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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Kurds Seize 2 Oil Fields Amid Rising Tensions With Iraqi Government

Iraqi Kurds call for independence as Masud Barzani, president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, arrives to attend a session of the Kurdish Parliament on July 3.
Jawdat Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 1:21 pm

Kurdish forces have seized two oil fields near the disputed city of Kirkuk, a day after their ministers withdrew from all Cabinet meetings in Baghdad, moves that further imperil Iraq's already tenuous unity.

Peshmerga forces took over the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oil fields, expelling local workers, Iraq's Oil Ministry confirmed. A spokesman for the ministry called it a "violation of the constitution."

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Kerry Pushes For Audit Of Disputed Afghan Presidential Poll

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah at the start of a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Friday. Kerry sought Friday to broker a deal between Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates.
Jim Bourg AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 3:16 pm

This post updated at 3:15 p.m. ET.

Calling it a "critical moment" in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing for a partial recount in the country's presidential elections amid alleged vote fraud.

"We are in a very, very critical moment for Afghanistan," Kerry told reporters. "Legitimacy hangs in the balance. The future potential of the transition hangs in the balance. So we've a lot of work to do."

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Fly Like An Eagle: Site Picks The Best Aerial Drone Photos

An eagle flies over Bali's Barat National Park, in this award-winning image taken by a camera attached to a drone.
capungaero Dronestagram

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 12:15 pm

An eagle soars above a national park in Bali, Indonesia. A waterfall in Mexico is seen from above its shelf of cascading water. Those are the top two finishers in a contest held to find the best images captured by cameras mounted on aerial drones. The winners were recently unveiled by the site Dronestagram.

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The Protojournalist
11:22 am
Fri July 11, 2014

A Surge In Concierges

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 4:47 am

Steve Sims is the founder of Bluefish, a luxury concierge service that takes care of rich people. As Steve posted on Reddit recently: "We've arranged everything from supersonic military jet flights in Russia, submersible dives in the Atlantic Ocean to view the Titanic, sunsets in the Serengeti, deep-sea dives with great whites, performing with rock stars, to flights into space for our clients."

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Elephant Featured In Film 'Alexander' Killed By Thai Poachers

A photo released by the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal, shows Thai police officers examining the slain elephant.
AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:33 am

Poachers in Thailand killed a 50-year-old elephant who appeared in Oliver Stone's 2004 film Alexander before crudely hacking off the animal's giant tusks, according to The Bangkok Post.

The Asian elephant, named Phlai Khlao, was used in scenes from the movie starring Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie. The animal had also been part of ceremonial performances for Thailand's royal family.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Liverpool Unloads 'The Biter,' Sending Suarez To Barca For $128 Million

Luis Suarez will wear the number 9 for Barcelona.
FC Barcelona

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 11:45 am

Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan striker who became headline news in the U.S. after biting an Italian player during the World Cup, is moving to a new club. He'll play for Barcelona, after the team reached terms with Liverpool in a transfer widely reported at 75 million pounds, or more than $128 million.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Germany Calls For 'Honest Foundation' In Relations With U.S.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin on Friday. Steinmeier will meet Secretary of State John Kerry this weekend to discuss allegations of U.S. spying.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 11:42 am

Germany's foreign minister said his government's decision to ask the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave was inevitable given recent allegations of spying, but he said he wants to renew the friendship between the two countries based on an "honest foundation."

Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters in Berlin on Friday that the decision to expel the U.S. intelligence official "is the right decision, a necessary step and a fitting reaction to the break of trust which has occurred."

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Dozens Of Ukrainian Troops Reportedly Killed By Militants

Ukrainian soldiers man a checkpoint about 30 miles from Donetsk on Thursday. A government official said Friday that a rocket attack had killed as many as 30 troops.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 11:35 am

Separatists in eastern Ukraine reportedly used a rocket-launching system in an attack Friday that a Ukrainian official says might have killed as many as 30 government troops. The strike comes after days of steady gains against the rebels by Ukrainian forces.

From the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency:

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Shots - Health News
8:09 am
Fri July 11, 2014

How A Fanny Pack Mix-Up Revealed A Medicare Drug Scam

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 5:30 pm

The fraud scheme began to unravel last fall, with the discovery of a misdirected stack of bogus prescriptions and a suspicious spike in Medicare drug spending tied to a doctor in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Now it's led to two guilty pleas, as well as an ongoing criminal case against a pharmacy owner.

