The Two Way

The Two-Way
7:56 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Kerry: 'Disturbing' Trend Of Authoritarianism In Eastern Europe

Secretary of State John Kerry addresses delegates at the 50th Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on Saturday.
Tobias Hase EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 11:33 am

Secretary of State John Kerry has criticized what he calls a "disturbing trend" among governments in eastern and central Europe to "trample the ambitions" of their people.

Speaking at an international security conference in Munich, Germany, Kerry said:

"The aspirations of citizens are once again being trampled beneath corrupt, oligarchic interests — interests that use money to stifle political opposition and dissent, to buy politicians and media outlets, and to weaken judicial independence and the rights of non-governmental organizations."

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Christie Knew Of Lane Closures, Former Port Official Claims

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens during a Jan. 9 news conference in which he denied any knowledge of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge when they occurred in September.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:30 pm

The New York Times reports that a former Port Authority official says "evidence exists" that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about politically motivated lane closings on the George Washington Bridge as they were happening.

The assertion contradicts earlier statements by Christie, who has said that he was "embarrassed and humiliated" when he found out that the lane closures were politically motivated instead of, as he'd been led to believe, part of a traffic study.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Police Say White Powder Mailed To N.J. Hotels Was Cornstarch

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:32 pm

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are investigating a suspicious white powder that was mailed to several New Jersey hotels near the site of Sunday's Super Bowl — but there were no reports of injuries and preliminary tests suggest the substance was cornstarch.

NPR's Margot Adler reports that the white powder was found in letters mailed to five New Jersey hotels. Another letter was sent to the Midtown Manhattan law office of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. A worker in the mailroom at Giuliani's office opened the letter.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

U.S. Issues Keystone XL Pipeline Environmental Review

Pipefitters work on construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline's southern portion outside Tulsa, Okla., last January.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:11 pm

The State Department says that production of Canadian tar-sand crude, which has a bigger greenhouse gas footprint than other types of oil, is unlikely to be increased if the Keystone XL pipeline goes ahead — and therefore would do little to contribute to climate change.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

School's Out For Online Students In 'State Sponsors Of Terrorism'

Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, Stanford University computer science professors who started Coursera, pose for a photo at the Coursera office in Mountain View, Calif., on Aug. 2, 2012.
Jeff Chiu AP

Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria are all U.S. government-designated state sponsors of terrorism. They're also the places where students who tried to log on to classes on Coursera this week were greeted with this message:

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

It's True: Snowiest Places Are Least Likely To Close Schools

Dark blue: It's going to take a foot or more of snow to close schools. Green: Any snow's going to shut things down.
reddit.com/user/atrubetskoy

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 8:48 pm

We all probably sort of knew this already, but a new map seems to show quite clearly that it doesn't take much snow to close schools in the Southern U.S. — and that it takes a lot to close them in the Northern half of the nation.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

PHOTOS: When Barn-Sized Boulder Meets Barn, Barn Loses

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 6:54 am

First things first: No one was hurt.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

WATCH: Skydivers Save Unconscious Comrade In Midair Rescue

Skydivers using hand signals to coordinate a rescue of James Lee, who is unconscious.
The Telegraph

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 3:03 pm

It would be hard to think of a worse place to be knocked unconscious than while free falling toward the ground from 12,500 feet up.

But that's what happened to 25-year-old James Lee as he was taking part in a group skydive in southwest Britain, in video posted by The Telegraph.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Last Cars Towed In Atlanta; Ice Is Gone, Traffic Is Moving

Contractors, volunteers and members of the Georgia National Guard helped move this car on Thursday. It was one of more than 2,000 vehicles abandoned Tuesday when a wicked winter storm left roads covered in ice.
Brant Sanderlin MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 3:10 pm

Georgia state troopers finished towing vehicles off Atlanta-area interstates early Friday morning, and three days after ice-covered roads forced thousands of drivers to abandon their cars, traffic is finally flowing freely, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Australia OKs Dumping Dredged Mud In Great Barrier Reef Park

A tasseled wobbegong shark (top) lies on the seafloor with the head of a brown-banded bamboo shark in its mouth on the fringing reef of Great Keppel Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef in August 2011.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 2:44 pm

Australian authorities have approved a controversial plan to dump dredged sediment in the Great Barrier Reef marine park, potentially upsetting one of the world's most fragile ecosystems.

The massive dredging operation would make way for deep-draft ships to enter the Abbot Point coal port in northern Queensland. About 106 million cubic feet of dredged mud will be dumped within the marine park under the plan, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Canada Used Airport Wi-Fi To Track Travelers, Snowden Leak Alleges

Travelers at Pearson International Airport in Toronto earlier this month. At an unnamed airport, Canada's spy agency tested a program that allowed them to track those who took advantage of free Wi-Fi.
Aaron Harris Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 3:06 pm

A classified document that's among the many secrets revealed by former U.S.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Panama To Free Crewmembers Of Seized North Korean Ship

Investigative officers look inside a container carrying a Russian-made MIG-21 fighter jet aboard the Chong Chon Gang, in the port city of Colon, Panama, in July.
Arnulfo Franco AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 10:25 am

Panama says it will release most of the crew of a North Korean ship that was seized six months ago after it was found to be carrying Soviet-era jet planes and weapons from Cuba in violation of U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang.

