The Two Way

The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Divided U.S. Supreme Court Leaves Texas Abortion Law In Effect

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block abortion restrictions that are included in a new Texas law that was enacted after vigorous debate this year. The law is the subject of an ongoing legal battle.

Texas officials have defended the law in lower federal courts, with Planned Parenthood and other opponents winning an initial victory that was overturned days later by a U.S. Court of Appeals.

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The Two-Way
6:25 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Postal Service Hopes 'Harry Potter' Stamps Spell Revenue

The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service hopes its new Harry Potter stamps will spark enthusiasm among a new generation of stamp collectors.
USPS

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 6:10 am

Hold onto your owls, Harry Potter fans. The U.S. Postal Service is hoping you'll send your letters with one of 20 new Potter-themed stamps it unveiled Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
6:10 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Florida Rep. Trey Radel Charged With Cocaine Possession

Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel, R-Fla., shown on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 8:22 pm

Florida Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel is being charged with cocaine possession and faces arraignment on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Authorities say the freshman Republican was found in possession of cocaine on Oct. 29, a misdemeanor offense, but provided no other details.

NPR's Tamara Keith says the charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 180 days of imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000.

Radel, 37, represents Florida's 19th District, which covers parts of the Gulf Coast, Fort Myers and Naples.

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The Two-Way
6:01 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Robert Conley, First Host Of 'All Things Considered,' Dies

Robert Conley celebrated the 40th anniversary of NPR's All Things Considered in the network's Studio 2A.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Robert Conley, the first host of NPR's All Things Considered, died over the weekend.

It was Conley who on May 3, 1971, set the tone for NPR's flagship newsmagazine. As one of the show's current hosts Robert Siegel explains, Conley established that the program would be different.

To begin that first broadcast, for example, Conley launched into an unscripted, five-minute riff that introduced a 23-minute piece covering a massive anti-war protest in Washington.

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The Two-Way
5:53 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

New York's Graffiti Mecca, 5Pointz, Was Whitewashed Overnight

People walk in front of New York's graffiti iconic spot "5Pointz," after the building was painted white in New York.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

It was a reversal of traditional roles: Painters contracted by the owners of an unoccupied building in Queens, New York, worked under the cover of night Tuesday morning to white wash years of graffiti that had turned 5Pointz into a street art mecca.

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The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

India's Solution To The Monkey Menace? Put 'Em On The Pill!

A monkey invades the field during a cricket match in Ahmedabad, India, in 2012.
Gareth Copley Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 7:12 pm

Officials in some of India's major cities, who have been fighting a losing battle to control troops of marauding monkeys who snatch food, chew Internet cables and romp through government buildings, have decided to take drastic action: They are putting them on the pill.

Or at least oral contraceptives are part of a strategy that also will involve outright sterilization of thousands of rhesus monkeys.

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Researchers Find Ancient Seawater Had Twice The Salt

A map showing the impact areas of a large asteroid or comet that struck the Chesapeake Bay some 35 million years ago.
U.S. Geological Survey

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 6:57 pm

Scientists have discovered a pocket of ancient seawater that's been trapped underground near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay since the time of the dinosaurs — strong evidence that the Atlantic Ocean was once much saltier than today.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Beyond The Caricature: 5 Things To Know About Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his office after councilors passed motions Monday to limit his powers.
Chris Young The Canadian Press

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:50 pm

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was thrust into the international spotlight after he admitted to smoking crack. Since then, a caricature of the politician has emerged: a bumbling, error-prone addict, whose everyman persona has helped him maintain his popularity in Canada's most populous city.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Will Pay $13 Billion In Record Settlement

In a settlement deal, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay some $13 billion in fines and other payments related to mortgages and mortgage securities that helped cause the financial crisis that began in 2007.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:38 pm

In an agreement settling many U.S. claims over its sale of troubled mortgages, JPMorgan Chase will pay a record $13 billion, in a deal announced by the Justice Department Tuesday. The plan includes a $4 billion payment for consumer relief, along with a payment to investors of more than $6 billion and a large fine.

The latest updates on this story are at the bottom of this post. We've also added a few key points to the main post.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Safety Agency Opens Probe Into Tesla Fires

Tesla Motors Chairman and CEO Elon Musk (in driver's seat) and chief designer Franz von Holzhausen (in passenger seat) drive the new Tesla Model S all-electric sedan in Hawthorne, California on March 26, 2009.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has opened an investigation into battery fires in two Tesla Motors Model S sedans.

