The Two Way

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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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Book News: Apple Appeals Ruling In E-Book Price-Fixing Case

Apple says in its appeal filed Tuesday that it was ignorant of any price-fixing conspiracy.
Daniel Barry Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 12:42 pm

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

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Putin Flexes Moscow's Muscles; Kerry Says This Isn't 'Rocky IV'

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ria Novosti Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 12:25 pm

We retopped this post at 12:25 p.m. ET.

Responding to the news that Russian President Vladimir Putin has put his army on alert in what seems to be a bid to influence events in Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. is "not looking for [a] confrontation" with Moscow.

And, in a reference to the Cold War days of the past when the rivalry between two superpowers would find its way into popular culture, Kerry tried to cool things down.

"This is not Rocky IV," he said, during an MSNBC interview.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Wed February 26, 2014

What A Rush! California Couple Finds Gold Coins Worth $10M

Thar's gold in them thar cans: One of the eight cans discovered by a California couple. They were stuffed with gold coins minted in the 1800s. The cache's estimated value: $10 million.
Kagin's Inc. AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:53 am

If you've ever dreamed about finding buried treasure, this story's for you:

A California couple who say they had walked by the same spot on their Sierra Nevada property many times over many years are an estimated $10 million or so richer after digging up eight rusty old cans containing 1,427 very valuable gold coins. It's thought to be the most valuable discovery of such coins in U.S. history.

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The Two-Way
9:44 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Solitary Confinement Costs $78K Per Inmate And Should Be Curbed, Critics Say

The U.S. holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other democratic country, according to critics of the treatment. Here, an immigrant detainee makes a call from his "segregation cell" at a detention facility in Adelanto, Calif., last November.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 7:43 am

Former prisoners spoke about the effects of solitary confinement Tuesday, in a congressional hearing aimed at banning the treatment for some inmates. The federal push to reduce solitary confinement is being led by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who calls it "a human rights issue we can't ignore."

Inmates who are held in solitary confinement spend 23 hours a day in small windowless cells, receiving their food on trays that are pushed through a slot in the cell's door.

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The Two-Way
7:59 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Ukraine Will Turn Yanukovych Case Over To The Hague

An anti-Yanukovych protester holds a Ukrainian flag in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Tuesday. The Ukrainian Parliament has voted to turn prosecution of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych over to The Hague.
Marko Drobnjakovic AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 9:00 pm

  • Paul Sonne of 'The Wall Street Journal '
  • NPR's Peter Kenyon on 'All Things Considered'

The whereabouts of Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych remain unkown, but the country's opposition-led Parliament says any war crimes prosecution of the former leader would come in The Hague's International Criminal Court.

The opposition, which took control after Yanukovych fled the capital, has not yet formed a government. But its leaders have said they want to ensure the former president and other officials are held accountable for the deaths of protesters during months of demonstrations.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit from Kiev:

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The Two-Way
6:02 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

California's Drought: A Shocking Photo And Other Updates

Images of Folsom Lake, a reservoir in Northern California, show the severity of the state's drought. The photo at left, taken on July 20, 2011, show the lake at 97 percent of total capacity and 130 percent of its historical average for that date. The photo at right shows the lake on Jan. 16, 2014, when it was at 17 percent of capacity and 35 percent of its historical average.
California Department of Water Resources

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:58 am

Farmers in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency last month, are facing hard choices as a drought threatens to ruin their crops. They must weigh the costs of paying for irrigation against the chance that their fields will never get enough water this season.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Winter Blahs Got You Down? 'Crowboarding' Video Can Help

A video of a crow using a jar lid as a sled has been a recent hit on YouTube. But as winter storms continue, many of us are running out of ways to enjoy the snow.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 2:46 pm

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Obama: U.S. May Leave Afghanistan, But Door's Open To Staying

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 2:16 pm

President Obama told Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday that he has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans to have all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan by the end of the year.

But at the same time, Obama opened the door to the U.S. staying in the Central Asian nation even if Karzai hasn't signed a newly negotiated "Bilateral Security Agreement" before the end of April — the month of scheduled presidential elections in Afghanistan and what had been something of a deadline set by U.S. officials.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Brit Released From Guantanamo In '05 Is Arrested In U.K.

Moazzam Begg in front of the U.S. Embassy in London in 2006.
Alastair Grant AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 1:21 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition' in 2006: Part I of an interview with Moazzam Begg
  • On 'Morning Edition' in 2006: Part II of an interview with Moazzam Begg

Nine years after his release from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a British-born man named Moazzam Begg is once again in custody and being questioned about alleged ties to terrorists.

