The Two Way

The Two-Way
9:41 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Wal-Mart Blames Economy And Payroll Taxes For Slowed Earnings

Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:23 pm

Wal-Mart is blaming depressed demand amid a still-shaky economy and a rise in payroll taxes for disappointing earnings in the quarter ending July 31.

The world's largest retailer said Thursday that its net income rose to $4.07 billion, barely above the $4.02 billion it earned in the same quarter last year.

According to Reuters, sales at U.S. stores that have been open for at least one year fell 0.3 percent.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Jobless Claims Drop To Pre-Recession Level

The scene at a career fair held by the National Urban League last month in Philadelphia.
Mark Makela Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 10:37 am

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

Not only is that 15,000 fewer than had been filed the week before, it's also the lowest number for any single week since before the U.S. economy officially slipped into its most recent recession, in December 2007.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Thu August 15, 2013

VIDEO: 'Sideways Rocket Hop' By SpaceX Prototype

The "Grasshopper" during its hop into the air.
SpaceX

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 1:50 pm

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Book News: Slam Poet's 'OCD' Love Poem Makes Waves

Neil Hilborn performs "OCD" at the 2013 Rustbelt Poetry Slam.
YouTube

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

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Gingrich: Most GOP Lawmakers Have 'Zero' Ideas On Health Care

Republicans need to pitch their own ideas on healthcare, not just object to the president's, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 9:47 am

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Thu August 15, 2013

After Deaths Of Hundreds, More Bloodshed Feared In Egypt

Posters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi lay amid the rubble of a protest camp in Cairo after Wednesday's crackdown by government forces.
Ahmed Assadi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:30 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo

"It's difficult to see a path out of this crisis, at least not without more people dying."

That's how NPR's Cairo bureau chief, Leila Fadel, ended her Morning Edition report Thursday. After Wednesday's deadly crackdown by Egyptian troops on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi — a crackdown that according to latest estimates left more than 500 people dead and 3,500 or so wounded — the fear is that there will be much more bloodshed.

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The Two-Way
7:04 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

That 2012 Bundle Of Joy Will Cost You $241,080 To Raise

Eight-week-old Eleanor Delp attends a "What to Expect" baby shower with her mother in August of 2012 in Springfield, Virginia.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 10:19 am

The United States Department of Agriculture has crunched the numbers and it concludes today that if you had a child in 2012, it'll cost you $241,080 to raise him or her for next 17 years.

If you adjust it for inflation, that number soars to $301,970.

This represents a 2.6 percent increase from 2011. The USDA reports:

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The Two-Way
6:13 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Gmail Users Shouldn't Expect Privacy, Google Says In Filing

People who use Gmail and other free email systems have no reasonable expectation of privacy, according to papers filed in a U.S. district court by lawyers for Google. The filing was made in June, when Google moved to dismiss a case accusing it of breaking federal and state laws by scanning users' emails to help target its advertising campaigns.

In making its case, Google compared sending an email to other types of communications where privacy cannot be expected:

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

'Nothing Racist' Implied In 'Obama' Act, Says Rodeo Clown

A photo taken of the clown who wore a mask resembling President Obama during a rodeo Saturday at the Missouri State Fair.
Jameson Hsieh AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:40 am

Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown at the center of the controversy over the skit at the Missouri State Fair in which a man wearing a President Obama mask was mocked, says "nothing racist was ever implied."

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

In Moscow, American Runner Dedicates His Medal To Gay Friends

Nick Symmonds of the United States celebrates winning silver in the Men's 800 meters final during Day Four of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on Tuesday.
Mark Kolbe Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 2:18 pm

The two-time U.S. Olympian Nick Symmonds won the silver medal in the 800 meter race, yesterday, in the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

That wasn't the news, however. Instead, the news became Symmonds' dedication of his medal to his gay and lesbian friends.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Jesse Jackson Jr. Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., leaves federal court in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Jackson was sentenced to two and a half years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to scheming to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on TV's, restaurant dinners, an expensive watch and other costly personal items.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 5:56 pm

Jesse Jackson Jr., who pleaded guilty to misusing $750,000 in campaign funds, was sentenced to 30 months in prison plus three years of supervised release today, The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times are reporting.

Earlier during the sentencing hearing, the former Democratic congressman from Chicago and his wife wept, while apologizing for their failings.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Pentagon Details Plan To Extend Benefits To Same-Sex Spouses

The Pentagon said Wednesday that it will extend benefits to same-sex spouses of service members and civilian employees.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:37 pm

The Department of Defense announced Wednesday that it is extending full benefits to the same-sex spouses of service members and civilian employees.

