NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
11:37 am
Thu January 23, 2014

FBI Arrests Reputed Mobsters Linked To 1978 'GoodFellas' Heist

Reputed Bonanno crime family leader Vincent Asaro, 78, is escorted by FBI agents from their Manhattan offices in New York on Thursday.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:22 pm

The FBI nabbed five alleged mobsters in a series of predawn raids in New York on Thursday in connection with the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist that netted $6 million in cash and jewels and that inspired the film GoodFellas.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:38 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Pentagon Relaxes Uniform Rules To Allow Religious Headgear

U.S. Army Spc. Simran Lamba (center) was granted a religious accommodation for his Sikh articles of faith, including uncut hair and a turban, in 2010. He was the first enlisted soldier to be given such an accommodation since 1984.
Brett Flashnick AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:53 pm

The Department of Defense has released new regulations that relax prohibitions on the wearing of religious headgear, as well as beards, tattoos or piercings with religious significance, while service members are in uniform.

"The military departments will accommodate individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs (conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs) of service members" unless it might affect military readiness or unit cohesion, the updated policy on religious accommodation said.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:13 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Twin Toilets In Sochi: Some Wonder Why That's A Big Deal

The loo for two in Sochi: BBC correspondent Steve Rosenberg snapped this picture in the men's room at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 10:54 am

Have you seen the "twin toilets" photo that's been swirling round the Internet the past couple of days?

Read more
The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu January 23, 2014

DOJ Alleges Fraudulent Security Checks By Firm That Vetted Snowden

Surveillance camera video of Aaron Alexis, a contractor who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. Alexis was one of thousands of individuals cleared by the firm known as USIS.
HO UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:41 pm

The private contractor that signed off on background checks for both NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis is being accused of fraud by the Justice Department for allegedly submitting more than 650,000 incomplete investigations.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:59 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Sales Of Existing Homes Hit 7-Year High In 2013

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 10:35 am

We updated the top of this post at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The evidence that the housing sector has bounced back from the deep slump it sank into starting in 2007 was reinforced Thursday morning with word from the National Association of Realtors that:

"Existing-home sales edged up in December, sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006, and median prices maintained strong growth. ...

Read more
The Two-Way
8:08 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Many Missing After Massive Fire At Seniors' Home In Quebec

A firefighter walks past the Residence du Havre after the fire in L'Isle Verte, Quebec. At least three people died in the blaze at the seniors' home. Early reports were that another 30 people were missing.
Mathieu Belanger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:39 pm

"Three people are dead and 30 people are unaccounted for after an overnight fire broke out at a seniors' residence in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec," the CBC reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:47 am
Thu January 23, 2014

In Ukraine, Protesters Warn They'll Go 'On The Attack'

A protester walks pass burning tires in central Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 8:24 pm

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has less than 24 hours to agree to hold early elections and lift anti-protest laws or the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been in the streets of Kiev for days will go "on the attack," a leader of the opposition says.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:12 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Book News: Maker Of 3-D Printed Guns Has A Book Deal

An all-plastic gun fires a bullet in this screenshot from a video made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
ATF

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 11:29 am

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

Read more
The Two-Way
12:43 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Post-9/11 Panel Criticizes NSA Phone Data Collection

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:21 am

An independent panel created after the 9/11 attacks says bulk collection of billions of American phone records violates the letter and the spirit of the law.

The new report from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board undercuts the foundation of the National Security Agency's long-running phone metadata program, and suggests it conflicts with plain language in the Patriot Act and other laws on the books.

NPR obtained a copy of the report, which will be discussed and voted on Thursday at an open board meeting.

Read more

Pages