The Two Way

The Two-Way
11:59 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Against Patents For Abstract Ideas

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:13 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that using a computer to implement an abstract idea does not make that invention eligible for a patent.

At issue in the case, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International: Do software inventions get the same kind of patent protections as other inventions?

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Supreme Court Sides With Whistleblower In Retaliation Case

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:21 pm

In a case over retaliation against a public employee who was fired after testifying about corruption, the Supreme Court says the man gave testimony as a concerned citizen and should not have been punished. The decision was unanimous, overturning lower courts.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Thu June 19, 2014

American Apparel Ousts Its Controversial Founder, Dov Charney

American Apparel founder Dov Charney was ousted Wednesday by the company in the wake of allegations of misconduct against him.
Monika Graff UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 11:38 am

The board of clothing chain American Apparel voted Wednesday to replace founder Dov Charney in the wake of allegations of misconduct against him.

In a statement on its website, the board said that it notified Charney of its intent to terminate his employment as president and CEO. He is expected to be fired following a 30-day period, the statement added.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Thu June 19, 2014

House Republicans To Vote On Cantor's Replacement Today

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:43 pm

Republicans will vote by secret ballot today in the House of Representatives, as they choose a new majority leader and majority whip to lead them. Rep. Eric Cantor is stepping down from his No. 2 spot, after losing a primary contest earlier this month.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Book News: Cache Of Unpublished Pablo Neruda Poems Found In Chile

More than a dozen unpublished poems by Chilean writer Pablo Neruda have been found by researchers. He's seen here in 1971.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:12 pm

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

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Only 7 Percent Of Americans Are Big Fans Of Congress

Only 7 percent of Americans polled by Gallup said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress as an American institution.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:30 pm

The amount of confidence Americans have in Congress has hit a new low. Only 7 percent of the people polled by Gallup said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the legislature as an American institution.

The rock-bottom level of confidence in Congress "is not only the lowest on record," the polling company says, "but also the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend. This is also the first time Gallup has ever measured confidence in a major U.S. institution in the single digits."

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Dodgers' Ace Kershaw Notches His First No-Hitter

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (left) celebrates his no-hitter with his teammates after striking out 15 Colorado Rockies batters.
Chris Carlson AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 11:41 am

The no-hitters just keep coming. That's the case for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as the team's pitchers have thrown two games without giving up a hit in less than a month. Clayton Kershaw used 15 strikeouts to complete the feat Wednesday, matching teammate Josh Beckett's May 25 effort.

Getting the no-hitter was "pretty cool," Kershaw said after throwing 107 pitches in the game.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Iraq Battles Militants For Key Oil Refinery In Beiji

Iraqi army soldiers parade during a recruiting drive for men to volunteer for military service in Baghdad on Thursday. The country's leaders are urging Iraqis to help battle insurgents who have mounted an aggressive campaign in the north.
Karim Kadim AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 8:54 am

In an attempt to stop the juggernaut advance of the Sunni extremist group ISIS, Iraq's central government says the fight for the country's largest oil refinery is far from over. A military official says 40 militants have been killed.

"Iraqi government officials say an elite special operations force is holding off ISIS militants at the Beiji refinery 160 miles north of the capital," NPR's Deborah Amos reports from Erbil. "But local police report ISIS is tightening a grip on the facility."

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The Two-Way
8:17 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

3rd Inmate Executed After April's Botched Lethal Injection

A Florida Department of Law Enforcement photo of John Ruthell Henry, who was executed by lethal injection Wednesday evening.
AP

John Ruthell Henry has received a lethal injection at Florida State Prison, becoming the third inmate to be put to death since the botched execution of an Oklahoma prisoner in April set off a flurry of legal challenges.

The Florida governor's office says Henry, 63, was pronounced dead at 7:43 p.m. ET after a last-minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was turned down.

He was convicted of fatally stabbing his wife, Suzanne Henry, and her 5-year-old son in 1985.

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The Two-Way
7:51 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Onetime Auschwitz Guard Arrested In Philadelphia On German Warrant

The Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz I in Poland, circa 1945. Writing over the gate reads "Arbeit macht frei" (Work Sets You Free). Johann Breyer has admitted to working as a guard at the camp but says he only supervised work parties outside the gates.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 8:11 pm

An 89-year-old man accused of aiding and abetting the killing of 216,000 Jews as a Nazi camp guard at the concentration camp located in Auschwitz, Poland, during World War II, has been arrested in Philadelphia.

Johann "Hans" Breyer, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1952, was arrested by U.S. authorities Tuesday night. He is being held without bail.

The Associated Press says:

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The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Defending Champ Spain Knocked Out Of World Cup

Spain's goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, fails to save an attempt by Chile's Charles Aranguiz at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Chile beat Spain, 2-0, in group play Wednesday, knocking the defending champs out of soccer's World Cup.

Both goals came in the first half: Eduardo Vargas scored in the 20th minute and Charles Aranguiz in the 44th.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Afghan Presidential Candidate Alleges Vote Fraud

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday. Abdullah has accused his opponent of election fraud.
Massoud Hossaini AP

Although the results of Afghanistan's elections aren't due until next month, already one of the two presidential candidates is calling foul.

Abdullah Abdullah says the vote counting must stop immediately because the head electoral official has allowed fraud and must be suspended.

