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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Thu March 20, 2014

U.S. To Impose Sanctions On More Russian Officials

President Obama on the south lawn of the White House Thursday as he spoke about new sanctions on some Russian officials.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 9:23 pm

More senior Russian officials are being added to the list of those who the U.S. will seek to penalize for their nation's interference in Ukraine's affairs, President Obama announced Thursday morning.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Toward Lower End Of Recent Range

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:09 am

There were 320,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration says.

While that's 5,000 more than were filed the week before, it's also a level that's at the lower end of the recent range for such claims and is roughly the pace they were running before the economy slipped into its most recent recession in December 2007.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ukrainian Troops' Departure From Crimea Isn't A Simple Matter

A Russian flag flies behind him Thursday as a Ukrainian soldier leaves what was one of his military's bases outside Simferopol, on the Crimean Peninsula. Local "self-defense forces," followed by Russian troops, have seized many strategic locations.
Yuri Kochetkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:36 pm

Ukraine's plans to withdraw its troops from Crimea, which as we reported were announced Wednesday, have apparently been complicated by the issue of whether they will be allowed to take their weapons and other equipment with them.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Book News: Meg Wolitzer To Publish A YA Novel Inspired By Sylvia Plath

Meg Wolitzer's novel Belzhar is scheduled for release on Sept. 30.
Courtesy of Dutton Children's Books

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:43 am

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

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Search For Missing Jet Focuses On Objects Seen Off Australia

This map adds in routes that investigators believe Malaysia Flight 370 might have taken.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:14 pm

This post is being updated.

Satellite images showing objects floating in the Indian Ocean have focused the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the 239 people who were on board to an area about 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.

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The Two-Way
9:29 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Houston Police Find 109 People In Suspected 'Stash House'

Police in Houston on Wednesday found more than 100 people being kept by suspected smugglers in a so-called "stash house."

KHOU-TV reports that the conditions inside the house were "awful." The station adds:

"'There is no hot water in the house. There is a toilet that partially works—one bathroom for in excess of 100 people,' said HPD spokesman John Cannon.

"Police said there was human waste all over the house.

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The Two-Way
8:55 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

At Toronto City Hall, Yet Another Chaotic Scene Involving Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford walks to City Hall in a media scrum in Toronto, on Wednesday.
Mark Blinch Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:04 pm

If you thought things had calmed down in Toronto, you were wrong.

Today, a new round of court documents meant another chaotic day at Toronto city hall.

In truth, we didn't learn much more about the scandal involving Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. As the CBC reports, the court documents revealed officially that video obtained by police show Ford holding a "glass cylinder to his mouth," while he lit a flame to the tip of the pipe.

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The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

For The New York Metro Area, A Chance To See A Rare 'Occultation'

Regulus, the bright star on the upper left, is part of a multiple star system, with a close companion double star visible to the upper right of the young main sequence star.
Russell Croman NASA

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:12 pm

People in the New York City metropolitan area — including parts of New Jersey and Connecticut — will be able to see one the brightest stars in the night sky blink.

In scientific terms, Regulus, the brightest star of the constellation Leo, will be occulted by an asteroid just after 2:05 a.m. ET on Thursday.

As Space.com reports, this is an exceedingly rare event:

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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Why Ukraine's Situation Makes Russia's Other Neighbors Nervous

A column of Russian troops prepares to leave the checkpoint at a bridge over the Inguri River in Western Georgia, in October 2008, after securing the secession of Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia region.
Levan Gabechava Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:42 am

When Vladimir Putin announced the Kremlin's annexation of Crimea this week, he made it clear that the region's large Russian-speaking population made the move necessary and inevitable.

In fact, large populations of Russian speakers are common along the fringes of the old Soviet Union. Those groups are made up of a combination of indigenous people and Russians who migrated from the mother country, many as part of Soviet-era policies aimed at altering the ethnic makeup in potentially troublesome satellites.

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The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Al-Qaida Spokesman: I Warned Bin Laden That U.S. Would Kill Him

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith appears in this still image taken from an undated video address. Abu Ghaith, one of Osama bin Laden's sons-in-law and a former spokesman for al-Qaeda, is on trial in New York.
Reuters/Landov

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, took the stand in his trial in New York on Wednesday, telling the jury that he warned the al-Qaida leader that America would "not settle until it kills you."

In the surprise testimony, Abu Ghaith recalled a conversation with bin Laden in a cave in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"Did you learn what happened? We are the ones who did it," Ghaith recalled, through an Arabic interpreter, his infamous father-in-law asking.

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