The Two Way

The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

How Ukraine's Presidential Documents Got Online So Fast

Volunteers scan financial documents in a building at the residence of Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych for further investigations in Kiev Wednesday. Some documents were fished out of the Dniepr river where they were dumped as the former President fled the city.
Etienne De Malglaive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 6:05 am

When Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, he left a trove of documents at his estate; many were thrown into a large reservoir. Journalists called divers and spent the weekend going over soggy papers in a house they had long been forbidden from entering. With the help of volunteers, more than 20,000 pages are now online.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Arizona's Rep. Pastor, A Democrat, Won't Seek Re-Election

After more than 20 years in Congress, Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., says he won't be running for reelection. He's seen here with Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., in 2010.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 4:16 pm

He has held his seat in the House of Representatives since 1991 But today Rep. Ed Pastor announced that he won't seek another term. Pastor, 70, announced his decision on Twitter, saying that it was time for him "to seek out a new endeavor."

"After 23 years in Congress serving the people of AZ, I have decided not to seek re-election this year. It has been an honor," he tweeted. "Thank you."

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Federal Judge Rules Kentucky Must Recognize Gay Marriages

Greg Bourke, front, and his partner Michael Deleon speak to reporters following the announcement from U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn striking down part of Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban.
Timothy D. Easley AP

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn ruled on Thursday that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Heyburn's decision strikes "down portions of a 1998 state law and a 2004 state constitutional amendment defining marriage in Kentucky as between one man and one woman, and that prohibited the state from recognizing same-sex marriages legally performed in other states."

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Latest Leak: U.K. Spied On Webchats, Grabbed Millions Of Images

Who else might be watching? Britain's spies collected millions of images from video chats, according to the latest secrets spilled by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:27 pm

"Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the U.S. National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of Internet users not suspected of wrongdoing," The Guardian writes today in its latest report based on material leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Attorney General Holder Released From Hospital

Attorney General Eric Holder.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 4:34 pm

Update at 2:04 p.m. ET. Released From Hospital:

Attorney General Eric Holder was released from a Washington, D.C. hospital Thursday afternoon.

Holder was taken to Washington Hospital Center after complaining of shortness of breath and faintness. Holder was released shortly thereafter and is now resting at home, a spokeswoman tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.

Update at 4:31 p.m. ET. Elevated Heart Rate:

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Any Way It's Measured, Tesla's $5B 'Gigafactory' Is Huge

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:31 pm

Just how big a deal is the "gigafactory" that Tesla Motors says it's going to build to make batteries for its electric cars?

-- It's projected to cost $5 billion between now and the year 2020. Tesla expects to invest about $2 billion. Partners — who it's rumored could include Apple and Panasonic — would invest the rest.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Report Criticizes Border Patrol's Use Of Deadly Force

A Border Patrol agent looks to the north near where the border wall ends as is separates Tijuana, Mexico, left, and San Diego, right.
Gregory Bull AP

An independent review of 67 cases in which Border Patrol agents used deadly force found that in some of them "agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border."

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Thu February 27, 2014

'Calvin & Hobbes' Creator Pens His First Public Comic In 18 Years

Stripped Film

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:10 pm

Almost two decades after publishing his last Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, elusive cartoonist Bill Watterson is back — with a film poster. The documentary, Stripped, is a self-described "love letter to comic strips" that includes interviews with, among others, Jeff Keane of Family Circus, Richard Thompson of Cul de Sac and Watterson himself.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Jobless Claims Jump Up, Orders For Durable Goods Fall Off

Thursday's economic news isn't great:

-- There were 348,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, up 14,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Thu February 27, 2014

California Rejoices In Rain, But Prepares For Mudslides

Raindrops on a windshield blurred the view of a woman Wednesday in San Francisco. California, which is suffering through a drought, is getting some much-needed precipitation this week.
Ben Margot AP

"Rain Visits Bay Area, Snow Falls in Sierra — and We Quietly Rejoice."

That headline by our friends at KQED nicely sums up the mood in Northern California as much-needed precipitation descends.

But from another far-too-dry part of the drought-stricken state, Southern California Public Radio reports that:

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Once Again, North Korea Fires Missiles To Send Message

In Pyongyang, North Korea, last July, this short-range missile was among the military hardware on parade.
Kyodo/Landov

"North Korea fired four projectiles believed to be short-range ballistic missiles off its southeast coast Thursday," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reports, citing a "South Korean defense ministry official" as its source.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Book News: 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Sales Top 100 Million

Copies of Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James at the Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

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

  • E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey series has now sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, Vintage Books announced on Wednesday. The erotica series, which began as Twilight fanfiction, features shy Anastasia Steele, her handcuff-happy lover, businessman Christian Grey, and Anastasia's "inner goddess," who is prone to impromptu Latin dancing. About 45 million of the copies have been sold in the U.S.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: New Government Takes Shape As Crimea Simmers

Flags fly outside the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol on Thursday during a rally by pro-Russian protesters. Gunmen seized government buildings in the city.
David Mdzinarishvili Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:58 pm

  • On the NPR Newscast: Peter Kenyon reports from Kiev
We're adding updates throughout this post as the day continues.

Tensions continue to rise in Ukraine, where months of public protests led last week to the downfall of President Viktor Yanukovych's government. His opponents are now installing pro-Western ministers to replace the pro-Russian leaders who worked for Yanukovych. The interim government is expected to be in charge at least until new elections can be held, perhaps in late May.