He says election monitors from his campaign witnessed massive ballot-box stuffing and other irregularities that could throw the June 14 election to his opponent, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

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The Two-Way
4:20 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Jazz Pianist, Composer Horace Silver Dies At 85

American jazz pianist Horace Silver performs at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1988.
Frans Schellekens Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:43 pm

This post was updated at 5:40 p.m. ET.

Pianist and composer Horace Silver, who created a rhythmic jazz known as "hard bop" that combined R&B and gospel to go along with his eclectic style of piano playing, has died at age 85, his son confirms.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Fed Slows Pace Of Bond Buying, Keeps Rates Steady — For Now

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, on Wednesday. The Fed announced that it was cutting back on bond buying and would leave short-term rates unchanged.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:03 pm

This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.

The Federal Reserve said today it will further curtail its bond purchases because of an improving U.S. job market, but it offered no hint as to when it might start raising short-term interest rates.

A statement from the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee said:

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The Two-Way
2:52 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Amazon Unleashes Fire Phone To Compete With Apple, Samsung

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduces the new Amazon Fire Phone on Wednesday, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 8:24 pm

This post updated at 5:20 p.m. ET.

It's called the Fire Phone, and Amazon is hoping that its entry into the mobile arena will prove a hot seller that puts the iconic brand at everyone's fingertips.

CEO Jeff Bezos introduced the Fire Phone at an event Wednesday in Seattle.

In screen size, the Fire Phone's, which measures 4.7 inches diagonally, falls somewhere between the Apple iPhone and its larger competitor, the Samsung Galaxy.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

The Twisty Tale Of The World's Most Expensive Stamp

David Redden of Sotheby's auction house holds a case containing the sole surviving "British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta" stamp dating from 1856.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 1:42 pm

Blemished, battered and cut, the "British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta" is a stamp with a twisty tale to tell, one that begins in the hands of a young Scottish boy and passes through the hands of a killer.

The 1856 treasure was sold at Sotheby's in New York for $9.5 million on Tuesday to a phone buyer who wished to remain anonymous — the fourth time it has broken the auction record for a single postage stamp.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

House Panel Grills GM CEO And Investigator Over Switch Recall

Family members of victims of a faulty GM ignition switch lined the rear wall of a congressional hearing with their photos Wednesday.
Cliff Owen AP

Questions about a potential cover-up and an unhealthy corporate culture dominated a congressional hearing today about General Motors' handling of a deadly safety flaw in ignition switches in millions of its cars.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Washington Redskins' Trademark Registrations Cancelled

Several of the Washington Redskins' trademark registrations have been canceled. The team will appeal the decision.
Nick Wass AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:25 pm

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has revoked the trademark of the NFL's Washington Redskins, after ruling in a case brought by five Native Americans who say the name disparages them. While the decision could have wide repercussions, it does not require the team to change its name. It is also subject to appeal, which the team has confirmed it will pursue.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Japan Bans Possession Of Child Pornography

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 12:51 pm

Japan has banned the possession of child pornography, with some notable exceptions: manga, animation and computer graphics.

Parliament's upper house approved the measure Wednesday; the lower house passed the bill last month.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Wed June 18, 2014

U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Area Would Nearly Double Under New Plan

The Department of the Interior is proposing a large expansion of U.S. efforts to make energy from offshore winds, with a plan centered off the Massachusetts coast. Here, a 2010 photo shows a sunrise over Nantucket Sound.
Julia Cumes AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 11:55 am

A large swath of the Atlantic Ocean could soon be used to generate electricity, as a U.S. agency proposes opening more than 1,000 square miles of ocean to wind energy projects. The area is off the coast of Massachusetts, which has been working on the proposal with federal officials.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Ukraine's President Announces Plan For Unilateral Cease-Fire

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (far right) attends a graduation ceremony at the National University of Defense of Ukraine in Kiev on Wednesday. In a speech there, the president said he is ordering a cease-fire in the struggle against armed militants.
Gleb Garanich Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 10:58 am

President Petro Poroshenko, whose rise to power in Ukraine coincided with an aggressive crackdown on separatist militants, is calling for a temporary cease-fire by government forces. The break in action would allow the armed opposition to lay down their weapons, Poroshenko says.

The cease-fire will begin in "the next few days," Reuters reports, citing a Ukrainian defense official. The plan was announced during an appearance by Poroshenko at a military academy Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Militants Attack Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery As Sectarian Clashes Spread

An Iraqi boy and other civilians look at the aftermath of a car bomb in Baghdad's Sadr City on Wednesday. The violence in the Shiite district comes as Sunni militants advance in northern Iraq.
Karim Kadim AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 11:06 am

The Sunni militant group that has stormed across Iraq invaded the country's largest oil refinery today, hitting it with mortars. The government is using limited air attacks to strike back at ISIS, which now controls large areas of Iraq's north.

"The oil refinery in Beiji has been under siege since the militant fighters of ISIS seized the town of Beiji in their sweep through northern Iraq," NPR's Deborah Amos reports from Irbil, Iraq. "In an offensive at dawn, ISIS fighters attacked the refinery with machine-gun fire and mortars, according to Iraqi security forces."

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Book News: Author Of Sci-Fi Classic 'Flowers For Algernon' Dies

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 10:57 am

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

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