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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Wed October 16, 2013

As It Happened: The Fight Over The Debt Ceiling, Shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:23 pm

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Book News: Eleanor Catton Is The Youngest-Ever Booker Winner

Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries poses for photographs Tuesday after winning the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction at The Guildhall in London.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 11:01 am

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

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Justices To Hear Cases On Self-Incrimination, Freezing Assets

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases on Wednesday: Kansas v. Cheever and Kaley v. United States.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:14 am

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases on Wednesday — one that focuses on the right against self-incrimination and another that looks at when prosecutors can seize defendants' assets.

What Counts As Self-Incrimination?

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The Salt
2:58 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Arkansas Aims To Make Edamame As American As Apple Pie

An Arkansas company is trying to cash in on an edamame boom in the U.S.
Will Merydith Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 2:31 pm

Irene Adams cooks supper for husband, Luke, and 2-year-old son, Cole, at their home in Fayetteville, Ark. She used to serve lots of green beans, but switched to edamame after tasting it at a local restaurant.

"[Cole] used to split his green beans and take out the little seeds inside," Adams says. "So I told Luke we should try edamame, because it's bigger seeds and has more flavor, so that's why we decided to try it and he loves it."

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The Two-Way
5:54 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Supreme Court To Weigh EPA Permits For Power Plant Emissions

The Supreme Court is expected to take up the case on the greenhouse gas permits for large polluters early next year.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:14 am

The Supreme Court has agreed to review an Obama administration policy that requires new power plants and other big polluting facilities to apply for permits to emit greenhouse gases.

To get these permits, which have been required since 2011, companies may have to use pollution controls or otherwise reduce greenhouse gases from their operations — although industries report that so far they haven't had to install special pollution control equipment to qualify for the permits.

The rule is part of a larger effort by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Fitch Places U.S. Under Review For A Credit Downgrade

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:58 am

Fitch Ratings, one of the big three credit ratings agencies, issued a warning shot today, saying that while it affirmed the United States' AAA credit rating, it was placing it on "rating watch negative."

In other words, it was placing the country's long-term credit rating under review for a potential downgrade.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Feel Old Yet? Roddick And Blake Will Play On Senior Circuit

James Blake addresses the crowd during an interview with Mary Joe Fernandez after losing on day three of the 2013 U.S. Open.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:25 pm

Neither of them is over 35 years old. One of them played in ATP World Tour events just months ago; the other did so last year. But none of that will keep recently retired tennis players Andy Roddick, 31, and James Blake, 33, from joining a circuit of senior players.

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Shots - Health News
4:20 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Bioethicists Give Hollywood's Films A Reality Check

Directors and bioethicists hashed out how moral medical issues should be depicted on screen during a meeting in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Colin Crowley

A life-threatening pandemic occurs. You're a doctor in the ER and can save a 9-year-old or a 63-year-old doctor. Whom do you choose? How do you choose?

Questions like that can crop up in real life and also on the silver screen. So how good a job do filmmakers do at portraying these moral dilemmas? Some do fairly well, but there's also room for improvement.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

FISA Court: We Approve 99 Percent Of Wiretap Applications

A letter (pdf) released today by a special surveillance court clears up some misconceptions about legal oversight for government wiretap activities. Responding to a letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) and ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court says, yes, it's true, we do approve 99% of all wiretap applications.

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Monkey See
3:52 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Why You, Yes You, Might Enjoy A Superhero Documentary

Christopher Reeve in Superman: The Movie.
Courtesy Everett Collection PBS

Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, a documentary in three hour-long segments that will premiere back to back (to back) tonight on many PBS stations, begins with a curious image: Vincent Zurzolo of Metropolis Comics explains that a recent copy of Action Comics #1, which contained the first appearance of Superman, recently sold for over $2 million. He shows us Action Comics #1, and then ... he locks it in a safe.

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The Salt
3:30 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Among The Shutdown Victims: The White House Kitchen Garden

Basil, tomatoes, peppers and lettuces grow in garden beds on the South Lawn of the White House. According to the site Obama Foodorama, the government shutdown has had a dramatic effect on the garden.
Eddie Gehman Kohan ObamaFoodorama.com

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 5:18 pm

The government shutdown has forced a lot of hard-working people into idleness. That includes most of the staff that tends the famed White House kitchen garden, according to Obama Foodorama.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Obama Awards Medal Of Honor To Afghan War Vet

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

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:21 pm

Saying "America is grateful for you," President Obama awarded the nation's highest military honor on Tuesday to former Army Capt. William Swenson.

The Medal of Honor is the first given to an Army officer since the Vietnam War. President Obama said Swenson braved seven hours of continuous fighting, putting his life in danger multiple times to help fallen and wounded service members, as well as his Afghan partners.

NPR's Scott Horsley filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Obama called Swenson 'a remarkable role model for all of us.'

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:11 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Word Of The Day: Hyper-Risk

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:51 pm

Government shutdowns, climate change, zombie attacks: it seems like everyday the news delivers new reasons to think civilization is on the verge of collapse. And yet, a glance back at history shows that things have always been going to hell and somehow we manage to survive.

Is the past prologue? Or has our ever-faster, ever-more connected culture generated risks that are so fundamentally new that looking to the past for guidance is nothing more than a recipe for disaster?

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Medicare Begins Open Enrollment, With An Online Caveat

An image taken from the Medicare website shows a message warning users that "information on this website may not be up to date," a situation blamed on the federal shutdown.
NPR

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:08 pm

The open enrollment for Medicare programs that began Tuesday will run into December. While the Medicare website doesn't have the problems found in the new federal health system's sites, the government shutdown means that information "may not be up to date," the site warns its users.

For Newscast, NPR's Julie Rovner reports:

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