NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
11:02 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Chemical In West Va. Water More Diluted, But Still Unsafe

Members of the Nitro Volunteer Fire Department distribute water to local residents on Saturday.
Michael Switzer AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:39 am

The amount of a dangerous chemical in West Virginian's tap water is more diluted, but it is still unsafe for drinking, washing or bathing.

WCHS-TV reports that Col. Greg Grant with the National Guard told reporters that they are seeing readings of methylcyclohexane methanol dip below 1 part per million, the amount that the Center for Disease Control says is safe, but those readings have spiked from time to time.

"The numbers are turning in the right direction," Grant said.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Sam Berns, Teen Known For His Fight Against 'Aging Disease,' Dies

Sam Berns, 15, who has the very rare premature-aging disease progeria, plays the drums in his high school's marching band.
Courtesy of the Progeria Research Foundation

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:45 am

Sam Berns, the teen who became nationally known for his fight against a disease that accelerates aging, died on Friday from complications of his disorder.

As our friends at Shots explained back in September, Sam's parents, Leslie Gordon and Scott Berns, were spurred by his illness to find a cure for the disease.

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Israelis Pay Respects To Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Israel's President Shimon Peres stands next the coffin of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Knesset in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:52 am

The body of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was lying in state on Sunday outside the country's parliament.

As Haaretz reports, the Israeli public, as well as top government officials gathered at the Knesset to pay their respects.

Sharon, one of Israel's most iconic figures, died on Saturday after spending eight years in a coma.

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The Two-Way
7:49 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Main Contractor Behind HealthCare.gov To Be Replaced By Accenture

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:08 am

Updated 8:50 p.m.

The main contractor behind the embattled Affordable Care Act enrollment site, which suffered major technological issues after its Oct. 1 debut, will be replaced early this year.

Accenture will replace CGI Federal, the IT contractor that built HealthCare.gov, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Saturday. CGI Federal's contract expires on Feb. 28.

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Neiman Marcus Notifying Customers Whose Cards Were Compromised

A Neiman Marcus in Chicago.
M. Spencer Green AP

The luxury retailer Neiman Marcus says it has begun notifying customers whose credit cards were compromised during a security breach.

The AP spoke to Ginger Reeder, spokeswoman for Dallas-based company, who would not estimate how many customers could be affected.

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Alex Rodriguez Suspended For 2014 Season, Arbitrator Decides

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
John Angelillo UPI /Landov

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 2:15 pm

Alex Rodriguez, one of baseball's biggest stars and its highest-paid player, should be suspended for the 2014 season and postseason, an independent arbitrator decided on Saturday.

Fredric Horowitz, who heard Rodriguez's appeal of Major League Baseball's 211-game suspension, upheld most of the punishment handed down by the league.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Sat January 11, 2014

The Other Political Scandal: New York Mayor De Blasio And 'Forkgate'

In this image taken from video and provided by New York City Hall, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio eats pizza with a fork at Goodfellas Pizza in the Staten Island on Friday.
AP

You may have been too busy still pondering New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's epic, two-hour press conference to pay any attention to the political scandal brewing just across the border in New York City.

Here's the video that got the city's brand new, populist mayor into his first controversy on Friday:

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Hundreds Of Thousands Still Without Water In W. Va.

Shelves at Krogers remain empty after running out of water in Kanawha City a neighborhood of Charleston on Friday.
Tom Hindman Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 3:59 pm

(This post was last updated at 4 p.m. ET.)

For the third day in a row, hundreds of thousands of West Virginians are unable to drink, cook or wash with the water in their homes.

During a press conference, West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre, who oversees the states largest water treatment plant, said it could be days before the water is safe for use.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Dies At 85

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 2:21 pm

Ariel Sharon, the former prime minister of Israel, has died, Shlomo Noy, the director of the Sheba Medical Center, where Sharon was being treated, said during a televised press conference.

The AP reports that during earlier statements, Sharon's son Gilad Sharon said, "He has gone. He went when he decided to go."

Haaretz reports that Sharon died Saturday after spending eight years in a coma.

He was 85.

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The Two-Way
10:00 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Former Reagan White House Spokesman Larry Speakes Dies

Larry Speakes, left, and President Ronald Reagan in a 1984 appearance on the White House South Lawn.
Ira Schwarz AP

Larry Speaks, who became the White House spokesman after President Ronald Reagan and Press Secretary James Brady were shot in a 1981 assassination attempt, died Friday. He was 74.

Speakes, who had Alzheimer's disease, died at his home in Cleveland, Miss.

The New York Times reports:

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