The Two Way

The Two-Way
8:16 am
Sat February 15, 2014

For The South, Add Earthquake To Snow, Ice And Power Outages

Multiple crews work to restore power after a winter storm on Thursday that brought down lines in Fairburn, Ga. Friday night's small quake was the latest event to rattle nerves in the region.
John Amis AP

The Deep South has been shaken up this winter in more ways than one: First, there was the unusual ice and snow and the ensuing power outages. And now, an earthquake.

The late-night 4.1 temblor, with an epicenter about 150 miles northwest of Charleston, was not strong enough to do any damage, but it did rattle folks in both South Carolina and Georgia.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck at 10:23 p.m. ET Friday night.

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The Two-Way
10:53 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Tenn. VW Workers Reject Move To Join Union

Volkswagen's car plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., is the company's only one in the U.S. Its employees voted this week on whether to join the United Auto Workers union.
Volkswagen

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 10:56 pm

Some 1,500 workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee have voted not to join the United Auto Workers union. The tally of the three-day vote follows days of political prodding from both sides of the issue.

The 712-626 vote was a devastating blow to the UAW, which had tacit support from VW. The union had hoped to make inroads in auto plants in the South, where organizers have been striving for decades to represent factory workers.

VW had even allowed organizers into the plant to make their sales pitches.

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The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

A view of Venus, black dot at top center, passing in front of the sun during a transit in 2012. A quarter of Americans questioned failed to answer correctly the most basic questions on astronomy.
AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:41 pm

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

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The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Of Book Yanked In India Says Move Has Backfired

Indian activists from the student wing of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party protest near the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi on May 25, 2010, against Wendy Doniger's The Hindus. Penguin Books, India, said this week that it would withdraw the book and pulp it.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 8:09 pm

We told you earlier today [Friday] about a University of Chicago professor whose book was withdrawn in India after a Hindu group brought a court challenge against the publisher, Penguin Books, India.

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The Two-Way
5:58 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Isabel Allende Apologizes For Comments About Mystery Novels

Isabel Allende is apologizing for her comments about mystery novels.
Peter Morgan AP

Author Isabel Allende is best known for her works of magical realism such as The House of Spirits, but it was comments she made during an NPR interview about her new book, Ripper, a mystery novel, that angered fans of crime fiction.

Here's what she told NPR's Arun Rath:

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Feds Clear Banks To Do Business With Budding Pot Industry

A bag of marijuana being prepared for sale sits next to a money jar at BotanaCare in Northglenn, Colorado, in this file photo taken on December 31, 2013.
Rick Wilking Reuters/Landov

The federal government on Friday issued guidelines for banks seeking to do business with the legal marijuana industry, stopping short of a blanket immunity for them, but strongly indicating that prosecutions for such crimes as money laundering would be unlikely.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports that the Department of Justice and Treasury Department on Friday sought to "clarify rules for banks trying to navigate the murky legal waters of the marijuana business. Murky, because pot is legal in a growing number of states, but remains illegal under federal law."

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The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

WATCH: A Death-Defying Climb To The Top Of Shanghai Tower

Vadim Makhorov and Vitaly Raskalov scale Shanghai Tower.
YouTube

A pair of daredevils, a Russian and a Ukrainian, scales the as-yet-unfinished Shanghai Tower, the world's second-tallest building.

As Russia Today writes:

"Donning army camos, black hoodies and face masks, Vadim Makhorov and Vitaly Raskalov evoke a Black Bloc aesthetic and an even more nonchalant attitude when readying themselves to scrape the sky with their own fingers."

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Even From Space, Near-Record Ice On Great Lakes Is Chilling

They're down there somewhere: The Great Lakes as seen from space on Wednesday. Lake Ontario, which has less ice than the others, is at the lower right. A bit of open water can be seen in Lake Superior, at the upper left.
CoastWatch.glerl.noaa.gov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 8:45 pm

The satellite photo we posted last month of a partially frozen Lake Michigan sent shivers down our spines.

Then when we heard today that the ice cover on the Great Lakes is approaching a record, we went in search of other such images.

After looking through several dozen, we need some hot cocoa. See if you agree.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Make It A Grande: Mammoth Tusk Find Likely Seattle's Largest

Plumber apprentice Joe Wells touching what Burke Museum officials believe is the largest, most intact mammoth tusk, ever found in the region.
Uncredited AP

The tusk from a mammoth that lived 16,000 years ago in the Seattle area unearthed earlier this week appears to be the largest, most intact ever found in the region.

It's thought to be from a Columbian mammoth, a subgroup of woolly mammoths, and is considered to be a pretty rare find. Construction workers stumbled on it as they were digging the foundation for an apartment complex in the city's South Lake Union neighborhood.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Delhi's Crusading Chief Minister Resigns, Slams Main Parties

Arvind Kejriwal addresses his supporters in New Delhi, India, on Friday after announcing his resignation as chief minister of Delhi.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 1:51 pm

He said he represented the common man, and he caused a political earthquake in India when his party's election performance catapulted him to the chief minister's office in Delhi. On Friday — less than two months later — Arvind Kejriwal announced he was resigning after his effort to pass an anti-corruption bill was blocked by lawmakers in the state assembly.

