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12:15pm

Fri July 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Kurds Seize 2 Oil Fields Amid Rising Tensions With Iraqi Government

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 1:21 pm

Iraqi Kurds call for independence as Masud Barzani, president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, arrives to attend a session of the Kurdish Parliament on July 3.
Jawdat Barcroft Media/Landov

Kurdish forces have seized two oil fields near the disputed city of Kirkuk, a day after their ministers withdrew from all Cabinet meetings in Baghdad, moves that further imperil Iraq's already tenuous unity.

Peshmerga forces took over the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oil fields, expelling local workers, Iraq's Oil Ministry confirmed. A spokesman for the ministry called it a "violation of the constitution."

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11:53am

Fri July 11, 2014
The Protojournalist

A Surge In Concierges

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 4:47 am

iStockphoto

Steve Sims is the founder of Bluefish, a luxury concierge service that takes care of rich people. As Steve posted on Reddit recently: "We've arranged everything from supersonic military jet flights in Russia, submersible dives in the Atlantic Ocean to view the Titanic, sunsets in the Serengeti, deep-sea dives with great whites, performing with rock stars, to flights into space for our clients."

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11:47am

Fri July 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Kerry Pushes For Audit Of Disputed Afghan Presidential Poll

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 3:16 pm

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah at the start of a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Friday. Kerry sought Friday to broker a deal between Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates.
Jim Bourg AP

This post updated at 3:15 p.m. ET.

Calling it a "critical moment" in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing for a partial recount in the country's presidential elections amid alleged vote fraud.

"We are in a very, very critical moment for Afghanistan," Kerry told reporters. "Legitimacy hangs in the balance. The future potential of the transition hangs in the balance. So we've a lot of work to do."

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11:41am

Fri July 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Fly Like An Eagle: Site Picks The Best Aerial Drone Photos

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 12:15 pm

An eagle flies over Bali's Barat National Park, in this award-winning image taken by a camera attached to a drone.
capungaero Dronestagram

An eagle soars above a national park in Bali, Indonesia. A waterfall in Mexico is seen from above its shelf of cascading water. Those are the top two finishers in a contest held to find the best images captured by cameras mounted on aerial drones. The winners were recently unveiled by the site Dronestagram.

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10:32am

Fri July 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Elephant Featured In Film 'Alexander' Killed By Thai Poachers

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:33 am

A photo released by the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal, shows Thai police officers examining the slain elephant.
AP

Poachers in Thailand killed a 50-year-old elephant who appeared in Oliver Stone's 2004 film Alexander before crudely hacking off the animal's giant tusks, according to The Bangkok Post.

The Asian elephant, named Phlai Khlao, was used in scenes from the movie starring Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie. The animal had also been part of ceremonial performances for Thailand's royal family.

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9:41am

Fri July 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Liverpool Unloads 'The Biter,' Sending Suarez To Barca For $128 Million

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 11:45 am

Luis Suarez will wear the number 9 for Barcelona.
FC Barcelona

Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan striker who became headline news in the U.S. after biting an Italian player during the World Cup, is moving to a new club. He'll play for Barcelona, after the team reached terms with Liverpool in a transfer widely reported at 75 million pounds, or more than $128 million.

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8:47am

Fri July 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Germany Calls For 'Honest Foundation' In Relations With U.S.

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 11:42 am

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin on Friday. Steinmeier will meet Secretary of State John Kerry this weekend to discuss allegations of U.S. spying.
Michael Sohn AP

Germany's foreign minister said his government's decision to ask the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave was inevitable given recent allegations of spying, but he said he wants to renew the friendship between the two countries based on an "honest foundation."

Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters in Berlin on Friday that the decision to expel the U.S. intelligence official "is the right decision, a necessary step and a fitting reaction to the break of trust which has occurred."

