The Two Way

The Two-Way
9:27 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Soldiers Arrest Thai Politician As He Speaks Out Against Coup

Former Thai Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang (center) was detained by soldiers after speaking at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Apichart Weerawong AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 7:12 pm

A former minister of Thailand's ousted Cabinet was detained Tuesday at a news conference at which he criticized the coup that took control of the country last week. The arrest comes as another detained official — ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra — was released.

From Bangkok, Michael Sullivan reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Tue May 27, 2014

A Meaty Offer: Pilgrim's Pride Offers $5.58 Billion For Hillshire Brands

Hillshire Farm products at Quality Market in Barre, Vt.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 11:47 am

The poultry giant Pilgrim's Pride is making a $5.58 billion offer to take over Hillshire Farm, the maker of lunch meats and Jimmy Dean sausages.

In statement, Pilgrim's Pride said the deal aims to create a "fully integrated branded protein leader."

Fortune reports the acquisition puts in limbo Hillshire Farm's own intent to buy Pinnacle Foods. Fortune explains:

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Book News: U.K. Plan To Cut American Lit From Tests Prompts Fierce Backlash

Britain's Education Secretary Michael Gove, seen here in 2013, has been forced to respond to critics of his plan to pull classic American novels from a major British standardized test.
Alastair Grant AP

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

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Ukraine Retakes Airport, After Airstrikes And Dozens Of Deaths

A pro-Russian fighter takes position behind a car as a truck full of rebel fighters heads toward a battle with Ukrainian forces near the airport in Donetsk Monday. The rebels say more than 30 of their number were killed in the violence.
Fabio Bucciarelli AFP/Getty Images

Pro-Russian rebels who had taken over an international airport in Donetsk have been pushed back, Ukraine's government says. Violent clashes erupted Monday and Tuesday; at least 35 people have died.

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

"The battle for Donetsk airport appears to symbolize the government's tougher stance on the pro-Russian insurgents in the east. Using fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the military says it has retaken control of the airport, though rebels dispute that claim.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Nigerian Officials Say They've Located Missing Girls

Nigeria's chief of defense staff Air Marshal Alex S. Badeh speaks during a demonstration in Abuja calling for the rescue of girls kidnapped from their school in Chibok. Badeh says the government knows where the girls are — but that a rescue attempt would endanger their lives.
Gbenga Olamikan AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 4:14 pm

More than 200 girls who were abducted by militants in Nigeria's northeast have been located — but Nigeria's military says it's too risky to try to free them by force. The news comes after reports that the government had been negotiating for at least some of the girls' release.

The U.S. and other nations have contributed manpower and resources to the search for the girls, whose mass kidnapping inspired an international campaign demanding their safe return. U.S. surveillance aircraft have taken part in the search, using sensors that can detect body heat in complex environments.

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The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

The Man Who Brought G.I. Joe To Children Dies At 86

At left is a reproduction of the original G.I. Joe action figure made in 1964. The doll on the right is a newer G.I. Joe model. Hasbro executive Donald Levine, who oversaw the action figure's creation, died last week of cancer.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 6:34 pm

A half-century after the first G.I. Joe action figures hit U.S. shelves, the man who oversaw the toy's creation has died of cancer in Rhode Island. Former Hasbro executive Donald Levine was 86. He was also a veteran of the Korean War who said that G.I. Joe was an attempt to honor those in the U.S. armed forces.

"Someday I'm going to do something to honor this military, these military people, who fight in the wars," Levine said in archive footage cited by NPR's Elizabeth Blair for All Things Considered.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Parents Of Elliot Rodger Heard Of Attack As They Tried To Stop Him

A makeshift memorial sits in front of IV Deli Mart, where part of Friday night's mass shooting took place in the Isla Vista, Calif., community. The parents of Elliot Rodger, accused of killing six people, were reportedly rushing to try to stop their son when they heard about the violence.
Chris Carlson AP

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 2:56 pm

Elliot Rodger's parents were rushing to stop him from hurting anyone Friday night when they heard news of a shooting and feared their son was involved. They had driven to Santa Barbara after seeing an alarming video in which he promised a deadly "revenge against humanity."