The fires — three reports in six weeks — have sparked concern about the safety of the electric cars. The New York Times reports:

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

King Of Thrones: America's Best Restroom Is In Minneapolis

In the Game of Thrones, this is the winner: the fanciful restroom of the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.
Varsity Theater

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:38 pm

It pays to be unique when you're going for the title of best restroom in the land. Design details are crucial, and so is the choice of materials. It also doesn't hurt if you serve drinks in a commodious chamber. Those are the strengths of the Varsity Theater, a concert hall in Minneapolis that has won America's Best Restroom Contest for 2013.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan's Exact Death Toll May Never Be Known

In Tacloban, the Philippines, graffiti on the side of a grounded ship sends a message out to the world.
David Gilkey NPR

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Winter's Coming And Thousands Are Homeless After Tornadoes

One of the homes destroyed in Washington, Ill., by Sunday's storms.
Tasos Katopodis Getty Images
  • On 'Morning Edition': 'Midwest Tornadoes Send Residents Scrambling'

Along with the stories of incredible destruction and heart-breaking losses, Tuesday's reports about the aftereffects of Sunday's tornadoes in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and other parts of the Midwest make this ominous point:

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Police: Prominent Va. Lawmaker Apparently Stabbed By Son

Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds in 2009, when he was the Democratic nominee in his state's gubernatorial race.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 8:41 am

(Click here to jump to latest update.)

Creigh Deeds, a Democratic state senator in Virginia who was his party's 2009 gubernatorial nominee, "is in critical condition at the University of Virginia Medical Center after he was stabbed in his home Tuesday morning," Richmond's WRIC-TV reports.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Tue November 19, 2013

University Of Texas Students Cancel 'Catch An Illegal Immigrant Game'

Students walk through the University of Texas at Austin campus near the school's iconic tower in Austin, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Update at 10 a.m. ET. Game Has Been Cancelled:

Our friends at NPR member station KUT report the Young Conservatives of Texas has called off a game of "catch an illegal immigrant," which had sparked condemnation from the University of Texas at Austin community at large.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Picture This: Selfie Is 'Word Of The Year'

If old bloggers are doing it when they bike, then you know the word "selfie" has gone mainstream.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:19 pm

Oxford Dictionaries has decided that 2013's word of the year is selfie — and if you don't know what the word means, you may not be a somewhat self-absorbed type who likes to share photos you take of yourself. (Just kidding, selfie fans!)

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Tue November 19, 2013

NSA Releases Some Files On Electronic Surveillance

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 10:17 am

Reporters on the national security beat are sifting through about 1,000 pages of newly declassified documents that the National Security Agency released late Monday.

The heavily redacted records, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement, "demonstrate the care with which NSA's foreign intelligence collection ... is run, managed, and overseen."

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Book News: Syd Field, Author Of Hollywood Classic 'Screenplay,' Dies

Syd Field died Sunday in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 77.
Courtesy of sydfield.com

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

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Tue November 19, 2013

LISTEN: For Its 150th, A Reading Of The Gettysburg Address

President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address as inscribed on the stone at the Lincoln Memorial.
Pat Benic UPI/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 10:14 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': The Gettysburg Address put in historical context
  • The Gettysburg Address, read by historian Eric Foner and NPR staff

On this 150 anniversary of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, his words — not ours — are important.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Two Explosions, Multiple Deaths At Iranian Embassy In Beirut

This car was among many vehicles destroyed by bombs Tuesday in Beirut. Nearby buildings suffered extensive damage. More than 20 people, including an Iran diplomat, were killed by the explosions near Iran's embassy.
Nabil Mounzer EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 9:02 am

Twin explosions Tuesday near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killed more than 20 people, including Iran's cultural attaché, according to reports from The Associated Press and other news outlets. Dozens more people were injured.

From Beirut, producer Rima Marrouch tells our Newscast Desk that the blasts happened around 10 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET).

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The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Princeton To Distribute Meningitis B Vaccine

Princeton University's Nassau Hall. The New Jersey university has seen seven cases of bacterial meningitis since March.
Daniel Hulshizer AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 6:06 pm

Princeton University has decided to distribute a vaccine for meningitis B that has not been approved for use in the United States.

As we've reported, the New Jersey university has seen seven cases of bacterial meningitis since March.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Chinese Supercomputer Retains Title Of World's Fastest

The Cray-built Titan, at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, comes in second.
Jason K. Richards Oak Ridge National Laboratories

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 6:24 pm

A "Made in China" supercomputer that can perform 33.9 petaflops, or 33 quadrillion calculations per second, retains its top spot in the list of the world's 500 most powerful machines.

Tianhe-2, or Milky Way-2, is still No. 1, where it debuted in the list issued in June. In fact, the top 5 slots are all unchanged:

  1. Tianhe-2 (China, National Super Computer Center in Guangzhou): 33.86 petaflops
  2. Titan (U.S., Cray): 17.59 petaflops
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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

George Zimmerman Charged With Aggravated Assault

George Zimmerman.
Seminole Sheriff

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 8:18 pm

George Zimmerman, the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin, has been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing a gun at his girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, during a domestic dispute on Monday.

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

MAVEN Lifts Off On Nearly Half-Billion-Mile Trip To Mars

NASA's MAVEN, short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, with a capital "N" in EvolutioN, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on Monday.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:38 pm

NASA's MAVEN explorer blasted off Monday on the first leg of its 440-million-mile journey to Mars, where scientists hope it will answer an ancient question: why the red planet went from warm and wet to cold and dry in a matter of just a billion years.

The robot orbiter, called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe, launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:28 p.m. EST. It will take 10 months to reach Mars.

The Associated Press writes:

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