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The Two-Way
9:44 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Mapping Differences In America's Musical Tastes, State By State

A map of the U.S. lists the musical acts that set states apart from each other. It's not a matter of an artist's popularity, says Paul Lamere, who made the map, but of a state's distinct preferences.
Paul Lamere, Director of Developer Platform at The Echo Nest

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:24 pm

Are you streaming music right now? If you're in America's Pacific region, there's a much better chance you're nodding along with Cat Power rather than grooving to Fantasia, which you'd be more likely to be doing if you were across the country in the South Atlantic. Those observations come from a map titled "Regionalisms in U.S. Listening Preferences."

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The Two-Way
8:10 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Arizona Gov. Brewer Vetoes Controversial Bill

Gov. Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., on Monday at the White House when she and other state executives met with President Obama.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she has vetoed controversial legislation that would have allowed business owners in her state to refuse to serve gays and others if those customers somehow offended the proprietors' religious beliefs.

Brewer, a Republican, announced her decision at a news conference held Wednesday afternoon, following a flurry of meetings between the governor and state legislators.

Update at 7:52 p.m. ET Brewer's Comments

"I call them like I see them," Brewer said of the proposal, "despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd."

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The Two-Way
6:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Robot Swarm: A Flock Of Drones That Fly Autonomously

An image from a video by the COLLMOT Robotic Research Project shows a group of drones flying autonomously across a field.
COLLMOT Robotic Research Project

Can drones, the small unmanned aircraft that are at the forefront of fields from warfare to commercial delivery systems, fly without human intervention? A team of Hungarian researchers answers yes, having created 10 drones that self-organize as they move through the air.

The team based its creation on birds such as pigeons, which fly in tight bunches while making adjustments and decisions. They fitted quadcopters — drones with four rotors — with GPS, processors and radios that allow them to navigate in formation or while following a leader.

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Europe
4:20 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

British Diplomat Weighs In On Ukraine, Russia And Syria

The U.K. supports stability and democracy in Ukraine, says British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who visited NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:08 pm

The complicated situation in Ukraine is headed toward an important moment, as a vote on an interim government has been scheduled for Thursday. But tensions are running high in the region, with Russia ordering military exercises along its border.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Federal Judge Voids Texas Gay Marriage Ban

Couples Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman and Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss speak with reporters outside the U.S. Federal Courthouse in San Antonio earlier this month. The judge in their case ruled Texas' ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Wednesday.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:01 am

Saying that a Texas law barring same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and demeans the dignity of homosexuals, a federal judge struck down the law Wednesday. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia doesn't mean gay marriages can be held in Texas, however; he placed a stay on the decision, anticipating an appeal by the state.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

'Planet Bonanza' Indeed: NASA Unveils 715 New Worlds

This artist rendering provided by NASA, shows Kepler-11, a sunlike star around which six planets orbit.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 4:47 pm

The job of NASA's Kepler mission is to peek at the far reaches of space in the hopes of finding potentially habitable planets. The space agency announced a stunning success, saying that Kepler had identified 715 new planets that orbit 305 stars. The discovery boosts the number of verified planets by around 70 percent.

"Four of the planets are about twice the size of Earth and orbit in their star's so-called habitable zone," NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports for our Newscast unit, "where temperatures might be suitable for liquid water."

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Ukraine Zeroes In On Leader For Interim Government

With Ukraine in a political limbo following the flight of its president Saturday, the name of Arseniy Yatsenyuk is being put forth as the country's next leader until new elections are held in May. Yatsenyuk is a member of the Batkyvshchina party, whose leaders include former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

On Wednesday, a web page dedicated to Yatsenyuk announced, "Began collecting signatures under the agreement on forming a coalition. The government will be voted on Thursday," according to a web-based translation service.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Killers Sentenced In Hacking Death Of British Soldier

The victim: Fusilier Lee Rigby.
U.K. Ministry of Defense

One of the two men who hacked to death a British soldier on a London street in May 2013 was sentenced Wednesday to spend the rest of his life in prison. The other was given a minimum term of 45 years.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Killers Were Tiny, Victims Were Huge At Chile's Whale Graveyard

The fossilized remains of a whale that washed up on a shore in what's now Chile more than 5 million years ago.
Vince Rossi Smithsonian Institution

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 12:16 pm

Since construction workers discovered dozens of fossils along a highway in Chile in 2011, one question has preoccupied researchers:

What killed the whales, seals and other creatures that ended up there more than 5 million years ago?

Writing in Proceedings of The Royal Society B, scientists from the Smithsonian Institution and universities in the U.S. and Chile say the culprits were among the smallest possible killers: "Algal toxins."

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Wed February 26, 2014

North Korea's Still In The Dark, As Photos From Space Show

This image was taken Jan. 30 by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. North Korea is the large dark patch in the middle. The only significant light is from its capital, Pyongyang. The next photo adds reference points.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:55 am

Pictures really do tell the story about how far behind economically North Korea is compared with its neighbors.

In 2002, as Eyder has said, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used a satellite photo to illustrate how in-the-dark the communist nation was.

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Benedict Dismisses Renewed Rumors About Why He Left The Papacy

Pope Francis, left, and former Pope Benedict XVI at a Vatican ceremony on Saturday. It was their first public appearance together in the year since Benedict resigned.
L'Osservatore Romano AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:40 am

Almost one year to the day since Benedict XVI stepped down as spiritual leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, the former pope has issued his first public comment on recurring rumors in the Italian media that he didn't resign of his own will.

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