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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

U.S. Did Not Spy On French, Spanish Citizens, Says Spy Chief

National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander is sworn on Capitol Hill on Sept. 26.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 4:31 pm

The brewing scandal over allegations that the United States spied on millions of phone calls made by Spanish and French citizens took a sharp, surprising turn Tuesday.

During congressional testimony, Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, said those reports, based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, were "false."

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

U.N. Condemns U.S. Embargo Of Cuba, Again

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 4:02 pm

In a U.N. vote that has become something of a tradition, only one country agreed with the United States that its embargo of Cuba should continue. The final count in the General Assembly vote was 188-2.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:

"For the 22nd year in a row, the U.N. General Assembly approved a mainly symbolic resolution that condemns the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. This year's tally was 188-2, with three abstentions. Only Israel sided with the U.S. this time.

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

'We Hurt A Lot Of People,' Westboro Pastor's Granddaughter Says

Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, is seen during her days with the church. Now alienated from their family, Phelps-Roper and her sister, Grace, speak to religious and cultural groups.
Jennifer Hack MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:25 pm

Nearly a year after breaking with the Westboro Baptist Church, two of Pastor Fred Phelps' granddaughters are enjoying a new freedom. But as they tell a Canadian newspaper, they also want to extend empathy to those they hurt in the name of a cause championed by the man they call "Gramps."

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Two Kenyan Soldiers Jailed For Looting During Mall Siege

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 2:38 pm

Two Kenyan soldiers have been fired and jailed after they allegedly looted stores while they were supposed to be trying to a control a terrorist attack at a Nairobi mall last month, the Kenyan Army said on Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Woman On Bridge Of Costa Concordia Says She Was Captain's Lover

Moldovan Domnica Cemortan, who was spotted with the Costa Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, during the spectacular crash of his cruise ship in 2012, during a break in Schettino's trial in July.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 2:40 pm

A Moldovan dancer who was on the bridge of the ill-fated Costa Concordia on the night that it crashed and sank nearly two years ago has admitted in court that she and the captain were lovers, after having repeatedly denied the rumors in public.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Meet The Mom Who Shamed A Pumpkin Thief

The sign to shame a pumpkin thief (with a rather mild expletive digitally hidden).
Eric Fidler Flickr

A photo of a Washington, D.C., mom's message to a pumpkin thief is resonating with many.

"To the person who stole my son's pumpkin," wrote Becky Reina. "Thank you for the life lesson. This will teach him that sometimes people are mean for no reason and you have to just brush it off.

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Code Switch
1:22 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

When Will We Stop Side-Eyeing Relatives Who Don't 'Match'?

The children of the Ruseva family — at the heart of a story about a Roma child suspected of being kidnapped because she had blond hair and blue eyes — might not read to many as relatives. But they are.
BGNES AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:00 am

Last week, folks told us that that they found odd resonances in their lives with the stories of several Roma children in Europe who'd separated from their families. Like those blond, blue-eyed Roma children in darker-skinned, dark-haired families, people said that their own familial bonds had occasionally come under suspicion from strangers, who thought there was a "racial mismatch" between parent and child.

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Parallels
1:07 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

3 Charts (And A Few Words) On The Rise Of Electric Bikes

Electric bikes made by French company Moustache are displayed during the Cycle Show 2013 in Paris last month.
Charles Platiau Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 3:49 pm

We told you last week about how bicycles are outselling new cars in almost every European country.

When we delved a little deeper into the numbers, we found that while bicycle sales remained steady in a six-year period that began in 2006 (the top chart), sales of electric bikes exploded (the second chart).

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The Salt
12:57 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

A Japanese iPhone Gadget Teases The Tummy With Food Smells

Simply plug the Scentee device into your iPhone jack and let the scent of grilled meat waft your way.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 2:35 pm

Have you ever wished that your iPhone could bring you the smell of coffee, curry or steak?

No? Well, there's a gadget for that.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Obama Aide Apologizes For HealthCare.gov's Troubled Launch

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, during her testimony Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
Shawn Thew EPA/LANDOV
  • Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner apologizes for problems with HealthCare.gov
  • Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner says progress has been made

The first of two days worth of hearings about the problems plaguing HealthCare.gov got going Tuesday with an apology for the botched rollout from Marilyn Tavenner — administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. As It's All Politics noted earlier, she heads the agency "that oversaw the ill-fated website project."

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