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Report: 'Pattern Of Harassment' Led Dolphins Player To Quit

Then-Miami Dolphins Richie Incognito (left) and Jonathan Martin before Martin's departure.
Bill Feig AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:41 pm

"Three starters on the Dolphins offensive line — Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey — engaged in a pattern of harassment directed at not only Jonathan Martin, but also another young Dolphins offensive lineman and an assistant trainer," according to a report released Friday.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Shiny And New: World's Largest Solar Plant Opens In California

NRG celebrates the future of solar energy at the grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System on Thursday in Nipton, Calif.
Jeff Bottari Invision for NRG

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:41 pm

The world's largest solar power plant, made up of thousands of mirrors focusing the sun's energy, has officially started operations in the Mojave Desert, just inside southeastern California near the border with Nevada.

The $2.2 billion, 400-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which covers 5 square miles and has three 40-story towers where the light is focused, is a joint project by NRG Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy. The project received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Dozens Hurt In Massive Pileup On Pennsylvania Turnpike

Vehicles are piled up in an accident on Friday in Bensalem, Pa.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:25 pm

This post was updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.

A chain reaction of crashes involving dozens of cars and tractor-trailers has left at least 30 people hurt and forced the closure of the eastbound lane on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the town of Bensalem, local news reports.

The lane is now reopened after being closed for much of the day.

Some 100 vehicles were reportedly involved in multiple accidents stemming from an initial 14 or 15-vehicle collision in southern Bucks County at about 8:25 a.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Al Roker's Sorry For 1 Tweet, But Not For Blasting NYC Mayor

A little girl on her way to school Thursday in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides have come under fire for not closing the city's schools before a winter storm hit.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 11:22 am

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision not to close the city's schools Thursday has, as The New York Times says, become "another headache" for the Democratic chief executive.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Massive Volcanic Eruption In Indonesia Blankets Region In Ash

A residential area is covered with ash from the Mount Kelud volcano, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Friday.
Bimo Satrio EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:06 pm

The second major volcanic eruption in as many weeks in Indonesia has killed at least three people and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands on the island of Java, as Mount Kelud spewed ash and debris 12 miles into the sky.

Thursday night's eruption of the volcano, located 50 miles southwest of the country's second-largest city of Surabaya, could be heard up to 125 miles away, Indonesia's disaster agency says, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Worst Is Over, But More Snow's Coming

In Times Square on Friday morning, plows were clearing away the snowy mess.
Andrew Kelly Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 10:16 am

Here's the good news: The weather's about to get better from the Mid-Atlantic up through New England.

"The big nor'easter which recently delivered heavy snow and ice to much of the southern and eastern states will bring heavy snow and coastal rain to New England before exiting the region by Friday afternoon," the National Weather Service says.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Book News: Penguin India Defends Decision To Yank 'The Hindus'

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 8:42 am

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

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Virginia's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Ruled Unconstitutional

Supporters of same-sex marriage and opponents were out when the challenge to Virginia's law was heard in a Norfolk federal court earlier this month.
Jay Paul Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:11 pm

"A federal judge has struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, ruling on Thursday that the amendment adopted by voters in 2006 is unconstitutional," WAMU's Michael Pope writes this morning. He adds that:

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The Two-Way
2:09 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Actor Ralph Waite, Father On 'Waltons,' Dies At 85

Ralph Waite more recently had a recurring role on the CBS drama NCIS as Jackson Gibbs.
Cliff Lipson CBS /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 11:16 am

Ralph Waite, the actor best known as the father on the hit television show The Waltons, died Thursday. He was 85. His manager, Alan Mills, confirmed the news.

The Waltons aired on CBS from 1972 until 1981.

It was about a family in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains in the Depression-era 1930s.

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The Two-Way
6:49 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Fossil Shows Triassic-Era Sea Creature Gave Birth On Land

Fossil of Chaohusaurus reveals a baby inside its mother (orange) and another stuck in her pelvis (yellow).
Ryosuke Motani UC-Davis

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:05 pm

An extraordinary find of a fossil of 250-million-year-old air-breathing sea creature shows that it must have given birth on land, not in the sea as long assumed.

The fossil is of a mother chaohusaurus, which is believed to be a genus of ichthyosaur, who died giving birth. It shows the baby birthing headfirst.

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The Two-Way
6:10 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Many Flights Canceled, But Fewer Fliers Stranded On Tarmac

Passengers wait in line at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Thursday. A major snowstorm has delayed flights from Atlanta to New York.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:43 pm

Would-be air travelers sitting at home may be frustrated about their canceled plans. But most likely, they are happier than they would have been had they gotten trapped on an icy tarmac.

And that used to happen many hundreds of times a year before the Department of Transportation stepped in to reduce the frequency of passenger incarcerations.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

No-Confidence Vote Ushers In Italy's Youngest-Ever Premier

Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi of Italy's Democratic Party is next in line to be the country's prime minister. Enrico Letta is stepping down after a vote of no confidence.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta will step down after his own party launched a no-confidence vote against him, paving the way for the young and popular mayor of Florence to assume the post.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

U.K. Warns Scotland: Vote To Secede, Lose Common Currency

A display of T-shirts are seen for sale in a Scottish memorabilia shop in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Jan. 13, 2012. Scotland votes in September on independence, but the U.K. government has warned that freedom will come at a cost: Scotland will lose the pound.
Scott Heppell AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:06 pm

Scotland, as we've told you previously, is voting later this year on breaking away from the U.K.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond had said that the new country would retain the pound as its currency and take on a portion of the U.K.'s debt. Britain's message today [Thursday]: Not so fast.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Businesses Scramble To Deliver Valentine's Treats In Snow

Snow falls past a Valentine's Day display inside Lee's Flower & Card Shop in the early morning in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

If those flowers you were expecting fail to show up by Friday, don't be so quick to blame your Valentine. It could just be the weather.

That's not to say that the friendly neighborhood florist isn't planning for the worst — and hoping for the best.

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