The Two Way

The Two-Way
10:02 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Lawyer Rejects Guantanamo 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Claim

Books in the detainees library at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are seen in this Aug. 8, 2013, photo. A prisoner at the facility handed over a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey to his lawyer.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:20 am

Weeks after detainees at Guantanamo Bay were said to be voracious readers of Fifty Shades of Grey, one lawyer says that, at least in his client's case, that idea is bogus.

Attorney James Connell says his client, Ammar al-Baluchi, turned over a copy of the bestselling erotic novel and had never heard of it before guards gave him a copy on Monday.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Comet Flies Into The Sun, Goes Out In A Blaze Of Glory

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 2:13 pm

Like Icarus, the mythological character who plunged to his death after flying too close to the sun, a comet took a solar swan dive earlier this week. NASA has captured its final moments on video.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week; Still Around 5-Year Low

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:46 am

There were 13,000 more claims for unemployment insurance last week than during the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

According to the agency, 336,000 first-time claims were filed, up from 323,000 the week before.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Bradley Manning: 'I Am A Female,' Call Me Chelsea

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who now asks to be referred to as Chelsea, dressed as a woman in this 2010 photograph.
U.S. Army handout Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:05 pm

"I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible."

That's part of a statement from Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to NBC-TV's Today show.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Speculation Builds That San Diego Mayor Is On His Way Out

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D).
Fred Greaves Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 3:50 pm

Update at 3:40 p.m. ET. 'Tentative Agreement':

The law firm that has helped San Diego Mayor Bob Filner navigate the accusations of sexual harassment, says he and representatives of the city have "reached a tentative agreement," but declined to elaborate:

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Book News: FBI Suspected William T. Vollmann Was The Unabomber

Author William T. Vollmann poses in his studio in Sacramento, Calif., in 2005.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

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

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Chemical Weapons Claims Spur Calls For Force Against Syria

Gas mask in one hand and rifle in the other, a Free Syrian Army fighter sits inside a house in the city of Homs early Thursday.
Yazan Homsy Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 3:11 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: The BBC's Nick Bryant reports

Claims by the opposition in Syria that President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons during an attack Wednesday near Damascus — killing scores of people, they say — are being followed Thursday by word that:

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The Two-Way
6:44 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Soldier Who Admitted To Massacre Hears From Afghan Survivors

A courtroom sketch shows an Afghan man named Faizullah testifying in a courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., on Tuesday. His father and brother were shot and wounded when Staff Sgt. Robert Bales attacked their village in Kandahar province last year.
Peter Millett AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:11 am

Details of the massacre of 16 Afghans by a U.S. soldier last spring are emerging in a courtroom near Tacoma, Wash., where survivors of that attack traveled to confront Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. A six-member military jury is hearing testimony at a sentencing hearing for Bales.

At least seven people made the trip from Afghanistan to Washington state to speak at the hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where Bales' Army unit is based.

The AP describes the night in question:

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Secret Court: NSA Surveillance Program Was Unconstitutional

An image taken from the FISA court opinion released Wednesday. The document reveals instances in which the court saw the NSA overstepping in its surveillance efforts.
NPR

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 8:53 am

A secret federal court found that the National Security Agency violated the civil rights of Americans when it collected thousands of emails and other digital messages between Americans, according to a 2011 opinion released Wednesday.

The FISA court ruled parts of the program to be unconstitutional and ordered them to be revised. The government made changes and the court signed off on the program in November of 2011.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Journey Of The Ring: Lost In WWII, Now Back With POW's Son

The ring that finally found its way home after nearly 70 years. David Cox, an American pilot, traded it for some food while he was a prisoner of war in Germany.
Courtesy of Norwood McDowell

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:11 am

  • David Cox Jr. talks with NPR's Melissa Block about the journey of his father's ring
  • David Cox Jr. talks with NPR's Melissa Block about how his father would have loved getting his ring back

"I can't touch it or pick it up without thinking about him and I can't pick it up without thinking about this journey of the ring."

That's David C. Cox Jr. of North Carolina talking Wednesday about the rather amazing saga of the ring his father had to trade for food in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II — a ring that has now made it back to the Cox family after seven decades.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

New Zealand Passes Law That Allows Domestic Spying

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom, left, leaves court after he was granted bail in the in Auckland, New Zealand.
Michael Bradley AFP/Getty Images

Saying it was vital to the country's national security, New Zealand passed a controversial law today that allows the Government Communications Security Bureau — the country's NSA equivalent — to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of law enforcement.

The law was approved by a razor-thin — 61-59 — margin and comes in the shadow of a worldwide discussion of just how much spying governments should be allowed to conduct on their own citizens.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Jayhawks And Tigers: A Sports Rivalry Born Of Blood

This illustration depicts the bloody sacking of Lawrence, Kansas by the Quantrill Raiders on Aug. 21, 1863.
Interim Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:15 pm

Would you go to a bar to celebrate a massacre? That's a choice people in Kansas City are facing.

