The Two Way

The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

No, Queen Elizabeth Is Not Down To Her 'Last Million'

Queen Elizabeth II.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Did you hear about Queen Elizabeth II? That times are tough for Britain's monarch?

Or as an inspired headline writer at Australia's Canberra Times put it:

Royal no longer flush — Queen 'down to her last million'

Well, don't schedule a telethon for her just yet.

The queen herself is not running out of money.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Super Bowl Tickets Are 'Cheap,' And Weather Isn't Only Reason

Tickets? Tickets? Anybody need tickets? Some are available to Sunday's Super Bowl in New Jersey at "bargain" prices.
Charlie Riedel AP

Sure, the game-time temperature's going to be in the low-30s or high-20s at Sunday's Super Bowl in New Jersey.

But brokers say that's not the only reason why tickets to the game aren't going for super-high prices on the websites where they're being resold.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Philippine Police Used 'Wheel Of Torture,' Rights Group Says

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 12:51 pm

Police in the Philippines played "wheel of torture" to dole out punishments to criminal suspects during interrogations, according to country's own Commission on Human Rights.

"They do it for fun, it's like a game for entertainment," Loretta Ann Rosales, the chair of the Commission on Human Rights said. "We're trying to correct this mindset based on a human rights approach to policing, but obviously it may take a lot of time."

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Opposition 'Gaining Ground' In Ukraine?

Anti-government protesters wave flags and shout slogans Tuesday in Kiev, Ukraine.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 12:21 pm

Demonstrators in Kiev's main square are welcoming the news that Ukraine's "widely despised" prime minister is stepping down, that anti-protest laws have been repealed and that protesters may get amnesty, NPR's Corey Flintoff reports.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Despite Soundproof Box, Egypt's Morsi Is Defiant In Court

Egyptians watch a television screen showing the trial of ousted President Mohammed Morsi on Tuesday in Cairo.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 1:04 pm

"I am the legitimate president of the country, and this trial is not legal."

Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi struck a defiant tone with those words at his trial Tuesday in a Cairo courtroom.

As NPR's Leila Fadel tells our Newscast unit, Morsi is standing trial in three different cases. Leila reports:

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Emergencies Declared As Deep Freeze Hits Deep South

Tuesday night's forecast for the lower 48 states shows temperatures below freezing (the shades of blue and purple) across most of the nation.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 11:07 am

In Louisiana:

-- "Jindal declares state of emergency, urges caution ahead of winter storm." (The Times-Picayune)

In Mississippi:

"Storm warning: Emergency plans put in place." (Clarion-Ledger)

In Alabama:

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Obama To Raise Minimum Wage For Federal Contracts

President Obama, working at his desk Monday night on the eve of his 2014 State of the Union address.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 11:06 am

News broke this morning that President Obama will announce during his State of the Union address tonight that he's going to sign an executive order raising the minimum wage in new federal contracts.

And as stories about that were popping up on news sites, one of the president's top advisers was on Morning Edition saying that Obama has "warmed up to" the idea of using such executive orders to advance his agenda.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Book News: Mexican Poet Jose Emilio Pacheco Dies At 74

Mexican writer Jose Emilio Pacheco poses for the photographers after the Cervantes Prize ceremony on April 23, 2010, in Madrid.
Carlos Alvarez Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger, Folk Music Icon And Activist, Dies At 94

Pete Seeger closes out the 2011 Newport Folk Festival.
Anna Webber WireImage

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 11:00 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': A look back at Pete Seeger's life, from former NPR newscaster Paul Brown

Pete Seeger, "a tireless campaigner for his own vision of a utopia marked by peace and togetherness," died Monday at the age of 94.

As former NPR broadcaster Paul Brown adds in an appreciation he prepared for Morning Edition, Seeger's tools "were his songs, his voice, his enthusiasm and his musical instruments."

The songs he'll be long remembered for include "If I Had a Hammer," "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone."

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The Two-Way
12:02 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Inspector General: Literacy Training Of Afghan Forces Has Limited Success

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand guard outside Bagram military base.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

An effort by the international coalition in Afghanistan to teach Afghan security forces to read and write has had limited success and has been plagued by problems, a new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction finds.

The $200 million effort was funded by the U.S. and after more than three years of the program, the report found that about half of the members of the Afghan National Police are still illiterate.

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The Two-Way
8:03 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

New Bipartisan Farm Bill Emerges From Long Debate In Congress

The new farm bill includes provisions to help livestock producers hit by natural disasters and extreme weather. Here, cattle stay warm in a barn in Illinois during this month's cold weather.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 8:55 am

Members of the House and Senate have reached a bipartisan agreement on a five-year farm bill that will end months of uncertainty for farmers and agriculture workers, its backers say. If enacted, it would close the gap left when the previous farm bill expired late in 2013, after an emergency extension lapsed.

