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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Israel's Cabinet OKs Controversial Nationality Measure

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens during a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday. His Cabinet approved a draft law that defines the country as "the nation-state of the Jewish people."
Jim Hollander AP

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 12:15 pm

Israel's Cabinet approved a draft law on Sunday that defines the country as "the nation-state of the Jewish people." The move has angered not only Israel's Arab citizens, but also some members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government.

NPR's Emily Harris is reporting on the measure, which must still be approved by Israel's parliament. Here's what she told our Newscast unit:

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Shots - Health News
12:01 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Merck Partners With NewLink To Speed Up Work On Ebola Vaccine

A 26-year-old man receives an injection in September of an experimental Ebola vaccine being tested by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline.
NIAID

It's now Goliath versus Goliath in the quest for an Ebola vaccine.

Until now, the two leading candidates for a vaccine to protect against the Ebola virus were being led by global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline on the one hand, and a tiny company in Ames, Iowa, that was virtually unknown, on the other.

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Will Step Down, Once Successor Is Confirmed

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 11:39 am

(This post was last updated at 11:41 a.m. ET.)

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the highest-profile Republican on President Obama's cabinet, will step down, once his successor is confirmed by the Senate.

Calling Hagel an "exemplary defense secretary," President Obama made the announcement in the State Dining Room of the White House on Monday.

Hagel, a two-term Republican Senator, came to this post in February of 2013, the first enlisted combat veteran to lead the Department of Defense.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Book News: Note That Helped Put Kerouac 'On The Road' Is Now On The Block

Jack Kerouac's On the Road, a draft of which is seen here, may never have taken the rambling form it did, had he not seen a letter similarly styled by his friend Neal Cassady.
Bertrand Langlois AFP/Getty Images

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

For more than six decades, the heart of a Beat literature classic had been thought lost, dropped overboard a houseboat. Turns out, the letter that helped inspire Jack Kerouac's On the Road has now reportedly resurfaced — not from the sea, but from an unopened envelope buried in a defunct publisher's office.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Mon November 24, 2014

With Long-Term Deal Elusive, Iran Nuclear Talks Are Extended

Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, prior to a bilateral meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Sunday.
Ronald Zak AP

With a long-term deal still elusive, Western and Iranian diplomats have decided to keep negotiating perhaps all the way into next summer.

For the past year, Western powers and Tehran have been trying to hammer out a deal that would curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

Reporting from Vienna, NPR's Peter Kenyon tells us that the length of the extension is still unclear, but it could be anywhere from three to eight months.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Investigation Begins Of Fatal Police Shooting Of 12-Year-Old

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 9:58 am

A day after a 12-year-old boy died after being shot by police, the community in Cleveland is trying to understand what happened.

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Shots - Health News
3:40 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Upfront Costs Of Going Digital Overwhelm Some Doctors

Dr. Oliver Korshin says he's just a few years from retirement, and can't afford the flurry of technology upgrades the federal government expects him to make.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Media

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 11:40 am

Dr. Oliver Korshin practices ophthalmology three days a week in the same small office in east Anchorage he's had for three decades. Many of his patients have aged into their Medicare years right along with him.

For his tiny practice, which employs just one part-time nurse, putting all his patients' medical records in an online database just doesn't make sense, Korshin says. It would cost too much to install and maintain — especially considering that he expects to retire in just a few years.

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Shots - Health News
3:38 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Africa Inspires A Health Care Experiment In New York

Norma Melendez, a community health worker with City Health Works, walks along Second Avenue on her way to meet a client. City Health Works is an organization that is attempting to bring an African model of health care delivery to the United States.
Bryan Thomas for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 11:39 am

There's a project in the neighborhood of Harlem in New York that has a through-the-looking-glass quality. An organization called City Health Works is trying to bring an African model of health care delivery to the United States. Usually it works the other way around.

If City Health Works' approach is successful, it could help change the way chronic diseases are managed in poverty-stricken communities, where people suffer disproportionately from HIV/AIDS, obesity and diabetes.

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

With Deadline Looming, Whispers Of Extension Begin In Iran Nuclear Talks

With a deadline for a nuclear deal between Iran and Western powers less than 24 hours away, the negotiators have started talking about a second extension.

Quoting unnamed State Department officials, Reuters and the Associated Press report that Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Sunday and discussed the possibility of extending negotiations past the Monday deadline.

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

First (Lots Of) Snow, Now Rain And Flooding Threaten Western New York

Michael Palmer and Carin Schultz work to clear her car of snow and remove it from Union street on Thursday in the Buffalo suburb of Hamburg.
John Normile Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 3:09 pm

Western New York can't catch a break. First, it was paralyzed by a mountain of lake-effect snow and unseasonably cold weather. Now, things are thawing and rain is moving in. By Monday, meteorologist say the high temperature could hit 60 degrees.

As USA Today reports, that could cause some serious flooding. The paper adds:

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

12-Year-Old Boy Carrying Replica Gun Dies After Cleveland Officer Shoots

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 3:08 pm

A 12-year-old boy carrying a replica gun has died after a Cleveland Police officer opened fire on Saturday.

According to a statement, police received a call warning of someone pointing a gun at people near a playground

"Upon arrival on scene, officers located the suspect and advised him to raise his hands," police say. "The suspect did not comply with the officers' orders and reached to his waistband for the gun. Shots were fired and the suspect was struck in the torso."

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Tunisia Holds First Presidential Election Since Revolution

Tunisian citizens take a selfie with their inked fingers after casting their votes at a polling station during the Tunisian Presidential Election on Sunday.
Anadolu Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 3:09 pm

Four years after its revolution sparked the broader Arab Spring, Tunisians headed to the polls on Sunday to pick their next head of state.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

"With more than two dozen candidates contesting the presidency and more than 50% of the vote required for an outright win, the race was considered likely to go to a runoff next month.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:50 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Exploring The Religious Naturalist Option

Alexander Burzik iStockphoto

Adam recently wrote a nice piece on the "spiritual but not religious" distinction being made these days. He noted that "religious" is commonly used to connote being affiliated with a traditional religion and "spiritual" to connote some larger sense of awe and wonder.

I'm offering another take on these matters — one that incorporates the science-based understandings of nature that lie at the heart of 13.7 — by answering some questions here:

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Ugly Christmas Tree Will Be Replaced In Pennsylvania Town

After complaints from residents, this tree in Reading, Pa., is being replaced.
Screenshot from WFMZ-TV

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 3:15 pm

The people of Reading, Pa., didn't have the same compassion that Charlie Brown had.

A 50-foot spruce tree — called "nasty," "pathetic" and "ugly" — will be replaced with a prettier pine.

As the AP reports, the tree was put up by the city in a public space and the complaints started immediately. The tree was missing tons of branches and it had unseemly shape.

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Shots - Health News
5:52 am
Sun November 23, 2014

What Microbes Lurked In The Last Public Restroom You Used?

Even cleaning a bathroom daily didn't much affect the make-up of the community of microbes living there, scientists say.
Claire Eggers NPR

The invisible world of the bathroom isn't pretty — unless you're a microbe. After scanning the microbial zoo of four public restrooms recently, a team of researchers found a diverse swarm of characters that persisted for months despite regular cleaning of the facilities.

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