The Two Way

The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

New Immigration Law Tests Swiss, European Relationship

A man passes by election posters demanding a stop to immigration, in Geneva on Monday.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

A new, voter-approved referendum limiting the number of immigrants who enter Switzerland has unleashed tough words from the country's European partners.

The AP reports that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France would "review our relationship with Switzerland." German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble put it more bluntly, saying the referendum would "cause a lot of trouble for Switzerland."

Read more
The Two-Way
11:06 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Mark Zuckerberg, Wife Were Most Generous Philanthropists In 2013

Mark Zuckerberg, president and CEO of Facebook, walks with Priscilla Chan in 2011.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:25 pm

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were the most generous philanthropists of 2013.

According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy's latest ranking, Zuckerberg, 29, and Chan, 28, gave almost $1 billion to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which uses the gifts to issue grants to other organizations. The Chronicle reports:

Read more
The Two-Way
10:20 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Coming Out Complicates Player's Prospects, NFL Execs Say

Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam.
Rick Scuteri AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:55 pm

Michael Sam has been a star defensive end at the University of Missouri. He's been an All-American and The Associated Press SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

A senior, he's been among the players scouts have said are sure to be selected by an NFL team when the league holds its draft on May 8-9.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:38 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Book News: Contenders Revealed For First Folio Prize For Fiction

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:46 pm

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

Read more
The Two-Way
7:01 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Avoid Atlanta Until Storm Passes, Governor Tells Truckers

Jan. 29, 2014: Traffic is snarled along the I-285 perimeter north of Atlanta's metro area after an ice and snow storm passed through. Officials hope such a scene isn't repeated.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:44 pm

This time, Georgia officials seem determined to get way out ahead of the weather.

With the National Weather Service warning that another blast of rain, sleet, snow and possibly ice is headed for the Deep South later today, authorities are urging Atlantans to be off the roads by early evening.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:17 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

NFL Prospect Michael Sam Comes Out As Gay

Missouri senior defensive lineman Michael Sam speaks to the media during an NCAA college football news conference in Irving, Texas. Sam revealed in interviews on Sunday that he is gay.
Brandon Wade AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:30 pm

On Sunday, in interviews with The New York Times and on ESPN's Outside the Lines, Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam said that he is gay.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Copenhagen Zoo Euthanizes Giraffe Despite Online Protest

Copenhagen Zoo's giraffe Marius was put down Sunday by zoo authorities who said it was their duty to avoid inbreeding.
Keld Navntoft EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:47 am

Marius, a healthy 2-year-old male giraffe living at the Copenhagen Zoo, has been euthanized; his body was cut up and fed to lions.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Four-Legged Athletes Compete With Olympic-Sized Heart

Sky, an Australian shepherd, runs the weave poles with the intensity of an Olympian.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:19 pm

In Sochi this week, athletes are competing in a display of human grace and skill. Many will win. Many more will lose, and many tears will be shed.

In New York on Saturday night, athletes of a different breed competed in a display of canine finesse and dexterity. Many won. If any lost, none knew it. Not one shed a tear.

At the Westminster Dog Show's Masters Agility Championship, 225 exuberant dogs dove through tunnels, flew through hoops, leaped over hurdles and wove in and out of poles with the focus of the highest-level Olympic champion.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Syrian Official Says 600 Evacuated From Rebel-Held Homs

Syrians on two buses followed by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent's vehicles evacuate Syria's battleground city of Homs, on Friday.
Uncredited AP

More than 600 people have left rebel-held areas of the besieged Syrian city of Homs, according to the local governor.

Talal Barrazi gave the figure for the number of evacuees as of Sunday evening.

The Associated Press says:

Read more
The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Swiss Narrowly Approve Rollback Of Immigration Allowances

Members of the Swiss People's Party (SVP) cheer after the results after winning a narrow vote on an anti-immigration referendum on Sunday.
Marcel Bieri EPA/Landov

Swiss voters narrowly approved a referendum to impose strict quotas on immigration, effectively ending a "free movement" agreement with the European Union.

The measure passed by just 50.5 percent of the vote. Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, nonetheless has adopted many of the union's policies.

A coalition led by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) spearheaded the "yes" vote.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Is It Enough Rain For Drought-Stricken California?

The cracked-dry bed of the Almaden Reservoir is seen on Friday, in San Jose, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 12:04 pm

California, which has been experiencing its worst drought on record, is welcoming some heavy rainfall this weekend, but it's still too early to say if it signals a wholesale quenching of dried up streams and farm fields.

NBC News says:

Read more
The Two-Way
8:59 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Bangladesh Factory Owners Surrender In 2012 Fire That Killed 112

A Bangladeshi police officer walks between rows of burned sewing machines in the Tazreen Fashions garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, in Nov. 2012.
Khurshed Rinku AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:59 am

The owners of a Bangladesh garment factory that caught fire in 2012, killing 112 workers, have surrendered to police to face homicide charges.

Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter, were charged in December but remained free until their surrender on Sunday. The couple were denied bail. If found guilty, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The Tazreen Fashions factory, which produced clothing for retail giants such as Wal-Mart, lacked emergency exits and other safety measures.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Iran: Warships Will Steam Close To U.S. Waters As 'A Message'

Iranian Navy destroyer Shahid Naqdi is pictured at Port Sudan, in October 2012.
Mohmed Nureldin Abdallah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 4:35 pm

An admiral of Iran's Northern Navy Fleet said warships under his command have been dispatched to skirt U.S. maritime borders for the first time, in tit-for-tat move aimed at protesting the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

Afshin Rezayee Haddad was quoted Saturday by the semi-official Fars News Agency as saying the deployment of the vessels, the number and type which he did not reveal, "has a message."

