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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Coordinated Attacks Rock Southwestern Pakistan

Pakistani police officers and volunteers gather at the wreckage of a bus destroyed in a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, on Saturday.
Arshad Butt AP

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 5:55 pm

A bomb ripped through a bus in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least 14 students from a women's university in Quetta. Shortly afterward, militants burst into a nearby hospital that was treating the injured. Pakistani security forces stormed the hospital and regained control after a five-hour standoff.

Our original post continues:

A bomb on a bus in Pakistan has killed at least 11 female university students and teachers, and hurt 20 others. Militants later attacked the hospital where the victims were taken.

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Source: Obama Considering Releasing NSA Court Order

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:00 pm

NPR has learned that the Obama administration, under pressure to lift a cloak of secrecy, is considering whether to declassify a court order that gives the National Security Agency the power to gather phone call record information on millions of Americans.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Russia Says No-Fly Zone Over Syria Would Be Illegal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks to the media after his meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino on Saturday.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 5:04 am

Russia's foreign minister on Saturday warned that any effort by the U.S. and its allies to impose a no-fly zone over Syria would violate international law.

Sergei Lavrov, speaking at a news conference in Moscow with his Italian counterpart, referred to "leaks from Western media" that U.S. F-16 fighters and Patriot missile in Jordan might be used in neighboring Syria to suppress government forces fighting insurgents there.

"You don't have to be a great expert to understand that this will violate international law," Lavrov said.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Based On What We Know, Is The NSA Verizon Request Legal?

The National Security Agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
NSA Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 8:48 am

Here's what we know about a National Security Agency program that collects vast amounts of data on the electronic activity of Americans: While controversial, a leaked secret document authorizing the collection makes it clear that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has decided that the collection of metadata for every call made in and into the United States is legal under Section 215 of the U.S.A.

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The Two-Way
2:22 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Moderate Wins Iran's Presidency In Rebuke To Hard-Line Clerics

Moderate presidential candidate, Hasan Rowhani, a former nuclear negotiator, flashes the victory sign as he leaves a polling station in Tehran on Friday.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 6:54 pm

(This post was last updated at 3:45 p.m. ET)

Hasan Rowhani, the lone moderate in Iran's presidential elections, has secured victory and headed off a runoff vote in a symbolic rebuke to the country's hard-line Islamic clerics.

Rowhani, 64, won nearly 51 percent of the vote in a field of five other candidates, all but himself considered conservatives who were more or less in line with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Rowhani's closest rival, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqher Qalibaf, came in a distant second, with less than 17 percent of the ballots.

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The Two-Way
6:51 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

The Parking Spots That Cost More Than Half A Million Dollars

Parking spaces behind 298 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston are seen Friday. The two open spaces at right, front and back, were sold at auction for $560,000.
Michael Dwyer AP

As it turns out, prime urban parking can be almost as valuable as a single-family home. A Boston woman bought two parking spaces for $560,000 at auction Thursday, winning a tough bidding war that increased by the tens of thousands at each turn.

The buyer, Lisa Blumenthal, said the spots will be used for guests and workers, at the hefty price of $280,000 each — nearly 90 percent of the worth of the median sales price of a single-family home in Massachusetts.

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Shots - Health News
6:46 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Rule Would List All Chimps As Endangered, Even Lab Animals

Chimpanzee Toni celebrated his 50th birthday at the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich on Nov. 22, 2011.
Sven Hoppe DPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 9:45 am

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a new rule that would extend "endangered species" protections to chimpanzees held in captivity. Nearly half of all the chimps in the U.S. live in research facilities, and the regulation changes would make it more difficult to use these animals in medical experiments.

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Archaeologists Discover Lost City In Cambodian Jungle

Australian archaeologists using remote-sensing technology have uncovered an ancient city in Cambodia that has remained hidden for more than a millennium under dense jungle undergrowth.

The discovery of Mahendraparvata, a 1,200-year-old lost city that predates Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temple complex by 350 years, was part of the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer Empire that ruled much of Southeast Asia from about 800 to 1400 A.D., during a time that coincided with Europe's Middle Ages.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

U.S. Navy Approves Use Of Lowercase Letters

Teletype operators relay U.S. military communications in North Africa during World War II.
AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:33 pm

A recent directive issued by the U.S. Navy was transmitted in the customary format, using all uppercase letters. Sailors, it said, are:

"AUTHORIZED TO USE STANDARD, MIXED-CASE CHARACTERS IN THE BODY OF NAVY ORGANIZATIONAL MESSAGES."

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Australian General's Frank Talk On Sexual Abuse Wins Fans

Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Australia's army chief, has simple advice for those who don't want women in the service: "Get out."
YouTube

The growing problem of sexual assaults in the U.S. military has led to arguments in Congress, where lawmakers disagree over how to confront the issue. Top military officers have also weighed in on the topic. But in Australia, where the military has its own sexual assault problem, the army chief has a simple solution: "Show moral courage and take a stand."

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

New Blood Sparks Identity Crisis For Fraternal Group Of Farmers

"A œGift for the Grangers" was a recruitment poster for the National Grange printed in 1873. Grange membership around this period was estimated by some to be as high as 2 million. Today it'™s less than 200,000.
National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:12 pm

Lots of passionate people are taking up farming these days, motivated by frustration with industrial farming, concerns about the environment, and a desire to build community and local food markets. Some of these new farmers have joined the Grange, a long-established fraternal organization for farmers with roots in social activism.

In Oregon, Granges dominated by this new generation have banded together in a coalition dubbed "Green Granges," which work together to advance the issues they care about.

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Shots - Health News
2:50 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Doctors To Vote On Whether Cheerleading Is A Sport

University of Louisville cheerleaders hurled into the air during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game against Wichita State in April.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 7:43 am

This weekend the American Medical Association will kick off its annual exercise in medical democracy.

The group's House of Delegates will meet in Chicago to vote on resolutions that range from a demand that private insurers pay doctors at least as much as Medicare does to a call for federal legislation affirming the right of doctors to talk about gun safety with patients.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:44 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Where Did We Go Wrong?

It's looking at you. But is it conscious? How do we know?
iStockphoto.com

This text is adapted from Alva's book Out of Our Heads.


Who, or what, is conscious? How can we decide? Where in nature do we find consciousness? This can seem like the hardest problem in this whole field: the question of the consciousness of others. I am aware. So are you. We think, we feel, the world shows up for us. But what about an ant, or a snail, or a paramecium? What about a well-engineered robot? Could it be conscious? Is there a way of telling, for sure?

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

U.N. Chief Opposes U.S. Military Support For Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:58 pm

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that he opposes the U.S. decision to provide Syrian rebels with military support.

"The United Nations, and in particular I, have been making it consistently clear that providing arms to either side would not address this current situation," Ban told reporters during a briefing. "There is no such military solution."

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The Salt
1:24 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Nudging Detroit: Program Doubles Food Stamp Bucks In Grocery Stores

A customer in the produce section at Metro Foodland, one of the Detroit grocery stores participating in a healthy food incentive program for people with SNAP benefits. The store will add a section of specially marked local produce as part of the program.
Courtesy of the Fair Food Network

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:35 pm

In recent years, programs that double the value of food stamp dollars spent at farmers markets have generated a lot of attention. The basic idea: Spend, say, $10 in food stamps and get an extra $10 credit for purchases at the market.

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