1:36pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Coming Up: 'Twitter Town Hall' @ The White House

It may not have the historical feel of the first time a president spoke on radio or TV, but there is something new happening this afternoon at the White House.

President Obama is answering questions, presumably from many regular folks, that have come in via Twitter. The event's supposed to get started at 2 p.m. ET.

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1:34pm

Wed July 6, 2011
Latin America

Small Businesses Sprout Out Of Front Yards In Cuba

Ivelis Ramos (right) was laid off from her state job as a bookkeeper last year and now runs a makeshift store in Havana's Miramar neighborhood. Restrictions on privately-owned businesses are beginning to relax under Raul Castro, Fidel Castro's brother.
Nick Miroff for NPR

Fidel Castro nationalized Cuba's small businesses in 1968, closing thousands of family-owned shops, down to the tiniest fruit stand. His brother Raul is starting to undo that bitter legacy, giving out more than 300,000 new self-employment licenses in the past eight months.

The entrepreneurs are now filling Havana's sidewalks and street corners; the next step may be moving them back into shops that were seized long ago.

Urban Marketplaces Popping Up

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1:34pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Facebook's 'Awesome' Announcement: Video Calling

Facebook summoned media to its headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. today for what CEO Mark Zuckerberg said would be an "awesome" product launch.

Zuckerberg, in his customary laid back t-shirt and jeans, prefaced the announcement by saying this announcement marked the beginning of "launching season 2011."

Zuckerberg said Facebook is launching group chat, a new chat design and, as expected, Facebook will now feature video calling.

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1:06pm

Wed July 6, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Men's Health Reaction

A poor review by Men's Health magazine has prompted a response by a member of Lexington's urban county council.  The publication recently rated Lexington the nation’s most sedentary city.  Council member Jay McChord suggests he, along with Lexington's mayor , the president of the University of Kentucky, and the Fayette County Schools Superintendent  travel to Pennsylvania to meet with magazine representatives.

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1:05pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

ATF Chief Tells Congress What He Knows About 'Fast And Furious'

Key lawmakers in Congress are warning the Justice Department not to retaliate against whistle-blowers and leaders at the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. They're reaching out only days after the ATF leader met with congressional investigators to talk about a gun trafficking scandal.

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1:00pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Vandals Take Advantage Of Minnesota's Government Shutdown

One state park in Minnesota sustained $35,000 in damages after vandals went wild over the holiday weekend, taking advantage that the government shutdown had left the parks relatively unattended.

Minnesota Public Radio reports on the damage at Afton State Park:

Sheriff Bill Hutton said the group broke into the park on Sunday night and caused about $35,000 in damages to park buildings, including burning one of the cabins and partially removing the roof.

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12:48pm

Wed July 6, 2011
All Politics are Local

Paul Called Extremist By Watchdog Group

A civil rights organization known for monitoring right-wing hate groups nationwide has listed U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on its list of “extremist” candidates who ran for public office in 2010. The Southern Poverty Law Center compiled the list of 23 candidates, which includes prominent neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, white supremacists, Klu Klux Klansmen, militiamen and Holocaust deniers.

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12:43pm

Wed July 6, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Two Injured in July 4th Explosions

Two people suffered significant injuries from explosive devices during the Independence Day weekend, according to Nelson County EMS Director Joe Prewitt. Zack Bagwell, 25, Boston, was transported to University Hospital Sunday afternoon after losing at least one finger in an explosion near the Beech Fork River in the Boston area. The Boston Fire Department and EMS met Bagwell at Rust Funeral Home.

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12:38pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Families Of Deployed Soldiers Who Commit Suicide To Get Condolence Letters

This statement from President Obama, just released by the White House, confirms an earlier report by CNN:

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12:34pm

Wed July 6, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Three Family Members Drown in KY River

Three men from the same family died after they were swept away by the rain-swollen current during a Fourth of July outing on the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River. Rescuers on Tuesday recovered the body of Tim Blevins about half a mile below a dam on the river, near Hyden. On Monday, Blevins' brother, Larry Blevins, 36, and Kendall Estep, 30, their brother-in-law, had been pronounced dead.

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