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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Twitter Users Risk Damnation, Saudi Religious Police Say

In January, this Saudi man in Riyadh had Twitter open on his computer.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:57 am

"The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis," the BBC reports. "Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said anyone using social media sites — and especially Twitter — 'has lost this world and his afterlife.' "

International Digital Times notes that:

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Conflicting Signals From Latest Economic Indicators

Thursday morning's economic news:

-- There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up 32,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 360,000, the pace was the fastest since the last week of March. But it remained well below the 400,000-and-higher rate that lasted from mid-2008 into 2011.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Suspect Apprehended In New Orleans Second-Line Shooting

Akein Scott, 19, the suspect in a shooting spree Sunday that left 19 people wounded in New Orleans.
New Orleans Police Department EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:30 pm

"CAPTURED!"

That's how the New Orleans Police Department spread the word on Facebook early Thursday that its officers had "arrested 19-year-old Akein Scott in connection with the shooting of 19 people on Mother's Day."

Update at 4:05 p.m. ET. Second Suspect Arrested:

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Book News: Amazon's Tiny Tax Payment Draws Fresh Scrutiny

An Amazon.co.uk parcel passes along a conveyor belt at a facility in Milton Keynes, England.
Bruno Vincent Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:00 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu May 16, 2013

At Least 13 Dead, Including Americans, After Attack In Kabul

The scene Thursday in Kabul, Afghanistan, after a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy.
Zhao Yishen Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:46 am

Early casualty reports indicate that a powerful suicide car bombing Thursday in Kabul killed at least seven Afghan civilians, four foreign civilian contractors who were working for international forces and two members of the international military force.

Dozens more people were reportedly injured by the blast in Afghanistan's capital city.

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Texas Tornado Leaves 6 Dead, Dozens Hurt, Hundreds Homeless

Jose and Antonio Angudo were among those evacuated from Granbury, Texas, late Wednesday after a tornado devastated the area.
Joyce Marshall / Fort Worth Star-Telegram MCT / Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:38 am

"A massive emergency response" is underway in North Texas, where tornadoes blew through Wednesday night, The Dallas Morning News says. A twister that hit Granbury, about 35 miles southwest of Fort Worth, left at least six people dead, more than 100 injured and even more homeless, The Associated Press adds.

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Around the Nation
6:49 am
Thu May 16, 2013

New York Cat Is Finally Reunited With Owner

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:50 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Here's a classic cat-rescued-from-the-tree story - I mean, sort of. Luna is a black-and-white feline who wandered off from his owner in Queens and ended up stuck in a tree. A New York City police officer who came to the rescue got stuck in the tree, too. Cat and man were rescued by the fire department.

World
6:44 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Some Leaders In Saudi Arabia Condemn Twitter

Religious authorities responded after Saudis used Twitter to show images of human rights activists on trial. The BBC reports the kingdom's most senior cleric called Twitter users "fools." The head of the religious police says any social media user will lose the afterlife.

Politics
6:39 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Focus On Women, Families Propels New York's Sen. Gillibrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand greets panel members from the military and the Defense Department testifying on Capitol Hill on March 13 before the subcommittee's hearing on sexual assault in the military.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:31 am

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is introducing legislation with other lawmakers Thursday that would change how the military handles sexual assault cases. The proposal would let military prosecutors — rather than commanders — decide whether to bring serious military crimes to trial.

It's the latest high-publicity move for a senator who was virtually unknown four years ago when she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's senate seat. Now, she's on some lists for possible candidates for vice president — even president.

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Asia
5:16 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Yen's Drop In Value Could Fuel Curency War

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Japan's economy is finally getting a lift. The stock market is soaring there. Companies like Toyota and Sony are seeing a surge in profits. And today, Japan's government reported the economy grew a three-and-a-half percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, a significant improvement.

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Sports
5:05 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Wrestlers Grapple To Save Sport From Olympic Chopping Block

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:11 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

How often do you find Iran, Russia and the United States united behind a single message? Well, representatives from all three countries were in New York City yesterday rallying support for the sport of wrestling, which could be excluded from the upcoming Olympic Games. It was quite a show of sportsmanship and diplomacy. Of course, there was time for some conflict among the wrestlers. It took place at New York's Grand Central Terminal, that's why they called it the Rumble on the Rails.

Here's NPR's Mike Pesca.

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Business
4:33 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Researchers Don't 'Wine' About The Cold, Their Grapes Thrive

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Minnesota. Vermont. South Dakota. OK. These are not states people normally associate with fantastic wine - or wine at all, for that matter. Grapes didn't always ripen in the state's short growing season. And even when they did, the grapes were better suited for jelly and juice. Their musty taste left little to really desire in a glass of wine.

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Shots - Health News
3:04 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Cloning, Stem Cells Long Mired In Legislative Gridlock

After President Obama overturned Bush-era policy restricting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research in 2009, Nebraska Right to Life led a protest of the research outside the University of Nebraska regents' meeting.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:53 am

The news that U.S. scientists have successfully cloned a human embryo seems almost certain to rekindle a political fight that has raged, on and off, since the announcement of the creation of Dolly the sheep in 1997.

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Research News
3:03 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Water Trapped For 1.5 Billion Years Could Hold Ancient Life

This map, from the United States Geological Survey, shows the age of bedrock in different regions of North America. Scientists found ancient water in bedrock north of Lake Superior. This region, colored red, was formed more than 2.5 billion years ago.
United States Geological Survey

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:25 am

Scientists have discovered water that has been trapped in rock for more than a billion years. The water might contain microbes that evolved independently from the surface world, and it's a finding that gives new hope to the search for life on other planets.

