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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Actress And Singer Elaine Stritch Has Died

Elaine Stritch in her final engagement at the Cafe Carlyle in New York in 2013. Stritch bade farewell to New York with a series of concerts last spring; she died Thursday in Michigan.
Walter McBride/The O M Co. AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 1:45 pm

Elaine Stritch, an actress whose talent led to a substantial and long career on Broadway and in cabarets, died Thursday at age 89. She had been living in her native Birmingham, Mich., where she moved last year after spending decades in New York. Stritch's publicist says she died of natural causes; her health had been failing in recent months.

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Books
12:33 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves': A Modern Manual By And For Trans People

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 1:18 pm

The growing number of people who identify as transgender is raising a lot of interesting and complicated questions about gender identity.

The new book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a collection of essays describing the varied experiences of transgender people — and the social, political and medical issues they face. It's written by and for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

The idea was inspired by the groundbreaking 1970s feminist health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Strike Averted On Nation's Largest Commuter Rail Line

A man checks the Long Island departure board at New York's Penn Station on Tuesday
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 12:41 pm

A tentative agreement has headed off a strike at the nation's largest commuter railroad.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who became personally involved in talks between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and unions representing Long Island Rail Road workers, announced Thursday that a deal had been reached, three days ahead of a planned strike.

The 5,400 LIRR employees had been working without a contract since 2010.

"This is a compromise by both parties after four long years," Cuomo said.

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Goats and Soda
12:00 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Feeling The Heat, Burning The Suits: Reporting On Ebola From Sierra Leone

Construction workers repair the roof inside the isolation area at the Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Kailahun.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 3:36 pm

NPR's Jason Beaubien is in Sierra Leone, covering the Ebola outbreak that began in March in Guinea and has spread to neighboring countries. When we spoke Thursday, he had just toured the treatment center built by Doctors Without Borders in the town of Kailahun. With 64 beds, it's the largest Ebola isolation ward ever built. Currently there are 31 patients.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Wildfire In Washington State Threatens Hundreds Of Homes

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 1:31 pm

Residents of roughly 1,700 homes have been told they should evacuate as a wildfire burns out of control in central Washington state.

Few have heeded the warnings, however. Only a handful of people have shown up at emergency shelters.

"People in this area are very self-sufficient," Eileen Ervin, spokeswoman for the Chelan County Emergency Management Office told The Associated Press. "They stay until the very last minute."

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Thu July 17, 2014

CEO Of Ignition Switch Maker Says No Responsibility For GM Deaths

Executive vice president and general counsel at General Motors Co. Michael Millikin (from left), GM CEO Mary Barra, CEO and president of Delphi Automotive PLC Rodney O'Neal and chairman of the firm at Jenner & Block Anton Valukas testify before a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 12:52 pm

The CEO of the manufacturer of the ignition switches that ended up in recalled General Motors cars said his company bears no responsibility for deaths resulting from the part, which was redesigned according to GM specifications.

"We had a product that we worked with General Motors to develop," Delphi Automotive's Rodney O'Neal told a Senate subcommittee looking into the ignition switch failure that caused at least 13 deaths among drivers and passengers in GM cars.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Thu July 17, 2014

U.S. Officials: Malaysian Airliner Likely Shot Down

A woman at Kuala Lumpur International Airport reacts to news of crash. The flight was on its way to the Malaysian capital.
Samsul Said Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 10:31 am

This post was last updated at 6:40 p.m. ET.

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 298 passengers and crew aboard has crashed in eastern Ukraine in an area of the country that has been wracked by a separatist insurgency.

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Goats and Soda
10:02 am
Thu July 17, 2014

She's Got A Perfect Afro — And A Melodious Vision For African Musicians

Ethiopian-born singer Meklit Hadero shows off her guitar chops and her perfect afro.
Cody Pickens

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 1:58 pm

In February, Ethiopian-born singer Meklit Hadero was flying home from Uganda to the U.S. when her plane had to land unexpectedly near the Arctic Circle. It was so cold that to keep her fingers warm she put on oven mitts (decorated with an African print) that she'd bought to bring home.

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The Two-Way
9:32 am
Thu July 17, 2014

After Thor, Marvel Announces Big Change To Captain America

Sam Wilson, the new Captain America.
Marvel

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:55 am

Sam Wilson will carry Captain America's shield.

It's the second major announcement from comics publisher Marvel, which also said this week that the new Thor will be female.

