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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Kerry: 'Disturbing' Trend Of Authoritarianism In Eastern Europe

Secretary of State John Kerry addresses delegates at the 50th Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on Saturday.
Tobias Hase EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 11:33 am

Secretary of State John Kerry has criticized what he calls a "disturbing trend" among governments in eastern and central Europe to "trample the ambitions" of their people.

Speaking at an international security conference in Munich, Germany, Kerry said:

"The aspirations of citizens are once again being trampled beneath corrupt, oligarchic interests — interests that use money to stifle political opposition and dissent, to buy politicians and media outlets, and to weaken judicial independence and the rights of non-governmental organizations."

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The Two-Way
5:58 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Christie Knew Of Lane Closures, Former Port Official Claims

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens during a Jan. 9 news conference in which he denied any knowledge of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge when they occurred in September.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:30 pm

The New York Times reports that a former Port Authority official says "evidence exists" that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about politically motivated lane closings on the George Washington Bridge as they were happening.

The assertion contradicts earlier statements by Christie, who has said that he was "embarrassed and humiliated" when he found out that the lane closures were politically motivated instead of, as he'd been led to believe, part of a traffic study.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Police Say White Powder Mailed To N.J. Hotels Was Cornstarch

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:32 pm

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are investigating a suspicious white powder that was mailed to several New Jersey hotels near the site of Sunday's Super Bowl — but there were no reports of injuries and preliminary tests suggest the substance was cornstarch.

NPR's Margot Adler reports that the white powder was found in letters mailed to five New Jersey hotels. Another letter was sent to the Midtown Manhattan law office of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. A worker in the mailroom at Giuliani's office opened the letter.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

U.S. Issues Keystone XL Pipeline Environmental Review

Pipefitters work on construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline's southern portion outside Tulsa, Okla., last January.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:11 pm

The State Department says that production of Canadian tar-sand crude, which has a bigger greenhouse gas footprint than other types of oil, is unlikely to be increased if the Keystone XL pipeline goes ahead — and therefore would do little to contribute to climate change.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

School's Out For Online Students In 'State Sponsors Of Terrorism'

Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, Stanford University computer science professors who started Coursera, pose for a photo at the Coursera office in Mountain View, Calif., on Aug. 2, 2012.
Jeff Chiu AP

Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria are all U.S. government-designated state sponsors of terrorism. They're also the places where students who tried to log on to classes on Coursera this week were greeted with this message:

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

It's True: Snowiest Places Are Least Likely To Close Schools

Dark blue: It's going to take a foot or more of snow to close schools. Green: Any snow's going to shut things down.
reddit.com/user/atrubetskoy

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 8:48 pm

We all probably sort of knew this already, but a new map seems to show quite clearly that it doesn't take much snow to close schools in the Southern U.S. — and that it takes a lot to close them in the Northern half of the nation.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

PHOTOS: When Barn-Sized Boulder Meets Barn, Barn Loses

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 6:54 am

First things first: No one was hurt.

Now, with that out of the way, we have to confess to being amazed by some photos from northern Italy — where a huge boulder broke free earlier this month, rolled down a mountain and turned a barn into splinters as it narrowly missed a farmhouse.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

WATCH: Skydivers Save Unconscious Comrade In Midair Rescue

Skydivers using hand signals to coordinate a rescue of James Lee, who is unconscious.
The Telegraph

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 3:03 pm

It would be hard to think of a worse place to be knocked unconscious than while free falling toward the ground from 12,500 feet up.

But that's what happened to 25-year-old James Lee as he was taking part in a group skydive in southwest Britain, in video posted by The Telegraph.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Last Cars Towed In Atlanta; Ice Is Gone, Traffic Is Moving

Contractors, volunteers and members of the Georgia National Guard helped move this car on Thursday. It was one of more than 2,000 vehicles abandoned Tuesday when a wicked winter storm left roads covered in ice.
Brant Sanderlin MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 3:10 pm

Georgia state troopers finished towing vehicles off Atlanta-area interstates early Friday morning, and three days after ice-covered roads forced thousands of drivers to abandon their cars, traffic is finally flowing freely, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Australia OKs Dumping Dredged Mud In Great Barrier Reef Park

A tasseled wobbegong shark (top) lies on the seafloor with the head of a brown-banded bamboo shark in its mouth on the fringing reef of Great Keppel Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef in August 2011.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 2:44 pm

Australian authorities have approved a controversial plan to dump dredged sediment in the Great Barrier Reef marine park, potentially upsetting one of the world's most fragile ecosystems.

The massive dredging operation would make way for deep-draft ships to enter the Abbot Point coal port in northern Queensland. About 106 million cubic feet of dredged mud will be dumped within the marine park under the plan, according to The Associated Press.

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