The Two Way

The Two-Way
5:01 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Mandela Is Released From The Hospital

A portrait of former South African President Nelson Mandela with get well messages Saturday outside the hospital where he was treated for a lung infection.
Themba Hadebe AP

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 2:22 pm

Former South African President Nelson Mandel was released from a hospital where he has been treated for a recurring lung infection since June 8.

His condition remains critical, but doctors feel he can still receive intensive care at home, the government said.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Lawmakers Welcome President Asking For Their OK On Syria

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 4:10 pm

(This post last updated at 4:10 p.m. ET)

Lawmakers, many of whom had urged President Obama to seek authority from Congress before going ahead with a military strike against Syria, were largely positive about his decision to do just that.

The president, in a Rose Garden address on Saturday, said that the U.S. should respond militarily to Syria's Aug. 21 chemical attack that killed more than 1,400 people, but that he would first seek authorization from Congress.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Jailed Leader Of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Suffers Heart Attack

Mohammed Badie, the leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, at the group's headquarters in Cairo in January 2010.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 1:32 pm

Mohammed Badie, the top leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, has suffered a heart attack while in jail, Reuters reports, quoting the state-run al-Ahram newspaper on Saturday.

However, state-run news agency MENA has denied a report by the private al-Nahar website, citing security sources, that Badie had died.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim was quoted by Reuters as saying that Badie is "in good health" after the heart attack.

Many of the Brotherhood's leaders were imprisoned in recent weeks in the toughest crackdown the group has faced.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Obama To Seek Congressional Approval For Action Against Syria

At the White House Saturday, President Obama said he would seek congressional approval before taking action in Syria.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 11:48 am

  • President Obama's Full Speech
  • NPR Special Coverage Of Obama's Speech

(Post updated at 10 p.m. ET)

President Obama said Saturday he had decided that the U.S. should take military action against Syria in response to its use of chemical weapons, but that he will seek a congressional authorization for the action that could come "tomorrow, or next week or one month from now."

Speaking from the Rose Garden, the president said he believed that he had the authority to act without Congress, but said, "I know the country will be stronger if we take this course."

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Sat August 31, 2013

15 Killed In China Ammonia Leak

Police officers walk out from the main gate of Weng's Cold Storage Industrial Co. Ltd. at the outskirts of Shanghai, China, on Saturday.
Eugene Hoshiko Associated Press

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 2:20 pm

A liquid ammonia leak at an industrial refrigeration unit in Shanghai has killed at least 15 people and left six others in critical condition.

NPR's Frank Langfitt says the leak occurred before noon on Saturday at a cold storage facility in the city's northern Baoshan District, which handles seafood.

Besides the six in critical condition, 20 others were injured, according to the Shanghai government.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Teen Gets Three Years In Gang Rape, Murder Of Indian Woman

A protester in India chants slogans as she braces herself against the spray fired from police water canons during a protest in December sparked by the gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 2:43 pm

An Indian teen has been sentenced to three years in juvenile detention for the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman who later died in the hospital, the first verdict in a case that has sparked international outrage over the brutal crime.

Police say the convicted 18-year-old was one of five men who lured the 23-year-old victim and her male friend onto a bus in the capital, New Delhi, where she was repeatedly raped and beaten in December.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Mandela Remains In 'Critical But Stable Condition'

In an image taken from video, South African President Jacob Zuma, left, sits with the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela in April.
Associated Press

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 2:26 pm

Nelson Mandela is still in the hospital, despite reports to the contrary.

CNN and the BBC, quoting sources close to Mandela, reported Saturday that the ailing 95-year-old anti-apartheid leader and former South African president had returned to his Johannesburg home after a long hospitalization.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Putin Calls Claims Of Syrian Chemical Attack 'Nonsense'

An image grab taken from a video posted by Syrian activists earlier this week allegedly showing a U.N. inspector listening to the testimony of a man in the Damascus suburb of Moadamiyet al-Sham.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 1:30 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. claims that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons "utter nonsense" and urged the White House not to launch a retaliatory strike.

