NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
7:37 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Book News: National Book Award Fiction Longlist Includes Lahiri, Pynchon

The winners of the National Book Awards will be announced Nov. 20.
NationalBook.org

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 10:13 am

(This post was updated at 10 a.m.)

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

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Death Toll At 80 And Likely To Rise As Storms Slam Mexico

Near the town of Petaquillas, Mexico, a man held on to a line Wednesday as he crossed a stream swollen by rain dumped by the storm Manuel.
Alejandrino Gonzalez AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:54 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Host Renee Montagne talks with the AP's Michael Weissenstein

Mud slides, flash floods and rising waters are proving to be a deadly combination in the mountains near Acapulco, Mexico, where dozens of people have died in recent days as a tropical storm-turned hurricane pummels the area.

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Shots - Health News
3:20 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Employers Trim Health Costs By Cutting Coverage For Spouses

Workers prepare orders to be loaded for shipment at a UPS Healthcare Supply Chain and Distribution Center in Atlanta on March 12. The company recently announced that it would no longer offer coverage for spouses who had their own job-based insurance.
Robin Nelson Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 10:05 am

When UPS told workers that it would no longer offer health coverage for spouses who had their own job-based insurance, it caused a big stir. But the shipping giant has plenty of company.

So many employers are trying to cut back on health coverage for spouses that it has become a trend. The practice began well before the Affordable Care Act passed, and the connection to the law, in some cases, isn't that direct.

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The Two-Way
7:31 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Assad: Syria Is Committed To 'Full Requirements' Of Agreement

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 7:56 pm

"We are committed to the full requirements of this agreement."

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The Two-Way
6:06 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

On Budget Issues, Pentagon's Rhetoric Is Challenged

The budget battles in Washington have inspired the need for some verbal gymnastics that have challenged even the most adept doublespeakers at the Pentagon. As one member of the House pointed out today, some Pentagonians have insisted that Congress cannot cut a single additional dollar from defense, without endangering the national defense strategy.

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The Two-Way
6:02 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

New Zealand Sails Within One Race Of The America's Cup

Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA in action during Race 11 of the America's Cup finals on Wednesday in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:59 pm

Emirates Team New Zealand is within a single race of snatching the America's Cup from defenders Oracle Team USA, as the two giant catamarans square off in the waters off San Francisco for a 12th time.

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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Good Samaritan Could Get Unclaimed Lotto Jackpot In Spain

Women in Barcelona check their numbers for Spain's Christmas lottery, named "El Gordo" (Fat One), in 2012.
Josep Lago AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 6:10 am

A city in northwest Spain issued a rather unusual lost-and-found notice this week:

FOUND: A lottery ticket bought more than a year ago, which entitles the owner to an unclaimed $6.3 million jackpot.

LOST: The ticket's owner.

From its El Gordo ("The Fat One") Christmas lottery, to the summertime EuroMillions drawing, Spain is a country obsessed with playing the lottery — especially in a dismal economy.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Blame Miley Cyrus: University Removes Wrecking Ball Sculpture

A college student copies Miley Cyrus.
Twitter

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 5:35 pm

Eighteen years after it was placed there, a wrecking ball sculpture that has sat on the campus of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., has been removed and put into storage.

And you can blame Miley Cyrus.

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Private Spacecraft Lifts Off With Space Station Supplies

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 5:53 pm

Orbital Sciences' Cygnus spacecraft has successfully launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on its way to becoming the second private vehicle to resupply the International Space Station.

Space.com says:

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Shots - Health News
3:57 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Americans' Upside-Down View Of Medicare's Problems

Medicare is big. And as America gets grayer, the health insurance program for seniors and the disabled is going to get a lot bigger — and more expensive.

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Iran Frees Political Prisoners

Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh smiles at her house in Tehran on Wednesday, after being freed from prison.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 5:17 pm

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was among several political prisoners released by Tehran on Wednesday, just days ahead of a visit by Iran's newly elected moderate president to the United Nations in New York.

Sotoudeh, who had been held since 2010, was one of eight women and three men released, according to the BBC. Reformist politician Mohsen Aminzadeh was also among the prisoners freed.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:15 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

The Other 10 Most Important Questions In Science

Oceans, and the innards of Earth itself, are the final frontiers of our planet. Expect amazing discoveries as explorers document more and more of this unseen realm.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 3:23 pm

Last week I presented my take on 10 of the 20 most important questions in science, a list at the heart of a book by Mun Keat Looi, Hayley Birch and Colin Stuart titled The Big Questions in Science: The Quest to Solve the Great Unknowns. It was published in the U.K. last week.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Fed Says It Will Continue Stimulus; Markets Reach New Highs

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:28 pm

The Federal Reserve said today that it is not slowing down its monthly purchase of $85 billion in bonds.

The program is intended to stimulate a sluggish economy and the Fed was widely expected to announce that in light of a recovering economy, it was tapering the bond-buying program. Instead, it delivered a surprise that caused the markets to jump, as the Dow and the S&P closed at record highs.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Russia Says It Will Implicate Syria's Rebels In Chemical Attack

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow will provide the U.N. Security Council evidence implicated Syrian rebels in a chemical attack.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:58 pm

Russia's top diplomat says his nation will give the U.N. Security Council evidence that implicates Syria's rebel forces in the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus, the BBC reports.

Word of what Syrian President Bashar Assad's strongest ally on the Security Council plans comes from Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

VIDEO: You Will Smile At This Dancing Queen And Her Good Luck

Ellie Cole, in the "dancing queen" video that's made her famous.
YouTube.com

Building on our first feel-good story of the day — "$64,000 Raised So Far For Homeless Man Who Turned In $42,000" — here's another:

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