The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Mon September 12, 2011

Newly Discovered Planet: Hot, Muggy And (Maybe) Liveable

An artist's impression of HD 85512 b.
European Southern Observatory

Sort of like Washington, D.C., in the summer:

"It would feel like a steam bath — hot, sticky and beyond uncomfortable."

That's how The Associated Press describes the way scientists are describing "HD 85512 b ... a newly discovered planet about 35 light-years from Earth in the constellation Vela."

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1:14 pm
Mon September 12, 2011

Japanese Seniors: Send Us To Damaged Nuclear Plant

Workers decontaminate the roof of a kindergarten about 12 miles from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan last month. Several hundred Japanese seniors have volunteered to take part in the cleanup effort.
Hiro Komae AP

They are all retirees, and they have all volunteered for a single, dangerous mission: to replace younger workers at the badly damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Skilled Veterans Corps for Fukushima consists of more than 500 seniors who have signed up for a job that has been called courageous — and suicidal.

Kazuko Sasaki, a 72-year-old grandmother, is one of those ready to serve.

"My generation built these nuclear plants. So we have to take responsibility for them. We can't dump this on the next generation," she says.

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Conflict In Libya
1:13 pm
Mon September 12, 2011

Arab Spring Blooms On Libyan Radio

Musicians and other Libyans who once dared not express themselves are finding a new outlet on the country's newly freed radio stations. Shown here, a recent day at the studios of Radio Libya — once a state-run station — in Tripoli.
Jason Beaubien NPR

The fall of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has brought about a dramatic change on the radio dial in Tripoli, the Libyan capital.

In the past, Libyans could only tune in to the government stations. Foreign broadcast signals were blocked. And what the state-run stations offered was tightly controlled and laden with pro-Gadhafi propaganda.

Now, the airwaves that used to only carry four state-run stations — broadcasting only in Libyan Arabic as a mouthpiece for the Gadhafi regime — are filled with broadcasts from across the Mediterranean and neighboring Tunisia.

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Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Mon September 12, 2011

Cook County, Ill. Bucks Immigration Enforcement

Democrat Jesus Garcia's on Chicago's Southwest Side agrees with the Cook County measure to disregard Immigration and Customs Enforcement's requests to hold inmates two business days beyond what their criminal cases require.
Courtesy of Bill Healy

One of the nation's largest jails has quit holding inmates extra time when requested by immigration officials.

Disregarding those federal requests is the new policy of Cook County, Ill. The county enacted the measure even though the jail holds sometimes help officials deport dangerous illegal immigrants.

And some other counties may soon follow suit.

Ordinance Prevents Jails From Complying

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Mon September 12, 2011

Scientists Discover Details Of 'Kamikaze' Ants

Originally published on Mon September 12, 2011 5:52 pm

We stumbled upon a tiny report in this week's New Scientist that is so exquisitely gross, we can't help but pass it on.

In a new study published in the journal Acta Zoologica, Johan Billen of the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), Belgium and his team report on a kind of ant that's especially evolved to kill itself in order to save the nest.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Mon September 12, 2011

Turkey: Israel's Flotilla Raid Was 'Cause For War'

The once friendly relationship between Israel and Turkey has been strained further, as Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stepped up his rhetoric today.

According to the AP, Erdogan said Israel's raid on a Turkish flotilla last year was "cause for war," yet Turkey showed "patience" and did not take further action.

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Latin America
11:58 am
Mon September 12, 2011

Cuban Offshore Drilling Plans Raise U.S. Concerns

Employees work on an oil rig operated by Cuba and China in Havana in April. A Chinese-built rig is expected to begin drilling exploratory wells off Cuba's northwest coast as early as November, raising environmental concerns in the U.S.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

An oil rig built by China is now en route to the deep waters off northwest Cuba, where it could begin drilling exploratory wells as soon as November.

Recently, U.S. oil spill experts were in Havana, including the man who co-chaired the investigation into last year's BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. group says long-running American trade sanctions stand in the way of proper spill preparation and a coordinated cleanup if something goes wrong on the wells that are just 60 miles from the Florida Keys.

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All Tech Considered
11:44 am
Mon September 12, 2011

Comcast Offers A Digital Lifeline To The Disconnected

Comcast has started offering Internet access for $9.95 per month for low-income families, in addition to an optional voucher to let families buy a computer for $150.

Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator, has launched a new program aimed at reducing the digital divide, or the gap between high- and low-income communities in Internet accessibility and digital literacy.

The company says low-income families will now be able to get a fast Internet connection for $9.95 per month; the question now is whether the effort can overcome the many barriers that keep the poor from getting online.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Mon September 12, 2011

Obama Chooses Republicans' Words Carefully To Say They're Playing Politics

President Obama and Vice President Biden in the Rose Garden of the White House earlier today (Sept. 12, 2011).
Alex Wong Getty Images

At the White House today, President Obama criticized what he said is a view among some Republicans that they don't want to work with him on passing a jobs bill — even when many of the things he's proposing are measures they've supported in the past — because it wouldn't be good for the GOP politically:

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Mon September 12, 2011

Woodward: It's Clear From His New Book, Cheney Didn't Learn From Iraq

Former Vice President Dick Cheney. (Feb. 10, 2011, file photo.)
Alex Brandon AP

We've been keeping up with reaction to former Vice President Dick Cheney's new memoir, In My Time. In it, the vice president has made some extraordinary claims, including that he was in charge during Sept. 11 and saying that he still supports water boarding as way to get detainees to talk.

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