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The Two-Way
2:55 am
Sat August 31, 2013

U.N. Experts Leave Syria As U.S. Considers Strike

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:47 pm

Update At 12:40 p.m. ET:

A spokesman for the U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon says inspectors carried out a wide range of fact finding activity in Syria, but that it will take time to analyze the samples collected on the ground.

Speaking at the United Nations in New York, Martin Nesirky says results from tests would be transmitted to the secretary-general "as soon as the laboratory findings are available." However, he declined to give a timeline.

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The Two-Way
6:52 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Microsoft, Google Say They're Moving Forward With NSA Lawsuit

An employee stands at the Microsoft booth during the 2013 Computex in Taipei on June 4, 2013.
Mandy Cheng AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 6:57 pm

Microsoft and Google say they will go forward with a lawsuit against the U.S. government that seeks to make information about surveillance requests public.

The two giants filed the lawsuit earlier this summer, but were negotiating with the government to reach an agreement.

In a blog post, Brad Smith, a Microsoft vice president and general counsel, said those negotiations failed.

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The Two-Way
5:36 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

NPR And On-Air Credits: The End Of A Thank You

Starting Monday morning, you may notice something a little different about NPR's flagship news magazines. Morning Edition producer Jim Wildman sent us this essay about a little change that means a lot to him:

Today with little fanfare, NPR News ended its long tradition of on-air, end-of-program credits for employees behind the curtain — the producers, editors, engineers, librarians, and others who help create NPR's signature programs and signature reporting.

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The Two-Way
5:25 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Apple Stores Launch Trade-In Program For Used iPhones

People hoping to upgrade their old iPhone for a newer model now have the option of trading in their phone to get credit toward a new device at an Apple store. The technology company announced the new option Friday, ahead of the expected Sept. 10 release of updates to its iPhone line.

The new trade-in program, which Apple says is available at its 252 U.S. retail stores, has several requirements:

  • The phone must be able to be powered up.
  • The phone cannot be water-damaged.
  • Any generation iPhone is eligible.
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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

N.D. Town Mulls Over Threat Of White Supremacist Takeover

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 7:05 pm

A tiny town in North Dakota is considering handing its governance over to the county to prevent a small group of outsiders from declaring a "white supremacist haven."

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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Poll: Americans Want Obama To Seek Congressional OK On Syria

Demonstrators march in protest during a rally against a possible U.S. attack on Syria.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Nearly eight out of every 10 Americans want President Obama to seek congressional approval before launching an attack on Syria, according to an NBC News survey released on Friday.

The survey paints a complex picture of the American electorate. While a majority would prefer to "provide only humanitarian assistance" in Syria and 50 percent say the U.S. should not take military action, survey respondents gave conflicting responses on other questions.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Heaney's Poems — Great, Dangerous, Healing — Live On

Poet Seamus Heaney, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1995, is seen here in a file photo from 1991, when he was a professor at Harvard. Heaney has died at age 74.
Joe Wrinn AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:57 pm

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Obama Says He's Not Made Final Decision On Syria

President Obama delivers a statement on Syria during a meeting with Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite at the White House in Washington on Friday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 3:17 pm

Speaking during a photo op with the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania today, President Obama said he has not made a final decision on launching a military strike on Syria.

But Obama echoed the case made earlier by Secretary of State John Kerry that chemical weapons in Syria threaten U.S. national security interests and that the use of chemical weapons is the "kind of offense that is a challenge to the world."

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

What's Next In Syria? A Sampling Of Opinion

A Tomahawk cruise missile lifts off from the guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) in 2011. If a U.S. strike against Syria goes ahead, what comes next?
U.S. Navy Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 4:36 pm

As a U.S. military strike on Syria looks increasingly likely in the next few hours or days, various publications are weighing in on what such an attack would accomplish and what would happen next.

Here's a sampling of opinion:

The BBC's Tara McKelvey says:

"The US military would most likely use Tomahawk cruise missiles for an attack on the Syrian government forces. These missiles are now stored on destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

READ: U.S. Intelligence Assessment On Syria

The areas where the U.S. says Syria used chemical weapons.
White House

The United States on Friday released a declassified version of an intelligence assessment that found with "high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013."

