The Two Way

The Two-Way
7:01 am
Tue June 18, 2013

NATO Hands Over Security Duty To Afghan Forces

Afghan President Hamid Karzai shakes hands with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen after a security handover ceremony at a military academy outside Kabul on Tuesday.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 10:22 am

At a ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, NATO officially handed over security of Afghanistan to the country's forces. It marked the first time the whole nation has been under Afghan control since the coalition invaded to oust the Taliban in 2001.

From Brussels, Teri Schultz filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Afghan forces are now leading security operations all over the country, as NATO-led forces gradually drop back into a supporting role in the remaining, most difficult, districts.

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Tue June 18, 2013

In Interview, Obama Defends NSA Data Collection

President Obama glances at Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (right) during a news conference with European Union officials at the G-8 summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on Monday.
WPA Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 10:24 am

In a 45-minute interview with PBS' Charlie Rose, President Obama defended a government program that collects vast data about the electronic activity of Americans.

Obama rejected comparisons to the Bush-Cheney administration, saying his administration had implemented new safeguards to protect Americans' privacy.

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The Two-Way
7:21 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Obama Would Veto House's Farm Bill, White House Says

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 3:12 pm

President Obama will be advised to veto a multi-year farm bill slated to be discussed in the House this week, the White House says. The administration issued a statement on the legislation Monday afternoon, criticizing it for cutting food programs for the poor.

At more than 575 pages, the bipartisan bill was introduced by Reps. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Collin Peterson, D-Minn., the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture.

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The Two-Way
6:15 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Woman Freed In Indiana Was A Convict On Death Row At 16

Paula Cooper was freed from prison Monday, nearly three decades after being sentenced to death for murder. She's seen here in a 1985 police photo.
Lake County PD AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 6:46 pm

Paula Cooper, 43, left prison Monday morning, decades after she became America's youngest resident of death row at age 16. She had confessed to the 1985 murder of Bible studies teacher Ruth Pelke, 78, in Gary, Ind. Cooper's death sentence was commuted in 1989, after widespread appeals for mercy.

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The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

FTC Can Sue Firms In 'Pay For Delay' Drug Deals, Court Rules

The Supreme Court has ruled that the FTC can challenge arrangements between makers of generic drugs and makers of brand-name products such as AndroGel, seen here on a computer monitor screen.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 3:59 pm

When the maker of a brand-name drug pays a maker of generic drugs to not produce a lower-priced version of their product, the Federal Trade Commission can challenge the arrangement on antitrust grounds, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The ruling may end the era of what regulators call "pay-for-delay" deals.

The justices voted 5-3 to allow a case to go forward in which the FTC is challenging one of many such deals. Several companies are involved in the case, including Solvay Pharmaceuticals, maker of AndroGel, and generic-drug maker Actavis.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Pew: Americans Agree U.S. Should Stay Out Of Syrian Conflict

A Syrian boy holds an AK-47 assault rifle in the majority-Kurdish Sheikh Maqsud district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo in April.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Americans are polarized about many things, it seems, but according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & Press, they agree that the United States should stay out of the Syrian conflict.

Seventy percent of those polled said they oppose the U.S. and its allies sending arms to anti-government groups in Syria. Just 20 percent favor it.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Snowden: NSA Collects 'Everything,' Including Content Of Emails

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:52 pm

Self-described NSA leaker Edward Snowden has made some stunning allegations during a live chat with The Guardian today.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Mon June 17, 2013

High Court Strikes Ariz. Voting Law Requiring Proof Of Citizenship

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund Director of Litigation Nina Perales (from left), MALDEF lawyer Luis Figueroa, Georgetown University law professor Jon Greenbaum and San Carlos Apache Tribal Chairman Terry Rambler talk with reporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court after attending oral arguments in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council et al. in March.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 12:55 pm

The Supreme Court is looking to make the final stretch of the 2012 term a dramatic one: While the justices knocked out five opinions today, none of them were the major ones we've been looking forward to. As we've told you before, we're waiting for:

Fisher v. University of Texas, a key test of affirmative action in higher education.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Cringe! Miss Utah Fumbles On Income Inequality Question

Miss Utah USA Marissa Powell during a commercial break in the 2013 Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:47 pm

We promise to get back to the real news in a bit.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Ginobili Awakens, Leads Spurs To Game 5 Win

Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs reacts after making a basket in the third quarter against the Miami Heat during Game Five of the 2013 NBA Finals in San Antonio, Texas.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:06 am

With a 114-104 victory against the Miami Heat last night in San Antonio, the Spurs are just one win away from their fifth NBA title.

NPR's Tom Goldman filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Manu Ginobili's NBA Finals slump is over and at the best possible time for his team. The Spurs' All-Star shooting guard scored a season-high 24 points and had 10 assists to help lead San Antonio to the brink of another championship.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Mon June 17, 2013

'Guardian': Documents Show Britain, U.S. Spied At World Summits

A young girl holds up a cutout image of Edward Snowden's face at the start of a rally in support of the NSA leaker over the weekend in Hong Kong.
Jessica Hromas Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:36 am

The Edward Snowden saga continues: Last night, citing classified documents leaked by the former Booz Allen Hamilton employee, The Guardian newspaper reported that the United States and the United Kingdom spied on their allies during the 2009 G-20 global summit meetings in England.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Book News: 'Tweet,' 'Geekery' Make The Oxford English Dictionary

An Oxford English Dictionary.
Caleb Jones AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 9:48 am

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

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Blind Activist Chen Says NYU Pressured By China To Force Him Out

Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng during a ceremony in January where he was presented the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:41 am

Chen Guangcheng says New York University is ending his fellowship after it received "unrelenting pressure" from "Chinese communists."

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The Two-Way
7:37 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Obama To Name Top Lawyer As Guantanamo Closure Envoy

Washington lawyer Clifford Sloan is expected to be President Obama's pick to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, NPR has confirmed.

The Associated Press, which first reported the news, said Sloan will reopen the Office of Guantanamo Closure, which was shut in January. A formal announcement is expected Monday.

Sloan is a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP law firm. His bio on the firm's website says:

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Turkey's Premier Says It's His Duty To Crush Protests

Protesters climb onto a police truck mounted with a water cannon during clashes with riot police at a demonstration in Ankara on Sunday.
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday defended his order to forcibly evict thousands of anti-government protesters from Istanbul's Taksim Square, saying he had simply carried out his "duty" as the nation's leader.

In a speech to hundreds of thousands of supporters, Erdogan also railed against foreign media coverage and social media amid criticism of his government's handling of the protests, The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

NSA Leaks Caused Terrorists To Change Tactics, Senator Says

Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speak to the media about the controversial National Security Agency programs.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 1:22 pm

Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss tells NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday that information leaked to the media by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has caused terrorists to change their tactics to thwart detection.

Asked if Snowden, believed to be in hiding in Hong Kong, qualified as a "traitor" who should face U.S. justice, Chambliss, R-Ga., replied, "If he's not a traitor, then he's pretty darn close to it.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Sun June 16, 2013

How Do You Say 'Born To Ride' In Latin?

Pope Francis blesses a sick or disabled person wearing Harley-Davidson garb in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican on Sunday.
Andrew Medichini Associated Press

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:14 am

Pope Francis blessed a thundering parade of thousands of bikers on Sunday as Harley-Davidson riders descended on Rome to celebrate the motorcycle maker's 110th anniversary.

The Associated Press reports that the Harley's patented super-loud engines nearly drowned out the Latin recitation of "Our Father."

The AP writes:

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Sun June 16, 2013

U.S. To North Korea: Dismantle Nuke Program, Then We'll Talk

The North and South Korean delegations meet at the border village of Panmunjom last week. The talks quickly fell apart.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 1:23 pm

The White House says it's open to "senior-level" talks proposed by North Korea, but only if Pyongyang lives up to its U.N. obligations to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Sunday that North Korea must meet "its obligations to the world." The U.S. will judge Pyongyang by "its actions and not its words," she said.