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Business
9:22 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Microsoft Announces Biggest Layoffs Yet: Up To 18,000 Workers

In the largest layoff in the company's history, it's stripping 14 percent of its workforce. CEO Satya Nadella says it's part of a plan to make the 39-year-old company more agile and productive.

Code Switch
8:44 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Study Reveals Worse Outcomes For Black And Latino Defendants

Cyrus Vance Jr., the district attorney for Manhattan, wanted to see if there were disparities in how the cases were disposed of.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:26 am

There are a lot of steps that come between an arrest and a conviction, and between conviction and sentencing. And throughout that winding process, a prosecutor's decisions carry enormous weight.

Does the prosecutor accept the case? Does she have the defendant jailed before trial? Is a plea bargain offered to the defendant, and if so, what are the terms?

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Thu July 17, 2014

California Bank Robbery Ends In Violent And Deadly Car Chase

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:07 am

A bank robbery in California ended in a running gunbattle between police and three armed men in an hourlong car chase. The suspects had taken three hostages with them after fleeing the bank in the city of Stockton. Two of the suspects died, along with one hostage.

The chase didn't end until police succeeded in shooting out the tires on the vehicle the men were in. TV footage from the scene shows a bullet-riddled SUV with at least one rifle next to it, a weapon resembling an AK-47.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Australia Repeals An Unpopular Tax On Carbon Emissions

An oil refinery is pictured in the southern Sydney suburb of Kurnell earlier this week. Australia's Senate voted on Thursday to scrap the country's carbon tax and plans for emissions trading — a major victory for conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:47 am

Australia became the first country in the world to repeal a carbon tax on the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott made good on a campaign promise to get rid of the unpopular law.

The Senate voted 39 to 32 to eliminate the tax enacted by the previous center-left government two years ago. The law imposed the equivalent of a $22.60 tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions on about 350 of the nation's worst polluters.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Ukraine Says Russia Shot Down One Of Its Warplanes

A Sukhoi Su-25 single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft with Russian markings. A similar Ukrainian jet was reportedly shot down late Wednesday.
Syritsa Mikhail ITAR-TASS/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:25 am

This post updated at 10:15 a.m. ET.

A Ukrainian government spokesman says one of its warplanes was shot down in the country's east by a Russian air force jet, as the U.S. and Europe stepped up sanctions on Moscow over its support of separatist rebels.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Microsoft Will Cut As Many As 18,000 Jobs

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:23 am

A large layoff is under way at Microsoft, as the technology company says it will cut 13,000 jobs in the next six months. All but 500 of the layoffs are related to the Nokia phone division the company acquired in April. Microsoft says it might shed as many as 18,000 jobs as it restructures itself.

The company says it will complete most of the layoffs by the end of this year, and complete the restructuring by next June.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Blues Guitarist Johnny Winter Dies At 70

Legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter, seen here performing in Valencia in 2008, has died at age 70.
Diego Tuson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:08 am

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Around the Nation
5:31 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Washington State Man Tries To Rid House Of Spider

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Some people really don't like spiders. So you can sympathize with the Washington state man who found a spider in his laundry room. Maybe showing a touch of arachnophobia, he made a makeshift blowtorch. He took a lighter and a can of spray paint. He sprayed flames toward the spider. And of course, he set his house on fire, costing $60,000 worth of damage. We have no word as of this morning on the spider's condition. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

It's All Politics
5:09 am
Thu July 17, 2014

The GOP Now Likes Community Organizing (If It Wins Elections)

Republican officials Rob Collins, Phil Cox and Matt Walter all seemed pleased at a briefing for journalists about the GOP's midterm election prospects, as did former first lady Mamie Eisenhower.
Frank James NPR

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:56 am

Both parties are sounding confident right now about their midterm election prospects, but only one can be right. As it stands now, Republicans clearly have more reason for optimism.

On their side, Republicans have history and a current political environment in which the Republican base looks to be more excited about the coming election than Democrats.

Meanwhile, voters are consistently telling pollsters that they're dissatisfied with the nation's direction, which usually portends bad news for the party holding the White House.

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Thu July 17, 2014

A 5-Hour Truce Between Hamas And Israel Ends, And Fighting Begins

A Palestinian municipality worker sweeps the street as a United Nations vehicle drives past a damaged money exchange post. Israel and Hamas took a break from fighting Thursday for humanitarian reasons.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 2:12 pm

This post was updated at 4:10 p.m. ET: Ground Offenses Begin

Israel has sent ground forces into Gaza on Thursday, which we are covering in this post.

