The Two Way

The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

A 'Dilemma Zone' For Red-Light Cameras: Safety Vs. Cash

Traffic engineers face "a new conundrum" in dealing with red-light cameras such as this one in New Mexico, according to a recent study looking at how cameras are operated and the perception that they are used to generate revenue.
Susan Montoya Bryan AP

What's the point of a red-light camera — to make intersections safer or to generate revenue? That's the question prompted by researchers at the University of Tennessee, who say the cameras are sometimes used in ways that are more likely to make money than to improve safety.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Fri August 16, 2013

After Fatal Crash With Cyclists, Driver's Tweets Help Spur Murder Charge

A stretch of Foothill Road in Pleasanton, Calif., near where police say Cody Hall, 18, lost control of his car and struck two cyclists. One cyclist died, and Hall was charged with murder this week.
Google Map

Originally published on Sat August 17, 2013 12:16 pm

An 18-year-old California man stands accused of murder after law enforcement officials upgraded charges against him based on his tweets and driving history. Cody Hall was initially charged with manslaughter for allegedly losing control of his car, which struck and killed a woman riding her bike in Pleasanton, Calif.

The San Francisco Chronicle describes the June 9 incident:

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Did You Know? Area 51 Nearly Killed 4 Important Visitors

Don't go there: A warning sign marks the boundary of Area 51 in Nevada.
Dan Callister Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 11:47 am

OK, our headline may be a bit of a stretch. But you'll see why we said that in this quick guide to some of the interesting things about the mysterious Area 51 that are part of a recently declassified CIA history of the U-2 spy plane program:

-- It Almost Killed Some Important Visitors (Sort Of).

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Fri August 16, 2013

You Can't Pay It Forward At This Georgia Toll Plaza

Originally published on Sat August 17, 2013 12:15 am

It'll just have to be the thought that counts. Georgia motorists going through toll booths on state Route 400 can no longer donate the 50-cent toll for the driver behind them.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Kepler Space Telescope Is Beyond Repair, NASA Says

An artist's illustration of Kepler-22b, a planet that circles its star in the "goldilocks" zone.
Ames/JPL-Caltech/NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 10:31 am

There's some sad news from NASA: The space agency says its Kepler space telescope is beyond repair.

The $600 million planet-hunting probe whose mission was to search other solar systems for Earth-like planets has lost its ability to keep its gaze on target.

Two of the four gyroscope-like reaction wheels that keep Kepler pointed in the right direction have broken down and can't be fixed, but NASA is still hoping it can find some less-stressful work for the orbiting observatory.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Fri August 16, 2013

China Says It Will Stop Taking Organs From Executed Inmates

A paramilitary guard stands before the bars of a main gate to a detention center during a government guided tour in Beijing last year.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 11:52 am

China says it plans to phase out the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, ending a controversial practice that reportedly supplies most of the country's transplant patients.

Huang Jiefu, a surgeon and former deputy health minister who is in charge of organ transplants, says that beginning in November, China will scale back and eliminate the harvesting of inmate organs. Huang says that will be replaced by a nationwide voluntary donor system.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Fri August 16, 2013

'N.Y. Post' Axes 'Headless Body In Topless Bar' Headline Writer

NYPost.com

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 11:50 am

V.A. "Vinnie" Musetto, a legend in the newspaper business because he's credited with the 1983 New York Post banner headline "Headless Body In Topless Bar," has been cut by the tabloid.

Musetto has "been dropped from his freelance gig at the newspaper he worked for in various capacities for four decades," as Capital New York writes.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Top Stories: Egypt's 'Day Of Rage'; NSA And Privacy

The Two-Way
8:06 am
Fri August 16, 2013

There It Is! Area 51 Revealed In Declassified CIA Report

The CIA has put Area 51 on the map.
National Security Archive

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 11:51 am

Cue The X-Files theme:

A newly declassified CIA report written in 1992 not only mentions Nevada's Area 51, it places it on a map. What's more, it acknowledges that the place where many sci-fi stories have said space aliens' bodies are being kept is a real-life government facility.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Book News: English Translation Of New Murakami Novel Expected In 2014

Haruki Murakami is also the author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore.
Elena Seibert Knopf

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

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Fri August 16, 2013

NSA Has Broken Privacy Rules 'Thousands Of Times Each Year'

The National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, Md.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:57 am

The morning's major scoop comes from The Washington Post:

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Fri August 16, 2013

In Egypt: 'Day Of Rage' Adds To Body Count

A man in Cairo who said he had been wounded by a rubber bullet Friday gets help.
Andre Pain EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 10:55 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Peter Kenyon, in Cairo, talks with host David Greene

(We updated the top of this post at 4:50 p.m. ET. For other updates, click here.)

With the Muslim Brotherhood marching in Cairo and other Egyptian cities in a "day of rage" over the deadly crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, this week's alarming body count went higher on Friday.