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NPR Ed
8:03 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Q&A: A Union Leader On Tenure, Testing And The Common Core

Weingarten says people need to talk more about how to "attract, retain, support and nurture great teaching for kids at risk."
Shannon DeCelle AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:12 am

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is holding its annual convention in Los Angeles through this weekend. For the AFT's more than 3,500 national delegates descending on LA, there is a lot on their plate and big challenges ahead for the nation's second-largest teachers union: the Common Core, tenure and fierce debate about testing, to name a few.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Israel And Hamas Keep Up Attacks, Ignoring Calls For Peace

Israeli firefighters extinguish vehicles at a gas station in Ashdod, Israel, that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on Friday.
David Buimovitch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 1:54 pm

This post was updated at 1 p.m. ET.

The number of Palestinians killed in Israel's aerial offensive that began this week has surpassed 100, according to health officials in Gaza. More than 600 people have been wounded in the ongoing exchange of airstrikes and rockets between Israel's military and the militant group Hamas.

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Europe
7:29 am
Fri July 11, 2014

'How To Survive The Bulls' Co-Author Gets Gored

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

On Wednesday, Bill Hillmann, one of the authors of Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona, was reportedly gored in the leg. His injuries were not life threatening.

Around the Nation
7:07 am
Fri July 11, 2014

New York City Considers Licensing Costumed Peformers

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. New York City is considering a crackdown on Superman. Lawmakers say too many people dress like the man of steel or like Batman. Superheroes or "Sesame Street" characters offer to pose for pictures tourists in Times Square - problem is, many then demand money from the tourists, and in one case, Elmo launched into an anti-Semitic tirade - not good. The proposal under consideration would require costume performers to be licensed. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Middle East
7:02 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Gaza Residents Deal With Fourth Night Of Israeli Air Strikes

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Palestinian-American business consultant and political commentator Sami Abdel-Shafi about living in Gaza while under attack from Israel.

Business
7:02 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Economists Say Inflation Is Tame; Consumers Aren't Buying It

Meat is displayed in a case at a grocery store in Miami. The index of retail prices for meats, poultry, fish and eggs was up 7.7 percent from a year ago — more than triple the overall inflation rate.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 9:15 am

Economists regularly issue reports calling inflation tame or mild, or some other word that suggests consumers shouldn't be feeling much pain.

One example: "Inflation has been tame and this is providing households with some relief" from economic stress, according to an assessment done this week by PNC Financial Services.

But if you happen to be buying gasoline or groceries, you may not be feeling relieved — at all.

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Business
5:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Hottest Burger In Britain Burns 2 Journalists

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

Two journalists from a newspaper in Brighton, England, went to the hospital after sampling the Hot Chili Burger. The heat is in the sauce, which is rated about 3,000 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.

NPR Story
5:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Ukrainian Army Takes Back Areas From Pro-Russian Separatists

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Just weeks ago, it looked like Russia might extend its control of the Ukrainian region of Crimea to other areas of Ukraine. But now the Ukrainian Army has pushed out pro-Russian separatists from most of the cities and towns the rebels had seized. And the Kremlin, once so vocal, has gone quiet.

For a look at the turnaround, we reached Professor Stephen Sestanovich. He's a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Good morning.

STEPHEN SESTANOVICH: Morning.

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NPR Story
5:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

NSA Implementing Fix To Prevent Snowden-Like Security Breach

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

A year after Edward Snowden's digital heist, the NSA's chief technology officer says steps have been taken to stop future incidents. But he says there's no way for the NSA to be entirely secure.

NPR Story
5:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Germany Asks Top CIA Spy In Country To Leave

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

The move comes after German investigators discovered a second citizen suspected of spying for the U.S. Renee Montagne talks to James Bamford, who writes about U.N. intelligence agencies and the NSA.

It's All Politics
7:40 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Study: Statehouse Press Corps In Decline

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver talks to reporters in a hallway at the capitol in Albany in March. The ranks of statehouse reporters have been thinning in recent years.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 8:26 pm

A declining number of reporters are stalking the hallways of the nation's statehouses.

That's according to a Pew Research report released Thursday. The study found that the number of full-time statehouse newspaper reporters declined by more than a third between 2003 and 2014. There are now just 164 full-time newspaper journalists reporting on the bills, protests and politicians in the nation's 50 state capitals.

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