The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Adm. Mullen Sticks By His Assertion That Pakistan Supports Extremist Network

U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen speaks during a press conference in Baghdad on Aug. 2, during a visit to press top Iraqi officials to make a decision on the future of the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.
Ali Al-Saadi ALI AFP/Getty Images

In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he would not change "a word" of the testimony he gave the Senate Armed Services Committee last week.

"I phrased it the way I wanted it to be phrased," Adm. Mike Mullen said.

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The Salt
4:03 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Pricier PB&J's In The Forecast, Thanks To Peanut Shortage

Peanut butter prices are up, and will likely increase again.
Edward Todd iStockPhoto.com

How much you are willing to pay for your favorite sandwich? If it has peanut butter in it, you may soon be recalculating. A looming shortage of U.S. peanuts is causing the price of peanut butter to soar.

"We have quite a peanut shortage this year," says Tiffany Arthur, an agricultural economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency — the folks who make emergency loans to farmers. "Things are snowballing and prices are sharply rising," she says.

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Europe
3:23 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Bullfighting In Spain Stays Alive Despite Regional Ban

Tomas performs at the Monumental bullring in Barcelona, Spain, Sept. 25. Since the end of the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco, Catalan nationalists have sought to cast off all things Castilian — referring to Spain's heartland.
Manu Fernandez AP

Spain's northeast region of Catalonia held its final bullfight last weekend, after voting to ban the practice last year.

But it's a different story elsewhere in Spain. While relatively few Spaniards are real aficionados of bullfighting, many more see it as a national tradition, and don't want it banned.

On a recent day, Antonio Gutierrez and his friends puff on cigars and shuffle dominos on a folding table near Madrid's famed Las Ventas bullring. They're a bit suspicious of a foreigner asking about bullfights.

"Bullfighting is very, very good. OK?" says Gutierrez.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

FBI: Mass. Man Arrested For Plot Against Pentagon, Capitol

The FBI arrested a Massachusetts man, who they say plotted to attack the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol using "small drone airplanes" loaded with explosives.

Bloomberg reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
3:19 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Today, Make Sure Rabies' Days Are Numbered

Around the world, bites from dogs infected with rabies are the most common way for humans to become infected.
CDC

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 3:40 pm

It seems sometimes that there's hardly a space on the calendar that hasn't been claimed for a campaign to raise awareness for an illness or health condition.

Today, for instance, is World Rabies Day, I learned from a tweet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting a celebration to learn about how to prevent the fatal disease.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Justice Department Asks Supreme Court To Take Up Health Care Law

The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to hear a case that will decide on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care overhaul law.

"The department has consistently and successfully defended this law in several courts of appeals, and only the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it unconstitutional," the Justice Department said in a statement. "We believe the question is appropriate for review by the Supreme Court."

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Digital Life
2:40 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Who Are You, Really? Activists Fight For Pseudonyms

In the past, Google Chief Eric Schmidt, shown this month, has expressed impatience with Internet anonymity. At the Techonomy conference last year, he said, "One of the errors that the Internet made a long time ago is that there was not an accurate and non-revocable identity-management service."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 5:04 pm

Social media companies don't like people creating accounts under fake names. That's long been the case at Facebook, but over the summer, Google's new social network, Google Plus, surprised users by making a point of shutting down accounts with names that didn't look real.

Some online activists refer to Google's action as the "nym wars" — short for "pseudonym wars." They see it as part of a worrying trend to force people to use their real names online.

Trying To Weed Out 'Trolls'

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Braves, Red Sox Fans Ready For The End, Ugly Or Not

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez: the face of frustration.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

There's one game left in baseball's 2011 regular season and four teams are tied for the last two playoff spots. It all ends tonight, or maybe not.

Some claim that this is the type of scenario that makes sports exciting. For the fans of two teams, however, the drama is not welcome.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Heidi, Germany's Cross-Eyed Opossum, Has Died

We have news of a passing: Heidi, the cross-eyed opossum that became an Internet sensation, was put to sleep in Germany today.

If you accept that Facebook fans are popularity's new currency, then Heidi was a big deal. With her 338,000 fans, the opossum, who made her American debut by predicting the Oscars (correctly on two categories) on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, was more popular than German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Rick Perry
12:42 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Social Security: The 'Third Rail' No More?

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry attend a rally earlier this month in Newport Beach, Calif. Though some Republican voters have doubts about Perry, recent polls show it's not because of his stance on Social Security, which he's called a "Ponzi scheme."
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

It's often been called the "third rail" of American politics. If so, many of those running for office this political season are living dangerously.

Social Security — what's wrong with it and how to fix it — has become part of the political debate in the presidential primary season. Most candidates say they have plans to reform it, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry has gone further, saying that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme" and a "monstrous lie."

Although Perry may be running into resistance from Republican voters, it's not because of his stand on Social Security.

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