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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Thousands Still Without Power Across North

A tree is split in half under the weight of ice and snow in Middleville, Mich. Nearly 29,000 people are still without power in Michigan — but that's down from 200,000 just days ago.
Andrew Kuhn MLIVE.COM /Landov

Thousands of homes across Michigan and New England are still without power after last week's ice storms, and New England is bracing for more snow and more possible power outages.

Nearly 29,000 people are still without power in Michigan.

Ron Likes, a spokesman for the Michigan State Police and Emergency Services, says that's down from more than 200,000.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Rebel Leader Skeptical Of South Sudan Cease-Fire Offer

Tens of thousands of refugees are flocking to United Nations compounds like this one in Juba, while fears fester that fighting in the capital will resume.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

A senior official in South Sudan said Saturday that government troops will attack the main rebel stronghold if rebels turn down a proposed cease-fire.

The government had offered the truce on Friday to end two weeks of ethnic violence that has killed more than a thousand people.

Those rebel forces are loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, accused by supporters of President Salva Kiir of leading a coup attempt two weekends ago that sparked violence across the country.

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Sat December 28, 2013

More Than 1 Million Americans Lose Unemployment Benefits

Job seekers read pamphlets as they wait in line to enter a job fair in San Jose, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 5:04 pm

About 1.3 million Americans lost their long-term unemployment benefits today. This means anyone who has been out of work and getting benefits for than six months will stop receiving their weekly check.

As The New York Times frames the story, beyond drastically curtailing a safety-net for jobless workers, allowing the benefits to expire sets up a "major political" fight for the coming new year. The paper adds:

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The Two-Way
10:49 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Four U.S. Military Personnel Held By Libyan Government Released

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 11:23 pm

Updated 11:14 p.m. EDT

Reuters is reporting that the four American military personnel detained earlier Friday night have been released.

The Reuters report quotes an anonymous U.S. defense official.

More than two years after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi, Libya is plagued by security issues and awash heavy weapons in the hands of militias divided by tribe, ideology and region.

Original Post

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The Two-Way
8:26 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Federal Jobless Benefits Set To End For More Than 1 Million

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) talks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, last Thursday. Reid has promised a vote no later than Jan. 7 on a measure to extend jobless benefits for three months.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Federal jobless benefits going to 1.3 million Americans will officially expire on Saturday after Congress failed to extend them before leaving for the holiday.

NPR's Tamara Keith says it "means anyone who has been out of work and getting benefits for more than 6 months will see their weekly checks stop abruptly."

"Advocates point out that without congressional action another 73,000 people will lose benefits each week," she says.

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The Two-Way
6:15 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Newtown Report Offers Few Insights Into School Shooting

This undated photo released Friday by the Connecticut State Police shows the scene inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:19 pm

Connecticut State Police have released an exhaustive report on last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, offering some new details on the massacre that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

Photographs taken by investigators of the home that 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza shared with his mother show "numerous rounds of ammunition, gun magazines, shot-up paper targets, gun cases, shooting earplugs and a gun safe with a rifle in it," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Amid Political Chaos, Thailand's Army Chief Won't Rule Out Coup

Anti-government protesters enter a Bangkok stadium where election preparations were underway on Thursday.
Wason Wanichakorn AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 5:56 pm

Thailand's army chief on Friday called for calm amid unrest between supporters and opponents of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but he refused to rule out the possibility of a military coup to restore stability.

Asked whether the army would seize the government for the second time in less than a decade, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said: "That door is neither open nor closed ... it will be determined by the situation."

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Egypt Launches Renewed Crackdown On Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian riot police run after Muslim Brotherhood members after a demonstration in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district on Friday.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Egyptian security forces carried out widespread arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members just days after the government labeled the group, which supports ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a terrorist organization.

Three people were reported killed in Muslim Brotherhood-led protests and some 265 people were arrested as part of the nationwide crackdown, which came as the political group renewed calls for massive anti-government rallies.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Stories Merge As 'Duck Dynasty' Fans Plan 'Chick-Phil-A' Day

One of Chick-Phil-A-Day's promotional images.
Facebook.com/chickphiladay

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 5:43 pm

Update at 5:40 p.m. ET. A&E Lifts Phil Robertson's Suspension:

A&E announced Friday afternoon that it was reversing its decision to suspend Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson from the show.

A statement from the cable channel says the decision was made after discussions with the Robertson family and "numerous advocacy groups."

Here's our original post ...

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Target: Encrypted Data Were Taken, But Not The Key To Unlock

The scene outside a Target store in Brooklyn on Black Friday, Nov. 29.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Though hackers did obtain "strongly encrypted PIN data" when they got into Target's information systems, the retailer said Friday that sensitive information from customers' debit cards should not be at risk.

Target posted this explanation:

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