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

White House Mistakenly Blows Cover Of CIA Officer In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 5:18 pm

A list that was meant to help journalists report on President Obama's trip to Afghanistan on Sunday has instead created an awkward and potentially damaging situation. That's because it mistakenly included the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul, the agency's top official there.

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Dad Catches Son's Home Run Ball At Minor League Game

Marty Gregor drove five hours to see his son play baseball this weekend. In return, his son drove a baseball over the right-field fence to where his dad was standing.
MILB

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:19 pm

Conrad Gregor sent a special thank you to his parents for making a five-hour drive to see him play baseball this weekend: He launched a home run that led his team to a comeback win — and his father caught the baseball after it soared over the right-field wall.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Ukraine's Poroshenko Says He'll Restore Peace In East

Presumed Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko, left, said Monday that an "anti-terrorist operation" against separatists will take hours, not months.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 12:54 pm

Ukraine's projected new president Petro Poroshenko welcomed his victory Monday by pledging to speed up operations to quell pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. New violence erupted in the region today, as an air strike was carried out on militants near the Donetsk airport.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Killed The Mockingbird? American Classics Cut From British Reading List

Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird didn't make the cut in the U.K.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 12:56 pm

For decades, British students have grown up reading the American classics To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men and The Crucible. Now, if students want to read those books, it will be on their own time. Harper Lee, John Steinbeck and Arthur Miller are out — perhaps replaced by the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and George Eliot.

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

PHOTO: Massachusetts Honors Fallen Vets With 37,000 Flags

Two women sit at the edge of the field of United States flags displayed by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund on the Boston Common in Boston on Sunday.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

A picture that crossed the wire, really struck us today. It shows a sea of American flags planted at the Boston Common.

It's stunning:

According to the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, which plants the flags, it represents the 37,000 Massachusetts residents who have lost their lives in combat since the Revolutionary War.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

Weather Helps Firefighters Gain Control Of Wildfire In Arizona

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 4:38 pm

We've got some good news out of Arizona today: A wild fire that forced the evacuation of 200 residents is beginning to recede thanks to weather.

Reporter Gillian Ferris in Flagstaff tells our Newscast unit authorities will likely lift a pre-evacuation order for some residents tomorrow. Gillian filed this report:

"Cooler temperatures, higher humidity and scattered rain showers helped suppress activity last night on the Slide Fire, burning between Sedona and Flagstaff.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

Billionaire Poroshenko Claims Victory In Ukraine Election

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 3:15 pm

Exit polls show Petro Poroshenko will have a commanding victory in the first presidential elections held in Ukraine since the government was ousted in a popular uprising.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

On Memorial Day Eve, President Obama Visits Troops In Afghanistan

President Barack Obama, right, is greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham, center, and Marine General Joseph Dunford, commander of the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), as he arrives at Bagram Air Field for an unannounced visit, on Sunday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 12:09 am

(This post was last updated at 2:17 p.m. ET.)

Under the cover of darkness and on the eve of Memorial Day, President Obama landed at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan for an unannounced visit with U.S. troops.

After a concert from country music star Brad Paisley, Obama spoke before a rally of about 3,000 American troops. Currently, there are 32,000 Americans currently serving in Afghanistan.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Sun May 25, 2014

As Protests Continue, Former Thai PM Is Released

Anti-coup protesters hold placards during a gathering at the Victory Monument in Bangkok on Sunday.
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:14 pm

Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been released by the military junta that now controls the country, The Wall Street Journal and CNN are reporting.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Sun May 25, 2014

UC Santa Barbara Hosts Vigil For Victims Of Killing Rampage

A student weeps during a candlelight vigil on Sunday for the victims of a killing spree in Isla Vista, on the University of California, Santa Barbara campus.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 5:31 pm

A day after a gunman went on a killing spree in the college town of Isla Vista, Calif., the community was trying to come to terms with the loss of the victims and the cold, deliberate manner in which the rampage was perpetrated.

The Santa Barbara Independent reports that as the sun went down on Saturday, students and faculty gathered on campus, holding candles and singing "Amazing Grace."