Wednesday marks the 150th anniversary of Quantrill's Raid, a notorious killing and burning spree in Lawrence, Kan., the present-day home of the University of Kansas. It was the worst atrocity in a decade's worth of Kansas-Missouri border fighting between abolitionists and pro-slavery forces.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Detroit's Stray Dog Epidemic: 50,000 Or More Roam The City

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:49 am

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

No Positive Tests For Doping At This Year's Tour De France

There were no positive doping tests during the 2013 Tour de France, officials say. Here, Chris Froome, the overall winner, steps into the anti-doping control bus after a stage in the race.
Pascal Guyot AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of samples taken from riders in this summer's Tour de France found no signs of doping, officials say. The epic race, which was put on for the hundredth time in 2013, has been at the center of recent doping scandals.

Anti-doping officials say they took 202 blood and urine samples before the race began, and an additional 419 during competition. Nearly 200 of those samples were taken with the goal of creating a "biological passport" for riders, to establish a baseline of their body chemistry.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Report: Former Pope Benedict Says God Told Him To Resign

Pope Benedict XVI, on Saturday at the Vatican.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 1:58 pm

When Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI announced his retirement in February, he surprised pretty much everyone. He was, after all, the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.

At the time, Benedict cited his age and diminishing strength as his reasons for resigning.

Today, we get word from the Catholic wire service Zenit that Benedict resigned because "God told [him] to."

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Sales Of Existing Homes Rose 6.5 Percent In July

A "sale pending" sign in San Anselmo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:22 am

There was a strong increase in sales of existing homes in July, the National Association of Realtors reports, in yet another sign that the important housing sector is back on its feet.

In fact, says The Associated Press, sales approached "a healthy level for the first time since November 2009."

According to the NAR:

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

In Fort Hood, Hasan Rests His Case Without Calling Witnesses

Maj. Nidal Hasan faces 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder for the November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.
Bell County Sheriff's Office Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:18 am

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people during a 2009 shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas, rested his case Wednesday without calling any witnesses during his military trial.

Reuters reports:

"Hasan is acting as his own defense attorney on charges stemming from the shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Tech Giants Launch Internet.org, A Global Plan To Widen Access

A new project announced by Facebook seeks to make it more affordable to access the Internet via cellphones around the world. In Africa, 16 percent of the population currently uses the Internet. Here, a man looks for a network signal in Somalia.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Citing the billions of people worldwide who can't access the Internet, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the leaders of other technology firms are launching an ambitious project to narrow the digital divide Wednesday. The plan focuses on widening access via mobile phones.

"There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy," Zuckerberg says. "Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making Internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it."

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Release Mubarak, Egyptian Court Orders

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sits in the dock during a June 8 court hearing in Cairo.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:57 am

An Egyptian court has ordered that former President Hosni Mubarak be released from custody while he awaits a retrial on charges related to the killing of protesters during the 2011 protests that led to the toppling of his government, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Cairo.

Peter adds that even though that case and others related to corruption charges are still active, Mubarak's release would "likely spark anxiety that the military-backed government now in charge is returning Egypt to the authoritarian state it was in before the Arab Spring."

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Not Funny: Clerk Critically Injured In Hasselhoff Sign Theft

One of the promotional images for Cumberland Farms' "Iced Hoffee."
Cumberland Farms' Facebook page

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 1:22 pm

What's been a relatively amusing trend in New England — the theft in the past year of more than 550 advertising signs featuring actor David Hasselhoff — isn't funny anymore.

A clerk who works at a Cumberland Farms convenience store in Shelton, Conn., "remains in critical condition after falling while trying to stop an SUV from driving away with stolen David Hasselhoff signs," The Hartford Courant says.

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

35-Year Sentence For Bradley Manning

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, Md., on Tuesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 2:31 pm

Update at 10:18 a.m. ET. 35 Years:

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was responsible for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, was sentenced by a military judge to 35 years in prison Wednesday, according to reporters covering the trial at Fort Meade, Md. He'll get about 3 1/2 years' credit for time he's already spent behind bars.

More details (added at 10:30 a.m. ET):

-- Manning is also to be dishonorably discharged.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Wed August 21, 2013

School Clerk In Georgia Persuaded Gunman To Lay Down Weapons

Laterrica Luther holds the hand of her 6-year-old nephew, Jaden Culpepper, as students from the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy arrive on buses to waiting loved ones in a Walmart parking lot in Decatur, Ga., on Tuesday. A gunman had entered the students' school earlier in the day. No one was hurt.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:45 am

Tuesday's terrifying incident at an elementary school near Atlanta — in which a gunman with an assault rifle and other weapons entered the building — ended with no one being hurt after a school clerk apparently spent about an hour talking to the young man. She says she persuaded him to put down his gun and surrender.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Book News: Barnes & Noble Founder Pulls Plug On Buyback Plan

A Barnes & Noble store in Bethel Park, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 9:19 am

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

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