The Two Way

The Two-Way
7:54 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Lawmakers Hope To Send Unified VA Bill To Obama By Late June

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 5:19 pm

Members of Congress say they are confident of sending a unified version of a bill to overhaul veterans' health care to the president by the end of the month.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Obama: Options Open For Response To Militant Gains In Iraq

ISIS militants at al-Sharqat base north of Tikrit, Iraq. The al-Qaida-linked group has captured Mosul as well as Tikrit. This image came from a video posted by IraqiRevolution, a group that supports ISIS.
AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 7:53 pm

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

The violence in Iraq has intensified today, with al-Qaida-linked Sunni militants moving into areas close to Baghdad after capturing the cities of Mosul and Tikrit.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Book News: Charles Wright, Who Writes Of God And Nature, To Be Poet Laureate

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

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The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Emirates Nixes Order For 70 Airbus A350s

The Airbus A350-900 flies in the aerial display on the first day of the Singapore Air Show in February. Dubai-based Emirates Airlines announced Wednesday it was canceling an order for 70 of the planes.
Joseph Nair AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:30 pm

Emirates Airlines has backed out of a deal it signed seven years ago to buy 70 Airbus A350s, a major blow to the European plane-maker that could prove a windfall for Chicago-based Boeing.

The canceled order for 50 A350-900s and 20 of the larger A350-1000s, to be delivered in 2019, had been worth $16 billion at the time the deal was inked in 2007.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Bergdahl's Writings Provide A Window Into His Thoughts

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl stands with a Taliban fighter in eastern Afghanistan. This image was taken from a video that showed Bergdahl being transferred to the U.S.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 5:11 pm

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's writings reveal the mind of a soldier who struggled with his presence in Afghanistan.

The writings were obtained by The Washington Post, which also reported, citing Bergdahl's friends, that he had previously been discharged by the Coast Guard for psychological reasons.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

China Signals Heavier Hand On Dissent In Hong Kong

Protesters burn a mock "white paper" released by China's State Council on Tuesday, which says Beijing holds ultimate control over the former British colony.
Kin Cheung AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 4:15 pm

Days after some 100,000 people marched in Hong Kong to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, China has issued a policy paper making it clear that the former British colony's autonomy only goes so far.

The release of the 14,500-word "white paper" sparked protests on Wednesday in the territory, which has been known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, or HKSAR, since it reverted to Beijing in 1997.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Oregon School Shooter Was 15-Year-Old Student, Police Say

Freshman Hailee Siebert, 15, cries on her mother's shoulder after a shooting on Tuesday at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Ore. The gunman has been identified as 15-year-old student Jared Michael Padgett.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 8:05 pm

Police have identified the gunman who killed a student and wounded a teacher at an Oregon high school before fatally shooting himself Tuesday. Jared Michael Padgett, 15, was armed with an "AR-15-type" rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, a large knife and several magazines of ammunition, authorities say.

Tuesday's shooting took place in a gym that was detached from the main building at Reynolds High School in the Portland suburb of Troutdale.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Is Bergdahl Exchange Really Unprecedented?

Chief Warrant Officer Michael Durant, wounded when the helicopter he was piloting was shot down in Somalia, arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on Oct. 16, 1993. He was held captive for 11 days.
Joe Marquette AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 3:34 pm

Amid Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's testimony to a House panel about Bowe Bergdahl's release came this nugget: Was the deal under which the Army sergeant was swapped for senior Taliban members in Guantanamo Bay unprecedented?

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Eric Cantor Says He'll Quit Majority Leader Post After Primary Defeat

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia takes the podium to speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Wednesday. He announced that he would step down as majority leader on July 31.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 5:50 pm

This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, fresh from a stunning primary upset at the hands of a Tea Party rival, said today that he would vacate his leadership post by the end of July to make room for a successor.

"Effective July 31, I will be stepping down as majority leader," Cantor told reporters at a news conference. "It is with great humility that I do so."

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The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

TweetDeck Vulnerability Opens User Accounts To Hackers

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 2:56 pm

Hackers have exploited a vulnerability in TweetDeck, a popular interface for the social media service, taking control of users' accounts to send gibberish and display odd dialogue boxes, such as:

Twitter responded:

... and then a few minutes later:

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Brazil Furious Over Ad Showing Christ The Redeemer In An Italian Jersey

A video image from an advertisement run by Italian state broadcaster RAI showing Christ the Redeemer in an Italian soccer jersey.
YouTube

It's the most iconic image of Brazil: the Christ the Redeemer statue, perched atop Rio de Janiero, looking down with his arms spread wide in love and understanding.

Now imagine the towering figure wearing a soccer jersey — and not even Brazil's.

Controversy has broken out over an Italian TV advertisement for the World Cup that shows the sculpture draped in the blue jersey of the Azzurri, or Italy's national team, and featuring the slogan "Brazil awaits us."

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Bill To Allow Refinancing Of Student Loans Dies In Senate

"Who does Washington work for?" asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., after her bill that would let people refinance student debt was shot down Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 2:42 pm

A bill that would have let millions of people refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate has failed in the Senate, after Republicans objected that it included a tax on the wealthy to pay for it. The measure would have allowed people with older loans to benefit from today's low interest rates.

The bill from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., didn't get past a procedural vote, falling by a 56-38 vote. Called the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, it was shot down days after President Obama urged Congress to help ease the burden of student debt.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Bergdahl Swap Was 'Extraordinary Situation,' Hagel Says

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testifies before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday about the controversial prisoner swap with the Taliban.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 5:24 pm

Updated at 11:51 a.m. ET

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Wed June 11, 2014

The Cooter Effect: Did Ben Jones Help Unseat Eric Cantor?

