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Europe
5:53 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

For Cyprus' North And South, A Reversal Of Fortunes

Fikri Toros, a Turkish Cypriot businessman, says his family's company struggled for years because of embargoes and a weak Turkish lira. But its fortunes have improved with Turkey's economy.
Joanna Kakissis NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:05 pm

Just a few years ago, Cyprus was considered a wealthy country, though that referred mostly to the Greek Cypriots on the southern part of the divided island. When Cyprus entered the eurozone in 2008, analysts were wondering what would become of the much poorer north, which has been occupied by Turkey since a 1974 war.

Now, the Turks in northern Cyprus have the booming economy, while Greek Cypriots, crippled by exposure to ailing Greek banks, are waiting for final approval on what will be the fourth sovereign bailout of a eurozone country.

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Shots - Health News
5:46 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

HIV Infections Rise Among Young Black Men In U.S.

A young man places an oral swab into a solution to complete an HIV test during a free screening event in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 4:11 pm

The latest data on HIV rates in American teenagers and young adults offer a sobering message.

While the number of new infections in the U.S. is relatively stable — at about 50,000 people each year — HIV is on the rise in young people under 25.

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Latin America
5:44 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Mexico's Drug War Is Changing Childhood

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Since the drug war in Mexico began in 2006, more than 50,000 people have been killed and organized crime has infiltrated, in one way or another, virtually every part of society. Many children have lost family members or become victims themselves. Cartels have also begun recruiting kids to work, often as mules. Even those young people who don't feel the drug war directly have to confront its effects on TV and at school, where bullies imitate narco-traffickers.

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World Cafe
5:27 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Electric Guest on World Cafe

Electric Guest.
Courtesy of the artist

Sometimes it pays to be somebody's little brother. Were it not for his fraternal ties, singer and multi-instrumentalist Asa Taccone probably wouldn't have been able to get acclaimed songwriter and producer Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse) to produce his band's debut album. Taccone's older brother, a friend of Burton's, asked the producer to listen to the songs his little brother had been working on and give some constructive criticism.

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The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Reports: Apple Fires One More Employee In Maps Fiasco

Apple's new iPhone 5 may have been criticised for its glitch-ridden new maps program, but it may have inadvertently provided a diplomatic solution to China and Japan's ongoing row over disputed islands. When a user searches for the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, claimed by Beijing under the name Diaoyu, two sets of the islands appear alongside each other.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:30 pm

In the aftermath of the maps fiasco, the heads continue to roll at Apple. Today, there is news that one more employee has been let go. This time it was manager Richard Williamson, who oversaw the maps project, who lost his job.

Bloomberg broke the news and it reports:

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Brazil Claims Success In Protecting Amazon Rainforest

A truck carrying hardwood timber drives along a rural road leading to Paragominas, Brazil, on Sept. 23, 2011. The city has become a pioneering "Green City," a model of sustainability with a new economic approach that has seen illegal deforestation virtually halted.
Andre Penner AP

The pace of destruction of the Brazilian Amazon is at its lowest rate in more than two decades, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research said in a new report released Tuesday.

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Health
4:58 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

A Risky Mix: Grapefruit And Quite A Few Drugs

Grapefruit can make for a tasty addition to breakfast. But it can also interfere with some medications.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:44 pm

Grapefruit sprinkled with a little sugar has just the right amount of kick for a morning meal. But when the bitter fruit is mixed with medication, things can get a bit tricky.

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Education
4:25 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

As Colleges Retool Aid, Can Entry Stay Need-Blind?

Cornell University just converted some of its grants into loans.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:23 pm

With money coming in more slowly than the financial aid given out, schools say they are nearing the breaking point, and even the most selective elite universities are rethinking their generosity.

"It just became clear that if we continue to give more and more aid, the numbers don't add up," says Raynard Kington, head of Grinnell College. Thanks to longtime former board member Warren Buffett, Grinnell has an endowment bigger than most schools dream of. For years, that's enabled Grinnell to admit students on a need-blind basis — and then give them as much aid as they need.

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The Record
4:23 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

R. Kelly's Queer, Campy 'Closet' Reopens

R. Kelly (left) as Sylvester, and Eric Lane as Twan, in Trapped in the Closet, which relaunched with new chapters last week on IFC.
Parrish Lewis IFC

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:55 pm

There's really been nothing like Trapped in the Closet ever before.

R&B star R. Kelly has been making (and remaking) a series of short music videos that tell a flamboyant narrative in less-than-five-minute installments. The first batch of several dozen appeared online in 2005. Now, there's a total of 40 "chapters" that aired last Friday on IFC, with the latest ones being released online one at a time for the next week.

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The Two-Way
4:09 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Secrets From The Sky: Parade Confetti Containing Sensitive Data Still A Mystery

Garbage and confetti lie on the ground after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Nov. 22.
Carlo Allegri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:23 pm

Why were secrets raining from the sky during Macy's Thanksgiving Parade? Police still aren't sure.

