The Two Way

The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

NSA Leaks Caused Terrorists To Change Tactics, Senator Says

Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speak to the media about the controversial National Security Agency programs.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 1:22 pm

Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss tells NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday that information leaked to the media by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has caused terrorists to change their tactics to thwart detection.

Asked if Snowden, believed to be in hiding in Hong Kong, qualified as a "traitor" who should face U.S. justice, Chambliss, R-Ga., replied, "If he's not a traitor, then he's pretty darn close to it.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Sun June 16, 2013

How Do You Say 'Born To Ride' In Latin?

Pope Francis blesses a sick or disabled person wearing Harley-Davidson garb in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican on Sunday.
Andrew Medichini Associated Press

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:14 am

Pope Francis blessed a thundering parade of thousands of bikers on Sunday as Harley-Davidson riders descended on Rome to celebrate the motorcycle maker's 110th anniversary.

The Associated Press reports that the Harley's patented super-loud engines nearly drowned out the Latin recitation of "Our Father."

The AP writes:

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Sun June 16, 2013

U.S. To North Korea: Dismantle Nuke Program, Then We'll Talk

The North and South Korean delegations meet at the border village of Panmunjom last week. The talks quickly fell apart.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 1:23 pm

The White House says it's open to "senior-level" talks proposed by North Korea, but only if Pyongyang lives up to its U.N. obligations to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Sunday that North Korea must meet "its obligations to the world." The U.S. will judge Pyongyang by "its actions and not its words," she said.

Earlier Sunday, Pyongyang proposed the high-level discussions with the U.S. just days after its direct talks with rival South Korea fell apart.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Jordan Says It's Ready If Syria Becomes Danger

Secretary of State John Kerry (left) meets with Jordan's King Abdullah at the Dead Sea last month.
Jim Young AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 12:41 pm

Jordan's King Abdullah says his country stands ready to respond to any threat from a spillover of the civil war in neighboring Syria, a day after the U.S. announced it would leave fighter jets and Patriot missiles in his country after joint military exercises end this week.

"If the world does not help as it should, and if the matter becomes a danger to our country, we are able at any moment to take the measures to protect the country and the interest of our people," Abdullah said, speaking to graduating military cadets.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Iran's President-Elect Meets With Caution In West

Iranians celebrate the victory of moderate presidential candidate Hasan Rowhani (portrait) at Vanak square in northern Tehran on Saturday.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 9:27 am

Hasan Rowhani's stunning presidential election victory in Iran has opened the door for improved relations with the West, but the U.S. and Israel remain cautious about making progress on their key demand — dismantling Iran's nuclear program.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the international community "must not give in to wishful thinking or temptation and loosen the pressure on Iran for it to stop its nuclear program."

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Syrian Strife Draws In Neighbors, Global Players

A Syrian rebel aims his sniper rifle at Syrian government forces in the Sheikh Maqsud district of Aleppo, in April.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:49 am

The conflict in Syria may be first and foremost a civil war, pitting the Shiite-dominated regime of President Bashar Assad against mostly Sunni insurgents. But the region's turbulent geopolitics have turned it into a proxy fight that has drawn in the rest of the region as well as the U.S and other global powers.

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Wave Of Attacks Leaves At Least 30 Dead In Iraq

A string of deadly attacks that appeared to be coordinated car bombings and shootings killed at least 30 people and left many more wounded across Iraq on Sunday, the Associated Press reports.

The AP has more:

"Most of the car bombs hit Shiite-majority areas and were the cause of most of the casualties, killing 26. The blasts hit half a dozen cities and towns in the south and center of the country.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Google's 'Looney' Internet Balloons Invade New Zealand

A Google balloon sails through the air with the Southern Alps in the background, in Tekapo, New Zealand, on Monday.
Jon Shenk AP

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 3:51 pm

Google has launched — quite literally — a new idea to bring the Internet to some of the world's remotest places.

The tech giant's engineering hothouse, Google X, is testing the use of 12-mile-high helium balloons to get coverage in areas where it's impractical to put in conventional infrastructure.

