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The Two-Way
5:37 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Costa Concordia Captain Blames Crash On Helmsman

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 6:46 pm

The captain of the Costa Concordia says the helmsman of the ill-fated cruise liner failed to properly execute a last-minute corrective maneuver that could have kept the massive vessel off a rocky shoal near the coast of Tuscany.

Capt. Francesco Schettino, who is charged with manslaughter in the deaths of 32 people aboard the ship, which ran aground on Jan. 13, 2012, is also accused of abandoning the liner's 4,200 passengers and crew on the night of the wreck.

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The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Online Review-Rigging Firms To Pay Fines In Yogurt Shop Sting

A sting operation involving a Brooklyn yogurt shop was part of an investigation by New York's attorney general that found companies had flooded ratings websites with fake consumer reviews.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 7:50 pm

The practice of writing fake online reviews has landed 19 companies in hot water in New York, where the attorney general announced penalties Monday over what he says are attempts to manipulate consumers.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman says the companies will pay more than $350,000 in fines after an investigation found that firms "had flooded the Internet with fake consumer reviews on websites such as Yelp, Google Local, and CitySearch," according to a press release from his office.

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Shots - Health News
5:01 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Could Detectives Use Microbes To Solve Murders?

Knight (left) and Bucheli take soil samples from beneath one of the decomposing bodies.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 1:30 pm

In the woods outside Huntsville, Texas, scientists are trying to determine whether they can use the microbes that live on the human body as microscopic witnesses that could help catch criminals.

It's a strange scene at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility. At first, it's easy to miss the human bodies scattered among the tall pines, wild grass and weeds.

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Around the Nation
5:00 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

A Young Afghan War Survivor Touches Two American Lives

Arefa with Jami Valentine (left) and Staci Freeman. Arefa, who first stayed with the sisters while receiving medical care last year, came back to the U.S. this summer for follow-up treatment.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 8:38 pm

When Staci Freeman and her sister Jami Valentine first took in a child ravaged by war in Afghanistan last year, Arefa was a 6-year-old in Hello Kitty shoes, who quickly turned the daily routine of changing her head bandages into a counting game.

When Arefa arrived in Los Angeles from central Afghanistan, three years after being injured, Freeman says, third-degree burns mapped her body, and her head was an open bleeding wound.

"When she came, she came crying and in pain and her head hurt," Freeman says.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

IRS Official At Center Of Political Scandal Will Retire

Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, listens to opening statements during a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee before refusing to testify on May 22.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:20 pm

Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who ran the division engulfed in a scandal over special scrutiny of Tea Party and patriot groups seeking tax exemption, will retire.

The IRS announced Monday that Lerner would step down after being placed on paid leave in May. She refused that month to answer questions at a congressional hearing, citing the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

$4.7 Billion Deal Would Take BlackBerry Private

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins officially unveils the Z10 smartphone in January.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:11 pm

A consortium of investors lead by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has offered BlackBerry a $4.7 billion buyout, pending "due diligence," the company said on Monday.

The deal would take the struggling telecommunications firm into the private market, paying investors about $9 per share in cash. In a press release, BlackBerry said:

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Parallels
3:00 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Somalia's Al-Shabab: 4 Things To Know

Heavy smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday. The Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:36 pm

Al-Shabab, the Somali group that has claimed responsibility for the attack on a Nairobi mall, began as a group fighting inside its homeland. But it has evolved into an al-Qaida affiliate that draws members from other countries and views Somalia as a front in the war against the West.

Here are some key things to know about the group:

Who Are Al-Shabab?

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The Salt
2:49 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Woody Allen

The Woody Allen. There's a quarter in this photograph to give you a sense of scale, but it's so tiny you can't see it.
NPR

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:36 pm

So many great sandwiches have been named after great directors: the reuben, named for the great Ingmar Reuben, and the cheese sandwich, named for James Cameron. The Carnegie Deli in New York created the "Woody Allen," and our own Eleven City Diner here in Chicago copied it "oh so close." It's a double-decker corned beef and pastrami on rye.

Ian: Boy, the pastrami at this place is really good. And in such large portions!

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

High-Level Meeting Set Between Kerry, Iranian Counterpart

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a news conference earlier this month.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 11:26 am

Secretary of State John Kerry plans to meet his Iranian counterpart this week for the highest-level face-to-face between Washington and Tehran in six years.

The meeting with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and representatives of five other world powers — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — would come as newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the United Nations in New York. The talks would center on Iran's nuclear program.

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The Fresh Air Interview
2:18 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

A More Reflective Leap On Elton John's 'Diving Board'

Elton John tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that The Diving Board is "a very adult album."
Joseph Guay Courtesy of the artist

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