NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
7:15 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Honoring Mandela, In Gestures Large And Small

People holding a South African flag sing as they arrive at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, South Africa, to watch a telecast of the Nelson Mandela memorial service on Tuesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Standing in a steady drizzle at dawn, Lerato Maphanga took a black marker to a whitewashed wall that's serving as a condolences board outside Nelson Mandela's old home in Soweto, South Africa.

"Thank you, Tata [father], rest in peace," she wrote Tuesday. Then she signed it, "Born Free," a reference to the black South Africans born after apartheid ended in the 1994 election that made Mandela the country's first black president.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:03 am
Tue December 10, 2013

South Africa Honors Mandela, An 'Incomparable Force Of Leadership'

Members of the public sing and dance as they arrive for the Nelson Mandela memorial service at the FNB Stadium, on Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 2:34 pm

(This post was last updated at 9:27 a.m. ET.)

The skies were gray over Johannesburg this morning. And the rain was relentless.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:53 am
Tue December 10, 2013

WATCH: Local Coverage Of Mandela's Memorial Service

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:29 pm

Thousands of mourners and dozens of world leaders gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa this morning to celebrate the life of the late Nelson Mandela.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:57 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Israel, Jordan, Palestinians Strike Water-Sharing Deal

The Gulf of Aqaba, near the Jordanian city of the same name. Under a new agreement, Jordan would build a desalination plant near here.
Jamal Nasrallah AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 10:59 am

Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians have agreed to a water-sharing pact that would see the construction of a desalination plant on the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea and bring "a long-awaited Red Sea-Dead Sea pipeline one step closer to completion," according to Reuters.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:33 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Congress Renews Ban On X-Ray-Evading Plastic Guns

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Bill Nelson of Florida talk to reporters about their effort to renew the ban on plastic firearms, at the Capitol on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 7:56 pm

Congress voted to renew a ban on plastic firearms that can skirt airport detectors, but Republican lawmakers blocked efforts to tighten the restrictions.

The Senate approved the measure by a voice vote hours before it would have expired at midnight. The House voted last week to renew the ban.

As The Associated Press reports:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Government Sells Last Shares In GM, Loses $10 Billion

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson speaks to the media after a June 2013 GM shareholders meeting in Detroit. General Motors posted $152 billion in global revenues in 2012.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 5:59 pm

Critics of the federal auto bailout will no longer be able to refer derisively to GM as "Government Motors" — on Monday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced the U.S. government has sold its remaining shares in the carmaker.

"With the final sale of GM stock, this important chapter in our nation's history is now closed," Lew said, announcing the sale.

The net? Taxpayers lost $10.7 billion on the deal.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

U.S. Veteran Freed From N. Korea Says 'Confession' Was Coerced

Merrill Newman (left) walks beside his wife Lee and son Jeffrey after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.
Ben Margot AP

The 85-year-old U.S. veteran who was detained by North Korea for weeks, before being released, says the "confession" that he read and was aired on state television was coerced.

The AP and Reuters obtained a written statement from Merrill Newman in which he says North Korean authorities may have misrepresented his interest in the Korean War.

Reuters reports:

Read more
The Two-Way
4:54 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

18 LA Sheriff's Deputies Indicted In Sweeping Jail Probe

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in 2011
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 6:02 pm

Federal prosecutors announced Monday the indictment of 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies on an array of charges stemming from a sweeping investigation into inmate abuse and corruption.

"These incidents did not take place in a vacuum — in fact, they demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized," said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. "The pattern of activity alleged in the obstruction of justice case shows how some members of the Sheriff's Department considered themselves to be above the law."

Read more
The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Newtown Calls For 'Acts Of Kindness' On Shooting Anniversary

Erica Lafferty (right), daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Dawn Hochsprung, consoles Carlee Soto, sister of victim Victoria Soto, after representatives of 14 families addressed the media on Monday in Newtown, Conn.
Jessica Hill AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 4:20 pm

Relatives of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School have asked people to mark Saturday's anniversary of the mass shooting with "acts of kindness" and say they will light candles in memory of the victims.

At a news conference on Monday, the families also announced the launch of a website, http://mysandyhookfamily.org, to create a "singular place of sharing, communication, and contact with the families of those who lost their lives that day."

Read more
The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

U.S. Will Help Transport Troops In Central African Republic

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 7:17 pm

A few days after France said it was increasing its presence in the Central African Republic, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered the U.S. military to help transport troops from Burundi to the CAR.

The AP reports:

Read more

Pages