The Two Way

The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Third Tsarnaev Friend Indicted On Lying Charge

A third friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has now been indicted on a charge related to what authorities say were attempts by the trio to mislead investigators or dispose of evidence that linked Tsarnaev to the bombings.

The office of the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts posted this statement on Twitter early Thursday afternoon:

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Federal Prosecutors Told Not To Focus On Marijuana Users

A customer rolls a joint made of half marijuana and half tobacco to smoke inside of Frankie Sports Bar and Grill in Olympia, Wash., in December 2012.
Nick Adams Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 7:58 pm

Federal prosecutors are being told by Attorney General Eric Holder to focus on cartels, criminal enterprises and those who sell the drug to children, not on casual marijuana users, a Justice Department official tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.

Holder today informed the governors of Washington and Colorado — two states that recently legalized the sale of marijuana for personal use — about the new guidelines for prosecutors, the official adds.

Bu the new guidelines will apply to all states, not just Washington, Colorado and those where "medical marijuana" is legal.

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Judge Hints At Helping American Airlines Out Of Bankruptcy

American Airlines aircraft sit on the tarmac at Miami International Airport last week.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:41 pm

A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday indicated that he's leaning in favor of a allowing American Airlines to emerge from bankruptcy, clearing a major obstacle to the carrier's planned merger with US Airways.

Judge Sean H. Lane said he is "finding the arguments in favor of confirmation fairly persuasive" to allow American, which filed for Chapter 11 in November 2011, to emerge from bankruptcy.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

NFL, Retirees Reach $765M Settlement On Concussions Suits

Junior Seau sustained many concussions during his career and was suffering from a degenerative brain disease when he killed himself in May 2012.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:45 pm

The NFL and more than 4,500 retired players have reached an agreement calling for the league to contribute $765 million to a fund that will pay "medical and other benefits, as well as compensation" to those who suffered concussions and related injuries during their careers.

Details of the agreement, which would settle concussion-related lawsuits by former players and still needs a judge's OK, were released by the league early Thursday afternoon.

According to that statement:

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

President To Issue New Executive Orders On Guns

A weapon is used on the indoor firing range at the National Armory gun store in Pompano Beach, Fla., in April.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:12 pm

The White House says President Obama will issue two new executive orders on guns — one to curb the import of military surplus weapons and another that closes a loophole allowing some felons to get around background checks.

The two actions — to be announced by Vice President Joe Biden at the swearing-in of Todd Jones, the new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — will join 23 others that the president has issued in an effort to reduce gun violence.

They are part of a set of recommendations from the vice president unveiled in January.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Spain's Tomato Festival Shrinks, As Town Pares Crowd Size

Ammunition in the form of tomatoes are thrown to a crowd gathered for the annual Tomatina Festival in Bunol, Spain, near Valencia, Wednesday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The Tomatina Festival, the famous free-for-all in which partiers pelt one another with ripe tomatoes, was held in Bunol, Spain, Wednesday. The big party that has become an international sensation in recent years was smaller than usual in 2013 — for the first time, the town sold a limited number of tickets for 10 euros (about $13.25) to indulge in the huge food fight.

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Oberlin Students Behind 'Hate Postings' Say They Were Joking

More than 1,000 people turned out on March 4 for a Demonstration of Solidarity at Oberlin College. Classes were cancelled after a string of what appeared to be racist incidents on campus.
Gus Chan The Plain Dealer/Landov

An update on a story we posted about back in March:

Two Oberlin College students who are said to have been responsible for a series of "hate-related incidents" that went on for weeks earlier this year at the northern Ohio school are not going to face criminal charges.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Are We Martians? Scientist Says We Just Might Be

Mars: Our "home" planet?
NASA Getty Images

As Adam Frank has said over on the 13.7 blog, "Earth and Mars have been swapping spit (astrobiologically speaking) for eons ... [and] it is entirely possible we were Earth's first alien invasion."

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Thu August 29, 2013

India Nabs Top Terrorism Suspect

A poster of Yasin Bhatkal, an alleged founder of the Indian Mujahideen, burns after being set on fire by demonstrators celebrating his arrest in Bangalore on Thursday.
Manjunath Kiran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:41 pm

India says it has nabbed the co-founder of the Indian Mujahideen, a terrorist organization that has been blamed for attacks throughout the country.

NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from New Delhi that Yasin Bhatkal was arrested near India's border with Nepal. He's wanted in connection with several attacks, including a 2010 bombing at a bakery that killed 17 people in the western Indian city of Pune.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Venus Williams Bounced From U.S. Open In Second Round

Venus Williams waves to tennis fans as she leaves the court after a three-hour loss to Zheng Jie of China in the U.S. Open's second round.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:56 pm

For Venus Williams, a three-hour tennis match came down to a third-set tiebreaker against Zheng Jie of China at the U.S. Open Wednesday night. But the world's former No. 1 player couldn't get past 44 unforced errors, and Zheng outlasted her in a rain-delayed match. Williams lost 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5).

In the match's final two points, Williams misfired on successive shots after coming back to even the tiebreaker at 5-5, sending Zheng into the third round. Williams is currently ranked 60th in the world.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Have Your Picture Taken With Hong Kong's (Smog-Free) Skyline

Tourists from mainland China take photos in front of a large outdoor banner showing what Hong Kong looks like on a clean air day, in Hong Kong on Aug. 21.
Alex Hofford EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:26 pm

It's not news that Hong Kong, which brags one of the world's most stunning skylines, has been gradually losing it behind a curtain of smog.

But the Chinese territory's latest solution is new: To placate camera-clicking tourists unable to get those iconic shots of the skyscraper-studded waterfront, Hong Kong has set up a panoramic backdrop with clear, blue skies.

