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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Russia Denies Issuing Ultimatum Or Warning Ukraine Of 'Storm'

Armed men in military uniform, believed to be Russian soldiers, were outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in Bakhchisaray, on the Crimean Peninsula, on Monday.
Maxim Shipenkov EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 1:21 pm

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET: "Total Nonsense," Russian Official Reportedly Says:

Any claims that the Russian military has warned Ukraine to surrender in Crimea or face an assault on Tuesday are "total nonsense," a Russian Defense Ministry official says, according to The Voice of Russia.

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The Protojournalist
9:10 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Climate Strange: 5 Monster March Snowstorms

Snow plows in Manhattan during the blizzard of 1993.
Bill Turnbull NY Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 12:56 pm

For much of the nation, March has come in with a leonine roar.

Are these late-season snow shows examples of climate change? "No," says weather historian Jim Fleming of Colby College. "The polar vortex is a natural and variable stratospheric event. One of its anomalies hit Russia and Central Europe in winters past. This year it is our turn."

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Deceptive Cadence
10:22 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Philippe Jaroussky And The Impossibly High Male Voice

Philippe Jaroussky's new album is Farinelli: Porpora Arias.
Marc Ribes Erato/Warner Classics

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 4:09 pm

Philippe Jaroussky cuts a masculine figure on the cover of his new album, Farinelli: Porpora Arias, but you might do a double take upon hearing the music. The arias the French opera singer performs on this release were written in the 18th century for a castrato β€” a boy singer castrated to retain his high singing voice through adulthood.

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The Salt
10:19 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Even In A Desert, Drought Spells Trouble For Ranchers

No snowpack, no hay: In the northern Nevada, cattle feed is getting hard to come by, as sources of water diminish in supply.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 4:09 pm

In northern Nevada, a place famous for its wide, open spaces and expansive cattle operations, ranchers are in a bind due to the historic drought.

Much of the state is desert, so when people talk about drought, they're really talking about the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. It's at barely 20 percent of average.

This is a huge concern for farmers and ranchers like Julie Wolf, because the mountains store the snow that melts and feeds rivers and reservoirs. These bodies of water then allow the desert to bloom with grass and alfalfa for her cattle.

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The Two-Way
10:07 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

'12 Years A Slave,' 'Gravity' Win Big At The Oscars

Red carpet's ready: The rope line awaits at Hollywood & Highland Center.
Christopher Polk Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 7:37 am

After several days of heavy rain in Los Angeles, the sun came out just as the 86th annual Academy Awards got underway at the Dolby Theater.

The big award of the night, for Best Picture, went to 12 Years a Slave. The film tells the harrowing tale of Solomon Northup, a free black man in New York who was sold into slavery. (See the full list of winners below.)

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Asia
10:06 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Corruption Blurs The Lines Of China's Mistress Culture

A passerby walks past a sign for an "hourly hotel" in a popular shopping district in Hong Kong. An recent anti-vice crackdown in China has targeted mistresses and sex workers as part of a social problem.
Antony Dickson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 4:09 pm

China's leader Xi Jinping has made a crackdown on corruption a centerpiece of his administration. He's vowed to root out corruption from the bottom to the top, or to use his expression, to "go after the tigers as well as the flies."

When it comes to corrupt, high-ranking officials, there's a reliable source for tips: scorned mistresses. Some have even taken to shaming their lovers on social media, and the scandals have made international headlines.

The Mistress Standard

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The Two-Way
10:06 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Outgoing Afghan President Karzai Says U.S. Betrayed Him

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:22 pm

In an interview with The Washington Post, the departing president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, said that "Afghans died in a war that's not ours."

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Movie Interviews
10:06 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

When A Lost 'Lunchbox' Leads To Love, A Mistake Becomes A Miracle

Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) is a widower whose correspondence comes in an unlikely package β€” a lunchbox.
Ritesh Batra Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 4:09 pm

How many ways are there to tell a love story? More than you may think β€” especially in Mumbai, India, a city of millions. The Lunchbox, written and directed by Ritesh Batra, is one such story β€” a love that blossoms from a mistaken food delivery.

