The Two Way

The Two-Way
8:52 am
Wed October 16, 2013

N.J. Goes To Polls To Fill Vacant U.S. Senate Seat

Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan shake hands at the start of the final debate of their U.S. Senate campaign, last week at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:37 pm

New Jersey voters are choosing a new member of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, in a special election pitting Newark Mayor Cory Booker against Steve Lonegan.

Democrat Booker is favored in the polls to win the race to fill the vacancy left by the death of Frank Lautenberg in June. However, his Republican opponent, the former mayor of the northern New Jersey town of Bogota, has managed to close the gap a bit in the run-up to election day.

ABC7 reports:

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Arrest Made In Dry Ice Bomb Case At LA Airport

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 12:03 pm

Police have arrested a baggage handler in connection with a series of dry ice bombs, two of which exploded harmlessly at the Los Angeles International Airport in recent days.

Dicarlo Bennett, 28, an employee for the ground handling company Servisair, was booked on Tuesday for "possession of a destructive device near an aircraft," The Associated Press reports. He is being held on $1 million bail.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Wed October 16, 2013

As It Happened: The Fight Over The Debt Ceiling, Shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:23 pm

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Book News: Eleanor Catton Is The Youngest-Ever Booker Winner

Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries poses for photographs Tuesday after winning the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction at The Guildhall in London.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 11:01 am

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

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Justices To Hear Cases On Self-Incrimination, Freezing Assets

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases on Wednesday: Kansas v. Cheever and Kaley v. United States.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:14 am

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases on Wednesday — one that focuses on the right against self-incrimination and another that looks at when prosecutors can seize defendants' assets.

What Counts As Self-Incrimination?

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The Two-Way
6:09 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Supreme Court To Weigh EPA Permits For Power Plant Emissions

The Supreme Court is expected to take up the case on the greenhouse gas permits for large polluters early next year.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:14 am

The Supreme Court has agreed to review an Obama administration policy that requires new power plants and other big polluting facilities to apply for permits to emit greenhouse gases.

To get these permits, which have been required since 2011, companies may have to use pollution controls or otherwise reduce greenhouse gases from their operations — although industries report that so far they haven't had to install special pollution control equipment to qualify for the permits.

The rule is part of a larger effort by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Fitch Places U.S. Under Review For A Credit Downgrade

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:58 am

Fitch Ratings, one of the big three credit ratings agencies, issued a warning shot today, saying that while it affirmed the United States' AAA credit rating, it was placing it on "rating watch negative."

In other words, it was placing the country's long-term credit rating under review for a potential downgrade.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Feel Old Yet? Roddick And Blake Will Play On Senior Circuit

James Blake addresses the crowd during an interview with Mary Joe Fernandez after losing on day three of the 2013 U.S. Open.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:25 pm

Neither of them is over 35 years old. One of them played in ATP World Tour events just months ago; the other did so last year. But none of that will keep recently retired tennis players Andy Roddick, 31, and James Blake, 33, from joining a circuit of senior players.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

FISA Court: We Approve 99 Percent Of Wiretap Applications

A letter (pdf) released today by a special surveillance court clears up some misconceptions about legal oversight for government wiretap activities. Responding to a letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) and ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court says, yes, it's true, we do approve 99% of all wiretap applications.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Obama Awards Medal Of Honor To Afghan War Vet

President Obama gives former U.S. Army Capt. William Swenson the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:21 pm

Saying "America is grateful for you," President Obama awarded the nation's highest military honor on Tuesday to former Army Capt. William Swenson.

The Medal of Honor is the first given to an Army officer since the Vietnam War. President Obama said Swenson braved seven hours of continuous fighting, putting his life in danger multiple times to help fallen and wounded service members, as well as his Afghan partners.

NPR's Scott Horsley filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Obama called Swenson 'a remarkable role model for all of us.'

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Medicare Begins Open Enrollment, With An Online Caveat

An image taken from the Medicare website shows a message warning users that "information on this website may not be up to date," a situation blamed on the federal shutdown.
NPR

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:08 pm

The open enrollment for Medicare programs that began Tuesday will run into December. While the Medicare website doesn't have the problems found in the new federal health system's sites, the government shutdown means that information "may not be up to date," the site warns its users.

For Newscast, NPR's Julie Rovner reports:

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Alleged Top Al-Qaida Operative Pleads Not Guilty

This image from the FBI website shows Abu Anas al-Libi, who was captured in a U.S. operation on Saturday in Libya.
AP

The man the U.S. alleges is the top al-Qaida operative who orchestrated the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday at a Federal Court in Manhattan.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

"Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, also known as Abu Anas al-Libi, made his first court appearance in the U.S. Tuesday afternoon after being charged by federal prosecutors more than a decade ago.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Report: NSA Harvests Contact Lists From Email, Facebook

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:12 pm

The Washington Post has published new revelations about the National Security Agency's electronic snooping, indicating that the intelligence branch gathers millions of contact lists from personal email accounts and instant messaging around the world.