Google said Saturday that it has 30 of the balloons, or "high-altitude platforms" (HAPS), flying over New Zealand as part of something called Project Loon. They will hover at about twice the altitude of a passenger jet.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Riot Police In Turkey Move To Quash Protests

Turkish mothers wave the national flag during a vigil on Friday in memory of those killed during recent demonstrations in Istanbul's Taksim Square.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 3:15 pm

(This post last updated at 2:45 p.m. ET)

Turkish riot police backed by armored vehicles sealed off Istanbul's Taksim Square, firing tear gas and water cannons to dislodge protesters after two weeks of anti-government demonstrations.

The police moved into the square hours after an ultimatum issued by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that security forces "know how to clear" the area. Erdogan had given the demonstrators until Sunday, but police made their move late Saturday.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Facebook, Microsoft Reveal Requests For User Data

Facebook says it received 9,000 to 10,000 requests from government agencies during the last six months of 2012.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:08 pm

Facebook and Microsoft Corp. say the government has given them permission to reveal orders they've received to hand over user data, but that they are still prevented from giving anything other than very broad figures.

Facebook says it received 9,000 to 10,000 requests during the last six months of 2012, while Microsoft says it got 6,000 to 7,000 requests, affecting as many as 32,000 accounts.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Firefighters In Colorado Gaining The Upper Hand On Blazes

A U.S. Army helicopter releases water onto the Black Forest fire outside Colorado Springs, Colo., earlier this week.
U.S. Army handout Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:17 pm

Firefighters near Colorado Springs say that a surprise rainstorm and cooler weather have rallied their efforts to push back devastating wildfires that have destroyed at least 473 homes in recent days. Two people have been killed.

Authorities say that some evacuations of residents in the Black Forest, Colo., area have been lifted and that the largest of the fires is about one-third contained.

On Friday, several thousand people were allowed back into their homes, but an estimated 30,000 are still being told to stay away.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Coordinated Attacks Rock Southwestern Pakistan

Pakistani police officers and volunteers gather at the wreckage of a bus destroyed in a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, on Saturday.
Arshad Butt AP

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 5:55 pm

A bomb ripped through a bus in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least 14 students from a women's university in Quetta. Shortly afterward, militants burst into a nearby hospital that was treating the injured. Pakistani security forces stormed the hospital and regained control after a five-hour standoff.

Our original post continues:

A bomb on a bus in Pakistan has killed at least 11 female university students and teachers, and hurt 20 others. Militants later attacked the hospital where the victims were taken.

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Source: Obama Considering Releasing NSA Court Order

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:00 pm

NPR has learned that the Obama administration, under pressure to lift a cloak of secrecy, is considering whether to declassify a court order that gives the National Security Agency the power to gather phone call record information on millions of Americans.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Russia Says No-Fly Zone Over Syria Would Be Illegal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks to the media after his meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino on Saturday.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 5:04 am

Russia's foreign minister on Saturday warned that any effort by the U.S. and its allies to impose a no-fly zone over Syria would violate international law.

Sergei Lavrov, speaking at a news conference in Moscow with his Italian counterpart, referred to "leaks from Western media" that U.S. F-16 fighters and Patriot missile in Jordan might be used in neighboring Syria to suppress government forces fighting insurgents there.

"You don't have to be a great expert to understand that this will violate international law," Lavrov said.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Based On What We Know, Is The NSA Verizon Request Legal?

The National Security Agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
NSA Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 8:48 am

Here's what we know about a National Security Agency program that collects vast amounts of data on the electronic activity of Americans: While controversial, a leaked secret document authorizing the collection makes it clear that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has decided that the collection of metadata for every call made in and into the United States is legal under Section 215 of the U.S.A.

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The Two-Way
2:22 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Moderate Wins Iran's Presidency In Rebuke To Hard-Line Clerics

Moderate presidential candidate, Hasan Rowhani, a former nuclear negotiator, flashes the victory sign as he leaves a polling station in Tehran on Friday.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 6:54 pm

(This post was last updated at 3:45 p.m. ET)

Hasan Rowhani, the lone moderate in Iran's presidential elections, has secured victory and headed off a runoff vote in a symbolic rebuke to the country's hard-line Islamic clerics.