The Chinese website Netease published a series of pictures of tourists posing in front of the backdrop.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Israeli Soldiers Go 'Gangnam Style' With Palestinians; Incur Wrath

An image taken from an amateur video shows an Israeli soldier dancing atop a Palestinian man's shoulders to the song "Gangnam Style." The soldier and his colleagues have been suspended.
YouTube

A group of Israeli soldiers who diverted their patrol into a dancehall earlier this week are facing their bosses' displeasure, after video captured the men — armed, wearing helmets and other gear — dancing with dozens of Palestinians in a club in Hebron. They were drawn into the building by hearing "Gangnam Style," the iconic dance hit song by South Korean rapper Psy.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Economy Was Stronger Than Thought In Second Quarter

Stronger-than-thought exports produced stronger-than-thought economic growth in the spring. (2010 file photo from the Port of Miami.)
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Assad Is To Blame For Chemical Weapons Attack, British Say

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday as he left 10 Downing Street in London.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 11:28 am

Saying that there are "no plausible alternative scenarios," the U.K.'s Joint Intelligence Organisation released a statement Thursday to support the conclusion reached by U.S. and British officials that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is responsible for what's said to have been a chemical weapons attack last week near Damascus.

That attack, U.S. and British officials say, killed more than 300 people and may have injured several thousand more.

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Largest Strike So Far By Fast-Food Workers Set For Thursday

Outside a Taco Bell restaurant in Warren, Mich., early Thursday, supporters of the push by fast-food workers to raise the minimum wage were marching.
Jessica J. Trevino MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 9:45 am

Organizers say workers at fast-food restaurants in cities across the nation will walk off their jobs Thursday in what's expected to be the largest such strike so far, The Associated Press writes.

As the wire service adds:

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Three More Weeks Needed To Surround California's Rim Fire

Flames from the Rim Fire in the hills behind Tuolumne City, Calif., on Wednesday.
David McNew Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 9:32 am

The massive "Rim Fire" around California's Yosemite National Park is now about 30 percent contained and it's hoped that cooling temperatures and more moderate winds will continue to work in firefighters' favor.

But The Associated Press cautions that officials say it will likely still be three weeks before the fire is surrounded and that the blaze likely won't be out until many weeks after that.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Obama Hasn't Made Case For Striking Syria, Rumsfeld Says

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 2011.
Michael Reynolds EPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 8:02 am

As the U.S. and its allies seemingly move closer to some type of military action in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons to kill hundreds of his own people, one of the policymakers who led the U.S.

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The Two-Way
6:50 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

50 Years Later: Sounds And Voices From The March

Margaret Pearson, 71, immigrated from the U.K. two months after the '63 March in Washington. She joined the crowd today.
Tanya Ballard Brown NPR

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 9:35 am

It was a cloudy and rainy day in Washington on Wednesday. But that did not keep thousands from descending on the National Mall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

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The Two-Way
6:24 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Obama: U.S. Has 'Concluded' Assad Used Chemical Weapons In Syria

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:33 pm

In an interview with PBS NewsHour on Wednesday, President Obama said the U.S. had "concluded" that the regime of Bashar Assad used chemical weapons during an attack last week near Damascus that reportedly left hundreds dead and potentially thousands more injured.

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The Two-Way
5:17 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

China Weighs Ban On Homework; Teachers, Students Argue Against

In the hopes of easing pressures on China's students, the country' education officials are considering a ban on written homework. Here, students walk to school in Beijing in June.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Chinese officials hope to rein in teachers who assign too much homework, as the country's Ministry of Education considers new rules that ban schools from requiring students to complete written tasks at home. Citing undue stress on students, the ministry would also limit the number of exams students take.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Fort Hood Gunman Nidal Hasan Sentenced To Death For 2009 Attack

Nidal Hasan, seen here in 2010, has been sentenced to death for killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 more in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.
Bell County Sheriff's Office handout Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 5:23 pm

Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan has been sentenced to death by a military jury. The same jury found Hasan guilty last week of killing 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in 2009. Hasan also wounded more than 30 others in the attack.

We'll add more details as news emerges.

Update at 3:40 p.m. ET: Tossed From Army; Appeals Automatic

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Speaking At The Lincoln Memorial, Obama Assesses 'The Dream'

Former President Bill Clinton tells the crowd that Americans today owe a tremendous debt to "those people who came here 50 years ago." Millions of us, he said, have lived the dream King talked about.
Shawn Thew EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:05 pm

  • Listen: NPR Special Coverage Of The March On Washington Anniversary

Thousands gathered under gray skies in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

They gathered in the exact same spot where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, and many of the same themes — equality, dignity, unity — echoed through the crowd.

President Obama was joined by the King family and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

After 152 Years, St. Louis Gains Control Of Its Police Force

A St. Louis Police cruiser.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

St. Louis is about to get something it hasn't had in 152 years: control of its own police force.

Thanks to a statewide ballot measure approved last fall, Missouri officially hands over the keys to the squad cars on Sunday.

It's only right for the city, which spends $180 million annually on cops, to take command, says Maggie Crane, director of communications for Mayor Francis Slay. "This is really just an antiquated system that needed to be changed," she says.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

LISTEN: Rare Recording Of '52 Speech That King Drew From

"For the first time in 60 years," our friends at WBEZ report, you can hear a 1952 speech given by a Chicago pastor that ends with "the famous crescendo" that Martin Luther King Jr. would echo 11 years later in his "I Have A Dream" speech.

The speaker at the 1952 Republican National Convention was Pastor Archibald Carey Jr., who would say:

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