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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Book News: Remembering Poet Kofi Awoonor, Killed In Nairobi Attack

Kenya security personnel take cover outside Nairobi's upscale Westgate Mall after shooting started inside early Monday morning.
Sayyid Azim AP

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

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Kenyan Police Say They're 'In Charge' Of The Mall

Kenyan soldiers outside the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi on Monday. Inside, attackers had killed dozens of shoppers, wounded more and it was feared they also had hostages.
Daniel Irungu EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 7:15 am

(We're adding to the top of this post as news comes in, and also posting updates here.)

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Shots - Health News
3:37 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Smart Teenage Brains May Get Some Extra Learning Time

When it comes to nature versus nurture, brain scientists think both matter.
Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 11:04 am

John Hewitt is a neuroscientist who studies the biology of intelligence. He's also a parent. Over the years, Hewitt has periodically drawn upon his scientific knowledge in making parenting decisions.

"I'm a father of four children myself and I never worried too much about the environments that I was providing for my children because I thought, well, it would all work out in the end anyway — aren't the genes especially powerful?" Hewitt says.

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Shots - Health News
3:37 am
Mon September 23, 2013

How A Pregnant Woman's Choices Could Shape A Child's Health

Does a glass or two of wine during pregnancy really increase the child's health risks? Epigenetics may help scientists figure that out.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 8:58 am

Pregnant women hear a lot about things they should avoid: alcohol, tobacco, chemical exposures, stress. All of those have the potential to affect a developing fetus. And now scientists are beginning to understand why.

One important factor, they say, is something called epigenetics, which involves the mechanisms that turn individual genes on and off in a cell.

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The Salt
3:35 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Got Baguettes? Bakers' Lobby Tells France To Eat More Bread

Baguettes head into a giant oven at Le Grenier a Pain Bakery.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 11:32 am

The French, it seems, aren't eating bread the way they used to. The average French person consumes just half a baguette a day, down from a full baguette 40 years ago.

Those statistics worry the French bakers' lobby, the Observatoire du Pain.

Bernard Vallius, who heads the group, says it used to be that people ate a sit-down lunch and dinner with family or friends every day. Now people — especially the young and those who live in cities — eat sandwiches or skip lunch altogether and snack, he says.

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Monkey See
3:34 am
Mon September 23, 2013

The Man Who Gets The Science Right On 'The Big Bang Theory'

David Saltzberg (right) hosts his "Geek of the Week," UCLA student Andrew Peck, on the set of The Big Bang Theory.
Michael Yarish Warner Bros.

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:02 pm

Sure, Bob Newhart may have won his first Emmy for guest-starring as Professor Proton on the hugely popular show The Big Bang Theory, about four young scientists at Caltech. But behind the scenes is a real-life professor, David Saltzberg of UCLA.

Saltzberg studies high-energy particle physics and high-energy neutrino astronomy, using radio-detection techniques when he's not working as The Big Bang Theory's science consultant.

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The Two-Way
3:08 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Scripps College Honors Ex-Rep. Giffords For Public Service

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, accompanied by her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, speaks during a news conference in Manchester, N.H., in July. They were there to encourage state political leaders to have courage in the fight to expand background checks on gun purchases.
Mary Schwalm AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:02 am

Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was honored over the weekend for her service to the public by Scripps College. Giffords' alma mater awarded her the school's highest level of recognition: the Ellen Browning Scripps Medal.

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The Two-Way
5:17 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Obama At Navy Yard Memorial: 'Once More, Our Hearts Are Broken'

President Obama speaks during a memorial service at the Marine Barracks Sunday in Washington, D.C., honoring victims of Monday's shooting at the Navy Yard.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 6:07 am

President Obama spoke at a memorial service Sunday to honor the 12 victims of Monday's Navy Yard shootings.

"The tragedy and the pain that brings us here today is extraordinary. It is unique," he said.

But Obama also noted Monday's incident is the fifth mass shooting he has witnessed as president. "Once more, our hearts are broken," he said.

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The Salt
4:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Move Over Vodka; Korean Soju's Taking A Shot At America

Boxes of empty Jinro soju bottles sit in a downtown Seoul, South Korea, shop on April 1, 2005.
Jung Yeon-Je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Every year, the trade magazine Drinks International puts out a list of the top-selling alcohols in the world, and in the category of spirits, there is one brand that more than doubles the sales of its closest competitor every year. Smirnoff, Jack Daniel's and Bacardi don't even come close.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Crash Stops Cross-Country Charity Bike Ride, Miles From Goal

Jacob Landis has been riding his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium, to raise money to help the needy pay for cochlear implants. His ride ended Saturday night due to a crash — but Landis says he'll still be at the Marlins' stadium next week.
Jacob's Ride

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:24 pm

Cyclist Jacob Landis, who rode more than 10,000 miles on his bike this year to raise money for cochlear implants, will miss out on the final miles of his ride after being hit by a truck. Landis had planned to ride his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium this season. Despite the crash, he says he'll still go to the final game on his schedule.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

U.S. Helicopter Crashes In Red Sea, With 5 Aboard

A U.S. Navy helicopter has crashed in the Red Sea, carrying a crew of five, the military service says. The status of the crew is not yet known; a search and rescue effort was begun after the crash Sunday, using boats and aircraft.

"The crash was not due to any sort of hostile activity," the Navy says. "The incident is under investigation."

The helicopter, a MH-60S Knighthawk, had been on operations with a guided-missile destroyer, the USS William P. Lawrence. It is part of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Six.

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Striking Images, Personal Stories Emerge From Kenyan Mall Attack

Civilians try to move to safety in a Nairobi shopping mall, where a standoff that began Saturday has lasted into Sunday. Images and witness accounts depict harrowing scenes inside the mall.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

One day after panic and confusion took over a shopping mall in Nairobi, survivors' accounts and photographs provide a close-up perspective of the scene. Their stories have given new detail to the chaos that erupted after attackers used grenades and guns to begin a standoff that lasted into Sunday.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Suicide Attack Strikes Church In Pakistan; Dozens Dead

People gather outside All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, after a suicide bombing attack killed scores of people earlier in the day, officials said.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 11:33 am

Two suicide bombers struck the All Saints Church following a service in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, killing more than 70 people and wounding more than 120, according to the AP and other news outlets. The victims are believed to include many children.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Sun September 22, 2013

China's Bo Xilai Is Given Life Sentence For Bribery, Other Crimes

Men watch a TV screen showing former Chinese politician Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life in prison Sunday by a court in Jinan, Shandong Province.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

A Chinese court has sentenced Bo Xilai, the former Politburo member who was snared on graft charges, to life in prison. The sentence for offenses that include bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power, completes a shocking fall for Bo, who had been a rising star in China's political system.

"Bribes received directly by Bo or via his family totaled 20.44 million yuan (about 3.3 million U.S. dollars), the court decided," reports state news agency Xinhua.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Nairobi Mall Attack: Civilians Remain Hostages; Dozens Dead

Kenyan soldiers secure a section of Nairobi's upscale Westgate Mall, in this image taken from AFP TV. At least 68 deaths have been reported as a result of Saturday's midday attack by gunmen at the mall.
Nichole Sobecki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:26 pm

This post was last updated at 5:25 p.m. ET.

A standoff that began with a shocking attack at Kenya's Westgate Mall Saturday is in its second day, with civilians held hostage by gunmen in the upscale shopping center.

The authorities say they have isolated the attackers. As of Sunday afternoon, Red Cross officials reported 68 deaths and at least 200 wounded in the assault, with 49 people still missing. We'll add news to this post as it emerges.

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