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Sun May 25, 2014

Election Underway In Ukraine, But Blocked In Restive East

A woman holds her ballot in a polling station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Dobropillya.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 11:45 am

Ukrainians began voting Sunday in a presidential election marred by violence and all but cancelled in eastern cities, where pro-Russian separatists have shut polling places and threatened election officials.

The election is being called the most important for Ukraine since the nation won independence from Moscow 23 years ago, Reuters reported.

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The Two-Way
4:00 am
Sun May 25, 2014

Pope Francis Prays At Wall Separating Israel, West Bank

Pope Francis touches the wall that divides Israel from the West Bank, on his way to celebrate a mass in Manger Square next to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 10:30 am

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET. Pope Prays At Separation Wall:

In what is being characterized as an unprecedented gesture, Pope Francis stopped to pray at a wall that separates Israel from the West Bank in the city of Bethlehem on Sunday.

According to The Guardian, Francis prayed for four minutes during the unscheduled stop.

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The Two-Way
9:29 pm
Sat May 24, 2014

Alleged Shooter In California Left Vast Digital Trail

Elliot Rodger as seen in a YouTube video.
YouTube

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 11:36 am

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said the man suspected of a shooting rampage that left six dead near the University of California, Santa Barbara, is 22-year-old Elliot Rodger.

Sheriff Bill Brown had earlier on Saturday said a YouTube video titled "Elliot Rodger's Retribution" was connected to the crime.

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Sat May 24, 2014

U.S. Cancels Joint Exercises With Thailand

Protesters shout slogans during an anti-coup rally on Saturday in Bangkok, Thailand.
Rufus Cox Getty Images

The United States continues to distance itself from Thailand in the wake of its military coup.

On Saturday, the Pentagon announced it had canceled training and military exercises with the country and said it was putting off a visit by U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Harry Harris.

Right after, the State Department announced it was canceling a firearms training program in Thailand for the Royal Thai Police. This comes after the U.S. suspended foreign assistance for the country.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Opening Mideast Trip, Pope Francis Calls For An End To Syrian War

Pope Francis is greeted by King Abdullah II of Jordan and his wife Queen Rania, as they meet in Amman's Al Husseini Royal Palace in Jordan on Saturday.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 12:30 pm

Pope Francis opened the first leg of his Middle East trip on Saturday by calling for an end to the civil war in Syria and for more religious tolerance across the world.

"Religious freedom is in fact a fundamental human right and I cannot fail to express my hope that it will be upheld throughout the Middle East and the entire world," Francis said.

The Associated Press adds:

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Pakistan's Prime Minister Will Attend India's Narendra Modi's Swearing In

Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
Oli Scarff AP

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 12:20 pm

Making history, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he would travel to New Delhi for the swearing-in ceremony of India's new prime minister.

Narendra Modi, as you might remember, made history on his own when his BJP party drove out of power the party that had long dominated the world's largest democracy.

Sharif's attendance at Modi's swearing in will mark a first for the two countries, historical foes.

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The Two-Way
3:48 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Police: Shooting Suspect Was 22-Year-Old In Threatening Videos

Police tape marks of the scene where a black BMW sedan (left) driven by a drive-by shooter, rests on Saturday The shooter went on a rampage near a Santa Barbara university campus that left seven people dead, including the attacker, and others wounded.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:14 pm

(This post was last updated at 9:04 p.m. ET.)

Police have identified 22-year-old Elliot Rodger as the suspect who opened fire Friday night in a busy commercial strip just outside the University of California, Santa Barbara, campus.

During a Saturday news conference, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said the rampage left seven dead — including the suspect — and 13 others injured in the hospital. Some were injured by gunfire, some were hit by a vehicle.

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The Two-Way
7:04 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Putin Says He'll Respect Ukraine Vote But U.S. Is Skeptical

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014 in St. Petersburg on Friday. He told the audience that he would respect Sunday's presidential vote in Ukraine.
Sergei Karpukhin Reuters/Landov

The White House has expressed skepticism over Russian leader Vladimir Putin's pledge to respect the results of Sunday's presidential election in Ukraine, instead calling on the Kremlin to ensure that separatists don't disrupt the polling.

Putin, delivering a speech in St. Petersburg, said Moscow "will treat the choice of the Ukrainian people with respect."

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