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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The Late Whitney Houston Was The Year's Hottest Search

Whitney Houston in 2004.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Take That! How To Solve Legislative Difficulties, The Ukrainian Way

Ukrainian parliament brawls on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012.
AP

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 11:18 am

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell Sharply Last Week, Wholesale Prices Dropped In November

At a job fair in New York City earlier this year, a man waited for an interview. Economists say the job market is slowly improving, and the latest data on jobless claims seem to support that analysis.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There were 343,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, down 29,000 from the week before, according to the Employment and Training Administration.

At that level, claims were the lowest they'd been since the first week of October's 342,000.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Nurse Who Fell Victim To Royal Hoax Was Found Hanged, Authorities Say

Westminster Coroners Court in London, where the inquest into the death of Jacintha Saldanha was held.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse "fooled by a hoax call to the London hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge was later found hanged," the BBC says.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Diplomatic Shift? Russia Acknowledges Assad May Be On Way Out

Northwest of Aleppo, Syria, this week, rebels were in control of this Syrian military base.
Herve Bar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 12:33 pm

"Syria's most powerful ally, Russia, said for the first time Thursday that President Bashar Assad is losing control of his country and the rebels might win the civil war, dramatically shifting the diplomatic landscape at a time of enormous momentum for the opposition," The Associated Press writes.

Here's what Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said, according to the AP:

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Report: North Korea's Satellite May Be 'Tumbling Out Of Control'

An image, from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), of what's said to be the launch on Wednesday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 12:34 pm

There are conflicting reports about whether the satellite launched into space Wednesday from North Korea is safely circling the planet.

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The Salt
3:29 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Archaeologists Find Ancient Evidence Of Cheese-Making

Archaeologists believe that ancient farmers used pots made from these pottery shards to make cheese — a less perishable, low-lactose milk product.
Nature

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 12:19 pm

As any cheese maker will tell you, it's not that hard to make cheese. You just take some fresh milk, warm it up a bit, and add something acidic to curdle it. Then, once it has cooled, you drain off the whey — the liquid part — and you're left with cheese.

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The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

California Gov. Brown Being Treated For Prostate Cancer

California Gov. Jerry Brown is receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer, which his physician says was caught at an "early stage." The governor's office announced the news today, adding that Brown's work schedule has not been disrupted.

"The prognosis is excellent, and there are not expected to be any significant side effects," the governor's office quoted UCSF oncologist Dr. Eric Small as saying. Calling the cancer "localized," Small said that Brown is undergoing a short course of radiation therapy.

Brown is expected to undergo treatment through early January.

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The Salt
5:53 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

From Belgium To Piggly Wiggly: U.S. Beer Fans Snatch Up Elusive Ale

A customer departs Total Wine of Towson, Md., with a gift pack of Belgium's Westvleteren 12 Trappist ale.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:39 pm

To many beer fans, the arrival of the Westvleteren 12 Trappist ale in American shops today is a chance to try a beer they've only read about on beer-geek blogs and sites — where it's often given a "world class" rating of 100.

But finding the beer can be tricky — it's not available in all states, and some stores sold out of their allotment within hours of opening Wednesday.

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The Salt
4:51 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Georgia Town Makes Claim For Fruitcake Capital Of The World

The Claxton Bakery in Georgia makes millions of pounds of fruitcake each year.
Stephen Morton AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:29 pm

In the small town of Claxton, Ga., two bakeries make more than 4 million pounds of fruitcake each year. Both bakeries say Claxton is the fruitcake capital of the world, despite a similar claim made by a company in Corsicana, Texas.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Syrian Military Fired Scud Missiles At Rebels, U.S. Official Says

The Syrian military fired Scud missiles on rebel positions in northern Syria this week, a Pentagon source says. Here, a rebel fighter takes a position last month in the northern city of Aleppo, the scene of heavy fighting in recent months.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:58 pm

The Syrian military fired Scud missiles at rebel forces this week, launching them from near the capital Damascus and targeting opposition fighters in the north of the country, Pentagon sources tell NPR's Tom Bowman.

The development comes at a time when the fighting has been intensifying and the rebels appear to be gaining momentum in a nearly two-year-old battle against President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

What North Korea's Rocket Launch Means — And What It Doesn't

This image from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows the long-range rocket Unha-3 as seen at a satellite control center prior to Wednesday's successful launch.
KCNA via KNS AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:31 pm

North Korea's successful rocket launch may conjure up visions of nuclear missiles in the hands of one of the planet's least predictable regimes. But building a satellite launch vehicle doesn't directly translate into an ability to rain warheads on distant enemies.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Flying High: Cannon Fires Cans Filled With Marijuana Across Mexican Border

They flew in from Mexico: Cans of marijuana found in a field near Yuma, Ariz.
Customs and Border Protection

Last year, smugglers tried using a catapult to get pot into the U.S.

Now, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents say they recently discovered 30 large cans of marijuana in a field near Yuma, Ariz., — and that the barrels apparently landed there after being fired from a pneumatic-powered cannon 500 feet away in Mexico.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Sources: Syrian Rebels Training On Anti-Aircraft Weapons In Jordan

To date, Syrian rebels have had to rely on small-scale weapons in their fight against the Syrian army. Here, a rebel fighter throws an explosive device toward a Syrian government position in the northern city of Aleppo last month.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:50 pm

The U.S. has now formally recognized a new Syrian opposition group as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. But the U.S. has repeatedly declined to provide weapons for rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's army.

However, NPR has learned that there are movements behind the scenes. In Jordan, several Syrian sources said that Jordanian authorities, along with their U.S. and British counterparts, have organized training for Syrian rebels on sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

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