The Two Way

The Two-Way
9:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Jobless Claims Dipped Last Week

There were 350,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week (the period ending Oct. 19), down 12,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

A broader measure — the "4-week moving average" — rose by 10,750, to 348,250. That gives a sense of the pace of claims over the course of a month.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Thu October 24, 2013

At Health Care Hearing, Republicans And Democrats Clash Again

HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 2:50 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ailsa Chang reports
  • Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., accusing his Republican colleagues of holding a "monkey court."

(Click here to jump to our latest updates — including a Democrat accusing Republicans of holding a "monkey court.")

Republicans in the House have framed the central question they want answered about the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act this way, NPR's Ailsa Chang said Thursday on Morning Edition:

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Book News: Emily Dickinson Papers Go Online, Deepening Harvard-Amherst Feud

American poet Emily Dickinson, circa 1850.
Three Lions/Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Thu October 24, 2013

All You Need To Know About Game 1 Of The World Series

The rout begins: Boston's David Ortiz, No. 34, scores in the first inning of Wednesday's World Series game against St. Louis. Mike Napoli's double brought in three runs, and the Red Sox were on the way to an 8-1 win.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 12:14 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Mike Pesca recaps Game 1 of the Series

The score was:

Boston Red Sox 8; St. Louis Cardinals 1.

St. Louis was awful:

NPR's Mike Pesca calls the Cardinals' performance "classically-inept."

The Associated Press says the Cardinals "wrecked themselves with just their second three-error game of the season."

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The Two-Way
6:59 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Bank Of America Liable For Fraud In Countrywide Mortgages

The Countrywide Banking and Home Loans office in Glendale, Calif., in an April 2007 photo.
Damian Dovarganes AP

A Manhattan jury has held Bank of America liable for fraud related to bad loans its Countrywide Financial Corp. unit sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the housing market soured.

The verdict was returned on Wednesday after several hours of deliberation in a month-long trial that focused on loans Countrywide completed in 2007 and 2008, as the housing crisis was already underway. Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America in 2008.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Netflix On The Moon? Broadband Makes It To Deep Space

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer probe, seen in this artist's rendering, is orbiting the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar surface.
Dana Berry NASA

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:20 pm

Here's a funny quirk of the modern age: It takes just seconds to pull up a bad sci-fi movie about invaders from the moon and watch it in HD. But actual communications between the Earth and moon are just as static-filled as they were back in the 1960s.

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The Two-Way
5:28 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Two Blond Children Taken From Roma Families In Ireland Are Returned

A newspaper vendor wears a vest displaying front page of The Herald on Wednesday in Dublin. Irish authorities were waiting for DNA test results in relation to a girl removed by Gardai from a Roma family in Dublin, days after a similar case in Greece. The test showed the girl was the biological daughter of the Roma family.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:33 pm

Over the past week, two children were taken from Roma families in Ireland. Authorities said they suspected the blond-haired and blue-eyed children might had been abducted because they did not look like their parents.

Today, we get news that after a DNA test and other proof was presented to authorities, the boy and the girl are back with their biological parents.

Meanwhile, the Justice Minister Alan Shatter called for a report about how this happened.

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The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Ex-Navy Carrier USS Forrestal Sold For 1 Cent

The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Forrestal departs Newport, R.I., for a three-day cruise to Philadelphia in 2010.
MCCS Melissa F. Weatherspoon U.S. Navy

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:45 pm

The U.S. Navy's first "supercarrier" is being sold for just 1 cent to a ship breaker.

The USS Forrestal, launched in 1954 and decommissioned in 1993, is the first of three conventional (non-nuclear) carriers due to be scrapped in the coming years. The Forrestal is best known for a devastating fire in 1967 that engulfed the ship's flight deck, killing 134 sailors and wounding 161 others.

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

China's Smog As Seen From Space

Heavy smog has shrouded much of eastern China, and air quality levels have been dropped to extremely dangerous levels. The heavy smog is caused by industrial pollution, coal and agricultural burning, and has been trapped by the mountains to the west and wind patterns. The thick haze of smog is clearly visible as the murky gray color in this true color satellite image.
NASA/NOAA

We told you earlier this week about how smog choked the northeast Chinese city of Harbin, which is home to 11 million people.

Today, we get a stunning look at just how bad the problem is from an image taken by the Suomi NPP satellite on Tuesday. That murky gray you see below is all smog:

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The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Boston Mayor Fumbles (Again), Says Sox Will Bring Home 'Cup'

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in March 2013.
Paul Marotta Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:14 pm

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino dropped another fly ball: On Tuesday, a day before the first game of the World Series, he mixed his sports references, proving once again that he is no sports fan.

