The Two-Way
9:17 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Report: Journalists Are Freed From Libyan Hotel

Foreign journalists in protective gear climb the stairs at the Rixos hotel where they were confined, as rebel forces overran Gadhafi's Bab al-Azizya headquarters in Tripoli.
Imed Lamloum AFP/Getty Images

CNN's Matthew Chance reports on Twitter that journalists have been allowed to leave the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli, where many foreign journalists have stayed throughout the 6-month civil war.

For the past few days, journalists have been held in the hotel at gunpoint. As we've reported, the hotel is where Saif al-Islam Gadhafi made his surprise appearance Monday night and is a place very close to Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Wed August 24, 2011

One Of World's 'Most Feared Pests' Keeps Showing Up At Customs

The Khapra beetle. If you see one, tell the authorities.
acgov.org

This headline from the Chicago Tribune got our attention:

'Most feared' pest found in shipment at O'Hare.

According to the story, "a cast skin and larva" later identified as Khapra beetles were discovered in two 10-pound bags of rice last week.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Wed August 24, 2011

CBO: Economy Remains In 'Severe Slump'

CBO

The Congressional Budget Office has just released the summer update of its Budget and Economic Outlook. The non-partisan government agency took in to account the recently enacted Budget Control Act, but not the recent market volatility.

If you were looking for good economic news, this report is not it. Here's the bottom line as Director Douglas W. Elmendorf puts it in his blog:

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Joey Vento, Famed For Cheesesteaks And 'Speak English,' Has Died

He was "the impresario of cheesesteaks whose 'speak English' sign at his South Philly sandwich shop made him famous to some, infamous to others," The Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Rise In Order For Durable Goods Lifts Spirits On Wall Street

This just in from Bloomberg News:

"U.S. stock futures pared losses, erasing most of a 1.4 percent decline, as a bigger-than-expected increase in orders for durable goods offset concern yesterday's rally went too far, too fast."

Translation: Wall Street may have an OK day. The futures are signalling that the market's likely to head higher.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Terror Fears Made East Coast Earthquake Especially Unsettling

There was supposedly some "snickering" from jaded folks on the West Coast of the U.S. on Tuesday as they watched many on the East Coast express alarm and surprise over the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook things from the Carolina's to New England.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Wed August 24, 2011

In Libya: Last Battle Of 'Bitter, Brutal Civil War'

The dramatic scenes Tuesday of joy and looting at what was Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's main compound in Tripoli have again raised the prospect that "the war is almost over," NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reported on Morning Edition earlier today.

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Irene Likely To Be 'Major Hurricane Later Today;' Mid-Atlantic Bracing

Here she comes. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite photo of Hurricane Irene, taken Tuesday (Aug. 23, 2011). Cuba and Florida are to the left.
AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Irene "continues to strengthen as it pounds the southeastern Bahamas," the National Hurricane Center reports, and "will likely become a major hurricane later today."

Irene is a "category two" hurricane at this moment. The Hurricane Center expects it will be upgraded to "category three," with winds of more than 111 mph, today.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Gadhafi Vows To Fight; Irene Strengthens; East Coast Picks Up After Quake

Opposition fighters flashed the V-sign for victory during celebrations in Tripoli's newly named Martyrs Square, formerly known as Green Square, on Tuesday (Aug. 23, 2011).
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 5:06 am

We'll have more on each of these topics shortly, but first we want to quickly pass on the main headlines related to the day's three major stories:

-- Libya: "From Hiding, Gadhafi Tells Libyans To Free Tripoli."

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Law
3:30 am
Wed August 24, 2011

NYPD Intelligence Unit Seen Pushing Rights Limits

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the New York Police Department has become one of America's most aggressive gatherers of domestic intelligence. Its intelligence unit, directed by a retired CIA veteran, dispatches undercover officers to keep tabs on ethnic neighborhoods — sometimes in areas far outside their jurisdiction.

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