NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
4:53 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Reports: NSA Has Keys To Most Internet Encryption

The National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, Md.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 5:12 pm

The National Security Agency has the keys to most Internet encryption methods and it has gotten them by using supercomputers to break them and by enlisting the help of private IT companies, The New York Times and The Guardian are reporting.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

California Rim Fire Was Started By Hunter's 'Illegal' Fire

A firefighter uses a hose to douse the flames of the Rim Fire on Saturday near Groveland, California.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The wildfire still burning north of Yosemite National Park — you know, the one that has charred 237,341 acres and was at one point one of the largest fires in recent California history — was started by a hunter's illegal fire.

The U.S. Forest Service said in a statement that its investigators had concluded that the Rim Fire "began when a hunter allowed an illegal fire to escape."

Authorities, said the Forest Service, have made no arrest and they are not releasing the name of the hunter.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Incredible Case Of The Bank Robber Who's Now A Law Clerk

After serving almost 11 years in federal prison for bank robbery, Shon Hopwood is a law student at the University of Washington. He's landed a prestigious law clerk's position with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Sang Cho Courtesy of The Daily of the University of Washington

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 2:03 pm

"I had no prior history with the law other than breaking it."

"I thought, 'this kid is a punk.' "

Read more
The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

California Inmates Suspend Two-Month-Long Hunger Strike

Inmates at California's Chino State Prison in December 2010.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

After more than two months, 100 California inmates have suspended a hunger strike they launched to protest prison conditions, including the use of solitary confinement by the state.

In a statement, some of the prisoners said they had "collectively" decided to end the strike, despite the fact that most of their demands have not been met.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Iran's President Wished Jews 'A Blessed Rosh Hashanah.' Or Did He?

Did Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweet a greeting to the world's Jews on Rosh Hashana?
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 10:12 am

It sounded a bit far-fetched, and perhaps it was.

Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust and threatened to wipe Israel off the map. But his successor, President Hassan Rouhani, considered a relative moderate by contrast, has taken a somewhat softer tone. So, when Rouhani allegedly tweeted the following, it quickly became news:

Read more
The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

IRS To Count Automatic Gratuities As Wages, Not Tips

A waiter serves patrons at Tony's Restaurant, part of the Casablanca Hotel in New York's Times Square. The custom at some restaurants of automatic gratuities for larger parties might change because of an IRS rule change.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 2:51 pm

Gratuity included? A new IRS rule could end, or at least curtail, the practice.

The Internal Revenue Service will soon begin classifying automatic gratuities as service charges that are taxable as regular wages and subject to payroll tax withholding. Currently, they're considered tips, and it's up to the wait staff to report them as income.

The Wall Street Journal says:

Read more
The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Yah-New! Did Yahoo Hit The Mark With Its Logo Change?

Yahoo's new logo.
Yahoo.com

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 12:04 pm

Compare Yahoo's new logo, introduced Thursday, to what was there before.

According to CEO Marissa Mayer, "we knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo — whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud."

On her Tumblr page, Mayer goes on at length about how:

Read more
The Two-Way
11:23 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Fog Blamed For 100-Plus Vehicle Pileup In U.K.

Recovery workers vehicles back the front of the Sheppey crossing bridge after 100 or more vehicles were involved in a major road traffic incident in Sheppey, Kent, southeast England on Thursday.
Justin Tallis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 11:47 am

As many as 130 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup on a fog-covered bridge in Kent, England, that resulted in dozens of injuries along a major traffic artery.

Eight motorists suffered serious injuries in the morning rush-hour accident that closed down the A249 Sheppey Crossing, which is southeast of London.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu September 5, 2013

It's A Girl! New Panda Is Doing Fine, National Zoo Says

The Smithsonian National Zoo's newest giant panda on Aug. 25, two days after her birth.
National Zoo UPI/Landov

The giant panda cub born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 23 is a girl, officials announced Thursday morning.

What's more, she "has a fat little belly" and seems to be doing just fine, zoo curator Brandie Smith says.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:53 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Did You See A Flash In The Sky? You Just Might On Friday

If you're in those circles, you may be able to see something in the sky late Friday night when NASA launches a rocket from its spaceport on the Virginia coast.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 9:44 am

News stations in Washington, D.C., say they started getting calls just after 11 p.m. ET Wednesday from folks reporting that they'd seen a mysterious light in the sky.

WTOP says some people thought the flash was green or blue. CBS DC heard from some who said it was orange. The station adds that the light "was seen in the skies over the eastern seaboard."

Read more

Pages