"Tomorrow night, the never (say) die Red Sox, play in their third World Series in the last nine years," Menino said, according to The Boston Globe. "(We're) rooting hard to bring back the World Series Cup to Boston, like we did in 2004 and 2007."

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Chinese Paper Makes Unprecedented Plea For Reporter's Release

A woman reads the New Express newspaper with Wednesday's headline: "Please Release Him."
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:55 pm

"Please Release Him."

That was the simple but startling front-page headline on Wednesday in New Express, a cutting-edge newspaper based in China's southern city of Guangzhou. "Him" is Chen Yongzhou, one of the paper's investigative journalists who New Express says was taken away by police after reporting "problems with the accounts" at Zoomlion Heavy Industries."

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

VIDEO: World Series Smackdown, Symphony Style

The St. Louis and Boston symphony orchestras are into this year's World Series. They've made a video so that they can talk some trash (and play some music too).
YouTube
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Mike Pesca previews the World Series

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Iran Minister: Man Who Survived Hanging Shouldn't Be Executed

A blindfolded man convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and the slaying of two policemen awaits execution in Tehran in 2011.
Mohammad Hadi Khosravi AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:23 pm

Iran's justice minister says a convicted drug smuggler who survived an attempted execution by hanging earlier this month shouldn't go back to the gallows.

As we reported last week, the 37-year-old man, identified as Alireza M, was found alive in the morgue by his family following a 12-minute hanging. After the incident, an Iranian judge reportedly said Alireza would hang again once he had recovered from the botched execution.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Wed October 23, 2013

6 1/2-Year Sentence For 'I Killed A Man' YouTube Confessor

An image from the video confession of Matthew Cordle.
becauseisaidiwould.com AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:28 pm

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Court Papers Link One Tsarnaev Brother To Previous Murders

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as seen in a video taken on April 15 near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
FBI.gov

Papers filed by prosecutors in Boston this week confirm that a friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev told investigators that Tsarnaev took part in a 2011 triple murder in Massachusetts.

Tsarnaev had been linked to the murders before. We wrote on May 23 that:

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Norwegian Town's Bright Idea Is A Shining Example Of Ingenuity

People gathered on a spot in front of the town hall of Rjukan, Norway, last week, where mirrors have focused sunlight.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:22 pm

Archimedes would be proud of the town of Rjukan, Norway. So would Sam Eyde.

Rjukan, home to about 3,500 residents and situated about 70 miles west of the capital, Oslo, has installed a trio of giant mountaintop mirrors to focus light into the valley town's square during the cold (and dark) winter months.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Wed October 23, 2013

'Bishop Of Bling' Suspended By Pope Francis

Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst.
Fredrik Von Erichsen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 12:17 pm

  • NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome

The "bishop of bling" has been suspended by Pope Francis while the Roman Catholic Church investigates allegations of overspending on renovations at the German cleric's residence and offices.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

What Does The Fox Really Say? LISTEN

The Norwegian duo Ylvis (brothers Bard and Vegard Vlvisaker), who ask "What Does the Fox Say?"
Robert Pitts Landov

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Crisis Averted For Now In Australia's Fight Against Fires

"A high-risk gamble by firefighters" has paid off in Australia, says The Sydney Morning Herald.

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Book News: Two Cleveland Kidnapping Victims Writing A Book

A poster was still on display outside the Cleveland home of Amanda Berry after she was rescued in May along with Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.
Tony Dejak AP

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

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Top Stories: White House Aide Fired Over Tweets; Facebook Tightens Rules

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:46 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Fired White House Aide Admits He Was Twitter Troll.

-- Facebook Removes Beheading Video, Says It Will Tighten Rules.

And here are more early headlines:

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Facebook Removes Beheading Video, Says It Will Tighten Rules

Facebook.com

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:30 am

Outrage over the posting of a video showing the decapitation of a woman has led Facebook to say it is going to "combat the glorification of violence ... [by] strengthening the enforcement of our policies." It has also removed the video.

This story began Monday when the BBC reported that:

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Fired White House Aide Admits He Was Twitter Troll

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images
  • From the NPR Newscast: Giles Snyder reports

A top White House national security aide who was secretly going on Twitter to insult other Obama administration officials and politicians from both major parties, and to question the policies he had been helping develop, is apologizing.

Jofi Joseph is also out of a job.

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The Two-Way
6:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Pew: Most Latinos Can't Name 'Most Important Hispanic Leader'

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was named by 5 percent of respondents as "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."
Win McNamee AFP/Getty Images

While most Latinos believe it's important for their community to have a national leader, most of them can't pinpoint whom they think that leader is.

That's the new finding from a survey released today by the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. Survey participants were asked an open-ended question to name the person they think is "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."

Sixty-two percent responded they didn't know and 9 percent said no one.

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