The Two Way

The Two-Way
11:14 am
Sat July 20, 2013

'Justice For Trayvon' Rallies Held In Numerous Cities

Protesters in support of Trayvon Martin march across the Brooklyn Bridge after attending a rally organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton on Sunday in New York City.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 8:01 pm

(This story last updated at 3:00 p.m. EDT)

Hundreds of people across the country attended "Justice For Trayvon" rallies calling for civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the wake of his acquittal a week ago in the fatal shooting of black teen Trayvon Martin.

The Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network organized the events following last Saturday's verdict in Sanford, Fla., in which six jurors accepted Zimmerman's claim of self-defense during a scuffle with Martin in February 2012.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Helen Thomas, Former Dean Of White House Press, Dies At 92

Helen Thomas reads the newspaper while sitting in her chair in the White House press room in 2006. She died on Saturday at age 92.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 8:51 am

Long-time White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who covered every president from Eisenhower to Obama, has died at age 92, according to The Gridiron Club & Foundation.

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Israel Pledges To Release Some Palestinian Detainees

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman on Friday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 8:47 am

Israel said Saturday that it's prepared to release a number of Palestinian prisoners following a breakthrough in talks brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Yuval Steiniz, Israel's intelligence and strategic affairs minister, said the release would involve "heavyweight prisoners in jail for decades". He said the prisoners would be freed soon. (Note: the translation used by The Associated Press has it as "hardcore" instead of "heavyweight").

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Man Injured After Triggering Bomb In Beijing Airport

In a photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, medical workers and policemen provide assistance to the alleged bomber at Beijing International Airport on Saturday.
Chen Jianli Associated Press

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 9:26 am

(This story was last updated at 9:10 a.m. EDT)

A man in a wheelchair detonated a homemade bomb at Beijing International Airport, injuring himself but no one else, China's state media says.

The explosion occurred at about 6:24 p.m. Beijing time on Saturday. State-run China Central Television says the wounded man was taken to a hospital after setting off the device and that no one else was injured, no flights were affected and order had been restored at the airport.

The BBC says:

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Five Convicted In Deadly Costa Concordia Shipwreck

Crews work to remove the Costa Concordia cruise ship wreck on Giglio island in May, more than a year after it capsized.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

A court in Italy has convicted five people on charges of manslaughter and negligence for the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia off Tuscany last year that left 32 passengers and crew dead.

The court at Grosseto, the city nearest the spot where the Costa Concordia ran aground in January 2012, accepted plea bargains for the cruise ship's helmsman, cabin service director, two bridge officers and the head of the company's crisis team.

The sentences handed down by the court:

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The Two-Way
6:59 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

UPDATE: 'Grandma Drummer' Revealed

"Grandma Drummer" in action.
Coalition Drum Shop video

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 7:41 am

The staff at Coalition Drum Shop in La Crosse, Wis., knows her as "Mary."

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The Two-Way
6:17 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Not All The News About Detroit Is Bad

This Detroit store's neon sign sends a message.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Even as newscasts and newssites are using Detroit's bankruptcy filing to talk about Motown's "meltdown," we've found these stories:

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The Two-Way
6:04 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

SEC Charges Hedge Fund Billionaire Steven Cohen

Steven A. Cohen, founder and chairman of SAC Capital Advisors, is interviewed in Las Vegas in 2011.
Steve Marcus Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:52 pm

The SEC on Friday filed civil charges against Steven A. Cohen, the founder of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, accusing the billionaire of failing to prevent insider trading.

The Securities and Exchange Commission in a statement Friday afternoon said:

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

How President Obama 'Showed His Brother Card'

President Obama during his appearance at the White House on Friday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 8:25 pm

(Click here for updates we added after this post was published.)

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Michigan AG Appeals Court Order Blocking Detroit Bankruptcy

State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr (right) and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, at a Friday news conference in Detroit.
Carlos Osorio AP

A circuit court judge has ruled that Detroit's bankruptcy filing violates the state's constitution and laws, and must be withdrawn; Michigan's attorney general has already appealed the decision.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina made the ruling on Friday, a day after the city became the largest municipality in history to declare bankruptcy under federal Chapter 9 rules.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

John Kerry: A 'Basis' For New Israeli-Palestinian Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank, on Friday. Shortly afterward, Kerry announced a "basis" for the Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace negotiations.
Fadi Arouri Pool/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 8:45 am

Nothing ever seems to come easy in the Middle East, but Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that there was "a basis" for a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which would be the first such talks in several years.

Kerry made the announcement in Amman, Jordan, after a series of discussions with Palestinian and Arab leaders.

"We have reached an agreement that establishes the basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis," Kerry said. "This is a significant and welcome step forward."