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8:39am

Fri July 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Dozens Of Ukrainian Troops Reportedly Killed By Militants

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 11:35 am

Ukrainian soldiers man a checkpoint about 30 miles from Donetsk on Thursday. A government official said Friday that a rocket attack had killed as many as 30 troops.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Separatists in eastern Ukraine reportedly used a rocket-launching system in an attack Friday that a Ukrainian official says might have killed as many as 30 government troops. The strike comes after days of steady gains against the rebels by Ukrainian forces.

From the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency:

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8:09am

Fri July 11, 2014
Shots - Health News

How A Fanny Pack Mix-Up Revealed A Medicare Drug Scam

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 5:30 pm

iStockphoto

The fraud scheme began to unravel last fall, with the discovery of a misdirected stack of bogus prescriptions and a suspicious spike in Medicare drug spending tied to a doctor in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Now it's led to two guilty pleas, as well as an ongoing criminal case against a pharmacy owner.

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8:03am

Fri July 11, 2014
NPR Ed

Q&A: A Union Leader On Tenure, Testing And The Common Core

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:12 am

Weingarten says people need to talk more about how to "attract, retain, support and nurture great teaching for kids at risk."
Shannon DeCelle AP

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is holding its annual convention in Los Angeles through this weekend. For the AFT's more than 3,500 national delegates descending on LA, there is a lot on their plate and big challenges ahead for the nation's second-largest teachers union: the Common Core, tenure and fierce debate about testing, to name a few.

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7:38am

Fri July 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Israel And Hamas Keep Up Attacks, Ignoring Calls For Peace

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 1:54 pm

Israeli firefighters extinguish vehicles at a gas station in Ashdod, Israel, that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on Friday.
David Buimovitch AFP/Getty Images

This post was updated at 1 p.m. ET.

The number of Palestinians killed in Israel's aerial offensive that began this week has surpassed 100, according to health officials in Gaza. More than 600 people have been wounded in the ongoing exchange of airstrikes and rockets between Israel's military and the militant group Hamas.

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7:29am

Fri July 11, 2014
Europe

'How To Survive The Bulls' Co-Author Gets Gored

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

On Wednesday, Bill Hillmann, one of the authors of Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona, was reportedly gored in the leg. His injuries were not life threatening.

7:07am

Fri July 11, 2014
Around the Nation

New York City Considers Licensing Costumed Peformers

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. New York City is considering a crackdown on Superman. Lawmakers say too many people dress like the man of steel or like Batman. Superheroes or "Sesame Street" characters offer to pose for pictures tourists in Times Square - problem is, many then demand money from the tourists, and in one case, Elmo launched into an anti-Semitic tirade - not good. The proposal under consideration would require costume performers to be licensed. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

7:02am

Fri July 11, 2014
Middle East

Gaza Residents Deal With Fourth Night Of Israeli Air Strikes

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Palestinian-American business consultant and political commentator Sami Abdel-Shafi about living in Gaza while under attack from Israel.

7:02am

Fri July 11, 2014
Business

Economists Say Inflation Is Tame; Consumers Aren't Buying It

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 9:15 am

Meat is displayed in a case at a grocery store in Miami. The index of retail prices for meats, poultry, fish and eggs was up 7.7 percent from a year ago — more than triple the overall inflation rate.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Economists regularly issue reports calling inflation tame or mild, or some other word that suggests consumers shouldn't be feeling much pain.

One example: "Inflation has been tame and this is providing households with some relief" from economic stress, according to an assessment done this week by PNC Financial Services.

But if you happen to be buying gasoline or groceries, you may not be feeling relieved — at all.

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5:00am

Fri July 11, 2014
Business

Hottest Burger In Britain Burns 2 Journalists

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

Two journalists from a newspaper in Brighton, England, went to the hospital after sampling the Hot Chili Burger. The heat is in the sauce, which is rated about 3,000 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.

