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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Tue June 24, 2014

In Iraq, More Than 1,000 Were Killed In June

Mourners chant slogans against the al-Qaida breakaway group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria after they buried 15 bodies in the village of Taza Khormato in the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk, Iraq on Monday.
Emad Matti AP

The United Nations has some grim news on Iraq this morning: It says at least 1,075 people were killed in June as Sunni militants overtook some significant cities in the country.

Most of the deaths, the U.N. reports, were civilians. The AP adds:

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Tue June 24, 2014

U.K. Phone-Hacking Trial: Brooks Cleared, Coulson Found Guilty

Rebekah Brooks, former News International chief executive, leaves the Central Criminal Court in London on Tuesday, after being acquitted. Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was convicted of phone hacking Tuesday.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 11:21 am

Former News International leader Rebekah Brooks has been cleared of all misconduct in a headline-grabbing trial revolving around tycoon Rupert Murdoch's British media empire. Andy Coulson, the former editor of News of the World, was found guilty of conspiracy to hack personal voicemails.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Book News: James Patterson Wants To Give Books To New York City Kids

James Patterson writes suspense and thriller novels as well as children's books. He runs the children's literacy campaign ReadKiddoRead.
Deborah Feingold Courtesy Little, Brown and Co.

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

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Kerry Visits Kurds To Urge A United Iraq

Secretary of State John Kerry (second from left) arrives at Irbil International Airport with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft (fourth from left) on Tuesday. The president of Iraq's ethnic Kurdish region declared Tuesday that "we are facing a new reality and a new Iraq."
Brendan Smialowski AP

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 12:15 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry talked to Kurdish leaders in Irbil today, urging them to keep the autonomous region as part of Iraq. Kerry's visit came as the Sunni extremist group ISIS says it has cemented control of Iraq's largest oil refinery, and as sectarian divisions are threatening to pull Iraq apart.

Kerry is now on his way to Brussels, after assuring Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq that there would be "sustained and intense" support to Iraq to help it counter rapid advances by Sunni militants in recent weeks.

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The Two-Way
9:31 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

AP: Parts Of Irish 'Mass Graves' Story Exaggerated By Media

The Associated Press today offers "a more sober picture" than it and other news organizations (including NPR) did earlier this month regarding reports of nearly 800 bodies of infants and young children at a former Catholic home for unwed mothers in Ireland.

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The Two-Way
6:16 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Pro-Russian Separatists To Join Ukrainian Cease-Fire

Alexander Borodai, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic," attends a news conference in Donetsk on June 21. Borodai announced Monday that his forces would honor a temporary Ukrainian cease-fire.
Shamil Zhumatov Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 7:29 pm

In a potential de-escalation in fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists, the insurgents now say they will join Kiev in observing a temporary cease-fire.

The BBC reports that the rebel announcement was made in Donetsk by Alexander Borodai, a leader of the self-styled "Donetsk People's Republic."

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The Two-Way
5:48 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Mormon Church Excommunicates Advocate For Female Priests

Kate Kelly, a Mormon and founder of Ordain Women, wipes away a tear during a vigil on Sunday in Salt Lake City. Church leaders have ruled to excommunicate her for advocating in favor of female priests.
Rick Bowmer AP

An all-male panel of Mormon leaders has found a prominent member of the group Ordain Women guilty of apostasy and ordered that she be excommunicated from the church.

On its website, Ordain Women quoted from an email that Kate Kelly received informing her of the decision by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

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The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Doing The Math: How The U.S. Can Advance In The World Cup

U.S. forward Clint Dempsey (8) celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during a match against Portugal at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus on Sunday.
Francisco Leong AFP/Getty Images

The "Group of Death" is living up to its name.

Going into the third and final match of group stage, all four teams — the U.S., Germany, Ghana and Portugal — still have a mathematical chance of moving on to the round of 16.

Of course, the U.S. had a prime chance at sealing the deal last night against Portugal. But, as we told you, a last-gasp goal by Portugal scuttled those plans.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Thai Protest Leader Says He Advised Army Chief Prior To Coup

Suthep Thaugsuban waves to supporters during a mass rally in Bangkok, the same day the army declared martial law. Suthep says he acted as an adviser to the army general who subsequently seized power.
Sakchai Lalit AP

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:53 pm

The leader of Thailand's onetime opposition, who led mass anti-government demonstration in the run-up to last month's military coup, has acknowledged for the first time that he acted as an adviser to the army general who seized power.

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