The Two Way

The Two-Way
8:23 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Ecuador Backs Off NSA Leaker Snowden, Citing Asylum Rules

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 6:25 pm

(This post was updated at 6:17 p.m.)

Fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden said in a letter released Monday that he was "unbowed" and thanked his "new friends" for his continued liberty.

The letter is the first time Snowden has broken his silence since he fled to Moscow eight days ago, and it comes on the same day Russian immigration officials say he applied for political asylum in the country.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Book News: Penguin, Random House Complete Publishing Mega-Merger

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

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Arizona Wildfire Kills 19 Firefighters, Deadliest In Decades

The Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew is shown in this undated handout photo provided by the city of Prescott, Ariz. The elite team of 19 firemen were killed on Sunday in one of the deadliest U.S. firefighting disasters in decades.
City of Prescott Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 3:17 pm

In what is being called the deadliest U.S. wildfire in at least 30 years, an out-of-control blaze trapped and killed 19 firefighters Sunday in central Arizona. They had been forced to use temporary shelters in an attempt to survive.

All of those killed were part of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite group based in Prescott, Ariz., that uses rigorous training to prepare for fighting wildfires. They are frequently deployed to the front lines of firefighting efforts against such blazes.

Update at 6:04 p.m. ET: Firefighters Identified

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

LOOKING BACK: RFK's 'Ripple Of Hope' Speech In South Africa

A Meeting Of Great Minds: During his 1966 visit to South Africa, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy met with anti-apartheid activist Chief Luthuli and later spoke publicly about their meeting. Because of a government ban on media coverage of Luthuli, it was the first news many had of their leader in more than five years.
Shoreline Productions

At South Africa's University of Cape Town on Sunday, President Obama noted that he was speaking at the same place where, in 1966, then-Sen. Robert Kennedy, D-N.Y., delivered what some historians believe was the best speech of his life.

Obama was discussing about how, as a young man, he had come to believe that "I could be part of something bigger than myself; that my own salvation was bound up with those of others."

Then the president brought up the late senator:

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Snowden Is 'A Hero,' WikiLeaks' Assange Says

From one secrets leaker to another:

Edward Snowden "is a hero," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Sunday on ABC-TV's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. "He has told the people of the world and the United States that there is mass unlawful interception of their communications, far beyond anything that happened under Nixon."

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Justice Kennedy Denies Request To Halt Same-Sex Marriages

Lining up to be married: Adam Chandler, 33, left, and Ivan Chandler, 38, both of Citrus Heights, were among those waiting in line Saturday to get married at San Francisco City Hall.
Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group MCT/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 6:36 pm

(Most recent update: 4:30 p.m. ET.)

Supporters of California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages lost another argument Sunday when Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy turned down their request to at least temporarily bar such marriages in the state.

The Associated Press and Reuters report that Kennedy denied the petition "with no additional comment."

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Jennifer Lopez Sorry She Sang For Turkmenistan's Dictator

Jennifer Lopez on stage Saturday in Avaza, Turkmenistan.
Igor Sasin AFP/Getty Images

Here's how the State Department's latest human rights report about the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan begins:

"Although the constitution declares Turkmenistan to be a secular democracy and a presidential republic, the country has an authoritarian government controlled by the president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov."

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Kerry Sees 'Real Progress' After Latest Mideast Trip

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Issam Rimawi APA/Landov

(NPR's Emily Harris files this report from Jerusalem.)

Peace between Palestinians and Israelis? No? Progress? After four days of shuttle diplomacy, Secretary of State John Kerry says the two sides are getting closer to peace negotiations.

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Sun June 30, 2013

'Furious' EU Demands Answers After New Report Of NSA Spying

European Union flags fly in front of the organization's headquarters in Brussels.
Wu Wei Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 11:23 am

"Senior European Union officials are outraged by revelations that the U.S. spied on EU representations in Washington and New York," Germany's Der Spiegel writes. "Some have called for a suspension of talks on the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement."

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Sun June 30, 2013

'Deeply Humbled' Obama Visits Mandela's Former Jail Cell

President Obama looks out the window of the Robben Island prison cell that once held Nelson Mandela. The president and his family visited the prison on Sunday.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 2:37 pm

(We most recently updated this post at 1:50 p.m. ET.)

After visiting the jail cell on South Africa's Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison during the long struggle against apartheid, President Obama wrote on Sunday about the bravery of Mandela and others who demanded their rights.

In a message he added to the island's visitors book, the president said:

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Sun June 30, 2013

13 Years In Jail For Writing On A Sidewalk With Chalk?

Sidewalk chalk: The tools of a criminal?
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 2:37 pm

There's no evidence that he wrote anything obscene.

His messages could be easily erased.

And they don't seem to have upset many, if any, people.

But in San Diego, 40-year-old Jeffrey Olson is on trial for expressing his opinions on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches. He's charged with 13 counts of vandalism. Jury deliberations began Friday, our colleagues at KPBS say. If convicted on all counts, they add, he faces up to 13 years in prison.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Top Stories: Heat Wave; NSA Spying On The EU

The Two-Way
8:43 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Egypt: Morsi Rejects Calls To Step Aside As Protests Build

Thousands of protesters who oppose Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi were in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 7:14 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo
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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Western States' Heat Wave Turns Deadly; No Relief In Sight

It was hot Saturday in Sun City, Ariz., and across the Southwest.
Richard A. Brooks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 4:51 pm

(Most recent update: 4:45 p.m. ET.)

