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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Israel Cabinet Agrees To Extend Cease-Fire Until Sunday

A Palestinian man leans on his car after salvaging usable items from his destroyed house in Shuja'iyya neighborhood in east Gaza City, on Saturday. Gazans are taking advantage of a brief cease-fire with Israel.
Oliver Weiken EPA /Landov

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 5:57 pm

Update at 5:35 p.m. ET.

Israel's Security Cabinet says it is willing to extend an earlier cease-fire in Gaza, NPR's Emily Harris has confirmed, until Sunday at midnight local time.

Work on neutralizing the tunnels, however, will continue, according to an Israeli official. The Israeli Defense Forces also said they will act against any violation of the extension.

A Hamas spokesman said any cease-fire that does not include the withdrawal of Israel troops from Gaza is unacceptable.

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The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

'I Love Your Country,' New House Member Tells U.S. Officials

Speaking about India, Rep. Curt Clawson told U.S. officials from the State and Commerce departments, "I am familiar with your country. I love your country."
Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:37 pm

Rep. Curt Clawson hasn't been in Congress long — he was sworn into office exactly one month ago. We mention that as a caveat, because in a congressional hearing Thursday, Clawson seems to have mistaken Americans who work in the U.S. departments of State and Commerce for representatives of India's government.

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Movie Interviews
5:33 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

In Which Colin Firth Debunks Some Myths About Working With Woody Allen

Woody Allen directs --€“ that's right, directs --€” Colin Firth and Emma Stone in Magic in the Moonlight.
Jack English Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

In Magic in the Moonlight, a new film from Woody Allen, Colin Firth plays a 1920s stage magician who is also an expert at debunking spiritualists. Stanley, Firth's character, takes on the case of a young woman, played by Emma Stone, who is a supposedly adept medium.

Firth tells NPR's Robert Siegel how some of the more well-known myths about working will Allen checked out, and why he's been appearing in fewer comedies.

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News
5:33 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Central American Leaders Stop By White House To Talk Border Crisis

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

The presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras met with President Obama at the White House Friday, discussing the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America. So far, Obama has not seen eye to eye with Congress on possible solutions to the crisis.

Middle East
5:33 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

For Islamic State, Victories In Iraq Mean Momentum In Syria

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

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

The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Obama: U.S., Central America Share Responsibility For Influx Of Minors

At the White House on Friday, President Obama met with El Salvador's President Salvador Sanchez Ceren (from left), Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to discuss the border crisis.
AP

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 8:53 pm

President Obama met with the leaders of three Central American countries at the White House on Friday, telling them that they share responsibility with Washington for stemming an influx of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren discussed the growing humanitarian crisis with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

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Politics
4:55 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

As Political Disenchantment Soars, Lines At The Polls Grow Shorter

An official assists a voter at a polling station inside Fort Garrison Elementary School in Pikesville, Md., on primary day, June 24. As in many states this primary election season, turnout was low in Maryland.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

Several new surveys show voter interest is low, anti-incumbent sentiment is high, and voters from both parties are questioning whether their elected leaders should return to Congress next year.

In short, the electorate is disengaged and disgusted with politics.

Voter turnout in the 2010 primaries was only about 18 percent, and now it's even lower. Less than 15 percent of eligible citizens cast ballots in the 25 states that have held statewide primaries this year, according to a new report from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Bill Allowing Americans To Unlock Cellphones Passes House, Heads To Obama

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:49 pm

Approving a bill that has already passed the Senate, the House of Representatives has given its consent to legislation that lets U.S. consumers "unlock" their cellphones, rather than having them remain linked to specific service providers.

President Obama says he will sign the bill into law, applauding Congress today for taking "another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cellphone carrier that meets their needs and their budget."

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This Week's Must Read
4:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Fiction Explores The Push And Pull Of Arab-Israeli Identity

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

To be an Arab living in Israel proper has long been a challenging proposition. Even sussing out what to call them has political implications: Arab Israelis? Israeli Arabs? Palestinian Israelis? Or maybe just Palestinians? Arabs in Israel live lives that constantly — often stressfully — straddle two cultures: They are all at once ethnically Arab and citizens of the Jewish state.

