NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
7:30 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

House Votes To Cut Student Loan Rate, Sends Bill To Obama

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 8:08 pm

The Republican-controlled House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill to cut the cost of borrowing for federal student loans, sending the measure to President Obama for his signature.

The bill, which had easily passed the Democratic-controlled Senate last week, would retroactively cut higher rates — which on July 1 had jumped to at least 6.8 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:01 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

NSA Chief To Hackers: Analysts Don't Abuse Their Power

U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), testifies during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The director of the National Security Agency faced a tough crowd at the premier yearly gathering of hackers in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Army Gen. Keith Alexander gave the keynote address at the Black Hat USA convention on the same day the British newspaper The Guardian published more details on a top-secret program that collects vast amount of data transmitted over the Internet.

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Reports: Major League Baseball Warns Players Union Of Suspensions

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees in the dugout of the team's minor league affiliate Charleston River Dogs during a July 2 game in Charleston, S.C.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 7:31 pm

According to several news reports, Major League Baseball has given the players union a list of those facing suspensions because of doping.

In truth, this is another pit stop in the long march toward what is rumored to be the suspension of some of baseball's A-listers. Of course, the biggest target is rumored to be Alex Rodriguez.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Federal Reserve Will Continue Bond Buying Program

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke in May of 2013.
Alex Wong Getty Images

After a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve said it will continue to buy $85 billion in bonds every month and will leave the federal funds rate at the historic rate of near zero.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

'Guardian' Report Sheds Light On NSA's Internet Spying

A top-secret presentation slide published by The Guardian.
Guardian

In its latest report stemming from leaked documents provided by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, The Guardian newspaper outlines a tool that gives intelligence analysts access to a wide range of data collected on the Internet.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Texas Author John Graves Dies At 92; Wrote 'Goodbye To A River'

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 7:23 am

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Luxury Watch Store Robbed Days After Riviera Hotel Heist

Police investigate outside the Kronometry shop in the French Riviera town of Cannes after two armed men robbed the luxury watch store on Wednesday.
Valery Hache AFP/Getty Images

In an amazing string of coincidences, a luxury watch store in Cannes, France, has been robbed just three days after an armed man successfully stole diamonds and other valuable jewels from a nearby hotel.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

U.S. Declassifies Documents About Surveillance Programs

A new National Security Agency data center is set to open in Bluffdale, Utah, in the fall.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 3:01 pm

The National Security Agency declassified more documents that shed light on formerly secret programs that collect a vast amount of metadata on the phone calls made in the United States, as well as the electronic communication of foreigners.

In a statement, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the release was "in the public interest."

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Facebook Sees Its Shares Hit $38 IPO Price

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 4:36 pm

It's been more than a year since Facebook's stock debuted at $38 in its initial public offering. But after a problematic start and an eventual slide below $20, the company saw its shares reach that initial price in early trading Wednesday, one week after it reported strong advertising revenue.

"Before Wednesday's opening bell, the shares rose as high as $38.05, before settling back down to $37.95," the AP reports. "On Tuesday, the shares closed up 6 percent after coming within pennies of the IPO price."

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Announcer-Free TV? Detroit's Baseball Fans Say Yes, Please

Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta bats during the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday. Detroit fans watching game had the option of tuning in to a broadcast that lacked announcers, featuring only the sounds from the stadium.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 2:57 pm

Baseball fans often declare their love of the game's rhythm, its quiet pauses and bursts of action. For such people, watching a game on TV can be a struggle, particularly if they're annoyed by the chatter of announcers. Fans in Detroit had another option last night: watching a TV broadcast that included only the natural sounds of the ballpark.

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