NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
9:46 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Fighting Resumes In South Sudan, Despite Cease-Fire Agreement

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 1:16 pm

A cease-fire deal that was hailed by the international community was broken two days later by more fighting in South Sudan on Sunday.

Quoting a United Nations official, Reuters reports fighting broke out in the town of Bentiu, where both sides fired.

Reuters adds:

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Sun May 11, 2014

WATCH: Michael Sam, Boyfriend React To Draft Pick

Michael Sam runs through drills during the 2014 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Ind., on Feb. 24. Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL.
USA Today Sports Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 1:41 pm

After being drafted by the St. Louis Rams, Michael Sam is poised to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Eastern Ukraine Wraps Up Vote On Independence; Clashes Reported

Patients at a hospital cast ballots in a referendum on Sunday in Mariupol, Ukraine.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 4:19 pm

(This post was updated at 3:55 p.m. ET.)

Residents of two fractious regions of eastern Ukraine wrapped up voting on Sunday in a controversial referendum over independence from the central government in Kiev.

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The Two-Way
7:29 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Rams Pick Michael Sam, First Openly Gay Player Drafted In NFL

Michael Sam runs a drill at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February. Sam was picked in the seventh round of the NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 12:09 pm

In the seventh round of the NFL draft, the St. Louis Rams picked Michael Sam, making him the first openly gay player to be drafted by a pro football team.

Sam, who played for Missouri in college, came out earlier this year in media interviews with ESPN and The New York Times. His team and coaches knew his sexual orientation before the interviews, but kept it private for his final college season.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Florida Rabble-Rouser Seeks To Open Civic Meeting With Satanist Prayer

Chaz Stevens talks with reporters after setting up his Festivus pole made out of beer cans at the Florida Capitol building in Tallahassee, Fla., in December of 2013.
Brendan Farrington AP

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 3:40 pm

A Florida rabble-rouser wants the city of Deerfield Beach to allow him to say a satanist prayer at the beginning of a council meeting.

Of course, Chaz Stevens' request comes after the Supreme Court ruled that sectarian prayer before a government meeting does not necessarily violate the Constitution's Establishment Clause.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Unidentified Remains Of Sept. 11 Victims Returned To Ground Zero

Family members of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks demonstrate against the decision to transfer the unidentified remains to a repository at the World Trade Center site.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 2:40 pm

As a heavy fog lifted through the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan, a procession began.

Vehicles from the FDNY, the Port Authority and NYPD carried three flag-draped coffins filled with the unidentified remains of some Sept. 11 victims.

The procession began at a medical examiner's office and passed by Ladder Co. 10, where firefighters paid their respects in formation. When the vehicles stopped at ground zero, the coffins were unloaded and placed in a special repository 70 feet underground in the same building as the museum scheduled to open May 21.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Sat May 10, 2014

U.S. Embassy Officers Shot, Killed 2 Armed Individuals In Yemen

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 4:51 pm

Two U.S. embassy officers in Yemen shot and killed two armed men in Sanaa last month.

"The Embassy officers are no longer in Yemen," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said in a written statement. "Per standard procedure for any such incident involving embassy officers overseas, this matter is under review."

Harf added that the officers fired because the armed individuals were attempting to kidnap them.

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Sat May 10, 2014

South Sudanese Leaders Sign Cease-Fire Agreement

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (left) and rebel leader Riek Machar (right) shake hands and pray before signing an agreement of the cease-fire of the South Sudan conflict on Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Elias Asmare AP

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 11:57 am

South Sudan's president has signed an agreement with a rebel leader that calls for the "immediate cessation of hostilities."

As NPR's Gregory Warner has been reporting, a political tug of war between two rivals has spiraled into "tit-for-tat ethnic killing" that has threatened to tear apart the world's youngest country.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Sat May 10, 2014

3 Dead After Hot Air Balloon Catches Fire In Virginia

This photo provided by Nancy Johnson shows what authorities say is a hot air balloon that caught fire and crashed in Virginia on Friday.
Nancy Johnson AP

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 3:07 pm

(This post was updated at 3:04 p.m. ET. on Sunday, May 11)

Three people after a hot air balloon caught fire and crashed near Doswell, Va., on Friday night.

The family has identified the missing woman as Natalie Lewis, a University of Richmond women's basketball team staff member, according to the Associated Press.

During a televised press conference on Saturday, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the operation had now transitioned into a recovery effort.

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Michelle Obama: Nigerian Girls 'Embody The Best Hope For The Future'

Michelle Obama tweeted this picture of herself on May 7, in support of the kidnapped Nigerian girls.
Michelle Obama

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 11:48 am

In her first solo weekly address, first lady Michelle Obama said the U.S. is committed to standing up for the more than 200 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped from their school weeks ago.

"In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters," she said. "We see their hopes and their dreams — and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now."

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