Former Rep. Ben Jones, a Democrat, wrote an open letter calling on voters to oust Eric Cantor in the Republicans' open primary — an event that transpired Tuesday. A former actor, Jones played the role of Cooter on TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. He's seen here meeting a fan last year.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 2:18 pm

To the pile of explanations for the shocking primary loss by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to challenger Dave Brat, add one more: the idea that Democrats and independents tilted the Republicans' open primary at the prompting of former Rep. Ben Jones, a Democrat.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Militants Reportedly Overrun Tikrit, As 500,000 Flee Mosul

A cellphone photo shows an armored vehicle belonging to Iraqi security forces in flames Tuesday, after hundreds of militants launched a major assault in Mosul. Some 500,000 Iraqis have fled their homes in the large city since militants took control.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 10:32 pm

This post was updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

As refugees stream out of Mosul after the Iraqi city was captured by forces of the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, NPR's Deborah Amos passes along reports that Tikrit, the hometown of the late dictator Saddam Hussein, has also been overrun.

The Associated Press says "soldiers and security forces [in Tikrit have] abandoned their posts and yielded ground once controlled by U.S. forces."

According to AP:

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Book News: Appeals Court Rules Digital Library Doesn't Violate Copyright Law

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

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Wed June 11, 2014

'Stunning': Reactions To Eric Cantor's Election Loss In Virginia

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., left, and Dave Brat react after the polls closed Tuesday. Brat defeated Cantor in the Republican primary, a result that shocked many political analysts.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 10:00 am

"Dollars don't vote — you do." And with that statement to his supporters, college professor Dave Brat ousted seven-term Rep. Eric Cantor in their primary battle Tuesday night. The loss by the No. 2 House Republican shocked many political analysts and the congressman himself.

"It's disappointing, sure," Cantor told supporters after the results came in. "But I believe in this country. I believe there's opportunity around the next corner for all of us."

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The Two-Way
8:33 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Eric Cantor Defeated By Tea Party Candidate In Virginia Primary

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor listens to House Speaker John Boehner at a recent news conference on Capitol Hill. Cantor, from Virginia's 7th Congressional District, lost the primary election Tuesday night, a stunning defeat.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 6:40 am

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has lost his Republican primary in Virginia's 7th Congressional District to Tea Party challenger David Brat — a stunning defeat that will upend the chamber's GOP leadership.

Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., was leading Cantor by 55 percent to 44 percent of the vote.

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The Two-Way
7:14 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

In A Standoff With Montana Officials, The Justice Department Blinks

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 pm

The Justice Department announced Tuesday it has resolved a two-year-old standoff with the county attorney in Missoula, Mont., in what was originally a dispute over accusations that local prosecutors weren't doing enough to prosecute rape cases.

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The Two-Way
6:54 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Anchor Recovered In Puget Sound May Have Been Lost In 1792

A screen grab from The Seattle Times shows the anchor beofre it was hoisted from the bottom of Puget Sound.
The Seattle Times

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:52 pm

More than two centuries after one of the ships in British Capt. George Vancouver's flotilla lost an anchor in Puget Sound, a group of amateur divers are convinced the object they've brought to the surface is the very same.

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The Two-Way
5:52 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Obama: Country Needs To Do Some 'Soul Searching' On Gun Control

President Obama listens to a question read by Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp during a Tumblr forum Tuesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 10:38 am

Just hours after another school shooting left two dead and one injured, President Obama was asked what he's going to do about these kinds of incidents.

"The country has to do some soul searching about this," Obama said. "This is becoming the norm, and we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me."

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Illinois Lawmaker Found Guilty Of Accepting $7,000 Payoff

Illinois state Rep. Derrick Smith (center) speaks to reporters at the federal building Tuesday after a jury convicted him of bribery.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 6:17 pm

In a case in which some observers suggest the FBI may have gone too far to snare a politician in a bribery scheme, a jury has convicted an Illinois lawmaker of corruption.

The verdict against State Rep. Derrick Smith relates to the then-freshman representative's acceptance in 2012 of a $7,000 payoff from an FBI informant.

The jury agreed with the prosecution that Smith abused his office for personal gain. The defense had argued that the representative repeatedly refused the bribe before finally relenting and that the undercover sting amounted to entrapment.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Rescue Of German Cave Researcher Could Take Days, Officials Say

A helicopter lands at the bottom of Hochthron mountain in the Alps near Berchtesgaden, Germany, on Sunday, where rescuers were trying to extract a trapped researcher.
aktivnews EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 8:36 pm

A four-person rescue team in the German Alps has reached a trapped cave researcher who was injured in a rock fall some three-quarters of a mile below ground. But figuring out how to move him is proving a challenge.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Immigrant Who Sought Sanctuary In Arizona Church Can Stay In U.S.

Daniel Neyoy Ruiz, 36, moved into a Tucson church with his family last month, claiming sanctuary as he sought a reversal in his deportation order.
Fernanda Echavarri Arizona Public Media

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 2:22 pm

After a month of seeking sanctuary in a Tucson church, a Mexican immigrant has been granted a one-year stay of his deportation order. Daniel Neyoy Ruiz, 36, had been ordered to leave the U.S. after a traffic stop revealed he wasn't here legally.

Ruiz has lived in Tucson for 14 years; he has a job and no criminal record, reports Arizona Public Media's Fernanda Echavarri.

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