NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

In Mob Stronghold, Pope Says Mobsters Are Excommunicated

Pope Francis delivers his homily as he celebrates mass in Sibari, in the southern Italian region of Calabria on Saturday.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 12:31 pm

Pope Francis traveled to the heart of a mafia stronghold in Italy on Saturday and told mobsters that they are not part of the church.

"Those who go down the evil path, as the Mafiosi do, are not in communion with God," he warned them during an open-air mass. "They are excommunicated."

As USA Today reports, Francis made the trip after ignoring worries about his health and safety. The paper adds:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

In Iraq, ISIS Advances, Shiite Cleric Issues Warning

An Iraqi Shiite militiaman, a follower of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, jumps to break a placard with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) during a parade, in the northern oil rich province of Kirkuk, Iraq, on Saturday.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 12:34 pm

Just how complicated a place is Iraq for the United States? Take a look at these two developments from today:

-- Fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a militant Sunni group, continued its march, seizing two cities.

-- Meanwhile, a Shiite cleric in Baghdad issued a warning to the United States. Nassir al-Saedi said if the "occupier" came back, "we will be ready for you."

Read more
The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

Egyptian Judge Confirms Death Sentence Of More Than 180

Relatives of a Muslim Brotherhood member who was sentenced to death react to the verdict outside a courtroom in Minya, Egypt, on Saturday.
Ravy Shaker AP

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 12:26 pm

An Egyptian judge has confirmed the death penalty for more than 180 people, including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader.

The same judge had originally sentenced 683 people to the death penalty back in April over the attack of a police station that left one officer dead.

The Guardian explains:

Read more
The Two-Way
10:43 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Revelers Greet The Solstice Sunrise At Stonehenge

The sun rises as thousands of revelers gathered at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge, near Salisbury, England, to celebrate the summer solstice on Saturday.
Sang Tan AP

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 10:47 am

Thousands danced and sang and celebrated the sunrise at Stonehenge on Saturday on this summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

The Associated Press said the site was filled with new-agers, revelers practicing yoga, pagans and modern-day Druids — what the Guardian calls a "bogus deep-time tradition."

Read more
The Two-Way
10:11 am
Sat June 21, 2014

National Park Service Temporarily Bans Drones In National Parks

Technology journalist Tim Stenovec controls a Parrot Minidrone "Rolling Spider" during a demonstration in June in New York.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 12:12 pm

For now, drones are no longer allowed to fly on National Park lands.

That news comes from the National Park Service, which said the unmanned aerial vehicles had disturbed the peace on several occasions at different national parks.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:13 am
Sat June 21, 2014

WATCH: Rep. Ryan Takes IRS Commissioner To Task Over Lost Emails

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. speaks at the Center for New Security's Eight Annual National Security Conference in Washington.
Lauren Victoria Burke AP

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 12:14 pm

There were fireworks on Capitol Hill on Friday in the form of testy exchanges and charges that claims by the IRS were "unbelievable," which, if you've watched Washington for any period of time, is the closest politicians get to saying someone lied.

That was the case when Republican Rep. Paul Ryan hammered IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on Friday. Ryan was talking about the IRS' assertion that emails from former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, who is accused of targeting conservative groups, were deleted.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:17 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Russia Puts Its Troops On 'Full Combat Alert'

Pro-Russian militants take the military oath of allegiance to the so-called People's Republik of Donetsk during the ceremony in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Saturday.
Alexander Khudoteply AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 1:41 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin has placed his armed forces on "full combat alert," the state-run news agency ITAR-Tass reports.

According to the news agency, that means the country will assess the "... troops' time standards and ability to fulfill combat readiness posture tasks. Later on, the troops will be taken to training ranges for exercises."

All of the troops are expected to be back at their bases by July 1.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:55 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

CDC Says More Workers Potentially Exposed To Live Anthrax

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:29 pm

U.S. authorities increased to 86 people the number of CDC workers potentially exposed to live anthrax at three laboratories in Atlanta, with at least 52 of them taking antibiotics as a precaution.

The number who may have been infected is an increase from the 75 workers that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged on Thursday.

The Associated Press says:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Dust Clouds Big Bang Signal

The BICEP2 telescope in Antarctica was looking for ripples from the Big Bang.
Robert Schwarz, University of Minnesota

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:25 pm

In March, a team of physicists announced it had found a signal from the very first moments after the Big Bang. But in a paper published Thursday, the researchers expressed considerably more caution and conceded that they could have actually been detecting little more than interstellar dust.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

GOP Lawmakers Confront IRS Chief Over Lost Emails

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testifies Friday on Capitol Hill. Koskinen was asked to explain the disappearance of emails that could relate to a probe into the targeting of Tea Party groups.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 6:33 pm

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen got a frosty reception on Capitol Hill today, with Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee accusing him of lying about thousands of lost emails sought in connection with the targeting of conservative groups.

About how the emails came to disappear, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan told the Internal Revenue Service commissioner: "I don't believe it.

"That's your problem. No one believes you," Ryan said.

Read more

Pages