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It's All Politics
2:13 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Policymaking By Pen: Obama's New Twist On Old Strategy

President Obama prepares to sign an executive order mandating that federal contractors be required to raise the minimum wage they pay their workers to $10.10, at the end of a Jan. 29 appearance at the US Steel's Mon Valley Works in West Mifflin, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:48 pm

The reviews are in for President Obama's stepped-up use of executive powers to carry out policies he can't get through Congress.

Republicans think the idea stinks.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann threatened to sue Obama over his announced intent to use his "unilateral authority" to change rules regarding, for instance, the minimum wage paid to employees by federal contractors.

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The Edge
2:05 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

American Barista Fulfills Olympic Dream — On Swiss Hockey Team

Jessica Lutz is heading to the Winter Olympics from her job at a coffee shop in Washington. Recently, her fellow baristas made a latte in her honor.
Lauren Katz NPR

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:59 am

Jessica Lutz is on her way from making arty designs in coffee cups to carving Olympic ice in Sochi. And although she grew up in the U.S., Lutz will compete for the Swiss hockey team. Her story is an example of the sacrifices and strategies many athletes rely on to get to the games.

For most of the past year, Lutz, 24, crafted latte art as a barista in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in the D.C. suburb of Rockville, Md., Lutz had a chance to compete for Switzerland because of her father's nationality (she's a dual citizen).

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

U.S. Will Seek Death Penalty In Boston Bombing Case

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:07 am

Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department will seek the death penalty in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man charged in connection with the bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

"The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision," Holder said in a statement.

As we've reported, the 20-year-old Tsarnaev has been charged with 30 counts, including killing four people and using weapons of mass destruction.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

New Animation Details What Went Wrong In 2010 Plant Explosion

A Tesoro Corp. refinery is shown Friday, April 2, 2010, in Anacortes, Wash., after an explosion and fire that killed eight people.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 1:53 pm

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has released its draft report into the causes of a devastating 2010 explosion at a Tesoro refinery on Puget Sound. The accident killed seven workers, and the community has been increasingly upset by how long the investigation has dragged on.

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Music
1:41 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

'Spirit Of Family' Unites Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Darren Phillip Jones

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:58 am

For fans of world music, South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo needs no introduction.

The group has been singing a capella together for 50 years, brought together by Joseph Shabalala, a young farmhand turned factory worker from the town of Ladysmith. He had a dream of tight vocal harmonies and messages of peace.

That dream developed, and the band came to the attention of Paul Simon, who had it record "Homeless" on his album Graceland. It introduced the group to the world.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Snowy Owl That Enchanted D.C. Is Hit By A Bus

The snowy owl that has been spotted recently in the Washington D.C. area was brought to the Smithsonian's National Zoo for care on Thursday.
Smithsonian National Zoo

A snowy owl that stopped pedestrian traffic — and the presses, when it found a spot outside The Washington Post's building — in Washington, D.C. could not escape the city's danger.

According to the Smithsonian National Zoo, the bird was apparently hit by a bus on Thursday. Police jumped into action and drove the owl to the zoo. They report:

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

This Photo Of Lake Michigan Will Make You Shiver

Lake Michigan, now partially frozen, as snow and clouds blow over.
NOAA

A photo posted by our friends at Michigan's Interlochen Public Radio is so cool we just had to know more about it and about what's going on with the Great Lakes during this extra-frigid winter.

As you'll see, the satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows clouds and snow blowing across the now partially ice-covered Lake Michigan.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

New York City Agrees To Reform Stop-And-Frisk Tactics

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 4:07 pm

Making good on a campaign promise, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will drop an appeal challenging a judge's opinion that found the city's controversial "stop and frisk" practices violated the civil rights of thousands of black and Latino residents.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Justice Dept. Seeks To Expand Clemency For Some Drug Offenders

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 12:13 pm

The Department of Justice is looking to expand the number of low-level, nonviolent drug offenders considered for presidential clemency.

As The New York Times reports, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole told lawyers at a meeting of the New York State Bar Association on Thursday to flag potential candidates.

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It's All Politics
11:34 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Rep. Henry Waxman, Ferocious Liberal, Says He Will Retire

Rep. Henry Waxman of California speaks during a 2011 hearing in Washington, D.C. The 20-term Democrat was among the "Watergate babies" elected in 1974.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:00 pm

Rep. Henry Waxman, (D-Calif.), a key architect of the Affordable Care Act and for four decades a ferocious liberal voice on matters of health and the environment, revealed Thursday that he plans to retire at the end of the year.

Waxman's news comes on the heels of a similar announcement from another liberal California "Watergate baby" elected in 1974, Rep. George Miller. Both are top allies of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, also of California.

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