The Two Way

The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Legendary Actress Ruby Dee Dies At 91

Actress Ruby Dee and director Spike Lee attend a special 20th anniversary screening of Do the Right Thing, in New York, in 2009. Dee died Wednesday at age 91.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 2:58 pm

Editors' Note: An earlier version of this post, as well as an accompanying breaking news alert, incorrectly stated that Ruby Dee had won an Oscar for her role in American Gangster. Dee was nominated for the award but did not win.

Ruby Dee, an actress and civil rights activist who built a career on stage and screen at a time when African-Americans had few such opportunities, has died at age 91.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Pakistan May Not Have Made The World Cup Cut, But The Ball Is Another Story

Pakistan beat out rivals China and India to produce the Adidas Brazuca, the official ball of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

As the World Cup bonanza kicks off in Brazil, it'll be watched with unusual interest by a nation on the other side of the globe that enjoys no international success whatever on the soccer field.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

U.S. Drones Kill 13 Suspected Militants In Pakistan

An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, on Jan. 31, 2010. U.S. drone strikes killed at least 13 people in two separate strikes Wednesday and Thursday in Pakistan's tribal area.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 3:03 pm

The U.S. resumed its drone strikes inside Pakistan, killing at least 13 people in two separate attacks on militant areas late Wednesday and early Thursday.

At least 10 people were killed in the CIA drone strike on Thursday when, according to The Associated Press, two drones "dropped three missiles on a militant compound and a vehicle in the town of Ghulam Khan." The news agency quoted two Pakistani intelligence officials.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Thu June 12, 2014

President George H.W. Bush Celebrates 90th Birthday With Parachute Jump

Happy birthday, Mr. President.
Bob Levey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 1:28 pm

Former President George H.W. Bush is spending his 90th birthday doing what many of us might do. Wait — whom am I kidding? He jumped out of a helicopter.

The 41st president sent out this tweet today:

Bush, who can no longer use his legs, was harnessed to Sgt. 1st Class Mike Elliott, a retired member of the Golden Knights, the Army's parachute team. The jump was made near the former president's summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

You can watch the jump below, courtesy of local television station WFXT.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Want Time Off To Watch The World Cup? China Has Just What The Doctor Ordered

A fake doctor's note we bought for $33 from an online store on Taobao, the eBay of China.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 6:57 pm

Need time off from work to watch the World Cup? If you're in China, no problem. Online stores there are providing fake doctor's notes — even extensive falsified medical records — to get you days of sick leave so you can enjoy your favorite teams.

The service may be particularly appealing, given the time difference with World Cup host Brazil. China is 11 hours ahead of Rio. So if you want to catch opening matches, you have to start watching at midnight, Shanghai time.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Thu June 12, 2014

British Court Blocks All-Secret Trial For Terrorism Suspects

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 3:09 pm

We told you last week about an upcoming trial in Britain that's so secret that little is known about the case – except that it involves terrorism.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Time For Kickoff: World's Attention Focused On World Cup

They are feeling it: Children kick around a soccer ball outside the Independencia Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Wednesday.
Victor R. Caivano AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 4:41 pm

Update at 4:31 p.m. ET

And Brazil does recover, with a goal from star Neymar a few minutes later.

Update at 4:28 p.m. ET

The beautiful game is not so beautiful for Brazil in the early moments of the game: Croatia is ahead 1-0 after an own goal by the home team. It's early, though. Plenty of time for Brazil to recover.

[A tweet from NPR's Russell Lewis in Sao Paulo.]

Update at 10:25 a.m. ET

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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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