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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Wed July 23, 2014

WATCH: Wreckage Of Costa Concordia Begins Its Final Voyage

The harbor of the Italian island of Giglio, after the wreck of the Costa Concordia was towed away. Italy's once-luxurious cruise liner embarked on its last voyage on Wednesday.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:01 am

More than two years after the luxury liner Costa Concordia wrecked off the Italian island of Giglio, killing 32 people, its wreckage has finally begun its voyage to a salvage yard in the port of Genoa.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Book News: Booker Prize, Now Open To U.S. Authors, Longlists 5 Americans

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

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Wed July 23, 2014

White House Adviser: Cease-Fire Should Include Demilitarization Of Gaza

Palestinians walk through the rubble of houses in Gaza City minutes after they were hit in an Israeli strike on Wednesday.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 1:06 pm

A top White House adviser says any cease-fire agreement between Israel and Palestinians must include the demilitarization of Gaza.

In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said "that needs to be the end result."

"There has to be some way forward that does not involve Hamas having the ability to continue to rain down rockets on Israeli civilians," Blinken said.

Asked if this means the U.S. has endorsed Israel's demand that Hamas give up its weapons, Blinken said:

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Dutch Day Of Mourning, As Remains Of Some MH17 Victims Come Home

Flowers lay on the tarmac as a ground Hercules transport aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, prepared to take off Wednesday in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Sergey Bobok AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:17 am

(This post was last updated at 10:37 a.m.)

In its first national day of mourning in more than half a century, the Netherlands came to a standstill Wednesday as the remains of some of the victims who died when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine came home.

Two military planes landed in Eindhoven. King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte, along with some family members of the dead, waited on the tarmac on a bright, clear day.

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Shots - Health News
7:58 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Many Kids Who Are Obese Or Overweight Don't Know It

Fun hikes offer health benefits for kids of every shape and size.
Annette Birkenfeld annedde/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:07 am

Kids can be cruel, especially about weight. So you might think overweight or obese children know all too well that they're heavy — thanks to playground politics. But that's not necessarily so, according to government data covering about 6,100 kids and teens ages 8-15.

About 30 percent "misperceived" their weight status (underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese), according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. (The CDC bases those categories on body mass index, adjusted for gender and age.)

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
7:33 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Without Conflict There Is No Growth

Always and forever.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 12:30 pm

Where do values come from? Culture? Life experience? Family traditions? Upbringing? Religion? How do we decide what is right and what is wrong, given that, in most situations, there are arguments for and against opposing viewpoints? Often, what is right for one person is wrong for another, and from these tensions conflict arises. We see this in our families, in our workplace, in religious conflicts, in political disputes. If, on the one hand, diversity of opinion is what enriches us as humans, on the other, it is what feeds the worse that we have to offer.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Gaza Conflict Day 16: Here's What You Need To Know

Smoke and fire rises over Gaza City on Tuesday. Israeli airstrikes pummeled a wide range of locations along the coastal area as diplomatic efforts intensified to end the two-week war.
Hatem Moussa AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:46 am

Amid another day of fighting, Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Tel Aviv on Wednesday and began a whirlwind session of shuttle diplomacy.

As NPR's Michele Kelemen, who is traveling with Kerry, tells our Newscast unit, the secretary of state is "trying to talk to everybody" to see if he can broker a cease-fire and perhaps lay the groundwork for longer-term negotiations over the future of Gaza.

The Israeli offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip is now entering its 16th day. Here's what you need to know:

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Shots - Health News
4:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

California Nurses Union Braces For Contract Battle

Members of the California Nurses Association say they rallied in Sacramento in May to raise public awareness of their concerns about patient care in California hospitals.
April Dembosky KQED

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 7:51 am

Going to a union meeting of nurses is a little bit like going to an evangelical church service.

"We all have to stand up, and it's a struggle," says Veronica Cambra, a nurse reporting a grievance at Kaiser Hospital in Fremont, Calif., as though she's giving testimony. "And we will overcome this, OK?"

The rest of the nurses respond with the passion of a devout congregation, humming "Mmm hmmm," and "That's right," through the series of speeches.

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The Two-Way
8:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Fruit Recall Hits Trader Joe's, Costco, Wal-Mart Stores

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:40 am

Fears of possible listeria contamination have led to a national recall of whole peaches, nectarines and other fruits packed by a California company. No illnesses have been reported, but the Wawona Packing Co. has told retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco and Trader Joe's to pull its products.

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The Two-Way
6:57 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Flight MH17: U.S. Builds Its Case; Plane Wreckage Reportedly Cut Apart

Pro-Russian rebels move journalists away from Malaysian investigators and monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Tuesday. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was allegedly shot down by a missile Thursday; today, U.S. intelligence says it has verified that two rebel leaders spoke by phone about shooting the plane down.
Rob Stothard Getty Images

American analysts say they've verified several pieces of evidence that show pro-Russian separatist rebels shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, according to U.S. intelligence officials who briefed reporters Tuesday.

Here's a quick rundown of the officials' updates on what U.S. investigators have found, from notes taken by NPR's Pentagon reporter Tom Bowman:

  • A U.S. spy satellite detected the launch of a surface-to-air missile in the area just before the plane went down.
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The Salt
5:11 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Glass Or No Glass? That Is The Grill Lid Question

A still from a video showing a glass top grill.
Schott Home Tech/YouTube

We love cooking on our grills, especially in the summertime. Keeping the house cool and avoiding the dish pile up are two major draws – not to mention the flavor of food cooked over fire.

When we saw a glass-topped grill, shining like Cinderella's slipper in a YouTube video posted by commercial glass maker SCHOTT, we were intrigued. But, we wondered, how the heck do you clean it?

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

University Would Study Health Issues In Polluted New York Town

A view of the Tonawanda Coke plant in Tonawanda, N.Y., which was found to have emitted carcinogens at levels many times higher than the state's limit.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:13 pm

Residents of an upstate New York town who've long associated their illnesses with the air they breathe may finally get some answers about the health effects of living next to a toxic polluter.

The town of Tonawanda lies in the shadow of Tonawanda Coke Corp., whose ovens heat coal into material used for the iron and steel industries, and release toxic chemicals into the air.

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Tree Planted To Honor Beatle Is Killed By Beetles

A tree planted in Los Angeles to honor former Beatle George Harrison grew to more than 12 feet tall before succumbing to a bark beetle infestation
AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:13 pm

Flowers may grow so incredibly high, as the Beatles once sang, but trees — not so much.

Actually, a pine tree planted in Los Angeles a decade ago to honor former Beatle George Harrison reached a height of 12 feet before succumbing recently.

To an infestation. Of beetles.

"No one I think is in my tree" — a line from the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" — wouldn't seem to apply.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

9/11 Commission Issues An Update On Anniversary Of Report

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 5:17 pm

Ten years after its landmark report on terrorism, the 9/11 Commission has released an update in which it notes continued problems. But in 2014, the dangers have shifted geographically — and online, the commission's former members say.

Noting that the world has changed "dramatically" since 2004, the report's authors write that "Al Qaeda–affiliated groups are now active in more countries than before 9/11."

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