The Two Way

The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Senate Poised To Approve Online Sales Tax Bill

Supporters of the Marketplace Fairness Act say it will level the playing field between online retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Mike Coppola Getty Images for eBay

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:24 pm

Update at 7:00 p.m.:

The Senate has passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a vote of 69 to 27, The Associated Press reports.

Here's our original post:

The Senate is expected to approve a measure on Monday that would end tax-free shopping for online purchases, a move that concerns many e-retailers but has the support of the states that stand to collect billions in previously lost revenues.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

SPLAT! Gov. Christie 'Saved A Few School Children From Spider'

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is surrounded by security and journalists in 2012.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:30 pm

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Gun Made With 3-D Printer Is Successfully Fired

The Liberator — a plastic handgun made with a 3-D printer.
Defense Distributed

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

UPDATED: Bombing Suspect's Friend Ordered Freed On Bail

This courtroom sketch shows defendant Robel Phillipos appearing in front of Federal Magistrate Marianne Bowler at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston, Mass., on May 1.
Jane Flavell Collins AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:15 pm

Update at 3:13 p.m. ET. Phillipos Freed:

Robel Phillipos, who was arrested last week for allegedly lying to federal agents investigating the Boston Marathon bombings, was ordered released on $100,000 bail, pending a trial.

Reuters reports:

"While out on bail, Robel Phillipos will be under the custody of his mother and wearing a GPS bracelet, U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler ordered in federal court in Boston."

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Prisoner Points To Quran Search For Gitmo Hunger Strike

This image reviewed by the U.S. military shows the front gate of "Camp Six" detention facility of the Joint Detention Group at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 12:42 pm

The Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg reports that for the first time, we have a sworn statement from a Guantanamo prisoner who talks about what sparked the massive hunger strike at the U.S. prison camp.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Wal-Mart Reclaims No. 1 Spot On 'Fortune' 500 List

A shopping cart at a Wal-Mart store in Los Angeles.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:40 pm

Wal-Mart has reclaimed the lead spot on the Fortune 500 list released today. For the past few years, the giant retailer has been battling it out with Exxon for top billing.

This year, Exxon Mobil dropped to No. 2.

Fortune writes about Wal-Mart:

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Mon May 6, 2013

PHOTO: The Six-Story Rubber Ducky That's Gracing Hong Kong

That's one big duck floating in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor this month.
Li Peng Xinhua /Landov

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Mon May 6, 2013

U.S. Courts More Lenient With Offshore Cheats, Analysis Finds

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting bit of analysis today: U.S. courts tend to hand out more lenient punishments to those who hide money offshore to cheat on their taxes than they do to more mundane tax evaders.

The Journal relies on Internal Revenue Service statistics and "data compiled by former U.S. Justice Department lawyer Jack Townsend."

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Joy Turns To Tragedy As Bride And 4 Others Die In Limo Fire

San Mateo County firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers investigate the scene of a limousine fire in which five women died Saturday.
Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune MCT /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:39 pm

This is one of the weekend's saddest stories.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused a horrific fire inside a limousine late Saturday night on the San Mateo Bridge over San Francisco Bay. A new bride and four of her friends — all women — died as they tried to escape. Four other women, who had also been celebrating Neriza Fojas' recent marriage, managed to escape. So did the driver.

As The San Francisco Chronicle says:

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Top Stories: Boston Bombing; Syrian Crisis

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:53 am

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Mon May 6, 2013

UPDATE: White House Doubts Syrian Rebels Used Sarin

Carla del Ponte, a diplomat and prosecutor who now serves on the Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria.
Salvatore Di Nolfi EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:07 pm

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET: White House Is "Highly Skeptical":

At the White House this afternoon, spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. is "highly skeptical" of the comments made over the weekend by international prosecutor Carla del Ponte, who said there are "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof" that rebels in Syria have used sarin gas.

We've been covering del Ponte's comments, and the reaction to them, through the day. Scroll down to see an earlier update and our original post.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Book News: Harper Lee Says Literary Agent Exploited Her Health

Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Boston-Area Cemeteries Say No To Burying Bombing Suspect

Tamerlan Tsarnaev in April 2009.
Barcroft Media Barcroft Media /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:47 am

  • From the NPR Newcast: WBUR's Deborah Becker reports (with introduction from Jean Cochran)

Officials in Cambridge, Mass., have urged the family of deceased Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev not to ask that he be buried in a city-owned cemetery. Meanwhile, at least four private cemeteries in the area have already turned down such a request.

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The Two-Way
5:33 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

The Threat To Indonesia's Biodiversity, Foretold In The 1800s

British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace was not only a key figure in developing the theory of evolution in the mid-19th century but also had the foresight to call for saving endangered species.

Wallace, who died 100 years ago this year, did his most important research in the rich biodiversity of Indonesia, and his plea for preservation is even more compelling than when he wrote it.

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

Solar-Powered Airplane Completes First Leg Of U.S. Flight

The Solar Impulse takes off from Moffett Field NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., Friday, as a team member rides an electric bike alongside the plane.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The Solar Impulse, an airplane traveling across the United States using only solar power, is in Phoenix today, after reaching Arizona from California Saturday. It took the plane about 20 hours to travel from Mountain View, Calif., near San Francisco.

The aircraft is capable of flying at night as well as in daytime; the plane had about 75 percent of its battery power remaining when it landed in Arizona.

