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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Thu March 27, 2014

'I'm A Great Admirer,' Obama Tells Pope Francis

Pope Francis and President Obama at the Vatican on Thursday. It was their first meeting.
Gabriel Bouys AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 11:50 am

One leader whose popularity around the world has been eclipsed by the other met for the first time Thursday when President Obama visited Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Obama, who has seen his approval numbers decline since he took office in 2009, met for about 50 minutes with the pope, who has become one of the world's most popular leaders since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic Church a year ago.

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The Two-Way
8:33 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

High Court Considers Definition Of Domestic Violence In Gun Case

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 8:52 pm

Law enforcement, domestic violence organizations and gun control groups won an important victory in the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday.

The justices ruled unanimously that people convicted of minor domestic violence offenses are barred under federal law from possessing a gun, even though some states do not require proof of physical force for conviction on domestic violence charges.

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The Two-Way
8:21 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

California Senator Arrested On Gun Trafficking Charges

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, right, and Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, celebrate the passage of their gun control measures during the Senate session at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., in 2013.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

A state senator was arrested on charges of illegal gun trafficking and mail fraud on Wednesday.

As NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, Sen. Leland Yee was also the Democratic candidate for secretary of state in California. Richard filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Senator Yee's arrest stunned California's political community.

"According to court documents, Yee allegedly was involved in a conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and to illegally import guns.

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The Two-Way
7:29 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Two Days Later, World Vision Reverses Policy That Allowed Hiring Of Gays

Aid packages labled 'World Vision' for the victims of typhoon 'Haiyan' in the Philippines are loaded into a Lufthansa aircraft at Frankfurt International Airport in Germany.
Fredrik Von Erichsen DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:49 pm

World Vision U.S. changed course on Wednesday, saying it would return to its policy of not hiring Christians in gay marriages.

The Washington-state-based charity caused an uproar among its supporters when it announced on Monday that based on the changes many churches were making, it would allow the hiring of avowed Christians who had been legally married to someone of the same sex.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Massive Nor'easter Rakes New England

A NOAA satellite image of the storm off the coast of New England.
NOAA

New England is getting a hard glancing blow from a huge winter storm that has generated hurricane-force winds and such adjectives as "mind-blowing" and "monster" from normally mild-mannered meteorologists.

One look at weather satellite images of North America is all it takes to understand: This is a huge, classic nor'easter. WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue says the storm's "integrated kinetic energy" is four times that of superstorm Sandy.

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The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

WATCH: A Desperate Act And An Amazing Rescue In Houston Fire

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:34 pm

A five-alarm fire created some dramatic moments in Houston on Tuesday.

One video of a construction worker fleeing the apartment complex that was still under construction is just stunning. There's no need to say more. Just watch:

If you want background on the fire, The Houston Chronicle has details.

The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Egypt's Defense Minister Says He Will Run For President

Egypt's defense minister, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (center), attends a gala event at the Cairo Opera House earlier this month.
Ahmed Omar AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 4:57 pm

The head of the Egyptian military, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, says that he has resigned as defense minister and will run for president in elections expected in July.

He made the announcement in a nationally televised speech.

The Associated Press reports:

"Wearing military fatigues, he said it was the last time he would wear it and that "I give up the uniform to defend the nation" and run in elections expected next month.

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The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Labor Board Rules Northwestern University Players Are Employees

Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter speaks at a January press conference in Chicago.
David Banks Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:08 pm

A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Northwestern University athletes are employees of the school and are allowed to form a union.

The Associated Press calls the decision "stunning" because it has the potential to completely upend the way college athletics function. The AP adds:

"The Evanston, Ill-based university argued college athletes, as students, don't fit in the same category as factory workers, truck drivers and other unionized workers. The school plans to appeal to labor authorities in Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

For The First Time, Astronomers Find Asteroids Can Have Rings

An artist rendering of Chariklo and its two rings.
Lucie Maquet

Astronomers studying a 250 kilometer wide asteroid-like object named Chariklo have come to a surprising conclusion: By analyzing dips in the object's brightness, they've found that Chariklo is surrounded by a ring system.

Their findings are published in today's edition of Nature and this is the first time rings have been found on a body this small. In the past, scientists thought only giant planets — like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — had the gravitational heft to support rings.

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The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

New Dwarf Planet Found At The Solar System's Outer Limits

This diagram for the outer solar system shows the orbits of Sedna (in orange) and 2012 VP113 (in red). The sun and terrestrial planets are at the center, surrounded by the orbits (in purple) of the four giant planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The Kuiper belt, which includes Pluto, is shown by the dotted light blue region.
Scott S. Sheppard Carnegie Institution for Science

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 8:44 am

Scientists have spotted a new dwarf planet at the edge of our solar system. It's a kind of pink ice ball that's way out there, far beyond Pluto.

Astronomers used to think this region of space was a no man's land. But the new findings suggest that it holds many small worlds — and there are even hints of an unseen planet bigger than Earth.

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