The Two-Way
9:30 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Suspect In Natalee Holloway Case Pleads Guilty To Murder In Peru

Dutch national Joran Van der Sloot as he arrived for a court hearing earlier today (Jan. 11, 2012) at the Lurigancho prison in Lima.
Ernesto Benavides AFP/Getty Images

Joran van der Sloot, the main suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba, this morning pleaded guilty to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman, Stephany Flores, in Lima.

The Associated Press reports that van der Sloot told a court in Lima that "yes, I want to plead guilty. I wanted from the first moment to confess sincerely. ... I truly am sorry for this act. I feel very bad."

The wire service adds that:

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Beef Erupts Over Crossword Guru's Hip-Hop Slang Clue

A New York Times crossword puzzle clue asking for a 5-letter word that means "Wack, in hip-hop" led to an email and an argument over the real meaning of "illin'."

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 9:26 am

Under editor Will Shortz, The New York Times crossword puzzle has won fans for being in touch with the modern world — relying less on arcane words and more on a working knowledge of America's cultural landscape.

But according to some, Shortz took a false step with this past Saturday's puzzle, when he included a clue steeped in hip-hop slang. The clue asked for a 5-letter word that means "Wack, in hip-hop."

The answer was "Illin'".

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It's All Politics
8:44 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Mitt Romney Raised $24 Million Last Quarter

During the last quarter of 2011, Mitt Romney raised $24 million, his campaign announced today. That means the former Massachusetts governor has $19 million in cash on hand to fund his primary battle.

The Washington Post reports that in a shift from his 2008 run, when he poured $40 million of his own money into the campaign, Romney has made no personal donations.

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Author Interviews
8:31 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Why America's Spies Struggle To Keep Up

Matthew Aid is an intelligence historian. His work has appeared in The New York Times, National Journal and The Financial Times.
courtesy of the author

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 11:00 am

Before Sept. 11, 2011, there were 16 intelligence agencies in the United States. But after the attacks, the 9/11 Commission recommended creating a 17th intelligence agency — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) — to coordinate intelligence operations.

The 16 already existing agencies didn't react well, says historian and former intelligence analyst Matthew Aid.

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7:58 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Wyoming's food bank to gain autonomy

Wyoming’s food bank is going to become its own entity this summer. Currently, it’s part of the Food Bank of the Rockies in Colorado, but in July it’s splitting off.

Development Manager Jamie Purcell says it's been good working with the Colorado food bank, but that that the change will be beneficial.

“Because of the restraints placed on us by our parent organization, we’re not able to expand to the level that we need to be at,” Purcell said. “But when we become autonomous, whatever our board of directors sees fit to do, we will be able to do.”

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Shots - Health Blog
7:55 am
Wed January 11, 2012

A Dozen Cases Of Tuberculosis That Resists All Drugs Found In India

An image of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria captured with an electron microscope.

Tuberculosis specialists in India have diagnosed infections in a dozen patients in Mumbai that are unfazed by the three first-choice TB drugs and all nine second-line drugs.

The doctors are calling them "totally drug-resistant TB," and the infections are essentially incurable with all available medicines.

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7:48 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Experts predict below average runoff in Wyoming

Early predictions by federal hydrologists foresee below average mountain runoff in Wyoming this year because of a dearth of snow so far this winter.

Based on current snowfall in the mountains, hydrologists estimate that Wyoming's runoff this year will be about 81 percent of average.

The U.S. Agriculture Department's Natural Resources Conservation Service in Casper released its first spring runoff estimate on Tuesday. The agency will issue additional estimates into June.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Fannie Mae CEO Will Step Down

Fannie Mae President and CEO Michael Williams testifies before the House Financial Services Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee in December.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 7:47 am

Michael J. Williams said he is stepping down as chief executive of the quasi-governmental mortgage giant Fannie Mae. The company made the announcement late last night, saying Williams will wait to step down until the board of directors names a successor.

"I decided the time is right to turn over the reins to a new leader," Williams said in a statement.

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7:32 am
Wed January 11, 2012

USDA to close two Wyo. offices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it plans to shutter four offices in Montana and Wyoming as part of a $150 million cost cutting measure that includes 259 closures nationwide.

The Food Nutrition Service office in Cheyenne, and the USDA Rural Development office in Park County will close, though FSN employees will continue to work from home.

The Food Nutrition Service office was the only one in the state. Food Nutrition Service is the source of the federal SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps.

The Two-Way
7:10 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Hostess, Maker Of Twinkies, Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

A Twinkie shows off its creamy filling in this file photo from 2005. A snack-cake sales slump is one reason Hostess Brands is seeking protection from its creditors.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Twinkies maker Hostess Brands Inc., is again seeking protection from its creditors, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the company tries to cope with high debt and rising costs of labor and raw materials.

Hostess, which also makes Ho Hos, Sno Balls, and Wonder Bread, is a privately held company based in Irving, Tex. It owes millions to suppliers and labor unions. The company has reportedly found some financing to keep it running during bankruptcy proceedings.

For our Newscast desk, Larry Abramson reports:

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