Inspector Kenneth Lack said Monday the Nassau County Police Department is investigating how confidential records including names of police officers, license plates, and the route of presidential candidate Mitt Romney's motorcade ended up as confetti in Manhattan's annual celebration, The Chicago Tribune reports.

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It's All Politics
4:05 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Obama Team Works To Keep Grass Roots From Drying Up In Second Term

A campaign volunteer wears a button as President Obama speaks at a campaign event in Maumee, Ohio. Now that the election is over, the Obama team is trying to keep supporters engaged in the president's second term.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:55 pm

On Wednesday, President Obama will meet with middle-class Americans who will be affected by a tax increase if the country goes over the fiscal cliff. The White House put out a call for their stories last week.

That dialogue with the American people is part of a broader White House effort to keep campaign supporters engaged during Obama's second term. It's a big change from the first term — and it's not an easy undertaking.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Servicewomen, ACLU Sue Pentagon Over Combat Exclusion

Cap. Zoe Bedell, one of the plaintiffs.
ACLU

Four servicewomen along with the American Civil Liberties Union are suing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta over the military's policy to exclude women from combat. The policy, says the ACLU, is unconstitutional.

US News reports:

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Author Interviews
3:17 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

'The Last Refuge': Yemen, Al-Qaida And The U.S.

W.W. Norton & Co.

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:47 pm

In December 2009, a would-be terrorist boarded a plane for Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. While the explosive failed to properly ignite and the man was arrested upon landing, the ensuing investigation revealed the bomb in question had been made by al-Qaida leaders in Yemen.

This attempted act of terrorism heralded both the small Arabian country's re-emergence into the international consciousness as a refuge for al-Qaida and the ascendance of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), developments that have grown only more pronounced since.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Powerball Jackpot Is $500 Million; Now Will You Buy A Chance?

A ticket and a dream.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:23 pm

We know there's only a 1 in 175 million chance of winning. Even then, you might have to share the prize.

But with Wednesday's Powerball jackpot now estimated to be $500 million (a record for that lottery), we wonder: Are Two-Way readers playing?

Yes, it is kind of silly to think that just because the jackpot has hit half a billion dollars it makes a lot more sense to buy a chance now than it did when you would "only" win $40 million.

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Around the Nation
2:34 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Kennedy Center's New Organ No Longer A Pipe Dream

After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 9:16 am

It was almost spooky. Each night after 11 p.m., when nothing was stirring in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, two men would enter. One would sit at the organ, playing a key or series of keys, and the other would crawl around inside the organ pipes, 40 feet off the floor. The process went on for months.

It was the all but final phase of installing a new organ for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And on Nov. 27, the organ makes its formal debut.

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Science + Technology
2:30 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

Does This Guy Matter? Conductor Leonard Bernstein during rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1977.
James Garrett New York Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:12 am

Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?

They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?

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Music Reviews
1:52 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Cecilia Bartoli's New 'Mission' Unearths Baroque Gems

On her new album, opera star Cecilia Bartoli tackles the work of Baroque composer Agostino Steffani.
Uli Weber Decca

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:17 pm

I never heard of the Baroque composer Agostino Steffani until last year, when the Boston Early Music Festival presented the North American premiere of Steffani's Niobe, an opera about the mythical queen who bragged so much about her many children, the gods killed them all in revenge. One of the leading roles, Niobe's husband King Amphion, was played by the early-music superstar countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who sang the opera's most sublime aria — a hymn to the harmony of the spheres. I couldn't wait to hear Jaroussky again, and was eager to hear more Steffani.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Venezuela's Chávez Will Return To Cuba For Medical Treatment

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks on November 1.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 1:40 pm

Venezuela's National Assembly has approved a measure that allows President Hugo Chávez to leave the country for medical treatment in Cuba.

Chávez, as we've reported, has been battling cancer for more than a year. His treatments and the secrecy surrounding his condition led some to wonder whether he could handle a rough reelection campaign. But he made a remarkable comeback and handily won another term in October.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Grover Norquist: Pink Unicorns Aren't Real And GOP Won't Break Tax Pledge

Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform and the man behind the pledge.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 6:35 pm

  • Grover Norquist on Keynesianism
  • Grover Norquist: Pink unicorns aren't real either
  • Congressman-elect Ted Yoho on 'Morning Edition'

There has not been a wave of defections by Republicans who signed on to his "no new taxes" pledge and even the few who have spoken about possibly going along with revenue increases won't do so in the end, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told NPR Tuesday.

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Shots - Health News
12:42 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Momentum Builds For Hepatitis C Testing Of Baby Boomers

Hospitals began testing blood for hepatitis in 1992, so anyone who received a blood transfusion before then is at an increased risk for contracting the disease.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:01 pm

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an influential and often controversial panel of doctors, is moving toward a recommendation for testing that could apply to all baby boomers.

The group issued draft advice to doctors saying they should consider giving a hepatitis C test to people born between 1945 and 1965, regardless of their risk factors for having the disease.

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