The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

U.S. Will Deploy Solid-Sate Laser Weapon On Ship Headed To Persian Gulf

The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey in San Diego, Calif.
John F. Williams U.S. Navy

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 6:54 pm

For the first time ever, the United States is deploying a solid-state laser weapon. The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) successfully destroyed a drone in flight during a test run and will head to the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Ponce as part of what the military is calling an "at-sea demonstration."

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World Cafe
4:20 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Leagues On World Cafe

Leagues.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:26 pm

Today's guest, Leagues, provides a perfect start to World Cafe's week-long visit to Nashville, because it perfectly encapsulates the change going on there. A new rock band, Leagues was formed by an amazing singer, Thad Cockrell, who'd been so disenchanted with his alt-country career that he was ready to leave the music business altogether.

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Around the Nation
3:55 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Struggling W.Va. Town Hopes Boy Scout Camp Brings New Life

Mount Hope, W.Va., population 1,400, was once a thriving coal town. Today, many of the storefronts in its tiny downtown sit empty.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:59 pm

Picture a tiny town set along a creek in West Virginia. A mountain rises from the town's eastern edge, overlooking the 1,400 people living below. Then, July comes — and 50,000 people arrive on that mountain for the National Scout Jamboree.

The town is called Mount Hope. I've heard some call it "Mount Hopeless." The town went through the long, downward slump from the boom days of deep-mine coal, when it was a grand, small-town capital of coal mining.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Webster Celebrates College Chess Title, As New Hire Pays Off

Webster University chess coach Susan Polgar, second from left, won two national titles at Texas Tech. When Webster hired Polgar last year, the entire Tech team followed her to St. Louis.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

If there's no such thing as bad publicity, how much is good publicity worth? Webster University wants to find out.

Last year, the university didn't have a chess team. On Sunday, its team took home the national college championship, the President's Cup, after winning what is often called the "Final Four" of chess.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Five Things To Know About Margaret Thatcher

Baroness Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister, in February 2008 in London.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:10 pm

Margaret Thatcher, the iconic former British prime minister, died Monday at age 87 after suffering a stroke. Although she was a towering presence on the world stage in the 1980s, often standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow conservative President Ronald Reagan, some people may have forgotten her contributions.

We decided to highlight five things you ought to know about her:

She helped break the glass ceiling in politics.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

After Tumultuous Three Years, Seattle Police Chief John Diaz Will Step Down

Seattle Police Chief John Diaz in 2009.
Ted S. Warren AP

With his department under the watch of the federal government, Seattle Police Chief John Diaz announced today he was stepping down.

The Seattle Times reports:

"Diaz, who has been with the Seattle Police Department for more than 30 years, didn't say why he decided to retire now.

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World
3:20 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

A Close-Up Of Syria's Alawites, Loyalists Of A Troubled Regime

Director Nidal Hassan spent a year filming in Tartous, a Syrian beach town made up mostly of Alawites who still support embattled President Bashar Assad.
Khaled Al-Hariri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:59 pm

The film on Syria's Alawite community isn't finished yet, but filmmaker Nidal Hassan's favorite scenes are beginning to take shape.

It opens with fireworks on New Year's Eve in Tartous, Syria. "May God preserve the president for us," one young man yells in a reference to Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

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It's All Politics
3:04 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Searching For The Sequester In The Middle Of Ohio

In Columbus, Ohio, signs of the sequester were hard to find.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:59 pm

It's been a little more than a month since the start of the sequester — the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that kicked in because Congress couldn't agree on something better.

Before it hit, there were dire and at times very specific predictions of job losses, furloughs and program cuts — many of them from the Obama administration.

Of course, it's still early. Everything you hear today about the effects of the sequester could and probably will change over the coming weeks and months.

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Guns, Immigration And Budget On Washington's Agenda

Blooming magnolia trees are seen along Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House on Saturday. This week, President Obama is speaking out on gun control, and will release his proposal for the nation's budget.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 3:18 pm

Congress returns from a two-week recess amid reports that a gun deal in the Senate may have gained late momentum; a focus on immigration to include a rally on Capitol Hill; and a budget proposal from President Obama that already has some in his own party fuming.

Here's what's happening on key issues this week:

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Annette Funicello, 'America's Sweet Heart', Has Died

Headshot portrait of American actor and singer Annette Funicello.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 6:23 pm

Annette Funicello, who was one of the first child stars to emerge out of The Mickey Mouse Club, has died, the official Disney Fan Club reports.

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