The Two Way

The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

U.N. General Assembly: 'No Validity' For Crimea Referendum

A screen shows the vote of delegates in the General Assembly on a draft resolution on Ukraine at U.N. headquarters in New York on Thursday.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:06 pm

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a strong rebuke of Moscow, calling the referendum leading to the annexation of Crimea illegal by a substantial margin of members voting, despite Russia's lobbying against the resolution.

The "Draft Resolution on Territorial Integrity of Ukraine" passed with 100 countries voting for it, 11 opposed, 58 abstentions. Two dozen countries did not vote either because their representatives were not present or their dues to the world body had lapsed.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Obamacare Enrollment Exceeds 6 Million

The HealthCare.gov website has been a source of delays and confusion for those trying to sign up for health insurance under the ACA.
Jon Elswick AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 3:47 pm

With the enrollment deadline looming, the Obama administration says 6 million Americans have signed up for health insurance through the exchanges set up by the federal government.

"With 4 days left for consumers to sign up for coverage, we are working hard to ensure that our systems can handle the unprecedented demand as people enroll before the March 31 deadline," Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

9 Missile Commanders Fired, Others Disciplined In Air Force Scandal

A mockup of a Minuteman 3 nuclear missile used for training by missile maintenance crews at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.
Robert Burns AP

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

The Air Force has announced the firing of nine midlevel nuclear missile commanders and the disciplining of dozens of junior officers involved in cheating on ICBM proficiency exams.

The measures come after an extensive investigation into a string of security lapses and failed safety inspections at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., where the cheating occurred.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Texas Judge Orders State To Reveal Source Of Execution Drug

A Texas judge ruled the state must tell two death row inmates where it is buying its execution drugs from.

The AP reports that the inmates sued the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the information. The state has argued that it wants to keep the information secret, because its previous supplier backed out of the relationship when its name became public and it received threats.

The AP adds:

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Mudslide Volunteers: 'We're Going In Whether You Let Us Or Not'

A worker uses a chain saw at the scene of the deadly mudslide near Oso, Wash.
Rick Wilking AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 4:52 pm

When emergency personnel got to the scene of Saturday's mudslide near Oso, Wash., they kept people away. Much of a mountain had torn off, roared across the Stillaguamish River, and destroyed about 50 homes and properties.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

James Schlesinger, Who Held Cabinet Posts And Led CIA For 17 Weeks, Dies

Former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York in December, 2006.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 1:42 pm

James R. Schlesinger, who served three presidents from both parties in top Cabinet-level posts, has died at the age of 85. The Washington Post says he died Thursday at a hospital in Baltimore of complications from pneumonia.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Congress Approves Ukraine Aid, Sanctions On Russia

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 3:03 pm

The House and Senate approved $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine and sanctions on Moscow for Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Thursday's voice vote in the Senate and a 399-19 vote in the House for a different version of the bill came just hours after the International Monetary Fund pledged $18 billion in assistance for the former Soviet satellite.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

After Blocking Twitter, Turkey Moves To Stop YouTube

A man tries to get connected to YouTube with his tablet at a cafe in Istanbul on Thursday.
Osman Orsal Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 1:50 pm

Authorities in Turkey are reportedly going ahead with a ban on access to YouTube days after a similar move in the country to block Twitter.

The Turkish telecommunications authority TIB is quoted in Turkish state media as saying it has taken an "administrative measure" against YouTube.

The news follows earlier reports that a recording, allegedly of a meeting among top Turkish officials discussing military intervention in Syria, was posted on YouTube.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday lashed out against the post:

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Review Done For Gov. Christie's Office Absolves Him In Bridge Scandal

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:42 pm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's "account of these events rings true" and he has "conducted himself at every turn as someone who has nothing to hide," according to an investigation — done at the request of the governor's office — of the George Washington Bridge scandal.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu March 27, 2014

German Man To Return Paintings From Cache Of Nazi-Looted Art

An obituary card with a portrait of German art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt (1895-1956), the father of Cornelius Gurlitt, in a folder at the municipal archive in Duesseldorf, Germany.
Rolf Vennenbernd EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 8:38 am

A German man who for years had hidden away art plundered by the Nazis during World War II has agreed to return the valuable works to their Jewish owners or their descendants, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Cornelius Gurlitt will start with returning Matisse's Seated Woman/Woman Sitting in Armchair to the descendants of Paul Rosenberg, who was a French art dealer whose descendants recognized the painting when details of the stash were made public in November.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Obama Lays Out His Plan To Have Telecoms Store Call Data

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 11:33 am

Following up on his acknowledgement in January that it's problematic to have the National Security Agency collecting and storing massive amounts of information about individuals' phone calls, President Obama announced Thursday that he has decided "the data should remain at the telephone companies."