The Agricultural Act of 2014, which will likely come up for a vote on Wednesday, reflects the many agendas that helped to complicate its creation.

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The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

U.S. Agencies, Tech Firms Agree To Rules On Surveillance Info

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:53 pm

Internet companies that receive U.S. government requests for information about their customers will be able to disclose more details about surveillance than has been allowed, according to a deal announced today by the Justice Department.

The shift will allow technology and communications companies "to publish the aggregate data ... relating to any orders issued pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)" — and in more ways than had been previously allowed.

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

California Bar Rejects Stephen Glass, Ex-Writer Who Fabricated Stories

Handing down a harsh opinion, the California Supreme Court said that Stephen Glass, the former journalist who fabricated many stories, had failed to prove that he was of good moral character, so it was denying him a law license.

Despite his attempts to rehabilitate his image, the court said, it remained unconvinced that that Glass had changed his ways.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Spoiler Alert? 'Madden NFL 25' Predicts Super Bowl Outcome

Who will win? Videogame maker EA Sports says its Madden NFL 25 predicts an overtime thriller in Sunday's Super Bowl, with Denver edging Seattle. Here, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, left, and Broncos coach John Fox are seen in a composite image.
Getty Images Getty Images

EA Sports says it has seen the future – and the Denver Broncos will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, after a thrilling Super Bowl matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. The video game company plugged in the two teams to predict the outcome: an overtime thriller in which the lead changes hands several times.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

NYT: NSA Can Exploit Mobile Apps For Information

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:53 pm

The National Security Agency, along with its British counterpart, the GCHQ, can exploit sometimes very personal data that leaks from popular phone apps.

That's according to The New York Times, which is basing its reporting on secret British documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Rat-A-Phooey! That Ghost Ship May Not Be Infested With Rodents

The Lyubov Orlova sits derelict at dockside in Newfoundland in October 2012.
Dan Conlin Wikipedia Commons

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:03 pm

As creepily fascinating as the story may be, the tale about a "rat-infested ghost ship" supposedly headed toward Britain may need to be filed in the too-good-to-be-true category.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

CEO Of A Bitcoin Exchange Charged With Money Laundering

Charlie Shrem, CEO of the BitInstant bitcoin exchange, and another man have been charged with allegedly laundering money for individuals who illegally bought drugs online.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

FAA Orders Safety Checks On Boeing 767 Jets

An American Airlines Boeing 767 takes off from Miami International Airport.
Wilfredo Lee AP

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered safety inspections on Monday of all Boeing 767 jets.

As The Los Angeles Times reports, the FAA is worried about potential problems to the aircraft's horizontal flight-control surfaces, which could result in a "possible loss of control of the airplane."

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Boston Bombing Survivors Will Be Guests At State Of The Union

An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo, in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheelchair after he was injured in one of two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:53 pm

The White House began releasing the guest list for President Obama's State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

As The Boston Globe reports, sitting with first lady Michelle Obama will be two survivors of the bombing at the Boston Marathon last year.

The paper reports:

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Relic Containing Pope John Paul II's Blood Stolen

Pope John Paul II in 1982
Hulton Archive Getty Images

One of only three known containers holding what's said to be Pope John Paul II's blood was stolen over the weekend from a small church in the mountains of Italy's central Abruzzo region.

According to the BBC, the thief or thieves "left the collection box, but took a crucifix and the priceless relic, which contains a piece of gauze once soaked in the blood of the late pope."

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Book News: Caldecott For 'Locomotive'; Newbery For 'Flora & Ulysses'

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 12:18 pm

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

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Egypt's El-Sissi Promoted, Military Says He Should Run For President

Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in April 2013, when he was a general and defense minister.
Jim Watson AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:58 pm

Update at 1:53 p.m. ET. El-Sissi Should Run For President:

NPR's Leila Fadel sends us this update from Cairo:

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces says that Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi should heed the calls of the people to run for president and that el-Sissi is free act as his conscience guides him. El-Sissi hasn't explicitly declared but what is clear is he will run for president.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Rep. Radel Resigns; Pleaded Guilty To Cocaine Possession

Republican Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel of Florida
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 3:34 pm

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET. Letter Sent To Boehner:

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Mon January 27, 2014

UPDATED: Ukrainian President Offers To 'Scrap' Anti-Protest Law

A protester guards a barricade in Kiev, Ukraine, on Monday.
Darko Vojinovic AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:29 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Kiev

Update at 5:23 p.m. ET. President Offers To Scrap Anti-Protest Law:

As the protests continued, Ukraine's president made another concession on Monday: He said he would scrap a law that made protesting illegal. The law fueled already violent protests and helped them spread into areas of the country that were loyal to President Viktor Yanukovych.

The AP reports:

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