The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

In Syria's Complicated War, U.N. Peacekeepers Become Pawns

U.N. peacekeepers cross a checkpoint in the Golan Heights on Friday. Syrian rebels seized 21 peacekeepers from the Philippines and are insisting that Syrian troops leave the area.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 2:11 pm

The Syrian civil war keeps getting more complicated, and the seizure of 21 United Nations peacekeepers has again raised concern that the fighting could spread turmoil in the region.

The rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's regime are a mixed lot that include secular fighters calling for democracy, as well as Muslim fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law.

A rebel faction calling itself the Martyrs of Yarmouk Brigade says it seized the peacekeepers on Wednesday.

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U.S.
12:38 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Does Crime Drop When Immigrants Move In?

The diverse neighborhood of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, has experienced a dramatic drop in crime over the past two decades.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:03 pm

As lawmakers in Washington continue to negotiate over immigration policies, they'll have to grapple with a fundamental disagreement about the link between immigrants and crime.

Elected officials from Pennsylvania to Arizona have argued that undocumented immigrants contribute to higher crime rates, but some social scientists tell a different story. They argue that first-generation immigrants actually make their communities safer — and they point to some of the nation's biggest cities as proof.

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Economy
12:26 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

5 Things The Jobs Report Tells Us About The Economy (Or Not)

The job market showed strong growth in February. But questions about low wages, consumer debt and government austerity cloud the sunny picture.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 1:02 pm

If you enjoy having a good argument, Friday's report on the labor market gives you plenty to chew over. Find a debate partner and let's get started.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Fri March 8, 2013

South Dakota Governor Signs Law Allowing Guns In Schools

After training, teachers and other staffers in South Dakota could choose to bring guns with them to school if their districts want to set up "sentinel" programs.
Jim Urquhart Reuters /Landov

South Dakota on Friday became what's "believed to be the first state to pass a law that specifically allows teachers to carry firearms," as The New York Times writes.

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Local News
11:30 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Millions Spent To Battle Largest Wildfires In 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal statistics show that efforts to douse the largest of the nation's wildfires last year cost more than $580 million, and it took more than three months in some cases to put out the flames.

A summary by the National Interagency Fire Center also shows more than 80 percent of the 51 largest fires were sparked by lightning. That includes the Long Draw and Holloway fires, which together burned more than 1 million acres and were among the largest in Oregon's history.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Fri March 8, 2013

John Brennan Is Sworn In As CIA Director

Vice President Joe Biden swears in CIA Director John Brennan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 8, 2013.
David Lienemann The White House

During a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, John Brennan was sworn in as the director of the Central Intelligence Office by Vice President Joe Biden.

According to the White House, Brennan took his oath by putting his hand "on an original draft of the Constitution, dating from 1787, which has George Washington's personal handwriting and annotations on it."

The AP reports that with Brennan, President Obama's national security team is set for a second term.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Citizens Of Nitro, W.V., Watch Town's Bridge Blow Up

An image taken from a video depicts a section of the Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge in Nitro, WV, being demolished by a controlled explosion Friday.
YouTube

The last portion of the Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge, which once connected the West Virginia towns of Nitro and St. Albans, was demolished this morning. Hundreds of people gathered to view the controlled explosion Friday morning.

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All Tech Considered
11:01 am
Fri March 8, 2013

In Open Source Rocket Competition, Collaboration Takes Off

A screenshot shows how a team would track changes to its rocket project on a Sunglass platform.
Sunglass

Here's the challenge: Build a rocket engine. Don't worry, you don't need much.

At the SXSW festival in Austin on Saturday, startup companies DIYRockets and Sunglass are launching a competition to create 3-D-printed rocket engines with open source (read: free) technology.

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Shots - Health News
10:53 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Could A 'Brain Pacemaker' Someday Treat Severe Anorexia?

Kim Rollins of Ontario, Canada, struggled with anorexia for more than 20 years. After starting deep brain stimulation 14 months ago, the 36-year-old says she's in recovery.
Courtesy of Krembil Neuroscience Centre

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 8:23 am

Many people who get anorexia recover after therapy and counseling. But in about 20 to 30 percent of cases, the disease becomes a chronic condition that gets tougher and tougher to treat.

Right now, doctors have few options for helping these patients, mostly women, whose disease can be crippling or fatal.

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The Salt
10:30 am
Fri March 8, 2013

We Like 'Em Big And Juicy: How Our Table Grapes Got So Fat

Left to their own devices, many seedless grapes would be puny and soft. But these Thompson seedless got pleasingly plump after a little girdling and hormone treatment.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 3:37 pm

It's no secret that many Americans have a fetish for big food. Whether it's a triple-decker cheeseburger or a 128-ounce Big Gulp, some portions in the U.S. have gotten freakishly large.

But not all of our supersizing is unhealthy.

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