The new information is attributed by The Post to "senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden."

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Former San Diego Mayor Pleads Guilty To Criminal Charges

Mayor Bob Filner of San Diego speaks at a news conference in July.
Bill Wechter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:56 pm

Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty to three criminal charges on Tuesday that stem from allegations of sexual harassment by three unnamed women.

The Democratic mayor and nine-term congressman, if you remember, was forced to resign from his office after allegations of harassment mounted over the summer. Filner left office, declaring his innocence, saying his resignation was a "political coup," orchestrated by a "lynch mob."

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

18-Foot Oarfish Livens Up A 'Leisurely Snorkel' In California

People hoist the body of an 18-foot oarfish that was discovered in Toyon Bay at Catalina Island off the California coast.
Courtesty of Catalina Island Marine Institute

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 5:43 pm

A snorkeler off the coast of California found more than she bargained for on the ocean floor Sunday, when she saw the large eyes of an 18-foot fish staring back at her. It turned out to be a dead oarfish, a mysterious creature known to live in waters thousands of feet deep.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Apple Hires Burberry CEO Ahrendts To Head Retail Division

Angela Ahrendts is leaving her post as CEO of Burberry to head the online and retail division at Apple. She will become the first woman in the tech company's senior executive ranks.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 3:45 pm

After going a year without a permanent executive in charge of its retail division, Apple said Tuesday morning that it is hiring Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as a senior vice president. She will be the first woman on Apple's team of senior executives.

A veteran of the fashion industry, Ahrendts, 53, is a native of New Palestine, Ind., who has headed Britain's Burberry since 2006. On Tuesday, the company reported total revenue of more than $1.64 billion in the six-month period that ended Sept. 30. Her tenure included a successful revamping of the company's online store.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Dozens Die In Philippines After Powerful Earthquake

People inspect damage to the Church of San Pedro in the town of Loboc, Bohol, after a powerful earthquake struck the region early on Tuesday. The quake hit near one of the Philippines' key tourist hubs, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
Robert Michael Poole AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 2:29 pm

A strong earthquake has left dozens of people dead in the Philippines. The temblor, whose magnitude was first reported as 7.2 and then downgraded to 7.1, struck near the city of Catigbian in the inland area of Bohol, one of the central Visayas Islands.

At least 93 people have been reported dead, and the casualty count is likely to grow as rescue and recovery teams reach areas that were cut off by rubble and other obstructions.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Second Dry Ice Bomb Goes Off At LA Airport

A photograph taken last month of the south concourse of LA International Airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:50 pm

This post was updated at 11:30 a.m.

Authorities in Los Angeles were investigating a dry ice bomb that went off at the city's international airport late Monday — the second blast in as many days. Two other devices were found unexploded.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Leaders Express 'Cautious Optimism' Over Iran Nuclear Plan

Catherine Ashton, the EU high representative for foreign affairs, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif share a light moment Tuesday at the start of two-day talks on Iran's nuclear program.
Fabrice Coffrini AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 3:39 pm

Iran's proposal for easing the standoff over its nuclear program got seemingly positive initial reviews at Tuesday's start of multiparty talks in Geneva.

A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the Iranian delegation had made a PowerPoint presentation outlining the plan at the beginning of the two-day session. The spokesman said the plan had been received with "cautious optimism" but gave no further details of the close-door meeting, describing the proceedings as "confidential."

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Tue October 15, 2013

On Capitol Hill, A Flurry Of Activity But Still No Deal

House Speaker John Boehner (center) and House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (right) arrive for a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:16 pm

(This post was last updated at 11:05 p.m. ET)

With a little more than a day to go before the nation potentially defaults on its debts, there's still no solid plan on the table in Washington.

There was a flurry of activity on Tuesday, but it produced little significant movement.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Book News: Oscar Hijuelos Remembered As 'A Cultural Pioneer'

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos attends the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors) Awards in 2003 in New York City.
Myrna Suarez Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Millions Of Miles From Shutdown, Mars Rovers Keep Working

A photo composed of nearly 900 images taken by the rover Curiosity shows a section of Gale Crater near the equator of Mars. The rovers are continuing to work through the U.S. government shutdown.
NASA AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:55 pm

The budget negotiations in Washington are not front-page news on Mars. There, millions of miles away, NASA's rovers continue to operate, taking photographs and collecting data as they prepare for the coming Martian winter.

NPR's Joe Palca has this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Today Is The Last Day For The 'International Herald Tribune'

An image showing the final front page of The International Herald Tribune, published Monday Oct. 14. The newspaper will become The International New York Times Tuesday.
New York Times

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 12:49 am

Monday marks the last day of newsstand sales of the International Herald Tribune, the newspaper that was once instrumental in keeping American expatriates up to date on their homeland. On Tuesday, the paper will bear a new name: The International New York Times.

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