The Two-Way
10:51 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Rep. Maxine Waters Cleared By House Ethics Committee

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and her husband Sidney Williams at the Capitol Hill hearing today where it was announced that she's been cleared.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

After an investigation that lasted two years, the House Ethics Committee has cleared Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of charges that she tried to influence regulators when a bank that her husband owns stock in went looking for a federal bailout in 2008.

Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, acting chairman of the ethics panel, announced the decision this morning.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:49 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Getting Slower And Slower: How Slow Can You Go?

Vincent Liota

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:36 am

Before we go slow, let's go fast, so fast you can't go any faster. That would be light in a vacuum, traveling at 670 million miles per hour ...

Light, of course, can slow down. When light passes through water, it loses speed. A diamond is an even better speed bump. It can slow a beam of light by 40 percent.

But moving on, you and I are going pretty fast right now, though we don't notice. The planet we're on is zipping around the sun at 66,000-plus miles per hour ...

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
9:53 am
Fri September 21, 2012

It's All Politics, Sept. 20, 2012

Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 11:25 am

September can't end soon enough for Mitt Romney, as a leaked video — and some disappointing poll numbers in swing states — add to his woes. Republicans, trying to win a Senate majority, get some surprise encouragement in Connecticut.

But new polling in Virginia is problematic, and news out of Indiana and Wisconsin brings cheers to Democrats.

The Two-Way
9:49 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Another iPhone, Another Day Of Long Lines And Big Hype

In Tokyo today, a customer on line for the iPhone 5 was wearing a Steve Jobs mask.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:51 am

It's a "now familiar global ritual," as The Associated Press says: Apple fans are lining up today at stores "from Sydney to Paris to pick up the tech juggernaut's latest iPhone."

That would be the iPhone 5, which the company unveiled earlier this month.

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It's All Politics
9:37 am
Fri September 21, 2012

The Voter Veto: On Controversial Issues, More Citizens Taking On Lawmakers

In March, Stacey Kargman-Kaye (left) and her partner, Sharon Gorenstein, with sons Asher, 13, and Ezra, 8, gathered at the Maryland Statehouse in Annapolis to witness the signing of a law recognizing same-sex marriage. On Nov. 6, Maryland voters will decide whether to overturn the new law.
Amy Davis MCT /Landov

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 1:22 pm

If you didn't get your fill of the debate about the best ways to evaluate and compensate teachers from the strike in Chicago, you can now tune in to hear similar arguments in Idaho.

Voters there are going to decide the fate of three different state laws that would phase out tenure, offer financial incentives to top-performing teachers and strip teachers of collective bargaining rights.

All of these laws are being challenged by what are known as popular referendums: when citizens challenge laws that have already been passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.

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The Picture Show
9:23 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Amazing Art From Ivory, But At An Extreme Expense

"A sculpture like this can take a master carver years to produce. Front and center are the popular Taoist gods Shou, Lu and Fu — symbols of long life, money, and luck. 'We hope — no, we insist — we can continue to protect these skills,' says Wang Shan, secretary-general of the China Arts and Crafts Association."
Brent Stirton National Geographic

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:21 pm

My immediate response to the intricate carvings in these photos is awe — maybe even admiration. I can't believe they are made by hand from one solid piece of material. With such detail and complexity, I can see why they would be coveted and sold at a high price.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Here's Where And When To See Space Shuttle Endeavour Today In California

Endeavour passed by the Golden Gate Bridge today.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 5:28 pm

The last leg of space shuttle Endeavour's flight to its retirement home in Los Angeles began at 8 a.m. Pacific time today, NASA says.

And the space agency has put together a timetable for Endeavour's flybys that will give folks from San Francisco to Southern California a chance to see the shuttle aboard the jumbo jet that's carrying it to L.A.

Update at 4:25 p.m. ET. Touchdown:

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It's All Politics
9:04 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Latest Fundraising Picture Shows Strong Month For Obama

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 1:21 pm

Fundraising reports filed last night by the presidential campaigns show President Obama with a slight advantage in fundraising last month, while Republican Mitt Romney has the edge by some other measures.

Each candidate is raising money for his own campaign committee, plus his national party committee and a joint fundraising committee or two.

So what you see depends on what you look at.

In cash on hand, the overall Romney organization finished August with more than $168 million — that's $43 million more than the overall Obama organization.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Fri September 21, 2012

As Last Surge Troops Leave, Some Afghans Take Up Arms Against Taliban

January 2011: Boys in the Andar district of Afghanistan gathered to collect candy from passing U.S. Army soldiers. Now, there are reports from that area of locals rising up against the Taliban.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notes that the last of the 33,000 so-called surge troops who were added to the U.S. force in Afghanistan last year have now left the country, there's this interesting news:

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri September 21, 2012

More Protests In Muslim Nations; Some Violence

In Islamabad today, this demonstrator threw a tear gas canister back toward police.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:45 am

(Check below for updates.)

Tens of thousands of people are protesting in all of Pakistan's major cities today, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from Islamabad, as those who oppose U.S. policy in the region continue to use outrage over an anti-Islam video to whip up anti-American sentiment.

There are also reports of new protests in other Muslim nations, including Bangladesh and Malaysia.

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