The Two-Way
10:46 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Falling Satellite's Return Delayed, U.S. Again A Possible Landing Site

This artist's conceptual image provided by NASA shows the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS.

NASA has updated its news on the pending descent of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, and here's the headline: the satellite's re-entry has been pushed back. The UARS is now expected to plunge towards Earth late today or early Saturday, EDT.

The main drag on the satellite's speed - solar activity - is no longer the main reason why the spacecraft is slowing down. Its path, speed and spin are now so unpredictable that scientists say they cannot estimate when it will fall.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:41 am
Fri September 23, 2011

To Die Or Not To Die From Spontaneous Combustion

No so spontaneous: A stuntman burns during a controlled stunt in Ontario.

Lead singer of the fake rock band Spinal Tap, David St. Hubbins, famously uttered these words in the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap: "Dozens of people spontaneously combust every year. It's just not widely reported."

And so an obscure phenomenon exploded into pop culture's collective consciousness.

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Abbas: It Is Time For A 'Palestinian Spring'

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 11:48 am

The president of the Palestinian Authority handed United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon an application that asks the world body to recognize Palestine as a member state. The dramatic move caps months of diplomatic wrangling in which the United States and Israel tried to dissuade Mahmoud Abbas from reaching this point.

Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson made it official on Twitter, saying:

President Abbas just handed the Palestinian application to the Secretary-General.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Report: Fannie Mae Missed Chances To Stop Robo-Signing

An eviction team removes furniture during a home foreclosure in Longmont, Colorado.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 9:29 am

In two reports released today, regulators say the federal mortagage-financing giant Fannie Mae knew as early as 2006 that lawyers were illegally signing foreclosure documents, but it failed to stop the practice.

The AP reports:

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The Salt
8:20 am
Fri September 23, 2011

American Goat Cheese: From Hippie Chick To Hip And Chic

Cypress Grove's goat cheese wedding cake
April Fulton NPR

I'll never forget the taste of a particular glass of milk offered to me at my friend's house when we were in the fourth grade: Sour grass. After I tried it, my friend's hippie mom proudly informed me it was goat's milk. Gross, I thought.

I had a pretty typical East Coast 1980s childhood diet of sugary cereals and processed dinners, and so my palate was completely unprepared for the funky flavor of goat.

But now, some 30 years later, I've often pulled goat cheese out of the fridge to bolster a quick dinner or to serve unexpected visitors.

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Health Care
8:09 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Bartering For Health Care: Yardwork For Treatment

True North Health Center in Falmouth, Maine, accepts "time dollars," in addition to real dollars. Patients perform services in the community, like raking leaves, to earn the currency, and they can spend it for care at True North.

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 7:02 am

Deb Barth is raking leaves for Lesley Jones. But Barth isn't earning money for her yardwork, at least not in physical currency. She's earning "time dollars" — for every two hours she spends doing odd jobs, she'll earn a free visit with her doctor.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Fri September 23, 2011

No More Special Last Meals For Death Row Inmates In Texas

Lawrence Russell Brewer in 1999.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 7:53 am

The huge meal that white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer ordered and then left untouched before his execution Wednesday has convinced Texas officials to end the state's traditional practice of giving death row inmates a "last meal" of their choice.

As the Houston Chronicle writes:

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Those Muffins Did Not Cost $16 Each, Hilton Says

Kevin D. Weeks for NPR


That's what you might say about one much-reported part of the much-discussed report this week that the Justice Department bought some very expensive food for its conferences in recent years.

Hilton Worldwide says the muffins it provided for a 2009 Justice conference in Washington did not cost $16 each, as was reported by Justice's inspector general.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Fri September 23, 2011

From Pakistan: 'Vehement Denials' And Indignation After U.S. Accusations

There are "vehement denials and also ... a good degree of indignation" from Pakistan today, Los Angeles Times correspondent Alex Rodriguez tells NPR from Islamabad. Officials there are responding to comments from the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff — who said Thursday that "extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers."

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