The move is an effort to bring Pentagon policies in line with a Supreme Court decision that found the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

San Diego's Hooters, Other Businesses Tell Mayor To Stay Away

At the entrance to this Hooters restaurant in San Diego, the sign is up telling Mayor Bob Filner that he's not welcome.
Gregory Bull AP

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who is refusing calls to resign following the dozen or so accounts of women who say he sexually harassed them, isn't welcome at his city's Hooters restaurants.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Journalist Jack Germond, One Of The 'Boys On The Bus,' Dies

Journalist Jack Germond in August 2000 on NBC's Meet the Press.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 6:07 pm

Political journalist and author Jack Germond died Wednesday at his home in West Virginia. He was 85.

The longtime columnist died just as he'd finished writing a political novel titled A Small Story for Page Three, reports USA Today.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Bradley Manning: 'I Am Sorry ... I Hurt The United States'

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 5:46 pm

Update at 5:33 p.m. ET. 'I'm Sorry':

Delivering an unsworn statement before a military judge in Fort Meade, Md., Pfc. Bradley Manning apologized for perpetrating the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history.

"I'm sorry I hurt people," he said according to Reuters. "I'm sorry that I hurt the United States. I'm apologizing for the unexpected results of my actions. The last three years have been a learning experience for me."

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Wed August 14, 2013

The Knuckleball Can Devastate, So Why Don't All Pitchers Throw It?

The knuckleball grip used by Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright. Good fingernails are important.
Marvin Fong The Plain Dealer /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 6:17 pm

This sports news got our attention this week:

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Is Europe's Recession Really Over? It's Too Soon To Say

The line outside an employment office in Madrid last October. Spain's economy has been among the hardest hit in Europe.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 11:29 am

These headlines this morning make it sound like Europe's economy is up and running again:

-- "Euro Area Exits Longest Recession on Record." (Bloomberg News)

-- "Euro Zone Emerges from Recession." (The Wall Street Journal)

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed August 14, 2013

AOL CEO Apologizes For Public Firing

Tim Armstrong, the CEO of AOL.
Michael Kovac Getty Images for AOL

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 12:51 pm

After several days of brutal criticism and commentary about the brutal way he fired a man during a conference call, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is now apologizing.

"I am writing you to acknowledge the mistake I made last Friday during the Patch all-hands meeting when I publicly fired Abel Lenz," Armstrong says in an email to AOL employees, which Mashable has posted here.

Armstrong adds that:

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Book News: Handwriting Offers Clues In Shakespeare Debate

Shakespeare's handwriting may offer clues to a mysterious passage in Thomas Kyd's Spanish Tragedy.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Wed August 14, 2013

2 Killed When UPS Cargo Plane Crashes In Alabama

Debris burns as a UPS cargo plane lies on a hill near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport after crashing Wednesday.
Hal Yeager AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:36 pm

We're monitoring the news from Birmingham, Ala., where a UPS cargo plane crashed Wednesday morning. UPS says the incident involves UPS Flight 1354, which was traveling from Louisville.

The flight, which would normally last about 45 minutes, had been scheduled to land before 5 a.m. local time, according to several flight-tracking websites. Louisville is in the Eastern time zone, while Birmingham is in the Central.

We'll update this post as details emerge.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Wed August 14, 2013

'Bloodbath' In Cairo As Troops Move On Morsi Supporters

Protesters taunt security forces moving in to clear one protest camp near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo. The military-backed government described the camps as violent and unlawful.
Hesham Mostafa EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 6:00 am

  • On 'Morning Edition' just after 10 a.m. ET: NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 5:08 p.m. ET.)

In what looks to be the bloodiest day since the July 3 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, dozens of people in Cairo were killed Wednesday as government forces moved to clear Morsi's supporters from sites where they have been camped.

By evening, the ministry of health reported 275 people had been killed and 2,001 had been injured across the country. The government said 43 policemen had been killed.

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The Two-Way
6:46 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Columbine High School Principal Says He Will Retire

Columbine High School Principal Frank DeAngelis at a candlelight vigil at the Columbine Memorial at Clement Park near Littleton, Colo., in April of 2009.
Chris Schneider AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 7:13 am

Frank DeAngelis, the Columbine High School principal who helped usher students to safety during the 1999 shootings, announced he will retire at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

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The Two-Way
5:57 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Air Force Nuclear Unit Fails Inspection

The 341st Missile Wing at the Malmstrom Airforce Base in Montana handles one-third of the United States' land-based nuclear missiles.

Today, it failed an inspection after making "tactical-level errors during one of several exercises," the Air Force's Global Strike Command said in a statement.

The AP reports this is the second setback in a year for the unit. The news service adds:

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