The Two Way

The Two-Way
11:37 am
Thu January 23, 2014

FBI Arrests Reputed Mobsters Linked To 1978 'GoodFellas' Heist

Reputed Bonanno crime family leader Vincent Asaro, 78, is escorted by FBI agents from their Manhattan offices in New York on Thursday.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:22 pm

The FBI nabbed five alleged mobsters in a series of predawn raids in New York on Thursday in connection with the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist that netted $6 million in cash and jewels and that inspired the film GoodFellas.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:38 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Pentagon Relaxes Uniform Rules To Allow Religious Headgear

U.S. Army Spc. Simran Lamba (center) was granted a religious accommodation for his Sikh articles of faith, including uncut hair and a turban, in 2010. He was the first enlisted soldier to be given such an accommodation since 1984.
Brett Flashnick AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:53 pm

The Department of Defense has released new regulations that relax prohibitions on the wearing of religious headgear, as well as beards, tattoos or piercings with religious significance, while service members are in uniform.

"The military departments will accommodate individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs (conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs) of service members" unless it might affect military readiness or unit cohesion, the updated policy on religious accommodation said.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:13 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Twin Toilets In Sochi: Some Wonder Why That's A Big Deal

The loo for two in Sochi: BBC correspondent Steve Rosenberg snapped this picture in the men's room at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 10:54 am

Have you seen the "twin toilets" photo that's been swirling round the Internet the past couple of days?

Read more
The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu January 23, 2014

DOJ Alleges Fraudulent Security Checks By Firm That Vetted Snowden

Surveillance camera video of Aaron Alexis, a contractor who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. Alexis was one of thousands of individuals cleared by the firm known as USIS.
HO UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:41 pm

The private contractor that signed off on background checks for both NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis is being accused of fraud by the Justice Department for allegedly submitting more than 650,000 incomplete investigations.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:59 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Sales Of Existing Homes Hit 7-Year High In 2013

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 10:35 am

We updated the top of this post at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The evidence that the housing sector has bounced back from the deep slump it sank into starting in 2007 was reinforced Thursday morning with word from the National Association of Realtors that:

"Existing-home sales edged up in December, sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006, and median prices maintained strong growth. ...

Read more
The Two-Way
8:08 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Many Missing After Massive Fire At Seniors' Home In Quebec

A firefighter walks past the Residence du Havre after the fire in L'Isle Verte, Quebec. At least three people died in the blaze at the seniors' home. Early reports were that another 30 people were missing.
Mathieu Belanger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:39 pm

"Three people are dead and 30 people are unaccounted for after an overnight fire broke out at a seniors' residence in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec," the CBC reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:28 am
Thu January 23, 2014

In Ukraine, Protesters Warn They'll Go 'On The Attack'

A protester walks pass burning tires in central Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 8:24 pm

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has less than 24 hours to agree to hold early elections and lift anti-protest laws or the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been in the streets of Kiev for days will go "on the attack," a leader of the opposition says.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:12 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Book News: Maker Of 3-D Printed Guns Has A Book Deal

An all-plastic gun fires a bullet in this screenshot from a video made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
ATF

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 11:29 am

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

Read more
The Two-Way
12:43 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Post-9/11 Panel Criticizes NSA Phone Data Collection

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:21 am

An independent panel created after the 9/11 attacks says bulk collection of billions of American phone records violates the letter and the spirit of the law.

The new report from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board undercuts the foundation of the National Security Agency's long-running phone metadata program, and suggests it conflicts with plain language in the Patriot Act and other laws on the books.

NPR obtained a copy of the report, which will be discussed and voted on Thursday at an open board meeting.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:16 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Virginia's New Attorney General Will Not Defend Gay-Marriage Ban

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:08 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring talks about why he will not defend the state's ban on same-sex marriages.
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Carrie Johnson talks about the national implications of the Virginia attorney general's decision.

Virginia's new attorney general has decided to switch sides in an important case that is challenging the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage.

In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, Democrat Mark Herring said his office will no longer defend the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

"As attorney general, I cannot and will not defend laws that violate Virginians' rights," Herring said. "The commonwealth will be siding with the plaintiffs in this case and with every other Virginia couple whose right to marry is being denied."

Read more
The Two-Way
9:04 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Keystone Pipeline's Southern Section Begins Delivering Oil To Gulf Coast

A 2012 photo shows sections of pipe on a neighboring property to Julia Trigg Crawford family farm in Sumner Texas, in the path of the Keystone pipeline. TransCanada said today that it is delivering oil through the Gulf Coast portion of its proposed Keystone XL pipeline, from a hub in Cushing, Okla., to Houston-area refineries.
Tony Gutierrez AP

A large section of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline went into official operation Wednesday, in a move that supporters say will help ease the flow of oil to refineries in the Gulf Coast region. The Obama administration has yet to rule on the project's northern portion.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:14 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Online Donors Send Jamaican Bobsled Team To Sochi

The two-man Jamaican bobsled team will be heading to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics, after a fundraising campaign gave a much-needed boost to its budget.
Jamaican Bobsled Team

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:31 pm

After word went out that Jamaica's two-man bobsled team had qualified to compete in Sochi next month — but didn't have money to go to Russia — Internet donors saved the day. Thousands of people contributed to online campaigns, including one held in Dogecoin, the peculiar digital currency.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Obama Announces Task Force To Combat College Sexual Assaults

President Obama announced the formation of a task force to curb sexual assaults on college campuses.

