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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Weather, History Muddy The Field For U.S.-Germany Showdown

Jermaine Jones and other members of the U.S. men's national team train in Manaus, Brazil. Fitness may be a crucial factor in the U.S.-Germany game on Thursday in Recife .
Raphael Alves AFP/Getty Images

It's do or die (or tie) time for the United States today in the World Cup.

The U.S. team plays its final game in group play against world No. 2-ranked Germany at noon EDT in the Brazilian seaside city of Recife. The stakes couldn't be higher, and the intrigue is all here, folks.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Thu June 26, 2014

In Narrow Ruling, Supreme Court Invalidates 3 Obama Appointments

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 2:54 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that three appointments President Obama made in 2012 to the National Labor Relations Board are not valid because they were not approved by the Senate, which was in pro forma session at the time.

In a unanimous decision, the justices said the Constitution's recess-appointments clause gave Congress the power to decide when it is in recess, and that there was no recess when Obama acted. The case is National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu June 26, 2014

FIFA Bites Back: Uruguay's Luis Suarez Suspended 9 Games

Uruguay's Luis Suarez holds his teeth after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder during Tuesday's World Cup match between Italy and Uruguay in Brazil. FIFA has banned Suarez for nine games and four months over the incident.
Ricardo Mazalan AP

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 2:39 pm

Two days after the sporting world reacted in shock to what appeared to be a case of one elite soccer player biting another, FIFA, the sport's governing body, announced that it's suspending Uruguayan star Luis Suarez for nine matches and fining him 100,000 Swiss francs (about $112,000).

The suspension comes two days before Uruguay faces Colombia in the round of 16 on Saturday. It begins immediately, FIFA says. Suarez is also banned from any soccer activity for four months.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Will Ferrell, Teddy Goalsevelt Pump Up U.S. Fans

Comedian Will Ferrell was unveiled as the surprise "secret weapon" of U.S. Soccer, on the eve of a pivotal World Cup match against Germany. Ferrell promised to "bite every German player, if I have to."
YouTube

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 2:44 pm

"I'm not going to lie to you — I'm not in the best shape," Will Ferrell told American soccer fans in Brazil last night, after being announced as a mock World Cup replacement by U.S. Soccer.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Thu June 26, 2014

'We Welcome' Syrian Airstrikes On ISIS, Iraqi Leader Maliki Says

Iraqis who have fled as the Sunni extremist group ISIS has spread in northern Iraq enter a camp for displaced people between the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Kurdish city of Irbil on Thursday. Iraq's leader says he welcomes Syria's attacks on ISIS.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 7:07 pm

With both Iraq and Syria facing threats from the extremist group ISIS, a recent attack by Syrian warplanes along the countries' border was a welcome development, says Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He says that he didn't ask for the airstrikes — but he doesn't have a problem with them, either.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Reports Of New Fighting Rattle Ukraine's Truce As Kerry Urges Russia To Help

A man who lives in Ukraine's Donetsk region shows part of a shell that exploded in the yard of his house Wednesday, after a reported mortar attack by Ukrainian government forces Tuesday. The area is under a tense cease-fire that will expire Friday.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:50 pm

An exchange of mortar fire has been reported in eastern Ukraine, where government troops and pro-Russian separatist forces had been observing an uneasy cease-fire in the past week. The news comes as Secretary of State John Kerry says Russia could face sanctions if it doesn't help end the violence.

Russian state news media are reporting explosions near the airport in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, where the armed groups reportedly absorbed and returned mortar fire. Similar clashes were reported earlier this week.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Book News: Ana Maria Matute, Who Wrote Of War-Torn Spain, Dies

Spanish novelist Ana Maria Matute is pictured in 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, after winning the Cervantes Prize.
Manu Fernandez AP

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

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The Two-Way
12:03 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Report Questions U.S. Policy On Overseas Drone Strikes

An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, in 2010. A new report questions the U.S. policy of using armed drones abroad to carry out attacks on suspected terrorists.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 3:18 am

U.S. strategy that relies on armed drones to kill terrorism suspects overseas "rests on questionable assumptions and risks increasing instability and escalating costs," according to a year-long study by a group of prominent military, intelligence and foreign policy experts.

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The Two-Way
8:49 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

North Korea Threatens War Over New Seth Rogen Comedy

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 8:39 am

While it's hard to imagine Seth Rogen and James Franco being the proximate cause of World War III, the stars of Pineapple Express have prompted the latest round of blustery threats from North Korea.

Pyongyang has promised "merciless" retaliation if the duo's latest comedy, The Interview, is released as scheduled in October.

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