NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
7:43 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Book News: Newly Found Stories By Celebrated Sci-Fi Author To Be Published

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

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The Two-Way
6:27 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Explosion At Florida Jail Kills 2, Injures Dozens Of Inmates

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 4:10 pm

An apparent gas explosion at a jail in Pensacola, Fla., has killed at least two inmates and injured more than 100 people, including some corrections officers, according to local reports. But it's not clear yet whether the incident at the Escambia County Jail has anything to do with the extensive flooding in the region.

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The Two-Way
9:04 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Will Take Leave, Seek Help For Substance Abuse

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is surrounded by the media as he waits for an elevator outside his office at Toronto City Hall on November 15.
Geoff Robins AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:05 pm

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who has been dogged by controversy after he admitted to smoking crack, will take time off to seek help for substance abuse, The Associated Press and the Toronto Sun are reporting.

Ford told the Sun he was "ready to take a break" in order to "go get help." The paper adds:

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The Two-Way
8:41 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Exoplanet's Spin Detected For First Time — And It's Fast

Planet β Pictoris b spins so fast, its day only lasts eight hours.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/F. Reddy

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 8:49 pm

Time flies, you say to yourself all the time.

Well, here's a little perspective: In a gassy planet about 65 light years away from Earth a day only lasts eight hours.

Scientists calculate that Planet β Pictoris b spins at about 56,000 miles per hour at its equator, faster than any planet in our solar system and about 50 times faster than Earth, even though the planet has a diameter that's 16 times that of Earth and is 3,000 time heavier.

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The Two-Way
7:19 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

FAA Slowly Lifting Ground Stop In West After Technical Problem

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 7:44 pm

Flights were grounded for more than an hour in some of the nation's Western states because of a technical problem.

The AP reports:

"In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday its air traffic control facility had also temporarily stopped accepting additional flights into the airspace.

"The agency says some flights were diverted as it gradually restores the system.

"Officials at Burbank airport said some flights were again being allowed to take off."

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The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Defense Intelligence Agency Chief Will Step Down

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
DIA Public Affairs

The Army general who heads the Defense Intelligence Agency is leaving a year early and retiring.

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but sources say he's stepping down because he's fed up with bureaucratic fights in Washington.

Flynn is expected to announce his retirement within the next week.

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Sen. Reid: NFL Should Follow NBA's Lead Regarding Redskins Owner

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 5:42 pm

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid says the NFL should consider ousting Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

Snyder has been criticized — even by President Obama — over the name of his football team, which is considered a racial epithet against Native Americans.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Train Carrying Crude Oil Derails In Downtown Lynchburg, Va.

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 5:25 am

A CSX train carrying crude oil derailed in Lynchburg, Va., on Wednesday.

Luann Hunt, a spokeswoman for the city of Lynchburg, tells our Newscast unit that the area has been evacuated.

Approximately 12 to 14 tanker cars were involved in the derailment, Hunt said, causing flames and deep dark smoke.

Beverly Amsler, of NPR member station WVTF, tells us that at least three of the tankers ruptured because of the accident.

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The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Mars Rover Takes A Break To Drill A Hole

The rover has drilled a hole in sandstone. It will soon collect samples to learn more about how the rocks formed.
NASA/Caltech/JPL

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 3:33 pm

NASA's Curiosity rover is on an epic trip to a distant mountain, but it took a brief break Wednesday to dip its drill into the Martian soil.

The drilling is taking place at a place called Waypoint Kimberley. The area is a point of convergence for several different types of terrain, says John Grotzinger, the rover's project scientist. The exposed rock and different formations made the way point a good place to "stop and smell the roses," he says.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Oklahoma Governor Calls For Review Of Botched Execution

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:06 pm

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has ordered an "independent review" of the state's execution procedures and halted any further executions until the review is complete.

The move comes a day after Oklahoma botched the execution of Clayton D. Lockett. As we reported, after a long legal and political battle, the state proceeded with Lockett's execution using a novel combination of drugs.

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