The water samples came from holes drilled by gold miners near the small town of Timmins, Ontario, about 350 miles north of Toronto. Deep in the Canadian bedrock, miners drill holes and collect samples. Sometimes they hit pay dirt; sometimes they hit water, which seeps out from tiny crevices in the rock.

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Parallels
3:02 am
Thu May 16, 2013

U.S. Hands Over Nation-Building Projects To Afghans

Afghan and U.S. officials attend the closing ceremony for the Paktia provincial reconstruction team on April 9 in eastern Afghanistan. NATO created more than 20 teams to help the Afghans rebuild. But now the U.S. teams are winding down their activities.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:24 am

On a sunny spring day in eastern Afghanistan's Paktia province, Afghan officials and U.S. troops and civilians gather inside the ancient mud fort in the center of Forward Operating Base Gardez. They're attending a ceremony marking the formal end of the work of the provincial reconstruction team, or PRT.

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The Two-Way
7:35 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Take Your Seat, The 'No Photography' Sign Is Lit

An American Airlines plane at Miami International Airport in February.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:35 pm

You probably saw this bit of Internet virality earlier this week — showing a woman getting kicked off an American Airlines flight for channeling Whitney Houston.

What caught our attention was the sound of flight attendants repeatedly ordering passengers not to take pictures or (presumably) videos.

Apparently, it's an official rule at American Airlines:

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The Two-Way
6:56 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Obama Announces Resignation Of Acting IRS Commissioner

President Obama makes a statement Wednesday about acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller's resignation.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:39 am

President Obama announced late Wednesday that the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steve Miller, has resigned in the wake of a report that employees at the agency engaged in partisan scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

The president, appearing for a brief statement at the White House, said he had directed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew "to accept the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS."

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The Two-Way
6:51 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Jury Finds Jodi Arias Eligible For Death Penalty

Jodi Arias reacts during the reading of the verdict at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix on May 8.
Associated Press

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:36 pm

A jury has found Jodi Arias, the Arizona woman found guilty last week of first-degree murder for killing her onetime boyfriend in a fit of rage, eligible for the death penalty.

The Associated Press reports: "The decision came after a day of testimony Wednesday during which prosecutors had to prove the murder was committed in an especially cruel and heinous manner."

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The Two-Way
6:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

NASA Says Kepler's Planet-Searching Days May Be Numbered

Kepler-22b, the discovery of which was announced in December 2011, is one of many planets that bear the space telescope's name.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:09 am

The planet-hunting career of NASA's Kepler spacecraft might be near its end.

Astronomers said Wednesday that a reaction wheel that keeps the orbiting telescope pointed at tiny, distant patches of sky to look for Earth-like planets has failed. If they can't fix it, Kepler will be relegated to a less prestigious mission, directing its gaze much closer to home in a search for so-called "near-Earth objects," i.e., meteors and asteroids.

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Politics
5:57 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

White House Addresses Benghazi Emails, IRS Audits

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, BYLINE: And I'm Audie Cornish.

The Obama administration is doing some intensive damage control this evening. Tonight, the president announced that the acting commissioner of the IRS, Steven Miller, is being pushed out over heightened scrutiny given to Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations.

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U.S.
5:44 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

LA Schools Throw Out Suspensions For 'Willful Defiance'

When Garfield High School in Los Angeles stopped suspending students for "willful defiance" several years ago, it saw suspensions drop from more than 600 to just one. Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District board voted to follow suit in all LA schools.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 8:50 pm

School suspensions are a big issue in California. Last year, schools handed out 700,000 of them. But the Los Angeles Unified School District took a step to change that this week when it voted to ban suspension of students deemed "willfully defiant."

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Politics
5:32 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

One Reason To Apply For Tax-Exempt Status: Anonymity

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:07 pm

Revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted some conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny have put a spotlight on a part of the tax code increasingly popular with political groups: section 501(c)(4).

But what's the benefit for organizations to get approved for 501(c)(4) status?

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Music Interviews
5:32 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

A Songwriter And An Army Dad Share One Touching Story

Billboard Country Airplay chart. From left: co-songwriters Jimmy Yeary, Connie Harrington and Jessi Alexander, military father Paul Monti and singer Lee Brice." href="/post/songwriter-and-army-dad-share-one-touching-story" class="noexit lightbox">
On Monday, the team behind Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck" gathered in Nashville to celebrate the song's reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. From left: co-songwriters Jimmy Yeary, Connie Harrington and Jessi Alexander, military father Paul Monti and singer Lee Brice.
John Russell BMI

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 9:26 am

Two years ago on Memorial Day, Nashville songwriter Connie Harrington was driving in her car, listening to a story on the public radio program Here & Now. And she heard a father remembering his son — a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

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The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Leaks, Bombs And Double-Agents: More On That AP Story

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:45 pm

The Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called "a very grave leak" to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there's a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.

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It's All Politics
5:19 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

10 Things We Learned From the IRS Inspector General Report

The John Weld Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati, where many of the missteps by IRS workers who targeted conservative groups occurred.
Al Behrman AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:29 pm

Scintillating isn't how you'd describe the report issued by the Treasury inspector general's report on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.

It was written, after all, by government bureaucrats for government bureaucrats. Enough said.

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