The brutal heat wave that has Southwest states in its grip is being blamed for at least one death.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Biden Asks Ecuador To Deny Snowden Asylum

Vice President Joe Biden.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

"Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the United States had asked him not to grant asylum for former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in a 'cordial' telephone conversation he held with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden," Reuters writes.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Crashes, Chaos During Stage 1 Of Tour De France

Riders and bicycles were spread across the road after one of the crashes Saturday during Stage 1 of the Tour de France, which began in Corsica.
Joel Saget/pool EPA/LANDOV

There were pileups on the race course and a bus got stuck at the finish line as the Tour de France began Saturday with "chaos and crashes," as The Guardian puts it.

When Stage 1 was over on Corsica, The Associated Press writes, "German rider Marcel Kittel was first to arrive, after dodging all sorts of mayhem."

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

It's 'Wedding Weekend In San Francisco' After Prop 8 Ruling

U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak (right) embraced his partner of 10 years Todd Saunders as they obtained their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco on Saturday.
Stephen Lam Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 6:59 am

"A long line of fianc├ęs and their families snaked out of the clerk's office" in San Francisco on Saturday, the Chronicle reports, as couples lined up to be among the first to be married now that it's legal again for same-sex couples to be get hitched in California.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

3 Things To Know About Edward Snowden's Passenger Purgatory

Edward Snowden's home, for now: Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

"NSA leaker" Edward Snowden is reportedly still in Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, where he arrived June 23 on a flight from Hong Kong.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Bird On Rare Visit To U.K. Killed As Dismayed Twitchers Watch

The white-throated needletail, after it was found below the wind turbine it hit on an island off the northwest coast of Scotland.
Courtesy of David Campbell

One of only a handful of a type of small bird from Asia to have been spotted in the U.K. in the past two centuries was thrilling twitchers off the northwest coast of Scotland earlier this week.

Then, tragedy struck. It flew into the blade of a wind turbine and was killed.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Paula Deen's Next Cookbook Is Canceled

Celebrity cook Paula Deen during an appearance last Wednesday on NBC-TV's The Today Show.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 3:12 pm

Pre-publication orders had made it No. 1 on Amazon, but now Paula Deen's publisher has said it won't be putting out her next cookbook this fall.

As Publishers Weekly says:

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Sat June 29, 2013

American Killed At Protest In Egypt ID'd As Kenyon Student

Andrew Pochter.
Courtesy of the Pochter family

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 4:05 pm

Andrew Pochter, a 21-year-old Kenyon College student from Chevy Chase, Md., is the American who was killed Friday in Alexandria, Egypt, when violence broke out during a protest against the government of President Mohammed Morsi, the college says. He was one of at least three people who died from injuries they suffered.

Citing U.S. Embassy officials as its source for that news, the Ohio school adds that:

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Will Death Valley Top 130 Degrees? Here's Where To Watch

If you're in the red or orange zones, try to stay cool.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 4:33 pm

We can't do anything about the oppressive heat wave that's cooking states across the nation's Southwest.

We can, though, wish everyone the best and point to the always-important tips and guidance for how to stay safe when temperatures soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Those include:

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Mandela Is 'Inspiration To The World,' Obama Says

Friday in Pretoria, South Africa, people gathered outside a hospital to pray for former President Nelson Mandela. He remains in critical condition with a lung infection.
Jeff J. Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 4:33 pm

Hailing Nelson Mandela's "moral courage," President Obama on Saturday paid tribute to the anti-apartheid icon and former South African president, who remains hospitalized in critical condition. Doctors have been treating him for a lung infection for the past three weeks.

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The Two-Way
7:25 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Prop. 8 Plaintiffs Marry In California, After Stay Is Lifted

Kris Perry, left, kisses Sandy Stier as they are married at City Hall in San Francisco Friday. The two got their marriage license after a federal appeals court cleared the way for California counties to resume issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 8:24 pm

Same-sex marriages have now resumed in California, after the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday removed a stay that had kept counties from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. The court's move comes two days after the Supreme Court ruled on a case involving the state's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage.

Update at 8:05 p.m. ET: First Gay Marriage After Prop 8

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The Two-Way
6:45 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Deadly Violence Hits Egypt In Clashes Over Morsi's Leadership

Opponents of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi burn the contents of an office of the Freedom and Justice Party, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, in Alexandria Friday. Two people were reportedly killed in clashes in the city.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 8:02 pm

Two people have died in Alexandria, Egypt, where protests against President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have been building all week. Egyptian security officials say one of the dead is an American citizen. Dozens of people were wounded in the violence.

Update at 8 p.m. ET: Death Of U.S. Citizen Confirmed

"We can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed in Alexandria, Egypt," State Department Press Office Director Patrick Ventrell said in a news release Friday evening.

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