NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
9:13 am
Wed June 19, 2013

In Germany, Obama Defends NSA Surveillance Programs

President Obama speaks on the Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday in Berlin.
Timur Emek Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:45 pm

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET. 'Peace With Justice':

Speaking at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin — near the spot where John F. Kennedy made his famous speech almost 50 years ago — President Obama on Wednesday called on the global community to fight for democracy and freedom everywhere.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Wed June 19, 2013

In Brazil, Protests Continue As Some Cities Cut Bus Fares

Students block an avenue in São Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday night, during a protest against a recent rise in public bus and subway fare.
Daniel Guimaraen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 11:33 am

For a second night in a row, tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets to protest everything from the cost of living to government corruption.

The AP reports that during Tuesday's demonstrations:

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Monkey See
8:47 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Bait And Twitch: Vice Magazine, Suicide Glamour, And Not Staying Quiet

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 2:48 pm

This week, Vice magazine unveiled a fashion spread featuring images based on famous female writers who killed themselves. To call it merely tasteless would be to understate how calculated it was, as well as how revolting it was — it literally created an image based on a real writer who really hanged herself with a pair of stockings, and then it told you where to buy the stockings.

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Top Stories: NATO Attacked In Afghanistan; NBA's Game 6 Final

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:16 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Afghan Govt. Suspends Talks; Taliban Attack Kills 4 Soldiers.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Book News: Kim Jong Un Reportedly Gave 'Mein Kampf' As Gifts

Kim Jong Un (center) watched a performance celebrating the anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Yao Dawei Associated Press

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:52 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Heat, Spurs Headed To Game 7 After Stunning Game 6

LeBron James (right) of the Miami Heat snatches the ball from Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs during overtime in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:14 am

We'll let LeBron James do the talking. He said about the sixth game of the NBA finals between the Heat and Spurs:

"It's by far the best game I've ever been a part of."

And it certainly was a stunner: The Heat's Ray Allen hit a three-pointer with just 5.2 seconds on the clock to tie the game, denying the Spurs their fifth NBA title. The game went into overtime and remained airtight, but eventually the Heat prevailed 103 to 100.

ESPN has highlights:

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Taliban Attack Kills 4 Coalition Soldiers; Afghan Govt. Suspends Talks

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a ceremony Tuesday at a military academy on the outskirts of Kabul.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:17 am

In the hours following an announcement by the Taliban and the United States saying they were ready to begin peace talks, we received reminders of just how tenuous that situation is: On Tuesday night the Taliban said they fired two rockets near Bagram airbase in Kabul. The International Security Assistance Force said four service members were killed by "an indirect fire attack."

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The Two-Way
7:13 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Google Files First-Amendment Request With FISA Court

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 10:17 am

Google has filed a legal motion asserting its "First Amendment right to publish aggregate information about FISA orders," asking the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to remove the gag order that keeps the company from issuing that information. Google and other big U.S. tech companies have been under fire after it was reported that they allowed the National Security Agency to mine customer data, in a government program called PRISM.

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The Two-Way
6:21 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

A Field Guide To Jimmy Hoffa Searches

Law enforcement officials search an area in Oakland Township, Mich., on Tuesday for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa. The former Teamsters president was last seen at a Detroit-area restaurant in 1975.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 6:32 pm

The mystery of Jimmy Hoffa's final resting place was opened yet again Monday, when the FBI began digging up a field near Detroit in the hopes of finding the former Teamsters president, who was last seen on July 30, 1975.

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The Two-Way
6:13 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

'We Were Told To Lie,' Say Bank Of America Employees

Employees say Bank of America encouraged them to lie and falsify records to push more accounts into foreclosure.
Chuck Burton AP

Six former employees and one contractor say Bank of America's mortgage servicing unit consistently lied to homeowners, fraudulently denied loan modifications and offered bonuses to staff for intentionally pushing people into foreclosure, according to a Salon.com report.

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The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Perk Backlash: Do Surprise Upgrades Make Us Uneasy?

A new study finds that while "receiving unearned preferential treatment does generate positive reactions, it is not always an entirely pleasurable experience." Examples include getting a free upgrade on a hotel room.
iStockphoto.com

Whether it's a free upgrade on a hotel room or skipping ahead in the check-in line, many businesses give preferential treatment to some customers, hoping to make them more loyal. The practice often works — but a new study suggests that when we get perks we didn't earn, negative feelings can result. And they can make a surprise deal a little less sweet.

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Shots - Health News
5:06 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Patients Lead The Way As Medicine Grapples With Apps

How many calories in that bite? My Fitness Pal and other fitness and nutrition apps can help find the answer.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 10:39 pm

Christine Porter is hooked on the MyFitnessPal app. In October, after deciding to lose 50 pounds, Porter started typing in everything she eats, drinks and any exercise she gets.

"This is my main page here," says Porter. "It's telling me I have about 1,200 calories remaining for the day. When I want to record something I just click the 'add to diary' button. I'm on it all day either through my phone or through the computer."

She says she's lost 42 pounds in nine months.

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The Two-Way
5:05 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

The 'Standing Man' Of Turkey: Act Of Quiet Protest Goes Viral

Erdem Gunduz (center) stands in Instanbul's Taksim Square early Tuesday. After weeks of clashes with police, many Turkish protesters were inspired to emulate Gunduz, and stand silently.
Petr David Josek AP

As protests against the Turkish government enter their third week, activists are taking increasingly creative measures to maintain their momentum.

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The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

'Days Of Rambo Are Over': Pentagon Details Women's Move To Combat

Women in the U.S. military will be integrated into front-line combat units by 2016, the Pentagon says. Here, female Marine recruits stand in formation during pugil stick training in boot camp earlier this year at Parris Island, S.C.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Women in America's armed services will have new options for what units they can join in coming years, the Pentagon says. The military said in January that it will end its combat exclusion that set a minimum size for units in which women could be deployed; the limit kept many women away from front-line combat units. The shift means women could join elite forces such as the Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.

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The Salt
4:06 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

The Mystery Of the Ridiculously Pricey Bag Of Potatoes

How much for that bag of potatoes?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 5:39 pm

On Monday we told you about allegations that America's potato growers had banded together in a price-fixing Potato Cartel.

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