Rowhani, 64, won nearly 51 percent of the vote in a field of five other candidates, all but himself considered conservatives who were more or less in line with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Rowhani's closest rival, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqher Qalibaf, came in a distant second, with less than 17 percent of the ballots.

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The Two-Way
7:44 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Report: Former Nazi SS Officer Living In Minnesota

A June 3, 1944, photo provided by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum shows SS chief Heinrich Himmler (center) as he reviews troops of the Galician SS-Volunteer Infantry Division.
Uncredited AP

A 94-year-old man who allegedly was a top commander of a Nazi SS unit responsible for the massacre of civilians during World War II is reportedly living quietly in Minnesota, according to an exclusive report by The Associated Press.

The news agency says it obtained records through the Freedom of Information Act that show Michael Karkoc lied to officials in 1949 about his past in order to immigrate to the United States.

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The Two-Way
6:51 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

The Parking Spots That Cost More Than Half A Million Dollars

Parking spaces behind 298 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston are seen Friday. The two open spaces at right, front and back, were sold at auction for $560,000.
Michael Dwyer AP

As it turns out, prime urban parking can be almost as valuable as a single-family home. A Boston woman bought two parking spaces for $560,000 at auction Thursday, winning a tough bidding war that increased by the tens of thousands at each turn.

The buyer, Lisa Blumenthal, said the spots will be used for guests and workers, at the hefty price of $280,000 each — nearly 90 percent of the worth of the median sales price of a single-family home in Massachusetts.

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Archaeologists Discover Lost City In Cambodian Jungle

Australian archaeologists using remote-sensing technology have uncovered an ancient city in Cambodia that has remained hidden for more than a millennium under dense jungle undergrowth.

The discovery of Mahendraparvata, a 1,200-year-old lost city that predates Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temple complex by 350 years, was part of the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer Empire that ruled much of Southeast Asia from about 800 to 1400 A.D., during a time that coincided with Europe's Middle Ages.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

U.S. Navy Approves Use Of Lowercase Letters

Teletype operators relay U.S. military communications in North Africa during World War II.
AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:33 pm

A recent directive issued by the U.S. Navy was transmitted in the customary format, using all uppercase letters. Sailors, it said, are:

"AUTHORIZED TO USE STANDARD, MIXED-CASE CHARACTERS IN THE BODY OF NAVY ORGANIZATIONAL MESSAGES."

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Australian General's Frank Talk On Sexual Abuse Wins Fans

Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Australia's army chief, has simple advice for those who don't want women in the service: "Get out."
YouTube

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

U.N. Chief Opposes U.S. Military Support For Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:58 pm

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that he opposes the U.S. decision to provide Syrian rebels with military support.

"The United Nations, and in particular I, have been making it consistently clear that providing arms to either side would not address this current situation," Ban told reporters during a briefing. "There is no such military solution."

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Iranians Go To Polls In Vote To Replace Ahmadinejad

Ali Akbar Velayati, a conservative presidential candidate, shows his ink-stained finger as he votes at a polling station on Friday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:02 pm

Millions of Iranians cast ballots Friday in elections to replace incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a race that is being characterized as a potential challenge to the country's ruling Islamic clerics.

A slate of conservatives tacitly backed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are facing off against the lone moderate, Hasan Rowhan, a former nuclear negotiator.

Other candidates include Saeed Jalili, also a nuclear negotiator; Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf; and Khamenei's diplomatic adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Ignoring Racist Tweets, 11-Year-Old Nails National Anthem ... Again

Sebastien de la Cruz, known as San Antonio's Little Mariachi, sings the national anthem before the start of Game 4 of the NBA finals on Thursday.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 3:24 pm

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Fri June 14, 2013

2 Dead, 379 Homes Destroyed By Wildfire In Colorado

A fire that's been burning since Tuesday continues to consume acreage near Colorado Springs in Black Forest, Colorado.
Tom Cooper Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 7:37 pm

While firefighters are holding the line, the Black Forest fire northeast of Colorado Springs is being called the most destructive in Colorado history.

Update At 7:35 p.m. ET. Progress Reported

The fire is now 30 percent contained, officials say.

"We had a real good day without wind," says federal incident commander Rich Harvey. "I think the rain had a tremendous impact. So, some things finally turned in our favor."

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