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Politics
4:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Army War College Opens A Probe Into Sen. Walsh's Alleged Plagiarism

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

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

Middle East
4:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Gaza Cease-Fire Still Just Out Of Reach: What Does Each Side Want?

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is trying again to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, as casualty counts rise inexorably higher. NPR's Emily Harris is in Gaza, and she speaks to Audie Cornish about both sides' demands.

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

Middle East
4:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

In A Complex Web Of Tunnels, Israel Draws Its Red Line

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

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

Mental Health
4:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Pa. Hospital Sees Gun Fight Between Psychiatrist And Patient

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:40 pm

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

Health
4:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

How Well Does A Drug Work? Look Beyond The Fine Print

Traditional warning labels on medicine boxes tend to be long on confusing language, critics say, but short on helpful numbers.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 10:47 am

Anybody who has ever seen a drug advertisement or talked over the pros and cons of a medicine with a doctor can be forgiven for being confused.

Sorting out the risks and benefits of taking a medicine can be complicated even for professionals.

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The Salt
4:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Can Finishing A Big Bowl Of Ramen Make Dreams Come True?

At Yume Wo Katare, eating ramen is treated as a path to personal fulfillment.
Andrea Shea for WBUR

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 10:48 am

You can find ramen, the Japanese noodle soup that's meant to be slurped, almost anywhere in the U.S. these days. Ramen shops continue to pop up, and you can find renditions on the menus of restaurants and gastropubs.

But there's a truly funky noodle spot in Cambridge called Yume Wo Katare that serves more than just ramen.

There aren't many restaurants where you get praised by everyone around you for clearing your plate or bowl. But that's exactly what happens at Yume Wo Katare.

"Everyone, he did a good job!"

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Food
4:44 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Key Chain Blood-Alcohol Testing May Make Quantified Drinking Easy

The BACTrack Vio keychain breathalyzer and app on the iPhone at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. A public health researcher says tools like this could help people make better decisions about alcohol use.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:36 pm

While testing whether a dash of yeast could keep you from getting drunk, we discovered that it's pretty entertaining — and revealing — to track your blood alcohol while drinking.

Using a device to test blood-alcohol levels, we watched the alcohol in our bodies soar as we drank two beers on empty stomachs. And we noticed there's a place on the curve — about 0.04 or 0.05 BAC — when the buzz is the sweetest.

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Men In America
3:33 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

The Average American Man Is Too Big For His Britches

Men — it's time to take a hard look at your pant size.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 4:00 pm

When my colleague Viet Le started writing about his struggle to find clothing that fits him as an "extra-small" man in a world that idolizes "big and tall," I was intrigued — and a bit confused.

Viet has never struck me as an especially small guy. At 5 feet 6 inches tall and 128 pounds, is he really that far out of the mainstream?

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Sen. John McCain Calls Lengthy Execution In Arizona 'Torture'

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill.
Susan Walsh AP

Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, says the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood, which took nearly two hours, amounted to torture.

Politico reports:

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U.S.
2:38 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Are Opponents Of The Death Penalty Contributing To Its Problems?

A fence surrounds the state prison in Florence, Ariz., where Joseph Rudolph Wood was put to death on Wednesday. The execution process took nearly two hours.
AP

Kevin Cooper was convicted of murdering a married couple and two children, and was sentenced to die.

That was back in 1985. Cooper is still awaiting execution on California's death row.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, who is handling the case, blames the long delay on Cooper's multiple appeals in state and federal courts.

"This is all a big strategic plan to really manipulate the system to attack capital punishment, not just in California, but in the United States," Ramos says.

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Arts + Life
2:21 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

The Diagnosis: Politics Fatigue Syndrome

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 11:22 am

Politics Fatigue Syndrome — it strikes many people in many ways. Swelling anger. Watery expectations. Sniffling insecurity. That nagging sense of hopelessness when it comes to the efficacy of political action.

Historically, one of the salient symptoms is extreme lethargy. A while back, a reporter from the Atlanta Constitution noted that there was not much interest in the congressional elections in New Hampshire: "The people are utterly tired of politics." The year was 1877.

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