NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Book News: Amazon's Tiny Tax Payment Draws Fresh Scrutiny

An Amazon.co.uk parcel passes along a conveyor belt at a facility in Milton Keynes, England.
Bruno Vincent Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:00 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Top Stories: Deadly Texas Twisters; NATO Faces Afghan Bombs

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:50 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Texas Tornado Leaves 6 Dead, Dozens Hurt, Hundreds Homeless.

-- At Least 13 Dead, Including Americans, After Attack In Kabul.

And here are more early headlines:

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu May 16, 2013

At Least 13 Dead, Including Americans, After Attack In Kabul

The scene Thursday in Kabul, Afghanistan, after a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy.
Zhao Yishen Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:46 am

Early casualty reports indicate that a powerful suicide car bombing Thursday in Kabul killed at least seven Afghan civilians, four foreign civilian contractors who were working for international forces and two members of the international military force.

Dozens more people were reportedly injured by the blast in Afghanistan's capital city.

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Shots - Health News
3:04 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Cloning, Stem Cells Long Mired In Legislative Gridlock

After President Obama overturned Bush-era policy restricting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research in 2009, Nebraska Right to Life led a protest of the research outside the University of Nebraska regents' meeting.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:53 am

The news that U.S. scientists have successfully cloned a human embryo seems almost certain to rekindle a political fight that has raged, on and off, since the announcement of the creation of Dolly the sheep in 1997.

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The Two-Way
6:56 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Obama Announces Resignation Of Acting IRS Commissioner

President Obama makes a statement Wednesday about acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller's resignation.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:39 am

President Obama announced late Wednesday that the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steve Miller, has resigned in the wake of a report that employees at the agency engaged in partisan scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

The president, appearing for a brief statement at the White House, said he had directed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew "to accept the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS."

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The Two-Way
6:51 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Jury Finds Jodi Arias Eligible For Death Penalty

Jodi Arias reacts during the reading of the verdict at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix on May 8.
Associated Press

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:36 pm

A jury has found Jodi Arias, the Arizona woman found guilty last week of first-degree murder for killing her onetime boyfriend in a fit of rage, eligible for the death penalty.

The Associated Press reports: "The decision came after a day of testimony Wednesday during which prosecutors had to prove the murder was committed in an especially cruel and heinous manner."

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The Two-Way
6:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

NASA Says Kepler's Planet-Searching Days May Be Numbered

Kepler-22b, the discovery of which was announced in December 2011, is one of many planets that bear the space telescope's name.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:09 am

The planet-hunting career of NASA's Kepler spacecraft might be near its end.

Astronomers said Wednesday that a reaction wheel that keeps the orbiting telescope pointed at tiny, distant patches of sky to look for Earth-like planets has failed. If they can't fix it, Kepler will be relegated to a less prestigious mission, directing its gaze much closer to home in a search for so-called "near-Earth objects," i.e., meteors and asteroids.

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The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Leaks, Bombs And Double-Agents: More On That AP Story

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:45 pm

The Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called "a very grave leak" to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there's a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Richard Swanson Didn't Reach Brazil, But He Found An Audience

Richard Swanson, who died in Oregon Tuesday, has inspired an outpouring of condolences as his story of walking to Brazil for charity has inspired those who learn about it.
YouTube

Hundreds of condolences are appearing online for Richard Swanson, the Seattle man whose plan to dribble a soccer ball all the way to Brazil to raise money for charity ended Tuesday after he was struck and killed by a pickup truck in Oregon. Many see his story as an inspiration, and say they'll continue his charity work.

"It is with a heavy heart to notify you that Richard Swanson passed on this morning," reads an update announcing Swanson's death on the Facebook page for his project, Breakaway Brazil, yesterday.

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The Salt
3:30 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Can Star Power Make New Orleans' Food Deserts Bloom?

Wendell Pierce, the actor and co-owner of Sterling Farms grocery store, chats with Dwight Henry, who will be making doughnuts and buttermilk drops in the store.
David Grunfeld The Times-Picayune /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:59 pm

Plenty of celebrities leverage their star power to raise awareness of complicated food issues. Some of the biggest names include Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver, Prince Charles and Paul McCartney.

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Shots - Health News
3:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

How Researchers Cloned Human Embryos

Human embryos grow in a petri dish two days after scientists in Oregon cloned them from a donor's skin cell.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ohsunews/8726915230/in/photostream/ Courtesy of OHSU Photos

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 4:49 pm

Scientists in Oregon have achieved something that many thought might be impossible.

They said Wednesday that they have cloned human embryos and then harvested the embryo's stem cells.

The discovery, if it holds up, means scientists would be able to make personalized stem cells, with their genetic code almost perfectly matched to that of a patient.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Publisher Threatens Librarian With $1 Billion Lawsuit

A scholarly publisher has issued a warning to Jeffrey Beall, a librarian who writes about what he calls "predatory" practices in the scholarly publishing industry, threatening him with a $1 billion lawsuit for his blog posts criticizing the company.

Beall is an academic librarian at the University of Colorado; he writes about the journal industry on his personal blog, Scholarly Open Access.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Walmart Has Its Own Plan To Help Bangladesh Garment Workers

A Wal-Mart store in Paramount, Calif. The company announced it would conduct its own inspections at Bangladeshi factories that produce its goods rather than joining an agreement with other Western retailers.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 3:30 pm

Wal-Mart says it has drafted its own plan for improving safety at garment factories in Bangladesh rather than join other Western retailers in a legally binding agreement to pay for improved conditions for workers in the South Asian country.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Source May Have Misled Media About Key Benghazi Email

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 12:49 pm

Update at 6:42 p.m. ET: Reaction From Boehner's Office

In a statement, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said the emails "contradict statements made by the White House that it and the State Department only changed one word in the talking points."

Here's the statement in full:

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The Salt
1:06 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Go Fish (Somewhere Else): Warming Oceans Are Altering Catches

Crew members unload a catch of sockeye salmon at Craig, Alaska, in 2005. Researchers say fish are being found in new areas because of changing ocean temperatures.
Melissa Farlow National Geographic/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:39 pm

Climate change is gradually altering the fish that end up on ice in seafood counters around the world, according to a new study.

"The composition of the [global] fish catch includes more and more fish from the warmer areas, and cold-water fish are getting more rare, because the temperatures are increasing," says Daniel Pauly at the University of British Columbia, a co-author of the study.

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