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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Ukraine: International Observers Arrested, More Sanctions Approved

Masked pro-Russian activists guard a barricade outside the regional state building seized by separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk Saturday. Pro-Russian forces holding a group of international observers have accused them of being "NATO spies."
Alexander Khudoteply AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:58 am

The leaders of the world's largest economies are poised to punish Russia over its role in Ukraine's crisis with a new round of sanctions the Group of Seven approved Friday. The same day, a team of European monitors was arrested in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian separatists.

The G7 leaders say the sanctions are a response to Moscow's lack of action on pledges made during recent talks in Geneva that were meant to calm the tense situation in Ukraine.

From Brussels, Teri Schultz reports for NPR's Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
8:58 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Detroit Retiree Panel Reaches Deal With The City On Pension

A panel convened by a federal court to represent the interests of retirees in Detroit's bankruptcy says it has reached a deal with the city.

Reuters reports the deal would cap retirees' pension losses and call for more contributions to their health benefits.

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The Two-Way
6:37 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Jewish Man Who Became Radical Islamist Sentenced To Prison

Yousef al-Khattab, a Jewish kid from New Jersey who turned into a radical Islamist, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison on Friday.

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported earlier today, al-Khattab is the founder of a radical Islamist group called Revolution Muslim, "which became a gateway for young jihadists in the U.S. looking to join violent Islamist groups overseas."

Dina continued:

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

For New York, The '10-Year Storm' Isn't What It Used To Be

Sandbags protect the front of the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 29, 2012, in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.
Richard Drew AP

New York City is 20 times more likely to flood during a storm than it was in the mid-1800s, partly owing to sea-level rise linked to global climate change, according to a new study.

The maximum water height at New York Harbor during storms such as Hurricane Sandy has risen nearly 2.5 feet since 1844, says the study, which was published in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

North Korea Detains 24-Year-Old American Tourist

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:29 pm

North Korea says it has detained a 24-year-old American tourist. NPR's Michele Kelemen filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"North Korea's official news agency identifies the man as Miller Matthew Todd, saying he was arrested because of his 'rash behavior' as he was entering the country.

"The country says he was taken into custody earlier this month. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki says the U.S. is aware of the reports.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Company Hopes To Strike It Rich By Mining Pacific Seafloor

Shrimp surround a volcanic vent nearly 4,000 feet beneath the Pacific Ocean, south of Samoa. Some mining companies are interested in the rich sulfide deposits surrounding vents such as these.
NSF/NOAA AP

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 9:41 am

A Canadian company has signed a contract to open the first deep-sea mineral mine off the coast of Papua New Guinea, realizing a decades-long ambition to tap the seafloor's vast resources.

Nautilus Minerals is hoping to extract copper, gold and silver at a depth of about 5,000 feet as part of the mining project, known as Solwara 1.

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Before This Blogger Moves On, He Wants To Say Thanks

Mark Memmott: All packed up and ready to move on to a new role at NPR.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

The Two-Way is just shy of its fifth anniversary, on May 13.

This blogger has written just over 9,700 posts for NPR — almost 9,500 of them for The Two-Way.

It seems like a good time to move on.

Next week, I'll be on vacation. When I return to work May 5, I'll be taking on the duties of "standards and practices" editor at NPR and no longer blogging for The Two-Way.

According to our ethics handbook:

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Space X To Protest No-Bid National Security Contracts

Elon Musk, chief executive officer and chief designer of SpaceX.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 6:17 pm

SpaceX will launch an official protest against the Air Force for its no-bid national security launch contracts to Boeing and Lockheed, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a televised press conference.

He said his company thought the process was "unfair" and that he wanted to shine a light on the process.

"As I've said, sunlight is the best disinfectant. If everything's fine, then I guess that's great," Musk said. "But that seems unlikely to me."

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Saint Who? John XXIII Overshadowed By John Paul II

Tapestry portraits of Pope John Paul II (left) and Pope John XXIII hang from balconies on the facade of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. On Sunday, the two pontiffs will officially be declared saints.
Claudio Peri EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 4:53 pm

There's never been much doubt that Pope John Paul II was destined for sainthood. In more than a quarter-century as the head of the Holy See, he left such an indelible mark that at his funeral in 2005, mourners chanted "Santo subito (sainthood now)."

That road might have seemed less obvious for the other saint-to-be, Pope John XXIII — especially for young Catholics who may not be familiar with his relatively short but highly influential papacy, from 1958 to 1963.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

New Manchester United Skipper Vows To Make Fans Smile Again

Ryan Giggs, who is filling in as manager of Manchester United, one of the world's most valuable and most popular soccer clubs. He's vowing to make fans proud of the team again.
Alex Livesey Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 1:22 pm

The biggest sports story of the week for millions of football (soccer) fans around the world was the sacking of David Moyes as manager of England's Manchester United, one of the two most valuable sports franchises on the planet.

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