The Two Way

The Two-Way
8:48 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Book News: 'Fast And Furious' Whistle-Blower Will Be Allowed To Publish Account

Special Agent John Dodson will publish a book about the ATF's "Operation Fast and Furious." Above, the seal of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Evan F. Sisley AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 2:02 pm

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

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Can GOP, Democrats Come Together On A Budget By Dec. 13?

Members of the bipartisan budget conference (from left): Sen. Jeff Sessions, Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Chris Van Hollen. Can they reach a deal by Dec. 13?
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 11:46 am

Now that the government has reopened, attention turns to the next phase of the spending fight, a battle that is far from over.

The bill that President Obama signed early Thursday provides only a temporary respite to the partisan tussles that have perennially plagued the budget process. The government stays open through Jan. 15 and the federal borrowing authority is safe until Feb. 7. After that, all bets are off.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Saudis Reject Security Council Seat, Citing 'Double Standards'

The U.N. Security Council votes on a resolution that will require Syria to give up its chemical weapons, at U.N. Headquarters last month.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 2:01 pm

Saudi Arabia says it will turn down a two-year seat on the United Nation's Security Council in protest over "double standards" in resolving international conflicts.

"Saudi Arabia ... is refraining from taking membership of the U.N. Security Council until it has reformed so it can effectively and practically perform its duties and discharge its responsibilities in maintaining international security and peace," said a Foreign Ministry statement issued on state media.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Fri October 18, 2013

San Francisco BART Transit Workers Strike

Roxanne Sanchez (left), president of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, speaks during a news conference in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 1:36 pm

It's going to be a frustrating Friday commute in San Francisco after the workers for the region's largest transit system, known as the BART, went out on strike.

The San Jose Mercury News reports:

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The Two-Way
7:26 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Snowden Says He Ditched Classified Docs, Before Fleeing To Russia

Edward Snowden.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:29 pm

In an extensive interview with The New York Times, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden says by the time he got to Russia, he had given all his classified files to journalists.

Snowden did that to prevent the Russians from gaining access to secret American documents and "because it wouldn't serve the public interest," he said.

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

U.S. Will Disclose Use Of Secret Wiretaps To A Defendant

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:29 pm

The Justice Department is wrestling with how to disclose to criminal defendants that some evidence against them may have come from a secret electronic surveillance program.

A senior government official told NPR that prosecutors have identified a criminal case in which they will soon tell defense lawyers that they used secret intercepts to help build the prosecution.

The decision to share the fruits of electronic monitoring under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act has been the source of an internal debate within the department for weeks.

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The Two-Way
5:29 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

September Jobs Report To Come Out Tuesday

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 5:35 pm

Following the economy can be confusing.

But at least one thing has long been certain: the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its monthly jobs report at exactly 8:30 a.m. on a Friday.

Next week, Tuesday will feel like a Friday.

That's because late Thursday afternoon, the BLS updated its post-shutdown schedule for data releases. The new schedule shows that the long-delayed and much-anticipated September employment report will come out on Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Obama Will Nominate Jeh Johnson To Head Homeland Security

Jeh Johnson in June of 2012.
Alex Wong Getty Images

President Obama will nominate attorney Jeh Johnson to be the next Homeland Security secretary.

Johnson recently served as the Pentagon's top lawyer.

Obama will announce his pick at 2 p.m. Friday, NPR's Scott Horsley tells us.

The Department of Homeland Security is currently without a leader. Former Secretary Janet Napolitano ended her stint six weeks ago. She left to become the president of the University of California system.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Report: NSA Plays Crucial Role In Drone Attacks

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:00 pm

Basing its reporting on documents obtained by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, The Washington Post moved a story last night that details a close collaboration between the spy agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, when it conducts drone attacks against suspected terrorists.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Post-Shutdown Palate Cleanser: Panda Cam Is Back!

The panda cub now weighs 5 pounds. This photo was taken Tuesday.
Courtney Janney Smithsonian's National Zoo

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 6:56 pm

If the ugliness in Washington left a bad taste in your mouth, we have the perfect palate cleanser.

The panda cam at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, which was shutdown along with the federal government, is back online. It means you can once again ogle the now eight-week-old cub and her mother, Mei Xiang.

The zoo writes:

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Obama Calls For Budget, Immigration Reform By Year's End

At the White House on Thursday, President Obama said "the American people are completely fed up with Washington."
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 12:50 pm

President Obama slammed the partisan standoff "spectacle" that he said had damaged the economy and America's international credibility, and called on Congress to pass a comprehensive budget, immigration reform and a farm bill by year's end.

He praised "Democrats and responsible Republicans who came together" to pass a last-minute deal to reverse a partial government shutdown and narrowly avert the expiration of the federal borrowing authority.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Economists: Shutdown Will Shave Half-Percent From Quarterly GDP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 3:06 pm

The government shutdown has taken a toll on the nation's economy and despite a deal that sidesteps a debt default and restarts the government (at least for a few months), growth forecasts for the last quarter of the year are being scaled back.