Panama says it will release 32 crew members, but that the captain and two others will remain in custody to face charges of trafficking.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Yahoo Says Email Accounts Were Hacked But Not How Many

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer delivers the keynote address at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 11:16 am

Yahoo has become the latest target of hackers, with usernames and passwords stolen from some of its estimated 273 million email customers.

"Recently, we identified a coordinated effort to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo Mail accounts," the company said in a blog post Thursday. "Upon discovery, we took immediate action to protect our users, prompting them to reset passwords on impacted accounts."

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Fri January 31, 2014

No Breakthrough, But 'Bit Of Common Ground' In Syria Talks

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi during his news conference Friday in Geneva.
Martial Trezzini EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 9:50 am

  • U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi

At the conclusion Friday of the first round of talks between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition, the United Nations mediator reported that he "observed a little bit of common ground, perhaps more than the two sides themselves realize or recognize."

Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters in Geneva that "there have been moments when one side has even acknowledged the concerns and difficulties of the other side," the BBC reports.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Reports: Insider Satya Nadella Likely To Be Microsoft's CEO

Satya Nadella, who's reportedly in line to be Microsoft's next CEO.
Stephen Brashear AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 1:15 pm

The nearly six-month-long search for Microsoft's next CEO is nearing an end, and news reports indicate it's likely the technology giant will turn to Satya Nadella, executive vice president of its Cloud and Enterprise group, to lead the company.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Book News: U.N.-Backed Report Finds 'Shocking' Levels of Youth Illiteracy

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

  • An education report commissioned by UNESCO found "shocking levels of youth illiteracy" around the world. At least 250 million of the 650 million primary school age children globally aren't learning basic skills in reading and math, the report finds.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Brain Surgeon Walks 6 Miles Through Storm To Save Patient

Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw, who made a long, cold trek to save his patient in Birmingham, Ala.
Frank Couch AL.com/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 8:46 am

As cities in the southern U.S. continue to recover from the ice and snow storm that brought life to a standstill in many places this week, stories are emerging about the incredible things some people did to help out others.

Let's start Friday with one of those tales.

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The Two-Way
8:59 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Beer Drone Can Buzz The Skies No More, FAA Says

A video showing beer being delivered to ice fishermen on a frozen lake became a hit this week — but the FAA says Lakemaid Beer's drone days are over, for now.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:18 pm

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Utah School Draws Ire For Taking Kids' Lunches; Debt Cited

Uintah Elementary School in Salt Lake City, where up to 40 students were served lunch Tuesday — only to have it discarded. They were told they didn't have enough credit on their accounts.
Google

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 8:41 am

Two state senators are paying a visit to an elementary school in Salt Lake City on Thursday, after reports emerged that the school had served meals to dozens of students — only to throw them away after a cashier confirmed their accounts had an outstanding balance.

Anger and frustration followed the incident, which affected up to 40 students Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

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The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Obama To Nominate Vice Adm. Michael Rogers As NSA Chief

Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers
U.S. Navy

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:06 am

President Obama has decided to nominate Vice. Adm. Michael Rogers, the current head of U.S. Cyber Command, as the next director of the National Security Agency, The New York Times, Reuters and CNN are reporting.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Amanda Knox Guilty Verdict Reinstated By Italian Court

Amanda Knox speaking during a taped interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer in New York in April.
Ida Mae Astute AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 8:52 am

An Italian court has reinstated the original guilty verdict against U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of her British roommate.

In 2009, Knox was found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, but the verdict was overturned two years later. Last year, Italy's Court of Cassation overturned the acquittal and sent the case back to an appeals court in Florence.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Maine's High Court Rules In Favor Of Transgender Student

Nicole Maines, center, with her father Wayne Maines, left, and brother Jonas, speaks to reporters outside the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, Maine, in June.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Maine highest court has ruled in favor of a transgender student who sued her former school district after being required to use a staff bathroom instead of the bathroom of her choice.

Nicole Maines is a biologically a boy, but identifies as a girl.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

New Animation Details What Went Wrong In 2010 Plant Explosion

A Tesoro Corp. refinery is shown Friday, April 2, 2010, in Anacortes, Wash., after an explosion and fire that killed eight people.
Ted S. Warren AP

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has released its draft report into the causes of a devastating 2010 explosion at a Tesoro refinery on Puget Sound. The accident killed seven workers, and the community has been increasingly upset by how long the investigation has dragged on.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

U.S. Will Seek Death Penalty In Boston Bombing Case

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:07 am

Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department will seek the death penalty in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man charged in connection with the bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

"The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision," Holder said in a statement.

As we've reported, the 20-year-old Tsarnaev has been charged with 30 counts, including killing four people and using weapons of mass destruction.

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