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET: Hostilities Resume

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Around the Nation
4:43 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Panama's Ex-Strongman Sues Over 'Call Of Duty' Video Game

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Panama's most famous dictator is suing the makers of "Call of Duty." In the video game "Black Ops 2," Manuel Noriega is a character who works with and turns against the CIA.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO GAME, "BLACK OPS 2")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Manuel Noriega) (Spanish spoken).

NPR Story
3:55 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Seattle Cab Drivers Go Back To School To Learn Manners

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

The cabbies are trying to win back customers lost to ride service companies like Uber and Lyft, whose customers rate their drivers.

NPR Story
3:55 am
Thu July 17, 2014

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Faces Media Scrutiny Head-On

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And we've been reporting on another border controversy, a series of violent incidents in which U.S. Border Patrol agents killed civilians. Sometimes, years passed without any conclusion on whether the shootings were right or wrong.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A new commissioner, Gil Kerlikowske, says that Border Patrol needs to show greater openness. And he has now given MORNING EDITION his first extended interview on the agency's use of force.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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NPR Story
3:10 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Commission To Decide If Some Federal Inmates Will Be Let Out Early

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

One of the most significant changes to the criminal justice system in a generation will be on the table tomorrow here in Washington. The U.S. Sentencing Commission is set to vote on a plan that could send tens of thousands of federal prison inmates home early by reducing prison terms for drug trafficking. It's getting mixed reviews from both law enforcement and some civil rights groups. NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson reports.

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NPR Story
3:10 am
Thu July 17, 2014

N.C. Governor Causes Controversy With Poet Laureate Appointment

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:38 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We have a report this morning on a controversy in the rough-and-tumble bare-knuckle world of poetry. North Carolina has a new poet laureate, Governor Pat McCrory appointed a state employee whose work is self-published. The governor acted without input from the state Arts Council which has some in the literary community upset. Here's Duncan McFadyen of member station WFAE in Charlotte.

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NPR Story
3:10 am
Thu July 17, 2014

'Voices of Cycling' Duo Has Shared A Mic For 29 Years

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:17 am

Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen have covered the Tour de France, the sport's most grueling race, together for decades and have developed a rapport that viewers appreciate.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
1:34 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Physicists Crush Diamonds With Giant Laser

Physicists put diamonds at the center of this massive laser, to see what would happen.
Matt Swisher Matt Swisher/LLNL

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Physicists have used the world's most powerful laser to zap diamonds. The results, they say, could tell us more about the cores of giant planets.

"Diamonds have very special properties, besides being very expensive and used for jewelrey etc.," says Raymond Smith, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. "It's the hardest substance known to man."

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Parallels
1:32 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Amid A 'Shimmering' Tension, A Walk Through Israel And The West Bank

Paul Salopek, National Geographic fellow, looks out over Jerusalem during his seven-year journey by foot from Africa to South America.
Bassam Almohor National Geographic

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Not long ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek traveled through Israel and the West Bank as part of his journey walking from Africa to South America. He was there this spring, before the current violence erupted. Talking recently from Cyprus to Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, he says the long-standing conflict was part of daily life.


Interview Highlights

On coming under fire from Israeli soldiers

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Shots - Health News
1:31 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Skimping On Sleep Can Stress Body And Brain

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:58 am

"The lion and calf shall lie down together," Woody Allen once wrote, "but the calf won't get much sleep."

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News
6:02 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Obama Unrolls New Sanctions Against Russia

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama had some announcements today on U.S. policy overseas. In the White House briefing room, the president ran through a long list of what he described as pressing foreign policy challenges - questions about the election results in Afghanistan, Iranian nuclear talks, the ongoing violence between Hamas and Israel and finally, the situation in Ukraine. The U.S. government imposed new sanctions on Russia today over interference in that country. Here's how President Obama summed it up.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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U.S.
4:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Lotteries Take In Billions, Often Attract The Poor

A customer holds his Mega Millions lottery ticket at Tobacco Plus in Muncie, Ind. Researchers say lotteries often draw low-income gamblers who are on welfare.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:13 pm

Santo Domingo Liquors in Lawrence, Mass., has two cash registers. But sometimes only the lottery register has a line.

Elizabeth Correia, eight months pregnant, is running that register with her mother — her family owns the store.

"We do this seven days a week. Seven days a week. My mom, sometimes she'll do it open to closing," Correia says.

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