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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Pentagon Relaxes Uniform Rules To Allow Religious Headgear

U.S. Army Spc. Simran Lamba (center) was granted a religious accommodation for his Sikh articles of faith, including uncut hair and a turban, in 2010. He was the first enlisted soldier to be given such an accommodation since 1984.
Brett Flashnick AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:53 pm

The Department of Defense has released new regulations that relax prohibitions on the wearing of religious headgear, as well as beards, tattoos or piercings with religious significance, while service members are in uniform.

"The military departments will accommodate individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs (conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs) of service members" unless it might affect military readiness or unit cohesion, the updated policy on religious accommodation said.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Twin Toilets In Sochi: Some Wonder Why That's A Big Deal

The loo for two in Sochi: BBC correspondent Steve Rosenberg snapped this picture in the men's room at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 9:54 am

Have you seen the "twin toilets" photo that's been swirling round the Internet the past couple of days?

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Business
9:02 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Keystone Pipeline's Southern Section Begins Delivering Oil To Gulf Coast

A 2012 photo shows sections of pipe on a neighboring property to Julia Trigg Crawford family farm in Sumner Texas, in the path of the Keystone pipeline. TransCanada said today that it is delivering oil through the Gulf Coast portion of its proposed Keystone XL pipeline, from a hub in Cushing, Okla., to Houston-area refineries.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:04 pm

A large section of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline went into official operation Wednesday, in a move that supporters say will help ease the flow of oil to refineries in the Gulf Coast region. The Obama administration has yet to rule on the project's northern portion.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Thu January 23, 2014

DOJ Alleges Fraudulent Security Checks By Firm That Vetted Snowden

Surveillance camera video of Aaron Alexis, a contractor who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. Alexis was one of thousands of individuals cleared by the firm known as USIS.
HO UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:41 pm

The private contractor that signed off on background checks for both NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis is being accused of fraud by the Justice Department for allegedly submitting more than 650,000 incomplete investigations.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Sales Of Existing Homes Hit 7-Year High In 2013

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 9:35 am

We updated the top of this post at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The evidence that the housing sector has bounced back from the deep slump it sank into starting in 2007 was reinforced Thursday morning with word from the National Association of Realtors that:

"Existing-home sales edged up in December, sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006, and median prices maintained strong growth. ...

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Many Missing After Massive Fire At Seniors' Home In Quebec

A firefighter walks past the Residence du Havre after the fire in L'Isle Verte, Quebec. At least three people died in the blaze at the seniors' home. Early reports were that another 30 people were missing.
Mathieu Belanger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 12:39 pm

"Three people are dead and 30 people are unaccounted for after an overnight fire broke out at a seniors' residence in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec," the CBC reports.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Thu January 23, 2014

In Ukraine, Protesters Warn They'll Go 'On The Attack'

A protester walks pass burning tires in central Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 7:24 pm

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has less than 24 hours to agree to hold early elections and lift anti-protest laws or the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been in the streets of Kiev for days will go "on the attack," a leader of the opposition says.

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Television
5:11 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Danish TV Drama Sparks Discussions On Wills

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 7:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Wow. For all we know this could be the next European TV program to become a hit in the United States. You've heard of "Downton Abbey," this program goes a little more continental. The program by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation is spreading to other countries, sparking a discussion of the edgy subject of inheritance.

Sidsel Overgaard reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SERIES, THE LEGACY)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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NPR Story
4:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Mexican National Executed For Texas Cop's Murder

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 7:20 am

Texas has executed a Mexican national for killing a Houston police officer in 1994. Mexico opposes the death penalty and the execution revived a long-running diplomatic row between the United States and Mexico.

NPR Story
4:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Ukraine Opposition Tries To Force Yanukovych From Office

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 7:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Protesters in Ukraine have given their country's president an ultimatum. They say he must call early elections or unrest will grow even worse. This country of 45 million people is fighting over which way it leans - toward European nations to the West or eastward toward Russia, which once controlled Ukraine. Protests began when the president gave in to Russian pressure to block a trade deal with the European Union. And those protests have turned deadly this week with at least two people killed - more by some estimates.

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