The Two Way

The Two-Way
5:42 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Dow Jones Index Closes Above 16,000 For First Time

For the first time in its history, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 16,000 points Thursday. The index of 30 stocks touched the mark earlier this week, when a trader was photographed at the New York Stock Exchange.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

The Dow Jones industrial average tacked on 109 points Thursday for a gain of less than 1 percent. But the small rise brought a big milestone, as the industrial index closed above 16,000 for the first time in its history. The index had touched the mark earlier this week but fell short by the day's end.

Today, the Dow closed at 16,009.99.

The historic moment for the benchmark index that tracks 30 leading U.S. companies came on a day that began with positive economic news.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Number Of Homeless Declines Again, But Gains Aren't Universal

A homeless man sleeps under an American flag blanket on a park bench in New York City. New U.S. data reports a drop in the number of homeless people — but not in New York and other states.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The number of homeless people in the U.S. shrank from 2012 to 2013, according to a large government study that found the number of veterans and others who are homeless declined for the third straight year. But homeless numbers rose in New York and other states, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The study also found that nearly 20 percent of homeless people were in either New York City (11 percent of the U.S. total) or Los Angeles (9 percent).

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Alabama Pardons Scottsboro Boys In 1931 Rape Case

Attorney Samuel Leibowitz, confers with seven of the defendants in the Scottsboro rape case in 1935 in Alabama. Thursday, a judge pardoned the remaining three men who hadn't already been pardoned.
AP

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 5:05 pm

"Today, the Scottsboro Boys have finally received justice."

That was Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's reaction to a parole board's decision Thursday that brought an end to an eight-decade-old case that came to represent racial injustice in the Deep South.

The parole board unanimously approved a posthumous pardon for Haywood Patterson, Charlie Weems and Andy Wright — the three black men who weren't pardoned in the 1931 rape case.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Kennedy Cousin Skakel Gets Bail As He Awaits New Murder Trial

Michael Skakel, pictured in October 2012, was granted bail Thursday.
Jessica Hill MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 8:00 pm

Michael Skakel, a cousin of the Kennedy family, was granted bail Thursday and released from prison as he awaits a new trial in the 1975 murder of his neighbor Martha Moxley.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Three Women May Have Spent 30 Years As Slaves In London

A very disturbing story is emerging from the U.K.:

-- "Two people have been arrested as part of an investigation into slavery and domestic servitude at a house in London sparked by a report on Sky News. The inquiry was launched after one of three alleged victims told a charity she had been held against her will for more than 30 years." (Sky News)

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Senate Democrats Detonate 'Nuclear Option' To Curb Filibusters

Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 2:09 pm

(We added to the top of this post at 2:08 p.m. ET.)

There was high drama Thursday on the floor of the Senate as Democrats significantly changed the way business in the chamber is done.

In what Republicans cast as a "power grab" but Democrats defended as a way to break gridlock, the Senate's rules were changed to make it much more difficult for a minority of the members to hold up action on key presidential nominees.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Yellen's Nomination To Fed Gets OK From Senate Committee

Janet Yellen during her confirmation hearing earlier this month. She's expected to win Senate approval to take over as head of the Federal Reserve.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 11:55 am

By a 14-8 vote that saw three Republicans join 11 Democrats in saying "aye," the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday morning approved the nomination of Janet Yellen to be the next head of the Federal Reserve.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Family Asks North Korea To Release 85-Year-Old American

North Korean soldiers march through Kim Il-Sung square in Pyongyang. Merrill Newman, an American grandfather, has been missing since being removed from a plane about to depart North Korea on Oct. 26.
ED JONES AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 11:53 am

The family and friends of an 85-year-old California grandfather have appealed to North Korean officials to release the man, who reportedly has been held by authorities in the communist state since Oct. 26.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Jobless Claims And Wholesale Prices Drop

Part of the scene at a job fair for veterans and family members earlier this month in Marietta, Ga.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 11:47 am

While it's always important to keep in mind that neither one week nor one month make for a trend, there is good economic news to pass along:

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Top Stories: Afghan Security; Plane Lands At Wrong Airport

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 11:48 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Obama Says U.S. Will Respect Afghan Sovereignty.

-- Taking Off Will Be Tricky After Jet Lands At Wrong Airport.

And here are more early headlines:

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Obama Says U.S. Will Respect Afghan Sovereignty

A member of the Afghan Loya Jirga listens as the more than 2,000 elders begin debating a proposed U.S.-Afghan security pact on Thursday in Kabul.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 12:15 pm

As Afghan elders debate whether to approve a proposed security agreement with the U.S., there's word that President Obama has said the U.S. will respect Afghanistan's sovereignty and carry out raids on Afghan homes only under extraordinary circumstances, The Associated Press writes.

