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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Port Strike Averted As Dock Workers, Terminal Operators Agree To Extension

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:46 pm

Longshoremen and East Coast and Gulf Coast port operators have agreed to an extension on labor negotiations, a federal mediator said Friday, averting a potentially crippling strike that would have halted container traffic at many of the nation's largest seaports.

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: The temporary deal extends the contract to Feb. 6.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Fri December 28, 2012

'Miss M,' You're Our 'Most Liked' Reader

"Miss M," you won over many hearts and minds this year.
Torsten Blackwood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 1:49 pm

You folks were busy this year.

According to our friend Kate Myers, by the start of this week there had been about 200,200 comments posted in this blog's threads in 2012. She tells us that about 21,000 different people shared their thoughts.

The person who had the most to say (and this won't be a surprise to frequent readers) was "Art Aficionado." He shared his thoughts nearly 2,000 times this year.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Fri December 28, 2012

As Water Level Falls, Concerns About Mississippi River's Barge Traffic Rise

This WWII-era minesweeper once was a floating museum in St. Louis. Swept away in a 1993 flood, it has been under water in the river for most of the years since. But the ship has been exposed as the river's water level has fallen. (Photo taken on Dec. 14.)
Army Corps of Engineers

With a gauge at the tricky section of the Mississippi River near Thebes, Ill., already registering a remarkably low water level — and projections that it will fall further in coming days and weeks — trade groups are warning that barge traffic through that part of the river may have to halt completely as soon as next week.

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The Salt
9:56 am
Fri December 28, 2012

An Evolutionary Whodunit: How Did Humans Develop Lactose Tolerance?

Thousands of years ago, a mutation in the human genome allowed many adults to digest lactose and drink milk.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:41 pm

Got milk? Ancient European farmers who made cheese thousands of years ago certainly had it. But at that time, they lacked a genetic mutation that would have allowed them to digest raw milk's dominant sugar, lactose, after childhood.

Today, however, 35 percent of the global population — mostly people with European ancestry — can digest lactose in adulthood without a hitch.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Little Hope, Low Expectations, Lots Of Gloom: 'Fiscal Cliff' Talk Is Dreary

Leaders will meet at the White House this afternoon.
Michael Reynolds EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:10 pm

  • David Welna on 'Morning Edition'

Yes, President Obama and congressional leaders are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. ET to discuss how to avoid going over the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

But, no, that isn't inspiring much talk this morning of a breakthrough before the midnight New Year's Eve deadline:

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Top Stories: 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks Resume; Russia Bans U.S. Adoptions

Eric Waite and his 8-year-old daughter Emerson went sliding Thursday in Greenfield, Mass.
Matthew Cavanaugh Getty Images
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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Remembering Gen. Schwarzkopf, 'Military Hero Of His Generation'

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in 1990.
Kevin Larkin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 9:37 am

The death Thursday of retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf — "Stormin' Norman" — has prompted many looks at the legacy of the American commander who led coalition forces during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, which pushed Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Army out of Kuwait.

Schwarzkopf was 78. He:

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Secretary Clinton Due Back At Work Next Week, 'Foreign Policy' Reports

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Dec. 6 in Dublin.
Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 9:38 am

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will return to the State Department next week after three weeks of recovery from a stomach virus and a related concussion," Foreign Policy's The Cable blog reports.

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines tells The Cable that:

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Shots - Health News
7:44 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Americans Support Physician-Assisted Suicide For Terminally Ill

John Kelly and Dr. Marcia Angell were advocates on opposing sides of a Massachusetts measure to legalize physician-assisted suicide.
Jesse Costa Jesse Costa/WBUR

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:07 am

Voters in Massachusetts were the latest to weigh in on whether it should be legal for doctors to prescribe drugs to help terminally ill patients end their lives.

The measure was controversial, and on Election Day it fell just short.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Fri December 28, 2012

U.S. Families Stunned By Russia's Ban On Adoptions

Children at an orphanage in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don earlier this month.
Vladimir Konstantinov Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 9:37 am

As expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed a law "that bans Americans from adopting Russian children and imposes other measures in retaliation for new U.S. legislation meant to punish Russian human rights abusers," Reuters reports.

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Shots - Health News
3:25 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Another Side Effect Of Chemotherapy: 'Chemo Brain'

Dr. Jame Abraham used positron emission tomography, or PET, scans to understand differences in brain metabolism before and after chemotherapy.
Dr. Jame Abraham

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 12:00 pm

It's well-known that chemotherapy often comes with side effects like fatigue, hair loss and extreme nausea. What's less well-known is how the cancer treatment affects crucial brain functions, like speech and cognition.

For Yolanda Hunter, a 41-year-old hospice nurse, mother of three and breast cancer patient, these cognitive side effects of chemotherapy were hard to miss.

"I could think of words I wanted to say," Hunter says. "I knew what I wanted to say. ... There was a disconnect from my brain to my mouth."

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Italians Outraged By Priest's Claim That Women Bring Violence On Themselves

In Italy, a Catholic priest has stirred widespread outrage after he blamed incidents of domestic violence on the way women dress. Father Piero Corsi's remarks were in a Christmas message he put on a church bulletin board; photos of the note soon went viral.

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, "a record 118 women have been murdered this year alone in domestic violence" in Italy, reportedly the highest number in Europe.

Here's more from Sylvia, in Rome:

"The title of message was 'Women and Femicide, How often do they provoke?'"

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

After Apparent Abduction, Miniature Pony Returns To Circus

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 6:45 am

Sighs of relief were breathed in Austria today, after a missing pony made it back to his circus after an apparent horse-napping. While it might seem difficult to steal, and then conceal, a horse, consider that the animal, named Fridolin, is only about two feet tall.

The miniature pony, a main attraction of the Vienna Christmas Circus, was found after a tip came in that the pint-sized horse "had been abandoned at a bus stop," reports the Vienna Times.

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The Two-Way
4:20 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Ski Resort Makes Snow With Treated Wastewater, After A Long Dispute

The Arizona Snowbowl resort began making snow exclusively with reclaimed wastewater this week. In this file photo, employees go up a ski lift at the resort.
Khampha Bouaphanh AP

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:14 pm

An Arizona ski resort is making snow for the first time this year, ending more than seven years' worth of legal battles over its snowmaking system, which relies entirely upon treated wastewater to coat its slopes when the snowfall has been uneven.

The resort, Arizona Snowbowl, has long been a target of American Indian tribes, who say it defiles sacred land. Critics have also said the snowmaking system might threaten an endangered plant. The resort sits on more than 700 acres of land that it leases from the U.S. Forest Service.

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Shots - Health News
4:20 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Shootings Leave Sandy Hook Survivors Rethinking The Odds

People visit a memorial outside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 15.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 11:02 pm

About a month ago, Declan Procaccini's 10-year-old son woke him early in the morning in a fright.

"He came into my bedroom and said, 'Dad, I had a horrible, horrible dream!' " Procaccini says. "He was really shaken up. I said, 'Tell me about it,' and he told me he'd had a dream that a teenager came into his classroom at his school and shot all the kids in front of him."

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