5:00am

Fri July 11, 2014
NPR Story

Ukrainian Army Takes Back Areas From Pro-Russian Separatists

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Just weeks ago, it looked like Russia might extend its control of the Ukrainian region of Crimea to other areas of Ukraine. But now the Ukrainian Army has pushed out pro-Russian separatists from most of the cities and towns the rebels had seized. And the Kremlin, once so vocal, has gone quiet.

For a look at the turnaround, we reached Professor Stephen Sestanovich. He's a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Good morning.

STEPHEN SESTANOVICH: Morning.

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5:00am

Fri July 11, 2014
NPR Story

NSA Implementing Fix To Prevent Snowden-Like Security Breach

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

A year after Edward Snowden's digital heist, the NSA's chief technology officer says steps have been taken to stop future incidents. But he says there's no way for the NSA to be entirely secure.

5:00am

Fri July 11, 2014
NPR Story

Germany Asks Top CIA Spy In Country To Leave

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:01 am

The move comes after German investigators discovered a second citizen suspected of spying for the U.S. Renee Montagne talks to James Bamford, who writes about U.N. intelligence agencies and the NSA.

7:40pm

Thu July 10, 2014
It's All Politics

Study: Statehouse Press Corps In Decline

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 8:26 pm

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver talks to reporters in a hallway at the capitol in Albany in March. The ranks of statehouse reporters have been thinning in recent years.
Mike Groll AP

A declining number of reporters are stalking the hallways of the nation's statehouses.

That's according to a Pew Research report released Thursday. The study found that the number of full-time statehouse newspaper reporters declined by more than a third between 2003 and 2014. There are now just 164 full-time newspaper journalists reporting on the bills, protests and politicians in the nation's 50 state capitals.

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7:12pm

Thu July 10, 2014
The Salt

'Captain Pizza' Saves The Day, But Doesn't Save Himself A Slice

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 7:51 pm

Intrepid pizza purveyors in action: Frontier Airlines flight attendants pass out pies to the delighted passengers.
Logan Marie Torres AP

It's one of those stories that start in the middle. Midflight from Washington, D.C., to Denver on Monday, pilot Gerhard Brandner hit some bad weather that forced him to land in Wyoming. It was a mundane delay like most others. His Frontier Airlines plane was grounded on a tarmac in Cheyenne.

That's when the pilot made a decision that made him a national hero.

"I figure out, well, I'm getting hungry; I'll bet you the folks be hungry back there, too," Brandner says. "So I called Domino's."

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7:03pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Monkey See

Snubs And Successes: 6 Lessons Learned From This Year's Emmy Nominations

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 10:59 pm

Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announce nominations for The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards Thursday morning.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

There are things you could quibble about in the array of nominations announced today for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.

No best drama series nomination for CBS' The Good Wife, though several stars got acting nods. No acting nomination for Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, though she plays about eight different roles on BBC America's clone-focused adventure drama. No best variety show nod for John Oliver's increasingly stellar Last Week Tonight on HBO. And a best TV miniseries nod for A&E's dreadful Bonnie and Clyde?

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6:28pm

Thu July 10, 2014
The Salt

This Fine Wine Made At An Italian Penal Colony Is No 2-Buck Chuck

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 7:58 pm

Marquise Lamberto Frescobaldi (right), of the winemaking dynasty, talks with prisoners Brian Baldissin (left) and Francesco Papa at his vineyard on Gorgona island in June 2013.
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters/Landov

Eighteen miles off Tuscany's coast, Gorgona is Italy's last island prison. Its steep cliffs rise up from azure Mediterranean waters. Here, a select group of convicts serves the end of long sentences by farming. And now, a legendary winemaker is training them to make high-end wine.

Mentioned by Dante in The Divine Comedy, Gorgona was for thousands of years a refuge for hermits and monks. Since 1869, it's been a penal colony.