The wire service says Obama made that pledge in a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. It adds that:

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Book News: James McBride, Surprise National Book Award Winner

National Book Awards judges lauded writer James McBride, seen in 2007, for "a voice as comic and original as any we have heard since Mark Twain."
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Thu November 21, 2013

It's Away! Cargo Jet That Landed At Wrong Airport Takes Off

Grounded: The Boeing 747 Dreamlifter that mistakenly landed Wednesday at Jabara airport in Wichita, Kan.
Jaime Green MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 6:54 pm

Update at 2:17 p.m. ET. In The Air:

Moments ago a massive Boeing 747 "Dreamlifter" cargo jet that mistakenly landed at a small municipal airport late Wednesday took off with a roar from an airfield with a runway much shorter than a jet that size usually uses.

We were watching an NBC News webcast as the big jet took off.

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The Two-Way
2:53 am
Thu November 21, 2013

'Good Lord Bird,' 'The Unwinding' Win National Book Awards

Author James McBride won the 2013 National Book Award for fiction for The Good Lord Bird, about the journey of a young slave in the 1850s.
Victoria Will AP

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 12:49 pm

(This post was updated at 10:30 a.m.)

James McBride won the prestigious National Book Award for fiction on Wednesday for his novel The Good Lord Bird about a young slave who joins the abolitionist John Brown in his anti-slavery mission. Also honored were George Packer, who won in the nonfiction category, Mary Szybist, for poetry, and Cynthia Kadohata, for young people's literature.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

U.S., Afghanistan Reach Tentative Security Pact

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 8:38 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry says he and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have agreed on the text of a security agreement that would allow U.S. troops to stay on the ground in the South Asian country beyond 2014.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that after numerous phone calls, Kerry says he and Karzai reached terms for a "limited role" for U.S. troops that would be confined to training, equipping and assisting Afghan forces.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

City Of Vancouver Shows Doorknobs The Exit

In Vancouver, doorknobs are out, levers are in.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 9:10 pm

The doorknob is dead. At least in Vancouver, British Columbia.

A recent revision in the city's building code, designed to improve accessibility, shows the door to the venerable knob, replacing it with the hipper and easier-to-use lever.

The Vancouver Sun reports:

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey Among 16 Honored At White House

From one president to another: Former President Bill Clinton receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from current President Obama.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 8:04 pm

A former president, a baseball legend, a country music star and a woman who's a powerhouse in American media were among 16 people honored Wednesday at the White House with the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Talk About An Error! We Put 'Mr. Cub' On The White Sox!

Ernie Banks, of THE CHICAGO CUBS, back in his playing days.
AP

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 2:05 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: Our error about Ernie Banks

The words were barely out of our friend and correspondent Ari Shapiro's mouth just after 7:30 a.m. ET this morning when the phones started ringing and emails started arriving.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Florida Congressman Taking Leave Of Absence After Cocaine Plea

Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel, R-Fla.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 11:48 pm

Republican Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel of Florida pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to misdemeanor cocaine possession.

That plea in a Washington, D.C., court comes one day after word that Radel had been charged with buying $260 worth of the drug from an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Hospitals Say They Had Room To Help Before Virginia Tragedy

The Millboro, Va., home of state Sen. Creigh Deeds. He was attacked there Tuesday — authorities believe by his son Gus. The younger Deeds then may have fatally shot himself, investigators say.
Don Petersen AP

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 8:00 pm

Update at 8 p.m. ET. State IG Opens Investigation

The Washington Post reports that the state's Office of Inspector General has opened an investigation into why the son of Virginia state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds was released from custody the day before the stabbing.

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Wed November 20, 2013

White Supremacist Murderer Who Shot Larry Flynt Is Executed

Joseph Paul Franklin in a photo taken in 2012 by the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 10:47 am

Joseph Paul Franklin, the white supremacist who was convicted of eight murders, suspected in as many as 20 others and who shot Hustler publisher Larry Flynt in 1978, was put to death Wednesday in Missouri.

St. Louis Public Radio followed the news overnight as Franklin ran out of legal challenges.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Wed November 20, 2013

'I Relied Upon My Faith,' George W. Bush Tells Jay Leno

Former President George W. Bush gave Tonight Show host Jay Leno a painting Tuesday night. Since leaving the White House, Bush has taken up painting.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno's YouTube channel

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 10:37 am

Making a relatively rare appearance on national TV, former President George W. Bush told Tonight Show host Jay Leno on Tuesday's show that "I relied upon my faith, my family helped a lot and I had a good team around me" while in the White House.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Book News: Charlotte Zolotow, Author Of Ethereal Children's Books, Dies

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 9:42 am

(This post was updated at 9:40 a.m.)

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

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Life Is Slowly Returning To Shattered Philippine City

Some people marched in the rain Tuesday in the Philippine city of Tacloban, which was crushed by Typhoon Haiyan.
David Guttenfelder AP
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn, in the Philippines, talks with Steve Inskeep

There was almost nothing left standing or working in the Philippines city of Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan tore through on Nov. 8.

No electricity. No clean water. No undamaged buildings.

As one official told NPR's Anthony Kuhn, "we have citizens, but no city."

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