Begg was one of four people arrested Tuesday in Birmingham, England, British authorities tell Reuters and other news outlets.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Ugandan Tabloid Names Gays After Anti-Gay Measure Becomes Law

A man reads a copy of Red Pepper on Tuesday in Kampala, Uganda.
Stephen Wandera AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 6:00 pm

This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

We told you Monday about Uganda's president signing a controversial bill that makes gay sex punishable by terms of up to life in prison. Well, a day later, a Ugandan tabloid has published a list of what it calls the country's "top" 200 homosexuals.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Tue February 25, 2014

After 'Best Year Since 2005,' Housing Sector Likely To Slow

A home for sale earlier this month in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Home prices across 20 of the nation's major metropolitan areas rose 13.4 percent in 2013 from the year before, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index report.

Overall, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices economist David Blitzer, the index "ended its best year since 2005" — well before the burst of the housing bubble in 2007-08.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Crisis In Ukraine: Formation Of New Government Is Delayed

Praying For Those Who Died: Mourners were in Kiev's Independence Square again on Tuesday. It was the site of protests in recent months, and was where more than 80 people died last week in violence blamed on security forces.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 1:51 pm

The search for ousted President Viktor Yanukovych continues in Ukraine, where months of protests over his turn toward Russia and away from the European Union, along with public anger over corruption, led to his removal from office on Saturday.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Tue February 25, 2014

More Than Two Dozen Boys Killed In Attack On Nigerian School

Suspicion is immediately focusing on the Islamist group Boko Haram as word emerges about another horrific attack on school children in Nigeria.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Missing Mango Mystery Solved, Here Are The Juicy Details

The Big Mango in Bowen, Australia, seen here in 2011.
Jack Zalium/NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 9:25 am

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Book News: Bernanke Writing A Book On The Fed And The Great Recession

Ben Bernanke is seen leaving his Washington, D.C., office on Jan. 31, his last day as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 10:24 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Goes Dark After Theft Report

Kolin Burges, a self-styled cryptocurrency trader and former software engineer, was among a small number of protesters outside the Tokyo offices of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox on Tuesday.
Toru Hanai Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:10 pm

"The website of major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was offline Tuesday amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft, a new setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the virtual currency," The Associated Press reports.

Also Tuesday, all the posts had been erased from the Mt. Gox Twitter account.

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The Two-Way
9:16 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Meteorite Impact On Moon Sets Record As Brightest Ever Seen

The moon is seen over Dresden, Germany, last week. Researchers say they filmed video of a meteorite impact that sets a new record as the brightest ever recorded.
Arno Burgi DPA /LANDOV

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The Two-Way
7:10 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

NATO Urges 'Everybody' To Respect Ukraine's Sovereignty

People light candles to honor victims of recent clashes between protesters and police on Independence Square in Kiev Monday. NATO and Russian officials shared their concerns about Ukraine's stability.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:14 pm

  • Peter Kenyon On 'All Things Considered'

Speaking by telephone Monday, top military officials from NATO and the Russian government discussed the situation in Ukraine, with both sides expressing their concerns. NATO says it respects Ukraine's sovereignty – and it hopes it's not alone.

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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Mango Alert: Australians Puzzle Over Huge Stolen Fruit

The Big Mango in Bowen, Australia, seen here in 2011, disappeared overnight, surprising people who live near the 33-foot-tall sculpture.
Jack Zalium/NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 7:51 am

Update at 7:45 a.m. ET, Feb. 25: Missing Mango Mystery Solved, Here Are The Juicy Details

Our original post fleshes out the story:

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Pope Announces Overhaul Of Vatican Bureaucracy

Pope Francis arrives to meet Haiti's President Michel Joseph Martelly at the Vatican on Monday.
Claudio Peri AP

Pope Francis on Monday announced a sweeping overhaul – the first in 25 years — of the Vatican's bureaucracy, creating a new economic secretariat,

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reported on the story for our Newscast unit:

"The department will have broad powers to oversee all the Vatican's economic and administrative affairs. It will be headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney. Pell will report to a new 15-member economy council made up of eight cardinals from various parts of the world and seven lay experts.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Major League Baseball Changes Home-Plate Rules

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:44 pm

Runners trying to reach home plate — and the catchers who often try to block them — will have to follow new rules that are meant to cut the risk of injuries from collisions, after Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed on changing the rules Monday.

The change would take effect in the upcoming 2014 season. In announcing the new rule today, MLB called it "experimental." Here's the summary it provided:

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Ugandan President Signs Anti-Gay Measure Into Law

Ugandan students take part in an event Monday to celebrate the signing of a new anti-gay bill outside Kampala, Uganda. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill into law on Monday.
Stephen Wandera AP

Ugandan President Yoweri Musaveni signed a controversial bill Monday that makes gay sex punishable by terms of up to life in prison, and accused Western groups of "coming into our schools and recruiting young children into homosexuality and lesbianism."

NPR's Gregory Warner reported on the story for our Newscast unit. Here's what he said:

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