NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Obama's $3.9 Trillion Budget Would Produce $564 Billion Deficit

Copies of President Obama's proposed budget for fiscal 2015, after they were delivered to the Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 1:53 pm

As expected, President Obama on Tuesday unveiled a $3.9 trillion budget plan for fiscal 2015 that his number crunchers say would produce a $564 billion deficit.

The gap between spending and revenue, while large, would be down from more than $744 billion this fiscal year and a record $1.4 trillion in 2009 — a fiscal year that began when President George W. Bush was still in office. Since then, deficits during the Obama years have topped $1 trillion three times.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Obama And Kerry Criticize Russia's Actions In Ukraine

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to religious leaders at the Shrine of the Fallen, a tribute to anti-government protesters, on Tuesday in Kiev, Ukraine.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 1:38 pm

Russia's explanation for its military response to the crisis in Ukraine doesn't match real events, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday. Speaking at news conferences held within moments of each other on different continents, they urged Russia to de-escalate the situation.

After unveiling his 2015 budget blueprint in Washington, D.C., the president was asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin's approach to the situation in Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Kentucky Won't Appeal Order To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, pictured in January 2013, said that appealing the judge's order "would be defending discrimination."
Roger Alford AP

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 12:40 pm

"Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway will not appeal a federal judge's order that the state must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages," NPR member station WFPL reports from Louisville.

"From a constitutional perspective, Judge Heyburn got it right," Conway said in announcing his decision on Tuesday, the station adds.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Divers Find 65-Foot Crack In Columbia River Dam

Divers found a 2-inch-wide crack at the bottom of the fourth spillway pier from the left in this photo of the Wanapum Dam.
Grant County Public Utility District

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 11:39 am

A large dam in Washington state has a 65-foot-long crack below its waterline, say officials who are planning repairs at the Wanapum Dam, which is owned by a county utility. Divers found the 2-inch-wide crack that runs sideways after an engineer noticed an odd curve in a conduit near the dam's roadway.

Officials have said the public is not at risk.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Nepal Cracks Down On Messy Everest Climbers

A Nepalese Sherpa collecting garbage, left by climbers, at an altitude of 26,250 feet during a special Everest clean-up expedition.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 12:08 pm

As Everest climbing season gets started this week, Nepal is enforcing a rule for scaling the world's tallest mountain that might sound like it came from your mother: Pick up after yourself.

While it's technically not a new rule, it has rarely if ever been enforced.

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Tue March 4, 2014

$2 Million Settlement Closes Ohio's 'Caged Kids' Case

Down this road is the home in northern Ohio where 11 children endured abuses such as being forced to sleep in cages. They were rescued in 2005.
Jamie-Andrea Yanak AP

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 11:26 am

A notorious story that became known as the "caged kids" case after 11 young children were rescued from an Ohio home nearly a decade ago has gotten to its final chapter.

The 11 victims have reached a $2 million settlement with Ohio's Stark County where three of them had lived before being placed in the home of Michael and Sharen Gravelle, where the adoptive parents forced the children to sleep in cages.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Tue March 4, 2014

For Those Itching To Etch, Great Wall Now Has A Graffiti Zone

Two of the names carved into the Great Wall, in this case near Badaling, China. Authorities hope to cut down on graffiti by giving tourists a designated spot to leave their marks.
David Guttenfelder AP

Chinese authorities are trying to contain a growing problem — graffiti written on and carved into the stones of the Great Wall of China — by giving tourists a designated section on which they can leave their marks.

China News Service reports that "Mutianyu, a famous section of the Great Wall of China, has established a specified area for graffiti to better protect the ancient heritage item, the governing authority said on Sunday."

Most of the graffiti, the news service says, is in English.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Tue March 4, 2014

At Last, No News Is Good News When It Comes To The Weather

For one day at least, an "all clear" has been issued.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 9:37 am

We wouldn't normally post a map that basically says there's nothing happening.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Book News: 'Goodnight Moon' Author's Lullabies See The Light After 60 Years

If the latest compilation of works by Margaret Wise Brown, best known for the beloved children's book Goodnight Moon, puts you to sleep, that's a good thing.
Kathy Willens AP

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

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