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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Mortar Attack Hits Election Rally In Syria, Killing 21

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 1:16 pm

A campaign rally for Syria's President Bashar Assad was hit by mortar fire Thursday evening, as rebels struck the event in the southern city of Daraa. At least 21 people died in the attack, which comes weeks before Syria's presidential election.

From Beirut, Alison Meuse reports for our Newscast unit:

"Mortar fire slammed into a pro-Assad electoral tent. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 21 people were killed in the attack. The dead included a child and six loyalist militiamen.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Book News: NASA Has Free E-Book On Decoding Extraterrestrial Messages

Phone Home? NASA wants us to be ready to understand messages from potentially "a species that is radically Other."
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 3:43 pm

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

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Thai Military Detains Ousted Prime Minister, Bans Negative Press

Thai soldiers patrol on a scooter Friday near the Democracy Monument in Bangkok. Thailand's ruling military summoned leaders of the ousted government to meetings today. Restrictions on TV broadcasts have led Thai citizens to ask for more variety.
Apichart Weerawong AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 12:21 pm

One day after staging a coup, Thailand's military summoned leaders of the ousted government and other political figures to a meeting Friday. More than 150 people were ordered to convene at the Royal Thai Army auditorium — or risk arrest and possible charges.

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: Ousted PM Yingluck Detained

Thailand's army has detained deposed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after holding meetings with her and other politicians. She has reportedly been taken to an army base, along with members of her family who were also in the government.

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The Two-Way
10:57 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Obama To Nominate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro For Housing Secretary

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro delivers the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in 2012. President Obama is expected to announce Castro's nomination to become housing secretary on Friday.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 9:01 am

A White House official said Thursday that President Obama will tap San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to become housing secretary and Shaun Donovan, his current housing chief, to run the budget office.

A formal announcement is scheduled to be made on Friday afternoon.

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The Two-Way
8:52 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Tennessee Gov. OKs Allowing Electric Chair For Executions

A warden at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tenn., is shown in the prison's execution chamber in 1999. The electric chair is shown next to a lethal injection gurney.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 12:54 pm

Tennessee's governor has signed a bill that would allow the state to use the electric chair if lethal injection drugs are unavailable.

A spokesman for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam confirmed to The Associated Press that the legislation had been signed after passing the state Senate by a 23-3 vote and the House by a 68-13 margin.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
6:45 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

McDonald's CEO Says Fast-Food Jobs Can Lead To 'Real Careers'

Hundreds of workers, organizers and supporters gather outside McDonald's Corp. on Thursday, in Oak Brook, Ill., calling for $15 an hour and the right to unionize.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 7:16 pm

As hundreds of protesters loudly demanded higher wages outside McDonald's headquarters in suburban Chicago, the company's CEO told an audience inside that the fast-food giant has a heritage of providing opportunities that lead to "real careers."

"We believe we pay fair and competitive wages," Donald Thompson said at the company's annual meeting on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
6:44 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

U.S. Soccer Star Landon Donovan Fails To Make World Cup Cut

Landon Donovan practices with the U.S. Men's National Team in Stanford, Calif., last week. U.S. Soccer announced Thursday he had not made the roster for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Josh Edelson AFP/Getty Images

Landon Donovan, the all-time leader in scoring and assists for the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team, will not be part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster in Brazil, U.S. Soccer says.

ESPN writes: "Donovan, 32, has played for the U.S. in the past three World Cups dating back to 2002. He has been the face of the national team for most of the past decade, but spoke in recent months about how his body is no longer what it had once been."

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The Two-Way
5:55 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Senate Confirms Author Of Drone Memo To Federal Bench

This May 20, 2013, file photo shows Harvard Law Professor David Barron during a forum at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
Michael Dwyer AP

The Senate voted Thursday to confirm David Barron, whose judicial nomination had been threatened by his work shaping the Obama administration's drone policy.

The vote to seat Barron on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston was 53 to 45. Democrats Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined a unified Republican caucus in opposing the nomination.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

3 More Men Charged In Conspiracy Case Roiling Miss. Senate Race

Clayton Kelly, the blogger at the center of the Mississippi conspiracy case, is shown here in a booking photograph taken on Saturday.
Madison County Detention Center AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 6:23 pm

Mississippi is home to what may be the most contentious primary election in the country. It's also the scene of one of the oddest political stories of the year.

Three men were charged with conspiracy Thursday in an incident that has come to dominate political discussion in the state.

Supporters of state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is challenging Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, allegedly conspired to take and publish photographs of Cochran's wife, Rose, at her nursing home.

Rose Cochran suffers from progressive dementia and has been bedridden for years.

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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Mars Weathercam Spots Big New Crater

A photograph of the new crater (large, center). Take by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Before and after shots taken by a Mars-orbiting satellite have detected a newly created impact crater half the size of a football field near the planet's equator.

NPR's Joe Palca says that while objects are striking Mars all the time (with big chunks surviving until impact, thanks to the Red Planet's thin atmosphere), this is the first time scientists have been able to determine the exact day a meteor struck – in this case, sometime on March 28, 2012.

But it wasn't noticed until two months ago.

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