Earlier Sunday, Pyongyang proposed the high-level discussions with the U.S. just days after its direct talks with rival South Korea fell apart.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Jordan Says It's Ready If Syria Becomes Danger

Secretary of State John Kerry (left) meets with Jordan's King Abdullah at the Dead Sea last month.
Jim Young AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 12:41 pm

Jordan's King Abdullah says his country stands ready to respond to any threat from a spillover of the civil war in neighboring Syria, a day after the U.S. announced it would leave fighter jets and Patriot missiles in his country after joint military exercises end this week.

"If the world does not help as it should, and if the matter becomes a danger to our country, we are able at any moment to take the measures to protect the country and the interest of our people," Abdullah said, speaking to graduating military cadets.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Iran's President-Elect Meets With Caution In West

Iranians celebrate the victory of moderate presidential candidate Hasan Rowhani (portrait) at Vanak square in northern Tehran on Saturday.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 9:27 am

Hasan Rowhani's stunning presidential election victory in Iran has opened the door for improved relations with the West, but the U.S. and Israel remain cautious about making progress on their key demand — dismantling Iran's nuclear program.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the international community "must not give in to wishful thinking or temptation and loosen the pressure on Iran for it to stop its nuclear program."

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Syrian Strife Draws In Neighbors, Global Players

A Syrian rebel aims his sniper rifle at Syrian government forces in the Sheikh Maqsud district of Aleppo, in April.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:49 am

The conflict in Syria may be first and foremost a civil war, pitting the Shiite-dominated regime of President Bashar Assad against mostly Sunni insurgents. But the region's turbulent geopolitics have turned it into a proxy fight that has drawn in the rest of the region as well as the U.S and other global powers.

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Wave Of Attacks Leaves At Least 30 Dead In Iraq

A string of deadly attacks that appeared to be coordinated car bombings and shootings killed at least 30 people and left many more wounded across Iraq on Sunday, the Associated Press reports.

The AP has more:

"Most of the car bombs hit Shiite-majority areas and were the cause of most of the casualties, killing 26. The blasts hit half a dozen cities and towns in the south and center of the country.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Google's 'Looney' Internet Balloons Invade New Zealand

A Google balloon sails through the air with the Southern Alps in the background, in Tekapo, New Zealand, on Monday.
Jon Shenk AP

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 3:51 pm

Google has launched — quite literally — a new idea to bring the Internet to some of the world's remotest places.

The tech giant's engineering hothouse, Google X, is testing the use of 12-mile-high helium balloons to get coverage in areas where it's impractical to put in conventional infrastructure.

Google said Saturday that it has 30 of the balloons, or "high-altitude platforms" (HAPS), flying over New Zealand as part of something called Project Loon. They will hover at about twice the altitude of a passenger jet.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Riot Police In Turkey Move To Quash Protests

Turkish mothers wave the national flag during a vigil on Friday in memory of those killed during recent demonstrations in Istanbul's Taksim Square.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 3:15 pm

(This post last updated at 2:45 p.m. ET)

Turkish riot police backed by armored vehicles sealed off Istanbul's Taksim Square, firing tear gas and water cannons to dislodge protesters after two weeks of anti-government demonstrations.

The police moved into the square hours after an ultimatum issued by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that security forces "know how to clear" the area. Erdogan had given the demonstrators until Sunday, but police made their move late Saturday.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Facebook, Microsoft Reveal Requests For User Data

Facebook says it received 9,000 to 10,000 requests from government agencies during the last six months of 2012.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:08 pm

Facebook and Microsoft Corp. say the government has given them permission to reveal orders they've received to hand over user data, but that they are still prevented from giving anything other than very broad figures.

Facebook says it received 9,000 to 10,000 requests during the last six months of 2012, while Microsoft says it got 6,000 to 7,000 requests, affecting as many as 32,000 accounts.

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