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Chicago School System Plans More Layoffs

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:17 pm

The Chicago Public Schools system is again in the spotlight after announcing late Thursday that it will lay off more than 2,100 employees — nearly half of them teachers. The laid-off educators account for 4 percent of the system's faculty, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Look Up And Smile: NASA's Taking More Photos Of Earth

That little blue dot is how Earth will likely appear in a photo shot from a spacecraft that is studying Saturn.
NASA/JPL-Caltech simulation

As Robert Krulwich says, "it's going to be a very small picture, but we're all going to be in it — all trillions of us on Earth."

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Houston Police Discover Four Men Held Captive In House

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:23 pm

Police say four men were found captive in a north Houston house — some apparently for years — in what authorities describe as "deplorable conditions."

Police Sgt. Steven Murdock tells The Associated Press that a neighbor called authorities Friday morning expressing concern about men in the house.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Obama: 'Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me 35 Years Ago'

President Obama at the White House on Friday, as he spoke about the death of Trayvon Martin and the national discussion that the case has generated.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 7:15 pm

"When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son," President Obama told reporters Friday afternoon. "Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago."

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

U.S. Judge 'Troubled' By Government Drone-Strike Policy

A federal judge considering a constitutional challenge to drone strikes that killed three U.S. citizens in Yemen says she's "troubled" by the idea that the courts have no role to play in what's essentially a political dispute.

Over nearly two hours of arguments in her standing-room-only Washington, D.C. courtroom, Judge Rosemary Collyer repeatedly pressed the Obama administration about its claim to a broad right to use lethal force against Americans engaged in conflict overseas, demanding more than once that government lawyers put a "fence" around their position.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Scientists: Like Proust, Apes Have Autobiographical Memory

An endangered Sumatran orangutan with a baby clings on tree branches in the forest of Bukit Lawang, part of the vast Leuser National Park, in Indonesia's Sumatra island.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

In Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust marvels at how the taste of "plump little cakes called 'petites madeleines'" brought forth memories of Sunday mornings at Combray when he walked into to his aunt Léonie's bedroom to say good morning.

Proust describes what scientists came to term an autobiographical memory. It's the kind of thing that many thought was uniquely human.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Ex-CIA Agent Detained In Panama Reportedly Returning To U.S.

Egyptian cleric Osama Mustafa Hasan Nasr, photographed in 2007. Better known as Abu Omar, he was allegedly kidnapped by CIA agents in Italy in 2003 and taken to Egypt for interrogation.
Amr Nabil Associated Press

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 8:55 pm

The Washington Post reports that a former CIA operative detained in Panama at the request of Italian authorities was on a plane headed to the U.S. Friday.

Robert Seldon Lady, the former CIA station chief in Milan, Italy, was arrested Thursday in Panama in connection with an extraordinary rendition in 2003.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Asiana Crash Victim Was Alive When Hit By Emergency Vehicle

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 8:47 pm

Ye Meng Yuan, one of two Chinese teenagers who died at the scene of Asiana Flight 214's crash in San Francisco, was alive when she was struck by an emergency vehicle responding to the disaster, San Mateo County (Calif.) coroner Robert Foucrault told reporters Friday.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Birds Teach The Air Force A Better Way To Fly

A pair of C-17 Globemaster IIIs on the ground at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where "vortex surfing" is being tested.
U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 2:36 pm

More than a century after the invention of powered flight, birds are still teaching us something about how to fly airplanes, with the Air Force studying the V-shaped formation of airborne geese as a way to save fuel.

The technical term is "vortex surfing" and it's already well-known — NASCAR drivers and Tour de France cyclists use it to "draft" off competitors.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Thirsty? 'Sweat Machine' Turns Perspiration Into Drinking Water

The Sweat Machine was unveiled as part of a UNICEF campaign promoting safe drinking water.
UNICEF

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 11:53 am

Thomas Edison famously said that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration — words that could well apply to a new machine promoted by UNICEF that turns human sweat into drinking water.

The Sweat Machine extracts moisture from worn clothes by spinning and heating them, then filters the resulting liquid so that only pure water remains. It was built by Swedish engineer and TV personality Andreas Hammar, and uses a technology developed by Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology and the water purification company HVR.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Top Stories: Russian Opposition Leader Freed; Kerry Flies To West Bank

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:00 am

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Fri July 19, 2013

China Scraps Some Controls On Lending Interest Rates

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:00 am

China's central bank announced that it was removing some controls on the interest rates charged by banks for the loans it issues clients.

Reuters explains that the People's Bank of China said in a statement that it was removing the floor "on lending rates for commercial banks, meaning that banks will now be able to cut rates as much as they see fit to attract borrowers."

Reuters adds:

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Trying To Restart Peace Talks, Kerry Will Fly To West Bank

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on the phone at Mafraq Air Base before boarding a helicopter to Amman on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 8:45 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a last-minute trip to the West Bank this morning that's intended to jump-start stalled peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

The trip comes just hours after the Palestinians said they would not return to the negotiating table unless Israel agreed to begin talks using the borders that existed before 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Book News: J.K. Rowling 'Very Angry' That Law Firm Leaked Her Name

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 2:26 pm

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

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