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Bag It, Trader Joe's Tells 'Pirate' Grocer In Canada

"I bought the stuff at full retail. I own it," says Michael Hallatt, owner of the _irate Joe's grocery in Vancouver. His store faces a lawsuit from Trader Joe's for infringing on its trademark and possibly confusing customers.
_irate Joe's

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 3:24 pm

For the past year and a half, Mike Hallatt has been driving across the U.S.-Canada border and back, bringing loads of groceries back to Vancouver. There's no food shortage in Canada — but there's an absolute lack of Trader Joe's grocery stores, and that created an opening for an entrepreneur who doesn't mind making a long drive.

Originally called Pirate Joe's, Hallatt's store serves a niche market: Canadians who wish Trader Joe's was in their country and who will pay a bit extra for triple ginger snaps and fanciful trail mixes.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Kerry Says Assad, A 'Thug And Murderer,' Was Behind Attack

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks Friday at the State Department.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 2:28 pm

  • Aug. 30, 2013: Secretary of State John Kerry on the crisis in Syria

The evidence is clear "and compelling" that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime used chemical weapons against its own people last week, Secretary of State John Kerry told the American people Friday.

The U.S., Kerry said, knows where the rockets carrying the chemicals were fired from — territory controlled by the Assad regime — and when they were launched.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Don't Call It A Mind-Meld: Human Brains Connect Via Internet

Acting as a "sender," brain researcher Rajesh Rao watches a video game and waits for the time to hit the "fire" button. But he'll only think about doing that — the impulse was carried out by someone in another building, in a recent test of brain-to-brain communication.
University of Washington

In what they call "direct brain-to-brain communication in humans," researchers in Washington state say they've successfully passed signals from one mind to another via the Internet, without using surgical implants. In their test, two people collaborated on a task while sitting in different buildings, using only their minds.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Fri August 30, 2013

India's PM Tries To Reassure Country Over Rupee's Slide

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a diplomatic signing ceremony with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in New Delhi last week.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 3:03 pm

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed a steep slide in the country's currency in recent weeks in a rare public speech on Friday, hoping to assuage concern over the rupee's sudden depreciation and blaming the opposition for inaction in Parliament that he said was sending the wrong signals to the markets.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Dogs Prove To Be Key In Battle Against Giant African Snails

"Bear," who has been trained to sniff out Giant African Land Snails.
Joe Skipper Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 11:41 am

More than 128,000 Giant African Land Snails have been found and eradicated in the two years since the highly destructive creatures invaded the Miami-Dade area, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam says.

While it's too soon to declare victory, "we are confident that we will win this fight," Putnam adds.

Part of the credit, officials say, should go to "canine detector teams" that are sniffing out snails in places that are tough for humans to search.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Defectors Think Most North Koreans Approve Of Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Mr. Popularity?
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:45 pm

While public opinion polling hasn't exactly caught on in North Korea, a survey of defectors estimates that more than half of the country they left behind approves of the job leader Kim Jong Un is doing.

Seoul's Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, as reported by Yonhap news agency, asked 133 defectors to hazard a guess as to Kim's actual approval rating in the country, which at least publicly buys into the absolute cult of personality surrounding its leadership.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Thought Of 'Flames Of Hell' For Sgt. Bales Comforts Afghans

Sadiqullah (center), who was shot by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales and was a witness in the trial, stands with some of the Afghan civilians who traveled from Kandahar to the U.S. for Bales' trial. Translator Ahmad Shafi is at left, in the blue shirt.
Martin Kaste NPR

It was jarring for survivors and witnesses of the 2012 attack by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales on two villages in Afghanistan to come to the U.S. to testify at his trial this month, translator Ahmad Shafi tells Morning Edition.

They were at Washington State's Joint Base Lewis-McChord — a place much different than their homes in Kandahar. What's more, the U.S. military's system of justice was strange to them.

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