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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

No Rest For The Snow-Weary: Northeast Braces For Round 2

But wait, there's more: New England is still digging out from the massive snowstorm earlier this week.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 4:17 pm

The Northeast is in for another winter punch, with the National Weather Service calling for more than a foot of accumulation in many areas through early Sunday. The double-whammy comes even as many areas are still digging out from the last assault a mere two days ago.

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Mars 'Jelly Doughnut' Mystery Solved: It's Just A Rock, NASA Says

This composite image provided by NASA shows before-and-after images taken by the Opportunity rover on Mars of a patch of ground taken on Dec. 26, 2013, showing the "Pinnacle Island" rock.
AP

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 4:21 pm

It appeared out of the red, like something dropped by a Martian Homer Simpson. But now NASA has an explanation for the "jelly doughnut" object photographed by the Opportunity rover in December.

First, here's what it isn't: It is not a fungus-like Martian organism, nor is it ejecta shot into the air by a nearby (and unseen) meteor impact.

Instead, it's geologic roadkill. Basically.

"We drove over it," Opportunity's Deputy Principal Investigator Ray Arvidson said in a statement on Friday.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Mediator: Syrian Peace Talks Have 'Not Come Out With Very Much'

UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has been mediating negotiations on Syria.
Salvatore Di Nolfi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 4:35 pm

Direct talks between the Syrian government and the opposition fighting to topple the regime have ended in what international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi described as a frustrating round of negotiations that have "not come out with very much."

About all that was decided in the latest round of the talks in Geneva that ended on Saturday was an agenda for a third set of meetings at an unspecified date.

"I apologize that these two rounds have not come out with very much," Brahimi said.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Push Comes To Shove In Turkey's Parliament Over Judicial Bill

Members of Parliament from the ruling AK Party and the main opposition Republican People's Party scuffle during a debate on a draft law to give the government tighter control over the judiciary.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 4:25 pm

Passage of a bill to increase the Turkish government's control over the country's judicial system on Saturday came down to a real fight in Parliament, literally.

Two members of Parliament were injured — one with a broken nose — during debate over the controversial measure to give the Justice Ministry greater control over the selection of judges. The measure ultimately passed, but not before some minor bloodshed.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Sat February 15, 2014

For The South, Add Earthquake To Snow, Ice And Power Outages

Multiple crews work to restore power after a winter storm on Thursday that brought down lines in Fairburn, Ga. Friday night's small quake was the latest event to rattle nerves in the region.
John Amis AP

The Deep South has been shaken up this winter in more ways than one: First, there was the unusual ice and snow and the ensuing power outages. And now, an earthquake.

The late-night 4.1 temblor, with an epicenter about 150 miles northwest of Charleston, was not strong enough to do any damage, but it did rattle folks in both South Carolina and Georgia.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck at 10:23 p.m. ET Friday night.

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The Two-Way
10:56 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Tenn. VW Workers Reject Move To Join Union

Volkswagen's car plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., is the company's only one in the U.S. Its employees voted this week on whether to join the United Auto Workers union.
Volkswagen

Some 1,500 workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee have voted not to join the United Auto Workers union. The tally of the three-day vote follows days of political prodding from both sides of the issue.

The 712-626 vote was a devastating blow to the UAW, which had tacit support from VW. The union had hoped to make inroads in auto plants in the South, where organizers have been striving for decades to represent factory workers.

VW had even allowed organizers into the plant to make their sales pitches.

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The Two-Way
6:41 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

A view of Venus, black dot at top center, passing in front of the sun during a transit in 2012. A quarter of Americans questioned failed to answer correctly the most basic questions on astronomy.
AP

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

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The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Of Book Yanked In India Says Move Has Backfired

Indian activists from the student wing of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party protest near the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi on May 25, 2010, against Wendy Doniger's The Hindus. Penguin Books, India, said this week that it would withdraw the book and pulp it.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 8:09 pm

We told you earlier today [Friday] about a University of Chicago professor whose book was withdrawn in India after a Hindu group brought a court challenge against the publisher, Penguin Books, India.

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The Two-Way
5:58 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Isabel Allende Apologizes For Comments About Mystery Novels

Isabel Allende is apologizing for her comments about mystery novels.
Peter Morgan AP

Author Isabel Allende is best known for her works of magical realism such as The House of Spirits, but it was comments she made during an NPR interview about her new book, Ripper, a mystery novel, that angered fans of crime fiction.

Here's what she told NPR's Arun Rath:

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Feds Clear Banks To Do Business With Budding Pot Industry

A bag of marijuana being prepared for sale sits next to a money jar at BotanaCare in Northglenn, Colorado, in this file photo taken on December 31, 2013.
Rick Wilking Reuters/Landov

The federal government on Friday issued guidelines for banks seeking to do business with the legal marijuana industry, stopping short of a blanket immunity for them, but strongly indicating that prosecutions for such crimes as money laundering would be unlikely.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports that the Department of Justice and Treasury Department on Friday sought to "clarify rules for banks trying to navigate the murky legal waters of the marijuana business. Murky, because pot is legal in a growing number of states, but remains illegal under federal law."

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