NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Peter O'Toole, Star Of 'Lawrence Of Arabia,' Dies

Actor Peter O'Toole performed on stage and on film in many leading roles, and began his acting career in the 1950s when he was serving in the Navy. He died on Dec. 14 at the age of 81.
David Montgomery Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 10:05 am

Peter O'Toole, the legendary Hollywood star made famous by his leading role in 1962's Lawrence of Arabia, died on Saturday, his agent Steve Kenis said.

O'Toole went on to be recognized as one of the premiere actors of his generation. He was nominated for eight Oscars, but never won until he was given an honorary honor in 2003.

O'Toole was born in Ireland and grew up in Leeds, Yorkshire. O'Toole honed his acting chops in the London theater, before he beat out Marlon Brando and Albert Finney for the role of Lawrence of Arabia.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

In Executing His Uncle, Kim Jong Un Sends Tough Message

The sun rises over the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge, which spans the Yalu River and leads into North Korea (background), at the Chinese border town of Dandong.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:55 pm

The wife of a top North Korean official who was executed last week appears to have survived the latest political purge in Pyongyang.

Kim Kyong Hui, who is also the aunt of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was named to an official funeral committee on Saturday. Analysts took it as a sign that she still retains power in the inner circle of North Korean leadership.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Sen. John McCain Addresses Anti-Government Protesters In Kiev

Sen. John McCain waves to protestors during a mass rally of the opposition at Independence Square in Kiev on Sunday.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Anti-government protesters in Kiev, Ukraine, got a boost from Sen. John McCain today.

The Arizona Republican, who was accompanied by Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, said he was at Independence Square to speak on behalf of the American people.

"To all Ukrainians, America stands with you," McCain said, as the crowd roared.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Iran Says It Will Keep Negotiating, Despite Tightening Of Sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Iran says it will continue to negotiate over its nuclear program, despite a U.S. decision to expand its blacklist to include more than a dozen firms doing business with Iran's national tanker company.

Iran, if you remember, struck a temporary six-month deal with world powers that paused some aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. Iran had said that any new sanctions would kill the prospects for a long-term deal.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Louisiana Artist Behind 'Blue Dog' Paintings Dies At 69

Artist George Rodrigue looks at one painting of the three-canvas series titled "Three Coins in the Fountain" in 2010.
Brett Duke The Times-Picayune /Landov

George Rodrigue, the artist who transformed the image of Louisiana's loup-garou into a pop art icon, died on Saturday after a battle with cancer.

Rodrigue took the legend of the Cajun werewolf and transformed it into instantly recognizable portraits of a quizzical blue dog framed by different landscapes.

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The Salt
8:43 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Sriracha: First, The Crisis. Now, The Movie

Can't get enough of Sriracha? Now it can fill your belly and your screens.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 2:20 pm

Lately, it seems as if news about Sriracha has been as ubiquitous as the much-loved hot sauce itself.

First, there was the panic over a potential shortage, after a judge ordered the California factory where Sriracha is made to partially shut down, as our friends on the Two-Way blog have reported.

Now, this red hot culinary phenomenon is starring in its own documentary.

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Global Health
8:23 am
Sun December 15, 2013

They Shot For Zero, But Couldn't Squash Polio In 2013

A polio worker vaccinates a child in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, in October.
Arshad Arbab EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 2:43 pm

As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year. Numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we're living in, right now. Over the next two weeks, you'll hear the stories behind numbers, ranging from zero to 1 trillion.

The lowest number of polio cases ever recorded in the world during one year was 223. And 2013 was on track for an even lower number.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Sun December 15, 2013

China's Moon Rover Separates From Lander

China's first lunar rover separates from Chang'e-3 moon lander early Dec. 15, 2013. This picture was taken from the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China.
Li Xin Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 7:49 am

Very early Sunday morning, China's moon rover, "Yutu" or Jade Rabbit, separated from its lander and began its exploration.

This means that China has officially joined the United States and the former Soviet Union as as the only countries to make a soft landing and drop an exploratory vehicle on the moon safely.

The state news agency Xinhua reports:

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The Two-Way
1:47 am
Sun December 15, 2013

As The World Watches, Mandela Is Buried In His Humble Village

Large video screens were set up around the village of Qunu for the more than 4,000 mourners who gathered for the service.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 7:09 pm

Updated at 6:22 a.m. ET

Under a sunny African sky, Nelson Mandela was buried Sunday on a hill overlooking his beloved boyhood village. Members of his clan, national leaders and a global audience bid farewell to the man who transformed his country and became one of the world's most revered figures.

The burial marked the culmination of 10 days of mourning and tributes to Mandela's remarkable journey, which began and ended in Qunu. Home to a few hundred farmers, the village is little-changed since Mandela's childhood.

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The Two-Way
9:05 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Florida State QB Jameis Winston Wins Heisman Trophy

Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston won the 2013 Heisman Trophy as college football's best player. He's shown here in a Nov. 2 game against Miami.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 9:17 pm

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the nation's top-rated passer who led his team to college football's title game in his first season, was named the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Saturday as the country's best collegiate player.

Winston, 19, became the youngest player and second straight redshirt freshman to win the award, following Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Winston completed nearly 68 percent of his passes for 3,820 yards, 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Undefeated Florida State plays Auburn in the Jan. 6 Bowl Championship Series title game.

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Shots - Health News
5:50 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Before The Prescription, Ask About Your Doctor's Finances

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:45 am

Last month, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new guidelines that could double the number of people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The organizations receive financial support from drug companies, and many of the experts who worked on the guidelines have industry ties.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

New York Times: U.S. May Never Know Extent Of Snowden Leaks

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 10:35 pm

Basing its report on unnamed "senior government officials," The New York Times makes this stunning revelation today:

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Iran Claims It Has Sent Another Monkey Into Space

The monkey Iranian authorities said was sent to space in January.
AFP/Getty Images

Iran claimed today that it had successfully sent a second monkey into space and brought it back to Earth safely.

In a statement on his official English-language site, President Hassan Rouhani said he had congratulated Iranian scientists for the "significant achievement."

"President Rouhani appreciated the Iranian scholars for dispatch of the second monkey named 'Fargam' into space and its successful return," the statement went on.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Mega Millions Jackpot Grows To $550 Million

A customer buys Mega Millions lottery tickets at a 7-Eleven store on Friday in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 2:28 pm

Because no one matched all six numbers on Friday, the Mega Millions jackpot jumped to $550 million for Tuesday's drawing.

It's possible that the second largest pot in the history of the Mega Millions will eventually make a run for the all-time record of $656 million, which was split by three players on March 30, 2012.

NBC News reports:

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Sat December 14, 2013

A Year After Shooting, Bells Toll In Newtown

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama take a moment of silence in honor of the Newtown shooting victims on the one year anniversary of the tragedy.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

As a steady snow blanketed Newtown, this morning, the bells at St. Rose of Lima church tolled 26 times. After each, a name was read.

It was an intimate acknowledgment of the 20 children and six educators who were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School one year ago today.

The town asked for privacy and decided not to have any formal remembrance services.

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, meanwhile, lit 26 candles at the Map Room of the White House. After all the votives were lit, they paused for a moment of silence.

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