Economist Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics has shaved his gross domestic product forecast from a 2.6 percent annualized rate to 2.1 percent for the last three months of the calendar year.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Man Survives Botched Hanging; Iran Vows To Try Again

Iranians watch the hanging of a convicted man in the city of Qazvin, northwest of the capital, Tehran, in May 2011.
Hamideh Shafieeha AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 1:48 pm

Amnesty International is urging Iranian authorities not to go ahead with the execution of a convicted drug smuggler after the man survived a botched hanging last week.

The 37-year-old man, identified as Alireza M, was found alive in a morgue after he was hanged at a jail in the northeast Iranian city of Bojnord.

A news release from Amnesty International says:

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Lao Airliner Crash That Killed 49 Blamed On Bad Weather

Soldiers stand next to pieces of a Lao Airlines plane on Thursday after it crashed into the Mekong River near Pakse, Laos.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 1:10 pm

The crash of a turboprop in southern Laos that killed all 49 people aboard was caused by a violent storm that prompted the pilot to miss a runway and careen into the Mekong River, authorities say.

"Upon preparing to land at Pakse Airport the aircraft ran into extreme bad weather conditions and was reportedly crashed into the Mekong River," the Laos Ministry of Public Works and Transport said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Book News: External Monitor To Watch Over Apple

Kimberly White Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Thu October 17, 2013

House Stenographer Seizes Microphone In Bizarre Rant

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 10:54 am

In one of the strangest moments of a strange few weeks on Capitol Hill, a House stenographer broke into a rant about God, the Constitution and Freemasonry as representatives cast their votes Wednesday on a deal to reopen the government.

"He will not be mocked," the stenographer, later identified as Dianne Reidy, yelled into the microphone at the chamber's rostrum. "The greatest deception here is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. It would not have been. The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against God."

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Federal Workers Head Back To Jobs As Government Reopens

A furloughed federal worker protests outside the U.S. Capitol last week, demanding an end to the shutdown.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 10:49 am

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers on furlough for two weeks are going back to work after Congress approved a late-night deal Wednesday to fund the government and stave off default.

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Kerry Says He Hopes Syria's Chemical Weapons Are Shipped Out Of Region

Secretary of State John Kerry flies over Afghanistan on Oct. 11. He met with President Hamid Karzai to work out an agreement on U.S. presence in the country.
Jacquelyn Martin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 2:11 pm

Syria's chemical weapons could be consolidated and moved out of the country, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested in an interview with NPR.

Weapons inspectors are still in Syria assessing the country's stockpile and how to destroy it, in accordance with a United Nations Security Council resolution approved in September.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Secretary Of Defense Apologizes To Medal Of Honor Recipient

President Obama gives former U.S. Army Capt. William Swenson the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel apologized today to William Swenson, the Army officer who was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama on Tuesday.

Swenson was awarded the medal for the bravery he showed in the 2009 Battle of Ganjgal, one of the costliest battles of the Afghan War. Another soldier involved in the battle received his Medal of Honor two years ago. Swenson's honor was delayed because the Army lost his paperwork.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Reporter Glenn Greenwald, eBay Founder Forming New Venture

Reporter Glenn Greenwald, who became famous reporting on NSA contractor Edward Snowden's disclosure of the NSA's government surveillance programs, is leaving the Guardian to form a new media company with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
Vincent Yu AP

Glenn Greenwald, the reporter and blogger who broke the story on the National Security Agency's massive surveillance program, is leaving Britain's Guardian newspaper to join a new media venture.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Divers In Russia Dredge Up A Half-Ton Chunk Of Meteorite

People look at what scientists believe to be a chunk of the Chelyabinsk meteor, recovered from Chebarkul Lake near Chelyabinsk, about 930 miles east of Moscow.
Alexander Firsov AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 6:36 pm

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Passenger Turboprop Crashes In Laos; All 49 On Board Feared Dead

A Lao Airlines ATR similar to the one that crashed on Wednesday.
Wikipedia Commons

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:35 pm

A Lao Airlines flight from the capital, Vientiane, crashed into the Mekong River as it was landing. There was no word of survivors among the 49 passengers and crew, The Bangkok Post reports.

The twin-turbo ATR, with 44 passengers and five crew on board, hit the water short of a runway in Pakse, in Champassak province in southern Laos, the newspaper says.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt And KISS Among Rock Hall Nominees

Gene Simmons of KISS during a 2009 concert in Washington, D.C.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Have years of complaining by fans (and The Two-Way) paid off?

The nominees for this year's of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honorees have been announced and the band that many love to hate (or hate to love?) is back on the list.

Yes, KISS is up for consideration.

So, soldiers of the KISS Army, here's your chance to show your support.

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