NPR's Tamara Keith tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Thu March 27, 2014

'Do It For Denmark' Video Urges Danes To Go All The Way

An image from "Do it for Denmark," which urges Danes to get going.
Spies Rejser video

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 11:38 am

While The Washington Post Morning Mix blog helpfully digs into statistics about Denmark's low birth rate and slow population growth, we'll get right to the point:

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop, GDP Growth Revised Up Slightly

The economic news about both last quarter and last week is on the positive side:

-- The Bureau of Economic Analysis says the economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2013, a bit better than its previous estimate that gross domestic product had expanded at a 2.4 percent pace.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Sentenced To Death 46 Years Ago, Japanese Man Is Now Free

Iwao Hakamada before he went to prison in 1966 and after his release on Thursday. Now 78, he was sentenced to death in 1968 for the murders of four people and may have been the world's longest-serving death row inmate. Newly analyzed DNA evidence indicates he may be innocent. A retrial has been ordered.
Kyodo/Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 11:36 am

A Japanese man who may have been on death row longer than anyone else in the world walked out of prison on Thursday after newly analyzed DNA evidence prompted a judge to order that he be retried.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Planes Turn Back, But Ships Continue Search For Flight 370

A Thai satellite snapped an image that shows about 300 objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean in the area now being searched for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. This is part of that image. So far, searchers have not located any debris from the plane.
Thai Ministry of Science and Technology EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:42 pm

Nearly three weeks after it disappeared, the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and any sign of the 239 people who were on board continues in the southern Indian Ocean. Thursday's news is that:

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Book News: Shaken, Stirred: Ian Fleming's Racy Love Letters To Be Sold

Ian Fleming, best-selling British author and creator of James Bond, is seen in this 1962 photo.
AP

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

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

'I'm A Great Admirer,' Obama Tells Pope Francis

Pope Francis and President Obama at the Vatican on Thursday. It was their first meeting.
Gabriel Bouys AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 11:50 am

One leader whose popularity around the world has been eclipsed by the other met for the first time Thursday when President Obama visited Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Obama, who has seen his approval numbers decline since he took office in 2009, met for about 50 minutes with the pope, who has become one of the world's most popular leaders since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic Church a year ago.

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The Two-Way
8:32 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

High Court Considers Definition Of Domestic Violence In Gun Case

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 8:52 pm

Law enforcement, domestic violence organizations and gun control groups won an important victory in the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday.

The justices ruled unanimously that people convicted of minor domestic violence offenses are barred under federal law from possessing a gun, even though some states do not require proof of physical force for conviction on domestic violence charges.

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The Two-Way
8:21 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

California Senator Arrested On Gun Trafficking Charges

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, right, and Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, celebrate the passage of their gun control measures during the Senate session at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., in 2013.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

A state senator was arrested on charges of illegal gun trafficking and mail fraud on Wednesday.

As NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, Sen. Leland Yee was also the Democratic candidate for secretary of state in California. Richard filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Senator Yee's arrest stunned California's political community.

"According to court documents, Yee allegedly was involved in a conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and to illegally import guns.

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The Two-Way
7:49 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Two Days Later, World Vision Reverses Policy That Allowed Hiring Of Gays

Aid packages labled 'World Vision' for the victims of typhoon 'Haiyan' in the Philippines are loaded into a Lufthansa aircraft at Frankfurt International Airport in Germany.
Fredrik Von Erichsen DPA /LANDOV

World Vision U.S. changed course on Wednesday, saying it would return to its policy of not hiring Christians in gay marriages.

The Washington-state-based charity caused an uproar among its supporters when it announced on Monday that based on the changes many churches were making, it would allow the hiring of avowed Christians who had been legally married to someone of the same sex.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Massive Nor'easter Rakes New England

A NOAA satellite image of the storm off the coast of New England.
NOAA

New England is getting a hard glancing blow from a huge winter storm that has generated hurricane-force winds and such adjectives as "mind-blowing" and "monster" from normally mild-mannered meteorologists.

One look at weather satellite images of North America is all it takes to understand: This is a huge, classic nor'easter. WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue says the storm's "integrated kinetic energy" is four times that of superstorm Sandy.

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The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

WATCH: A Desperate Act And An Amazing Rescue In Houston Fire

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:34 pm

A five-alarm fire created some dramatic moments in Houston on Tuesday.

One video of a construction worker fleeing the apartment complex that was still under construction is just stunning. There's no need to say more. Just watch:

If you want background on the fire, The Houston Chronicle has details.

The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Labor Board Rules Northwestern University Players Are Employees

Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter speaks at a January press conference in Chicago.
David Banks Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:08 pm

A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Northwestern University athletes are employees of the school and are allowed to form a union.

The Associated Press calls the decision "stunning" because it has the potential to completely upend the way college athletics function. The AP adds:

"The Evanston, Ill-based university argued college athletes, as students, don't fit in the same category as factory workers, truck drivers and other unionized workers. The school plans to appeal to labor authorities in Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Egypt's Defense Minister Says He Will Run For President

Egypt's defense minister, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (center), attends a gala event at the Cairo Opera House earlier this month.
Ahmed Omar AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 4:57 pm

The head of the Egyptian military, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, says that he has resigned as defense minister and will run for president in elections expected in July.

He made the announcement in a nationally televised speech.

The Associated Press reports:

"Wearing military fatigues, he said it was the last time he would wear it and that "I give up the uniform to defend the nation" and run in elections expected next month.

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