The Two-Way
7:47 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Death Toll In Syria Exceeds 3,000, UN Says

Saying that the government's uses of "excessive force to crush peaceful protests" has led to a "devastatingly remorseless toll of human lives," the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights reported today that more than 3,000 people have now died because of the violence in Syria in recent months.

And at least 187 of the fatalities were children, Commissioner Navi Pillay added.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Retail Sales Rose 1.1 Percent In September

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 6:53 am

Driven by gains at car dealers, U.S. retail sales rose 1.1 percent in September from August, the Census Bureau just reported.

It's the strongest one-month gain since February's 1.3 percent increase.

And sales were up 7.9 percent from September 2010, Census adds.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Berlusconi Survives Confidence Vote

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi sat in the lower chamber during today's confidence vote.

Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 6:52 am

Breaking news from The Associated Press:

"Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi survives confidence vote in Parliament."

The BBC says "Berlusconi won the vote by 316 to 301, the bare minimum he needed." That, it adds, "presages trouble ahead. ... If Mr Berlusconi has to get a vote of confidence on every issue, he will find it very difficult to govern."

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The Two-Way
6:09 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Bartender Who Famously Shamed A Nasty Non-Tipper Got Wrong Guy

The receipt that started it all.

Victoria Liss seattlepi.com

Don't "drunk dial" an old lover.

Double check the "To" address before sending an email about your incompetent boss.

And if someone really ticks you off, sleep on it before posting about what happened. You might decide in the morning that it's best left unsaid.

That last bit of advice comes to mind with the story of a Seattle bartender who exposed a "nasty non-tipper" on her Facebook page and mistakenly identified the wrong guy — causing headaches not only for him but for her as well.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Park Cleanup Postponed

The scene at Zuccotti Park on Thursday as Occupy Wall Street protesters started their own cleanup.Â

Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Today's planned cleanup of Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, where Occupy Wall Street protesters have been camped out for a month, has been postponed — bringing cheers and relief to those in the park, who thought the move might have been a ruse designed to evict or arrest them.

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WXXI/Finger Lakes reporter for the Innovation Trail.

Zack Seward had only a few weeks to catch his breath between graduating from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and becoming the first reporter hired for the project.

National Security
10:14 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Defending Defense Contracts: Programs Turn To PR

In southern Arizona, troops take part in a large-scale search-and-rescue exercise called Operation Angel Thunder.

Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 3:45 pm

Five Air Force Pave Hawk helicopters are parked or landing in the high desert east of Tucson, Ariz. They are transporting victims of a mock earthquake as part of a training exercise called Operation Angel Thunder.

"We were always known for staying really quiet and not really saying much," says Brett Hartnett, who started Operation Angel Thunder five years ago.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Syrians, Not The Regime, Feel The Sting Of Sanctions

Syrians walk in the Hamidiyah market, decorated with portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Syrian flags, in Damascus, Syria, Oct. 5, 2011. The European Union has intensified economic sanctions against Syria, but the crackdown against anti-regime protesters is unlikely to stop, Syrians say.

Bassem Tellawi AP

Every Syrian is feeling the economic pain of a seven month uprising and western sanctions to end a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.

But shopkeepers tell a different story along a street of open-air shops in the Midan neighborhood in central Damascus. A government escort accompanies an NPR reporter for interviews about the sensitive subject of tightening economic sanctions against Syria.

Hassan Shagharouri runs a sweets shop. When asked if prices are rising, he responds that the prices are the same and that everything is perfect.

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Planet Money
10:01 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Playing Chicken To Cut The Deficit

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) speaks as Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) listen during a hearing before the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee, also known as the supercommittee.

Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 11:38 am

If you've ever thought that most of politics is game-playing, you're right. Political scientists often use mathematical game theory to describe how Congress works. And when they look at the current battle over how to handle the deficit, the game that comes to mind is chicken.

Steven Smith is a professor of political science at Washington University, and he says yes, Republicans and Democrats sometimes remind him of two cars driving as fast as they can toward a cliff.

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