NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
8:28 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Target Says 70 Million Individuals' Data May Have Been Stolen

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 9:52 am

The size of the data breach at Target Co. stores late last year took a sharp rise Friday when the retailer said it now estimates that up to 70 million individuals may have had information that includes their "names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses" stolen.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Book News: Will Your Book Sell? There's An Algorithm For That

The study "reveals an intriguing and unexpected observation on the connection between readability and the literary success — that they correlate into the opposite directions."
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 8:38 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Chemical Leak Causes Water Emergency In West Virginia; Plant Shut Down

In Charleston, W.Va., the shelves of this Kroger supermarket had been nearly stripped of bottled water on Thursday. Residents rushed to buy water after a chemical spill led officials to warn that they not use what's coming out of their taps.
Tyler Evert AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:13 pm

More than 100,000 customers of one water company in West Virginia have been warned not to drink, cook or wash with the water coming from their taps because of chemicals that seeped into the Elk River near Charleston on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
9:32 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Sportswriter Who Let Readers Fill Out Hall Of Fame Ballot Is Banned

After it was revealed that he used his Baseball Hall of Fame voter ballot to pass along the suggestions of readers of the sports site Deadspin, Dan Le Batard has been stripped of his membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America. He is also banned from all future Hall of Fame votes.

Le Batard is a columnist for The Miami Herald who is also on ESPN radio and TV. He said Thursday that he worked with Deadspin to turn his ballot over to sports fans for many reasons, emphasizing a need for reform in Hall of Fame voting.

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The Salt
8:33 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Food Firms Trim Trillions Of Calories From Packaged Treats

To make a more healthful version of Edy's Grand Ice Cream, Nestle developed a technology that could cut half the fat and two-thirds of the calories from the frozen treat.
Erik S. Lesser Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 8:30 am

It sounds impressive: Major food companies have slashed 6.4 trillion calories from packaged foods they sold in 2012 compared with 2007, a study reported Thursday.

But for each American, that number translates to about 78 fewer calories purchased each day, or the equivalent of cutting out one apple or 3 1/2 Hershey's Kisses.

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The Two-Way
8:19 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Alcoa Will Pay $384 Million Penalty For Bahrain Bribes

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 6:05 am

In what's being called one of the largest U.S. anti-corruption settlements on record, Alcoa and an affiliate it controls have agreed to pay millions in fines and criminal and civil penalties. The companies acknowledge paying bribes to royal family members in Bahrain.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

FBI Director 'Confused' By Reports Calling Snowden A Hero

FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 14, 2013. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Comey said he's "confused" by reports that characterize NSA contractor Edward Snowden as a "whistleblower" or a "hero."
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 6:47 am

FBI Director Jim Comey says he's "confused" by reports that characterize NSA contractor Edward Snowden as a "whistleblower" or a "hero" because, he says, all three branches of America's government have approved the bulk collection of U.S. phone records, one of the most important revelations in Snowden's cascade of leaks.

"I see the government operating the way the founders intended," Comey said, "so I have trouble applying the whistleblower label to someone who basically disagrees with the way our government is structured and operates."

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Nuclear Missile Officers Reportedly Implicated In Drug Probe

Undated handout photo of the inside of the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wall, S.D.
Anonymous AP

Two U.S. Air Force officers with authority to launch nuclear-tipped Minuteman 3 missiles, have reportedly been implicated in an illegal-narcotics investigation.

The Associated Press, citing an unnamed official, says the officers are based at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana and work for the 341st Missile Wing.

The report comes on the same day that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is scheduled to visit a similar base in Nebraska that also houses underground missile silos.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Indian Diplomat At Center Of Row With U.S. Indicted, Leaves Country

Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general, at an India Studies Stony Brook University fundraiser in Long Island, N.Y., on Dec. 8. Khobragade's arrest last month on visa fraud charges sparked a diplomatic row between India and the U.S. She left the country Thursday.
Mohammed Jaffer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:15 pm

This post was updated at 11:15 p.m. ET

The Associated Press reports that Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade left the United States by plane Thursday night after being ordered out of the country.

Original Post Below

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Writer And Activist Amiri Baraka Dies At Age 79

Poet and activist Amiri Baraka, seen here during the 1972 Black Political Convention in Gary, Ind., has died at age 79.
Julian C. Wilson AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 7:26 pm

Amiri Baraka, the writer who was born LeRoi Jones, has died at age 79. Baraka's career spanned art and activism: He was an influential poet and an award-winning playwright who didn't shy away from social criticism and politics.

"Baraka had long struggled with diabetes, but it was not immediately clear what the cause of death was," reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger. The author and activist was a native of Newark.

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Shots - Health News
4:34 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Tech Ventures in Georgia Prosper As Health Care Law Kicks In

EndoChoice CEO Mark Gilreath.
Jim Burress WABE

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 7:36 pm

Georgia is fighting the health care law at every political turn.

Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, chose not to expand Medicaid, despite the increased federal funding made possible by the Affordable Care Act. And Ralph Hudgens, the state's insurance commissioner, publicly vowed to obstruct the law.

But that doesn't mean that Georgia isn't seeing some financial benefits from the law.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Space Music: How To Hear Solar Flares From The Moon

Live, from the moon, it's the space weather report: Data from a lunar orbiter is being used to create a music stream that reflects conditions in space. Here, an image created by NASA "visualizers" who used data from 2010 to show the moon traveling across the sun, as happens two or three times a year.
NASA/SDO/LRO/GSFC

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 6:04 pm

We've been following the coronal mass ejection that headed toward Earth after an intense solar flare was emitted from the sun earlier this week. And now NASA tells us that such events can be heard, in a sense, by tuning in to CRaTER Radio, a "sonification" project that uses data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to generate musical sounds and stream them on the Internet.

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Shots - Health News
3:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Hot Air Ballooning: Transcendent, Until You Break A Leg

To ascend is divine. To land can be traumatic.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:06 am

Maybe your bucket list includes taking a hot air balloon ride. Sounds lovely. But before floating aloft, please note that coming back to Earth can hurt.

Almost half of the 169 hot air balloon crashes reported from 2000 to 2011 in the U.S. involved tourist flights, and 83 percent of the 78 tourist crashes caused at least one serious or fatal injury, a study finds. Five people died.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

NSA Says It Would Welcome Public Advocate At FISA Court

The National Security Agency headquarters building in Fort Meade, Md.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:45 pm

  • NSA's John Inglis on why you need a haystack
  • NSA's John Inglis compares what Edward Snowden did to arson

The National Security Agency "would welcome" the creation of a public advocate's position at the court that oversees its electronic surveillance programs, said its outgoing deputy director.

John C. "Chris" Inglis, who retires Friday after more than seven years as the NSA's No. 2, told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that "I would only put the caveat on there that it needs to be operationally efficient."

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Watson, IBM's 'Jeopardy!' Champ, Gets Its Own Business Division

Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings, who won a record 74 consecutive games, concedes to supercomputer opponent Watson in February 2011.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 6:06 am

Ever wonder what happens to all those Jeopardy! champions once they leave the stage? Watson, an IBM supercomputer, got its own business division.

You might recall that Watson, named after longtime CEO Thomas J. Watson, crushed its human opponents on the popular television game show back in February 2011.

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