Read more
The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Syrian Humanitarian Convoy Reportedly Attacked

Aid workers trying to deliver humanitarian supplies to the besieged, rebel-held district of Homs, were wounded on Saturday after reportedly coming under fire from "armed terrorist groups," the label authorities give to rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

Four Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers were hurt in the reported attack, according to Syrian state television. Opposition groups did not immediately respond to the allegations.

As NPR's Alice Fordham reports, it's the latest sign that a hard-won ceasefire is fraying.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Holder Orders Equal Treatment For Married Same-Sex Couples

John Lewis (left) and Stuart Gaffney embrace outside San Francisco's City Hall shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California in June.
Noah Berger AP

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 2:04 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder has for the first time directed Justice Department employees to give same-sex married couples "full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent under the law," a move with far-ranging consequences for how such couples are treated in federal courtrooms and proceedings.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:35 am
Sat February 8, 2014

French Court Orders Google To Display Notice On Its Search Page

A screenshot of the Google.fr homepage, displaying the court-ordered message.
Google

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 12:36 pm

A court in France has ordered a most public shaming for Google, telling the Internet giant it must display a notice on its French search page acknowledging it's been fined over how it tracked and stored user information.

The $200,000 fine was imposed in January by the French National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL) for violating consumer privacy.

According to Google Translate, the above notice reads:

Read more
The Two-Way
10:22 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Panama Canal Expansion Suspended Over Cost-Overrun Dispute

The stalled expansion project of the Panama Canal in Panama City on Thursday.
Mauricio Valenzuela Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 12:44 pm

A Spanish-led consortium charged with a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal lock system has halted work after a disagreement over massive cost overruns in the project.

The BBC says the consortium, known as Grupo Unido por el Canal (GUPC), announced that work had been stopped because it's owed $1.6 billion for a project to build a third set of locks designed to handle bigger ships than can currently fit through the canal. The original price tag was set at $3.2 billion.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:19 am
Sat February 8, 2014

3 Things To Know About The Looming Debt Ceiling Showdown

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivers remarks during a news conference in December, where he commented on the Ryan/Murray budget, debt ceiling and XL Pipeline.
Shawn Thew EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 12:51 pm

Bitter partisan brinkmanship has been the hallmark of debates over raising the debt ceiling in recent years, but there are signs that it could be less contentious this time around. Still, Congress needs to act fast to avoid a default. Here are three things you should know as things move forward:

-- Without a deal, the Treasury will officially run out of money on Feb. 27:

Read more
The Two-Way
8:02 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Trenton's Mayor Mack Found Guilty Of Bribery, Fraud Charges

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:31 pm

A federal jury has found Mayor Tony F. Mack of Trenton, N.J., guilty of six charges ranging from extortion and bribery to fraud. Mack's brother was also convicted of conspiracy and bribery charges in the case, which involved plans for a parking garage.

The Justice Department announced the jury's ruling Friday evening. In a news release about the verdict, U.S. Attorney Fishman said that Mack and his brother, Ralphiel, had schemed to use the influence of the mayor's office to extract money in exchange for easing development on city-owned land. Their trial lasted five weeks.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Alleged Silk Road Mastermind Pleads Not Guilty To Trafficking

Ross William Ulbricht, the accused proprietor of a shadowy online marketplace that specialized in illegal transactions, has plead not guilty in a Manhattan court to drug trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering and running a continuing criminal conspiracy.

A trial for Ulbricht, who allegedly ran the now-defunct Silk Road, has been set for Nov. 3.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Alex Rodriguez Drops Lawsuit Against Baseball, Players Union

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez in September 2013.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:32 pm

Baseball super star Alex Rodriguez dropped a federal lawsuit against Major League Baseball and its players union that challenged a 162-game suspension.

The federal lawsuit was the Yankees third baseman's last chance at trying to overturn the unprecedented punishment handed down by the league over allegations that Rodriguez used performance-enhancing drugs and then tried to scuttle an investigation into his use of the drugs.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Virginia Textbooks To Recognize S. Korea's 'East Sea' Claim

Virginia House Delegate Mark Keam talks to supporters after the passage of Virginia House Bill 11 in Virginia State Capital in Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday.
Jay Paul Reuters/Landov

Listen up, students of Virginia, this question could be on your next geography quiz: What is the name of the major body of water located between Japan and the Korean peninsula?

If you said Sea of Japan, you're only half right. It's also called the East Sea.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Ambassador To Argentina Nominee Has Never Been To the Country

Noah Bryson Mamet.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:54 pm

Read more
The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Ex-State Dept. Contractor Will Plead Guilty For Leaks To Fox News

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 3:57 pm

Stephen Kim, a former State Department contractor who leaked classified material to Fox News, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of unauthorized disclosure of secret government information, his lawyer told U.S. District judge on Friday.

NPR's Carrie Johnson reports:

"Under a deal with prosecutors Kim has agreed to serve 13 months in prison but the agreement must be approved by a judge. If the deal is approved the investigation will end - meaning no more charges against anyone else including Fox reporter James Rosen."

Read more

Pages