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The Two-Way
6:24 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Pentagon Issues Directive Aimed At Preventing Sexual Assault

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel testifies during a hearing before the Senate Budget Committee in June.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 9:06 am

The Pentagon, hoping to stanch a sharp increase in reported sexual assaults within the ranks, has issued a plan designed to strengthen oversight and increase protections for victims.

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Ford Lowers Mileage Rating On Its C-Max Hybrid

A Ford C-MAX hybrid vehicle goes through assembly at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, last November.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:05 am

(Updated 8:40 p.m. ET)

Ford on Thursday backpedaled on the stated fuel economy for its C-Max hybrid after customer complaints and an EPA investigation found that the vehicle wasn't living up to its advertised 47 mpg.

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Meet The Olinguito, The Newest Member Of The Raccoon Family

The olinguito is the first carnivore species to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.
Courtesy of Mark Gurney

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:44 pm

Scientists have just solved a case of mistaken identity. It involves a creature that looks like a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear, and it lives high up in the cloud forests of the Andes.

For over 100 years, scientists thought this animal was a well-known member of the raccoon family. Specifically, they thought it was a critter called the "olingo." But one scientist recently took another look and realized he had an entirely new species on his hands.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Zoo In China Swaps Dog For Lion, Hopes No One Notices

Close enough? A Tibetan mastiff, like this one, was placed in the African lion exhibit at a zoo in China's central Henan province.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 17, 2013 3:07 pm

Visitors to a zoo in China got a rude surprise when the lion started barking.

Turns out it was no lion, but just a Tibetan mastiff, a large, hairy breed of dog — which, for what it's worth, more closely resembles the king of the jungle than does perhaps any other domestic canine.

Apparently, officials in Louhe city zoo in central Henan province hoped no one would notice when they decided to make the switch and send the enclosure's regular resident, an African lion, away to a breeding center.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Obama Played Cards The Day Bin Laden Was Killed: Important?

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other members of his national security team as they monitored the mission that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Pete Souza White House

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:06 am

Much is being made of something that former presidential "body man" Reggie Love said earlier this summer during a Q&A at UCLA. His words only came to light this week.

According to Love, on May 1, 2011, the day that Navy SEALs were closing in on Osama bin Laden:

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

2013 Wildfire Season Proving To Be More Mild Than Wild

Firefighters battle a wildfire earlier this month in Cabazon, Calif.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:31 pm

With 15,000 firefighters deployed and three dozen major wildfires currently burning in five Western states, this would seem to be a wildfire season for the record books. And in one tragic aspect, it is. But by most measures, 2013 is the second-mildest fire season in the past decade ... so far.

Here's the season to date, by the numbers (provided by the National Interagency Fire Center) and with some historic statistics for comparison.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

What's Up With That, Doc? Researchers Make Bunnies Glow

Those are bright bunnies. (The photo shows the two that have the "glowing gene," along with their siblings.)
University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 1:44 pm

Like cats and other animals before them, a couple of rabbits are now among the animals that have been genetically manipulated so that they glow green under a black light.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

'Mature' Galaxies Around Not Long After Big Bang, Study Says

Chart showing galaxy formation 11 billion years ago.
ESA/Hubble

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:42 pm

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to peer some 11 billion light-years into space and as many years back in time have seen something they didn't expect: fully formed galaxies when the universe was still quite young.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Pine Ridge Reservation Lifts Century-Old Alcohol Ban

A sign on a building in Whiteclay, Neb., urging Pine Ridge Indian Reservation residents to approve the legalization of alcohol sales.
Carson Walker AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 12:25 pm

Native Americans at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota have voted to overturn a more than century-old ban on alcohol in a decision that critics say will spur an increase in already high rates of domestic abuse, suicide and infant mortality.

Tribe members finalized the vote count Wednesday: 1,871 for legalization and 1,679 against.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Obama 'Strongly Condemns' Crackdown In Egypt

President Obama, speaking Thursday from the island of Martha's Vineyard, Mass., said the U.S. has canceled joint military exercises with Egypt.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:05 pm

  • President Obama's comments about the crisis in Egypt; Aug. 15, 2013

"The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt's interim government" that have led to civilians "being killed in the streets," President Obama said Thursday from Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where he is vacationing with his family.

He called on Egypt's interim government to lift the state of emergency it has declared and said the U.S. has canceled joint military exercises with Egypt that had been scheduled for September.

"Our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual while civilians are being killed in the streets," Obama said.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Thu August 15, 2013

James Bond Parachutist At London Olympics Dies In Accident

Stuntman Mark Sutton, doubling for actor Daniel Craig (or, as James Bond) during the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics last summer.
Ian Langsdon EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:41 pm

"The stuntman who parachuted into the London 2012 opening ceremony as James Bond has been killed in an accident," the BBC reports. "Mark Sutton, 42, from Surrey, died Wednesday while wingsuit flying near Martigny, Switzerland. Swiss police investigating the Briton's death said it appeared he had died after crashing into a ridge of rock."

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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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