The Two-Way
5:32 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Spring Is Just A State Of Mind As Wintry Weather Wallops Much Of Nation

In St. Louis on Sunday the sliding — even without a sled — was good. The area got 6 to 12 inches of new snow over the weekend.
Bill Greenblatt UPI /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:49 am

The calendar says one thing, but the snow, slush and ice coating the nation from the Central Rockies through parts of the Midwest and on into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast say something else entirely.

Technically, it's spring.

In reality, winter still hasn't let go.

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Law
2:15 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Supreme Court Hears 'Pay To Delay' Pharmaceutical Case

The Supreme Court takes up a case Monday about whether brand-name drug manufacturers can pay generic drug manufacturers to keep generics off the market.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:39 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a case worth billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies and American consumers. The issue is whether brand-name drug manufacturers may pay generic drug manufacturers to keep generics off the market. These payments — a form of settlement in patent litigation — began to blossom about a decade ago when the courts, for the first time, appeared to bless them.

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The Salt
10:59 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Backyard Chickens: Cute, Trendy Spreaders Of Salmonella

Backyard chickens can be a great hobby. They can also spread disease.
iStockphoto.com

Backyard chickens have become a coveted suburban accessory, one that packages cuteness, convenience and local food production in one fluffy feathered package.

But animal husbandry can be a nasty business, a fact that's often glossed over by poultry partisans like Martha Stewart and New Yorker writer Susan Orlean.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Syrian Opposition Leader Resigns In Frustration

Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib took on the presidency of the Syrian National Council after it was formed in November.
AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 2:55 pm

Update at 3:52 p.m. ET.: Kerry Reacts

Speaking in Baghdad, Secretary of State John Kerry responded to news of Khatib's resignation, saying it "is not a surprise."

"It's almost inevitable, in the transition of a group such as the opposition, for these kinds of changes to take place as it evolves," he said.

Here's more from his comments:

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9:41 am
Sun March 24, 2013

If Water Shortage Worsens, Will Oklahomans Conserve?

Lead in text: 
"Lone Chimney’s plight is an extreme example of the effects of Oklahoma’s severe drought. But the ways residents are adapting could foreshadow what many other Oklahomans will be forced to do, on their own or by mandate, should the three-year-old drought persist."
Cattleman Mark Fuss spent $8,000 to drill two wells on his sprawling ranch about 10 miles east of Stillwater, gambling he would strike water. Don and Nancy Griffin of nearby Yale are watering their trees and plants with rainwater collected in two 50-gallon barrels.
The Two-Way
6:43 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Secretary Of State Kerry In Baghdad, With Concern Over Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Baghdad Sunday on an unannounced visit following President Obama's Mideast tour.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 12:46 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is on an unannounced trip to Baghdad Sunday, and according to an official, the buzzword of the trip is "engagement."

NPR's Michele Kelemen, who's traveling with Kerry, tells our Newscast Desk that Syria is on his agenda:

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Buried In Grain
11:57 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Fines Slashed In Grain Bin Entrapment Deaths

Friends and classmates of Wyatt Whitebread, Alex Pacas and Will Piper watch as rescuers work to free the boys from the bin (center) full of thousands of bushels of corn. Only Piper survived.
Alex T. Paschal AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

The night before he died, Wyatt Whitebread couldn't stand the thought of going back to the grain bins on the edge of Mount Carroll, Ill.

The mischievous and popular 14-year-old had been excited about his first real job, he told Lisa Jones, the mother of some of his closest friends, as she drove him home from a night out for pizza. But nearly two weeks later he told her he was tired of being sent into massive storage bins clogged with corn.

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Author Interviews
4:04 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Integrated Baseball, A Decade Before Jackie Robinson

Hake's Americana & Collectibles/Atlantic Monthly Press

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:05 pm

In 1947, Jackie Robinson famously broke the color line in baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, ending racial segregation in the major leagues.

That moment was a landmark for racial integration in baseball, but there's another moment few may be aware of, and it happened more than a decade before Robinson, in Bismarck, N.D.

Tom Dunkel writes about this Bismarck team in his new book, Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball's Color Line.

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Technology
3:32 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Four Robots That Are Learning To Serve You

Future Robot's FURo robot acts as a host.
Innorobo.com

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 5:34 pm

From Star Wars' R2-D2 to The Terminator to WALL-E, robots have pervaded popular culture and ignited our imaginations. But today, machines that can do our bidding have moved from science fiction to real life.

Think hands-free vacuum cleaners or iPhone's Siri or robotic arms performing surgery. At the Innorobo conference in Lyon, France, the latest in service robot technology was on display.

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It's All Politics
9:12 am
Sat March 23, 2013

A Hint Of Bipartisanship On This Obamacare Tax?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, was joined by Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch in taking steps to try to stop an Obamacare medical device tax.
Jim Mone AP

Anyone looking for a glimmer of bipartisanship in Washington might want to pay attention to the medical device tax that is part of Obamacare. It took a notable, if largely symbolic, hit this week from the left and the right.

The 2.3-percent excise tax on devices ranging from MRI machines to pacemakers to stethoscopes was meant to raise $20 billion over 10 years to help pay for extending health care coverage to the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act.

But so far it has raised more ire than revenue.

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