The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

UPDATE: With A Swish Of His Autopen, Obama Signs Fiscal Cliff Bill

President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One at Hickam Air Force Base near Honolulu, Hawaii, Wednesday. Obama returned to Hawaii to continue his vacation — prompting questions about how he will sign the fiscal cliff bill.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:43 am

Update at 7:35 a.m ET, Jan. 3. Signed By Autopen:

As many had expected he would, the president did sign the fiscal cliff agreement with an autopen. The bill was back in Washington, D.C., while Obama was in Hawaii on vacation. So, it was signed by an autopen machine that produces a copy of the president's signature. As we outlined earlier, this has been done before.

Our original post — "How Will President Obama Sign The Fiscal Cliff Bill?"

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Science
2:50 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

'Stand Your Ground' Linked To Increase In Homicides

George Zimmerman (left) and his attorney appear in court for a bond hearing in June. Zimmerman's case sparked a nationwide debate about so-called "stand your ground" laws.
Joe Burbank AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:54 am

If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. On the other hand, if an altercation breaks out in public, the law requires you to try to retreat. At least, that's what it used to do.

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Middle East
1:58 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

On Multiple Fronts, Russian Jews Reshape Israel

Russian-speaking Israelis mingle at the Soho nightclub in Tel Aviv. The club caters to the Russian-speaking immigrant community, featuring hired dancers and extravagant decorations rarely seen in informal Israel.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:54 am

Many signs are in the Cyrillic alphabet. The men and women sitting in the cafes are speaking Russian. The shops sell vodka, black bread, pickled herring and Russian-brewed Baltika beer. You have to pinch yourself to remember where you are.

This scene, with all its echoes of the former Soviet Union, is not in St. Petersburg or Vladivostok, or anywhere else in that vast sweep of bleak northern lands. It is in Ashdod, Israel, a palm-lined, pastel-colored port city that sprawls along the mild shores of the Mediterranean.

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National Security
1:34 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

At $130 Million A Plane, Critics Question The Cost Of The F-35

Visitors look at a Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet at the Singapore Airshow in 2010. The cost of the plane keeps on rising and is now $130 million or more per plane, depending on the model.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Second of two parts

In a mile-long building on the edge of Fort Worth, Texas, an assembly line is taking shape to build the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Lockheed Martin, which got the contract to build the jet back in 2001, is slowly cranking up production. It's hard to keep a plane current, when it takes so many years to develop.

But Lockheed's Kevin McCormack says the F-35 is designed to change as technology evolves.

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It's All Politics
1:29 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Bidding Adieu To Congressional Trailblazers

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the nation's most prominent gay politician, speaks in Washington last month about his imminent retirement.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 8:15 am

The drama over the fiscal cliff and the familiar up-against-a-deadline dysfunction of Congress have largely overshadowed the leave-taking of some Capitol Hill originals.

So we wanted to remember a few true congressional trailblazers whose long Washington careers are ending. They include the first openly gay member of Congress, a leader of the libertarian movement, the first Jewish candidate to run on a major party presidential ticket, and the most fervent supporter of a U.S. Department of Peace.

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Shots - Health News
1:04 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Drug Fulfills Promise Of Research Into Cystic Fibrosis Gene

Kalydeco is one of the first drugs that is effective at combating the root causes of a genetic disease.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:53 pm

The promise of genetic medicine is beginning to be fulfilled, but it's been a long, hard slog.

Take the story of Kalydeco. It's designed to treat people with a lung disease called cystic fibrosis. While not quite a cure, the drug is extremely effective for some CF patients.

But the success of Kalydeco has been more than two decades in the making.

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It's All Politics
12:56 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Cliff Deal: What We Learned; What Comes Next

Although the fiscal cliff deal was passed by majorities in both chambers, it has still drawn criticism from the left and right.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:03 pm

The budget negotiations that led to a frantic New Year's deal on taxes confirmed many lessons about the way Washington works today.

For one thing, many of the most important relationships in the capitol appear to be broken. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner led negotiations on a budget deal for most of the post-election period, but once again they came up empty.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Malala, Shot For Speaking Out Against Pakistan's Taliban, To Stay In U.K.

In November, Pakistani students in Karachi participated in a "Malala Day" to show support for the girl who was shot when she spoke out against the Taliban.
Masroor Xinhua /Landov

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman because she had been speaking out against that group's efforts to stop Pakistani girls from going to school, will be staying in Great Britain.

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It's All Politics
11:30 am
Wed January 2, 2013

'Rum Cliff' And Other Close Shaves In The Tax, Spending Deal

The 'rum tax' is extended.
istock

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:12 pm

You might have thought the intense partisan negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff were all about who wins and who loses when it comes to taxes and government programs.

And that assessment would be essentially correct — but some of the winners might strike you as a bit odd.

Tucked away in the bill's obscure cul-de-sacs are a bevy of obscure tax and spending provisions. We picked five for your perusal. Here goes:

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Economy
11:28 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Economists See (OK-ish) Growth In 2013

Farmer Randy Dreher unloads corn from his combine during harvest north of Audubon, Iowa. Farm exports are booming and high global prices are helping growers despite the U.S. drought.
Gary Fandel/Iowa Farm Bureau AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:07 am

Suddenly, the new year is looking a bit brighter — at least in the eyes of most economists and investors.

On Day 1 of 2013, Congress voted to veer away from the "fiscal cliff" by passing a package of provisions that avoided broad tax hikes and big spending cuts. And on Day 2, stock prices shot up.

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