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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Italy's High Court Affirms Berlusconi's Tax Fraud Conviction

Celebrations in Rome after the Italian Supreme Court's sentencing of Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

A tax fraud conviction against ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been upheld by the country's highest court in a move that could imperil a fragile coalition government.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Unique Bike Treks Up East Coast, Powered By Solar And Pedals

In a photo taken on July 24, ELF bike owner Mark Stewart discusses the unusual vehicle during his trip from North Carolina to Massachusetts.
Valerie Bonk AP

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:30 pm

It's not rare for new vehicle owners to be proud of their purchase. And some even travel to the factory to pick up their new ride and drive it home. That's what Mark Stewart did — but his new vehicle is an ELF hybrid bike, and his ride home will take hundreds of miles to complete.

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Kerry Says U.S. Plans To Stop Drone Strikes In Pakistan

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad on Thursday.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

During a television interview Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States hopes to end drone strikes over Pakistan.

"The program will end as we have eliminated most of the threat and continue to eliminate it," Kerry told Pakistan TV. "I think the president has a very real timeline and we hope it's going to be very, very soon."

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Queen's Speech For WWIII: British Must 'Prepare To Survive'

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (second left) stands with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (left), U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at London's Buckingham Palace on June 10, 1984.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 4:04 pm

At the height of the Cold War, a broadcast prepared for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II to deliver in the event of a nuclear conflict urged her subjects to be brave and stand firm in the face of destruction, and for the survivors to pick up the pieces and rebuild.

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Monkey See
2:13 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Coffee Break: The Get Your 'Mary Poppins' Groove On Edition

iStockphoto.com

* Having seen Cate Blanchett's electric Blanche DuBois, and had a public pretend-squabble with our own Bob Mondello about it, I felt like I was all up in Charles McNulty's head when I read his take on Blue Jasmine. [The Los Angeles Times]

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Shots - Health News
2:11 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

What Outbreak? Students Tune Out Tweeted Health Warnings

Buzz, Georgia Tech's mascot, wasn't the only bug in the students' midst last fall. An outbreak of bacterial pneumonia sickened at least 83 in what the CDC called the largest known outbreak at a university in 35 years.
Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:26 pm

You can lead college students to soap and water, but you can't make them wash their hands. In fact, you can't even make them read their e-mail.

That was one takeaway from an outbreak of pneumonia at Georgia Tech last fall that sickened at least 83 students – "the largest [outbreak] reported at a university in 35 years," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Huge Explosion In Homs Leaves Scores Wounded

A Syrian man rides his motorbike past the Sunni Grand mosque on Thursday in the city of Qusayr, in Syria's central Homs province.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

A huge blast hit a weapons depot in the Syrian city of Homs on Thursday. Video of the blast has been posted to YouTube. It shows an explosion, followed by a plume of smoke rising hundreds of feet into the air.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Cleveland Kidnapper Sentenced To Life Plus 1,000 Years

Ariel Castro appears in court during the sentencing phase on Thursday in Cleveland. Castro pleaded guilty last week to 937 counts, including kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 2:58 pm

This post was updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

Michelle Knight, who was raped and tortured during more than a decade of captivity, faced her abuser, Ariel Castro, in court on Thursday, assuring him that while her hell was over, his had just begun.

"I spent 11 years in hell; now your hell is just beginning," she said, addressing Castro, who admitted to abducting Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, and subjecting them to years of sexual and emotional abuse in his Cleveland home.

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The Salt
12:41 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Where In The World Are There No McDonald's?

Chinese consumers have 1,075 McDonald's locations to choose from, but the variety inside the restaurant isn't exactly top of their tastes-- KFC does much better business here because Chinese diners prefer white meat over beef patties.
felibrilu via Flickr

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:03 pm

Recent news out of Vietnam intrigued us here at The Salt. Ho Chi Minh City is set to get its first McDonald's sometime in the next year, according to the company.

It seems Vietnam is ready for the iconic American food, and McDonald's is confident that Vietnamese consumers now have enough disposable income to get hooked on shakes, burgers and fries.

That got us thinking about the global reach of one of the world's most iconic food companies.

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The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Calls Election 'A Huge Farce'

A Zimbabwean woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Domboshava, 37 miles north of Harare, on Wednesday.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 1:13 pm

A day after Zimbabweans turned out heavily to vote in national elections, the main challenger to longtime President Robert Mugabe is calling the balloting "a sham election that does not reflect the will of the people."

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, ticked off a list of alleged problems, including thousands of citizens who he says were thrown off voter rolls, voters being moved to different polling stations, an excess of printed ballots, and voters being forced to accept "assistance" when casting ballots.

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Shots - Health News
12:16 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Want To Be A Morning Person? Take A Few Tips From Campers

All in the name of science: Volunteers hike in Colorado during their one-week hiatus from electrical lighting.
Courtesy of Kenneth Wright

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 2:07 pm

In the first episode of Downton Abbey, the Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith, complains about the newfangled electrical chandelier installed in her family's 1915 estate. "Oh, dear, such a glare," she says, shielding her eyes with a fan.

The countess may have a point.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop; Mortgage Rates Edge Up

New claims for unemployment benefits fell to 326,000 in the week that ended July 27 — the lowest level for initial jobless claims in more than five years, according to the Labor Department.

Employment data for the month of July is due to be released Friday. But for now, the weekly jobless claims numbers are being hailed as another sign that the U.S. economy is gaining strength.

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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Uruguay Gives Initial OK To State-Controlled Marijuana Industry

Young backers of a bill to legalize the production and trade of marijuana in Uruguay wait outside the Parliament building as lawmakers debate the bill Wednesday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 1:32 pm

Uruguay is poised to create a state-licensed marijuana industry, after the country's lower house of Congress passed a controversial bill late Wednesday detailing how the government would regulate marijuana — from its production and import to marketing and distribution. The move would be a first.

NPR's South America correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro tells our Newscast unit that the landmark bill now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to sail through.

Lourdes reports:

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Thu August 1, 2013

S&P 500 Index Passes 1,700 Mark For First Time

A chart shows the growth in the Standard & Poor's 500 index of large-capitalization U.S. stocks. The index passed the 1,700 mark for the first time Thursday.
S&P 500

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 1:06 pm

The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the benchmark of America's largest corporations, surpassed 1,700 points for the first time in early trading Thursday. The rise is being tied to a drop in weekly jobless claims, as well as assurances from central banks in the U.S. and Europe that they would continue to bolster their economies.

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Shots - Health News
10:06 am
Thu August 1, 2013

When Fleeing Zombies (Or Flu), Cooperation Saves Lives

Best to check with the neighbors and the health department if commuting during zombie attacks.
AMC-TV

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 12:01 pm

How will humans survive the zombie apocalypse? Will it be each man for himself or will a coordinated effort be what saves us from ultimate doom?

An MIT professor is trying to answer this question for us mortals. "There is a price that society pays if everyone determines his behavior selfishly," Ruben Juanes says. And this cost of selfish behavior is what game theorists call the price of anarchy.

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