NPR's Tamara Keith reports that the announcement follows a new White House report that found one in five women have been assaulted while in college. Tamara filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"President Obama says that as a husband and father of two daughters this issue is important to him.

"'I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to spare another American the trauma of sexual assault,' Obama said.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Wrestling Fans Mourn Mae Young, 90 — A Pioneer Of The Ring

A still image from a WWE video tribute to Mae Young shows the famed wrestler during the early years of her career. Young died last week in South Carolina.
WWE

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:57 pm

Read more
The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Warren Buffett's $1 Billion Basketball Bet Is A Very Long Shot

Warren Buffett with Harlem Globetrotter Chris "Handles" Franklin at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in May 2013.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 4:13 pm

Talk about March Madness:

Billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans have teamed up on a "Billion $ Bracket Challenge."

Basically, Quicken is offering a $1 billion grand prize — yes, that's billion, with a B — if someone correctly picks the outcome of all 63 games in the men's Division I college basketball tournament this spring.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Mexican National Executed In Texas After Supreme Court Denies Appeal

This handout image provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Edgar Tamayo.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 10:56 pm

Wednesday's execution of a Mexican national in Texas revived a long-running diplomatic row between the United States and its southern neighbor.

Updated at 10:50 p.m. ET: Execution Carried Out

The Associated Press reports:

"A Mexican man has been executed in Texas for killing a Houston police officer, despite pleas and diplomatic pressure from the Mexican government and the U.S. State Department to halt the punishment.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

8-Year-Old Dies Trying To Save Relatives From Burning Trailer

There's a heartbreaking story coming out of Penfield, N.Y.: An 8-year-old boy died Monday as he was trying to save his uncle and grandfather from a burning trailer.

According to the Democrat & Chronicle, Tyler J. Doohan alerted six people — including two children, ages 4 and 6 — to the fire before he tried to wake up his disabled uncle and grandfather.

The paper reports that the trailer was a place Tyler knew well:

Read more
The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Think You Know Richard Sherman After His 'Rant'? Maybe Not

Richard Sherman off the football field.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 1:37 pm

Post-game interviews of NFL players are almost always predictable and boring. They go something like this:

Reporter: "Congratulations. How did you guys turn the game around?"

Player: "One play at a time. The team stuck together. We worked hard. The good Lord was with us. The fans were great. Hi, Mom!"

Read more
The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

New Delhi's 'Agitator' Administrator Ends Unusual Protest

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (center) greets supporters from his blue wagon, which became a de facto local government headquarters during a two-day protest in New Delhi.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 4:56 pm

In New Delhi an unprecedented two-day sit-in that pitted the local government against the national authorities has come to an end following altercations between police and protesters.

Some 30 people were injured during the demonstration that was led by newly elected Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the local administrator who rallied members of his Aam Aadmi Party, named for the "Common Man," against the central government.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:38 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Watch: Canadian PM Belts Out 'Hey Jude' During Visit To Israel

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper looks at pictures of Jewish Holocaust victims at the Hall of Names while visiting Yad Vashem on Tuesday.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:05 pm

Read more
The Two-Way
10:50 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Snowden Says Allegations He Received Russian Help Are 'Absurd'

Edward Snowden.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:23 am

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden says that when he leaked classified documents about some of the United States' most sensitive surveillance programs, he did so alone and without any help.

In an interview with The New Yorker, Snowden called whispers that he received help from Russia's security service "absurd."

Read more
The Two-Way
10:47 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Hopping Mad: Rabbit In Mandela Statue's Ear Is On Burrowed Time

Look closely and you can see the tiny rabbit that sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren put inside the ear of their nearly 30-foot-tall statue of late South African President Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 4:23 pm

We don't often do hare-raising tales on The Two-Way, but here's one from South Africa.

Two sculptors who were refused permission to engrave their signatures onto their giant statue of Nelson Mandela came up with a novel solution: They hid a bronze rabbit in the statue's ear.

Our story begins Dec. 16, a day after Mandela's funeral, when President Jacob Zuma unveiled the statue by Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren at Pretoria's Union Buildings, the government's headquarters.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:54 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Antarctic Travelers Who Got Stuck In Ice Finally Get Home

Back home: Passengers disembark from the icebreaker Aurora Australis on Wednesday at a harbor in Hobart, Australia. The ship brought 52 scientists and adventure tourists back to Australia from Antarctica, where the ship they had been on got stuck in ice.
Rob Blakers EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:36 pm

The 52 scientists and paying passengers who spent more than a week aboard a ship that was trapped in ice off the coast of Antarctica over the holidays are now safely back home in Australia.

From Sydney, correspondent Stuart Cohen tells our Newscast Desk that
"three weeks after being rescued from their stranded research vessel," the members of the exhibition are in the city of Hobart.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:53 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Almost No Poor Nations By 2035? That's What Bill Gates Says

Bill Gates at an event held by his foundation in Berlin last November.
Maurizio Gambarini EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 1:26 pm

It is a myth that "poor countries are doomed to stay poor," and by the year 2035, "there will be almost no poor countries left in the world," Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates writes in his latest annual letter about the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and conditions in the nations where the foundation works.

Gates sees a world where once-impoverished countries have already made tremendous progress and where more will follow their lead.

Read more

Pages