waste all over the house.

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The Two-Way
8:49 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

At Toronto City Hall, Yet Another Chaotic Scene Involving Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford walks to City Hall in a media scrum in Toronto, on Wednesday.
Mark Blinch Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:04 pm

If you thought things had calmed down in Toronto, you were wrong.

Today, a new round of court documents meant another chaotic day at Toronto city hall.

In truth, we didn't learn much more about the scandal involving Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. As the CBC reports, the court documents revealed officially that video obtained by police show Ford holding a "glass cylinder to his mouth," while he lit a flame to the tip of the pipe.

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The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

For The New York Metro Area, A Chance To See A Rare 'Occultation'

Regulus, the bright star on the upper left, is part of a multiple star system, with a close companion double star visible to the upper right of the young main sequence star.
Russell Croman NASA

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:12 pm

People in the New York City metropolitan area — including parts of New Jersey and Connecticut — will be able to see one the brightest stars in the night sky blink.

In scientific terms, Regulus, the brightest star of the constellation Leo, will be occulted by an asteroid just after 2:05 a.m. ET on Thursday.

As Space.com reports, this is an exceedingly rare event:

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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Why Ukraine's Situation Makes Russia's Other Neighbors Nervous

A column of Russian troops prepares to leave the checkpoint at a bridge over the Inguri River in Western Georgia, in October 2008, after securing the secession of Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia region.
Levan Gabechava Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:42 am

When Vladimir Putin announced the Kremlin's annexation of Crimea this week, he made it clear that the region's large Russian-speaking population made the move necessary and inevitable.

In fact, large populations of Russian speakers are common along the fringes of the old Soviet Union. Those groups are made up of a combination of indigenous people and Russians who migrated from the mother country, many as part of Soviet-era policies aimed at altering the ethnic makeup in potentially troublesome satellites.

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