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6:16pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Politics

Obama's Request For Immigration Funds Meets Pushback On The Hill

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 7:04 pm

President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to address the influx of immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Senate Appropriations Committee is holding a hearing Thursday about the request.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

6:03pm

Thu July 10, 2014
The Two-Way

Clerical Error Puts Church On New York's 'George Carlin Way'

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 11:41 am

George Carlin opens the 13th annual U.S. Comedy Arts Festival at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colo., in 2007, a year before his death at age 71.
E. Pablo Kosmicki AP

The Corpus Christi Church in Manhattan, where iconoclastic comedian George Carlin once attended school and which he later ridiculed in some of his monologues, has a new street address: George Carlin Way.

The New York Times calls what's being described as a clerical error "an irony of Carlinesque proportions." The church fought a street named after the comedian since the idea was proposed three years ago.

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5:40pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Code Switch

In Stories Of Muslim Identity, Playwright Explores Fault Lines Of Faith

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 12:18 pm

Between Eli and Zarina (Greg Keller and Nadine Malouf), a family's Muslim faith undergoes rupture and renewal.
Erin Baiano Courtesy of Lincoln Center Theater

Ayad Akhtar is a novelist, actor and screenwriter. And when his first play, Disgraced, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2013, he also became one of the most talked about new voices in American theater.

Long before this buzz, though, Akhtar grew up in a Muslim family with roots in Pakistan. He mines this background to bring the inner lives and conflicts of Muslim Americans to the stage. His plays often feature cutting dialogue and confrontations steeped in the tension between Islamic tradition and personal evolution.

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5:39pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Shots - Health News

A Growing Number Of Veterans Struggles To Quit Powerful Painkillers

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 5:30 pm

Bryan McDonel and his father, Mike, both served multiple tours in Iraq with the National Guard. Bryan was first prescribed painkillers before his deployment, and his dependence on medication prompted a downward spiral.
Quil Lawrence NPR

There are antlers everywhere on the walls of Bryan and Mike McDonel's place near Pine Bluff, Ark. The house is hardly big enough for all their hunting trophies. Both are good shots with their hunting bows; Bryan and Mike, his father, served in the Arkansas National Guard and deployed together to Iraq, twice.

The McDonel family has served in the military for generations. But Bryan, 35, is out of the service now. He is one of thousands of troops and veterans who struggle with addiction to prescription drugs.

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4:59pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Business

Picketing Truckers Raise Tensions At LA Port Amid Dockworker Talks

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 7:04 pm

Picketers supporting independent truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach stand outside a container terminal.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Labor tensions are high at the largest port complex in the country — Los Angeles and Long Beach — which handles nearly half of all the cargo coming into the United States.

Short-haul truck drivers are striking. They're the independent, contract truckers who bring the containers off the ships to nearby warehouses for companies like Wal-Mart and Costco. At the twin ports, their numbers hover around 10,000.

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4:45pm

Thu July 10, 2014
The Two-Way

Signs Emerge Of A Compromise On Obama's $3.7B Immmigration Request

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 5:22 pm

Immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas, on June 25. President Obama asked Congress this week for $3.7 billion to cope with thousands of minors from Central America who are illegally crossing the U.S. border.
Eric Gay AP

A compromise appears to be emerging between Congress and the White House that would lead to the swift deportation of thousands of minors from Central America who have illegally crossed the border into the U.S.

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4:33pm

Thu July 10, 2014
The Two-Way

No Charges For Police Who Killed Woman After D.C. Chase

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 3:14 pm

Capitol Hill police officers look at a car belonging to Miriam Carey after she was shot and killed on Oct. 3 following a high-speed car chase that started near the White House.
Charles Dharapak AP

The Justice Department has decided not to bring criminal charges against two police who shot and killed a woman after a wild car chase from the White House to the grounds of the U.S. Capitol last fall.

The woman, 34-year-old Miriam Carey of Stanford, Conn., struck a security officer with her car near the White House on Oct. 3 before driving off at high speed. Carey's 1-year-old daughter was in the car at the time of the incident but was unharmed.

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