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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

Malaysia: Entrenched Coalition Wins 13th Straight Election

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (second from left) celebrates his victory with a prayer on election day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His National Front coalition won a simple majority in the general election.
Nicky Loh Getty Images

The National Front coalition that has governed Malaysia for 56 consecutive years won a majority of parliamentary seats in a general election Sunday, extending its streak of victories that began in 1957.

Malaysian election officials reported a record voter turnout in Sunday's national election, as more than 10 million voters — or 80 percent of the electorate — cast ballots.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

Springs Fire May Be Fully Contained Monday, Officials Say

Elite U.S. Forest Service Hotshot firefighters walk the blackened edge of the Springs Fire near Camarillo, California. Citing favorable weather, officials say the fire could be contained Monday.
David McNew Getty Images

Firefighting officials in California are optimistic that they can get more of the Springs Fire under control Sunday, as for the second day cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected to help their cause. The fire could be entirely contained by Monday, they say.

"Firefighters made progress overnight," member station KPCC reported this morning. "The Springs Fire is holding fast at 28,000 acres."

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Sun May 5, 2013

British Member Of Parliament Says Rape Claim Is False

One day after being arrested over allegations that he raped one man and sexually assaulted another, a senior British legislator says the accusations are without merit. Britain's House of Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans says the claims were made by people "who until yesterday I regarded as friends."

The complaints made against Evans accuse him of abuse in a period from July 2009 to March of this year. The men who filed the complaints are believed to have been in their 20s in that time span. Evans says that the two men who made the accusations know one another.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Soccer Referee Dies, One Week After Being Felled By Punch

Soccer referee Ricardo Portillo died Saturday, after being struck by a player. Here, Portfillo, is seen holding a soccer ball, in a photo held by his brother-in-law, Jose Lopez, Thursday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:11 am

A soccer referee who was punched by a player after calling a foul on him during a recreational soccer game in Utah died Saturday night, a week after he was hit once in the face. The suspect, who received a yellow card penalty from referee Ricardo Portillo, was arrested Monday and remains incarcerated, officials say.

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Long Hidden, Vatican Painting Linked To Native Americans

Centuries of grime was removed during the recent restoration, revealing the men with the headdresses.
Courtesy of Vatican Museums

For close to 400 years, the painting was closed off to the world. For the past 124 years, millions of visitors walked by without noticing an intriguing scene covered with centuries of grime.

Only now, the Vatican says a detail in a newly cleaned 15th century fresco shows what may be one of the first European depictions of Native Americans.

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The Two-Way
12:57 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Facility Near Damascus Attacked By Israel, SANA Says

An image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows an airstrike hitting the area around Damascus, Syria, early Sunday.
AP

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 8:25 am

Israeli warplanes attacked a military research center near Damascus early Sunday, according to intelligence reports and Syrian state media. The attack prompted Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad to deem it a "declaration of war" by Israel, CNN reports.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Dream Wedding Is Now South Africa's Diplomatic Nightmare

The wedding party poses at the Sun City resort in South Africa, on Wednesday. South Africa's government announced the suspension of a slew of officials and military personnel on Friday as it tried to limit the political and diplomatic fallout from the lavish Indian wedding.
Gupta Family via AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 8:23 am

It's been dubbed Guptagate. The real-life story reads like a Hollywood — or Bollywood — script, and it's dominating the national conversation in South Africa.

It starts with a high-society wedding in South Africa, organized by three wealthy, well-connected and influential brothers named Gupta from India. Then the scandal begins: A private jet flies in 200 guests — including Bollywood stars — from India, landing at a restricted air force security base in Pretoria, allegedly without the appropriate clearance.

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The Two-Way
4:54 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Star Wars Fans 'Use The Fourth' To Celebrate

Fans are celebrating Star Wars Day today, May 4. Here, actor David Prowse (center), who played Darth Vader in the first Star Wars trilogy, poses with costumed fans in France last week.
Thierry Zoccolan AFP/Getty Images

Today is May 4, unofficially known as Star Wars Day — seemingly for the lone reason that it presents an opportunity for people to tell one another, "May the Fourth be with you." But fans of the George Lucas films are also using the day as an excuse to break out costumes and photos, and generally let their Jedi flag fly.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

To Silence Discontent, Chinese Officials Alter Workweek

Protesters demonstrate against plans for a factory to produce paraxylene, a toxic chemical used to make fabrics, in China's Yunnan province on Saturday. In nearby Chengdu, planned protests were thwarted.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:03 am

How do you prevent protests in China? Move the weekend.

That's the Orwellian step taken by local authorities in the southwestern city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. May 4 is a sensitive date commemorating an influential student movement in 1919. It's especially potent in Chengdu, where it marks the fifth anniversary of a protest against the construction of a $6 billion crude oil refinery and petrochemical facility in Pengzhou, 25 miles away.

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Kentucky Derby: Rain-Soaked Track Awaits A New Champion

Joel Rosario rides Orb during the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday in Louisville, Ky. The odds-on favorite won the race.
Morry Gash AP

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 7:01 pm

Update at 6:45 p.m. Orb Takes Derby Title:

Favored heavily 5-1 prior to the race, Orb has taken the title of the 139th Kentucky Derby Saturday at Churchill Downs.

The win gives Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey his first victory in the race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds.

"It's like living a dream," Orb's jockey, Joel Rosario, told NBC after the race, calling it "a perfect trip."

The other top finishers were Golden Soul in second, Revolutionary in third and Normandy Invasion in fourth place.

Orb ran the 1 1/4 mile race in 2:02.89.

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