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Shots - Health News
10:05 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Noise Machines To Help Babies Sleep Can Raise Quite A Din

Noise machines to help infants fall asleep can be so loud that they pose a hazard, researchers say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 6:23 am

About a year ago, pediatric otolaryngologist Blake Papsin went into a patient's room at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He was surprised by the roar of a sleep machine the parents had brought to help their child conk out amid the beeps and buzzes of the hospital.

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Theater
1:10 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

For Kathleen Turner, Success Requires The Courage To Fail

Actress Kathleen Turner β€” the voice of Jessica Rabbit and the star of the steamy Body Heat on the big screen β€” is tackling the monumental title role in Mother Courage and Her Children at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.
Teresa Wood Arena Stage

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 8:30 am

Kathleen Turner has been a film star and stage star, vamp and tramp, comic and deadly. It's been a long, dramatic arc for Turner, whose voice now is both as warm and furry as whiskey and as hard as the shot glass that holds it.

For the past six weeks at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., she's been playing the lead character in Mother Courage and her Children, the 1939 play by Berthold Brecht. Mother Courage is a war profiteer and a mother, a peasant without a country trying to calculate her chances of survival.

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Code Switch
12:48 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

'Mad Black Men': Yes, There Were Black People In '60s Advertising

Mad Black Men's protagonist, Ron Rapper, gets a skeptical look from the secretary on his first day in the office.
Mad Black Men

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 10:23 pm

When Mad Men first premiered on AMC in 2007, Xavier Ruffin β€” a young, African-American graphic designer from Milwaukee, Wisc. β€” really wanted to like it.

"I wanted to be a fan of it when it first came out," Ruffin tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I just had my own personal differences. Not liking the way blacks were represented in their universe. I just couldn't get over it."

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Business
12:47 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Marching Into Spring, Realtors' Hopes Rise

Economists say strong home sales this spring could drive job creation, as well as boost personal wealth and consumer confidence.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:07 am

For real estate agents, March Madness has begun.

The rush is on to throw out clutter, paint walls and clean carpets. Historic data show the peak time for selling homes is April through July, and that means this is the month for spring cleaning.

"Freshen up the landscape and add that mulch now," Dallas Realtor Jeff Duffey recommended in a phone interview. "Get your over-sized furniture out of the small bedroom and put more lamps in that dark room."

The economy has a lot riding on how well people obey Duffey's marching orders.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Kerry Will Travel To Kiev Amid Escalating Crisis

Ukrainian military personnel stand guard in the Crimean port city of Feodosia on Sunday. Ukraine is mobilizing for war, calling up reserve troops.
Thomas Peter Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 5:12 pm

This post was updated at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who has described Moscow's military intervention in the Crimea an "incredible act of aggression," will travel to Ukraine's capital on Tuesday to meet with the country's embattled government.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement late Sunday that Kerry "will meet with senior representatives of Ukraine's new government, leaders of the Rada [Ukraine's parliament], and members of the civil society."

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Around the Nation
12:44 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Throw Me Something (Again), Mister: Mardi Gras Beads Revived

Beads are essential to celebrating Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, but what happens to the tokens when the revelry ends?
Sean Garnder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 8:30 am

In Louisiana, Mardi Gras comes each year with dozens of parades filled with marching bands, colorful floats and parade-goers who scream, "Throw me something, Mister!"

That "something" the crowd wants are beads. The goal of any Mardi Gras parade is to catch as many as possible. After the revelry, people often have so many beads around their necks they can barely turn their heads.

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The 86th Annual Academy Awards
12:44 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

The Human Moments We Miss, Backstage At The Oscars

Every year, Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznick covers the Oscars from behind the scenes.
Christopher Polk Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 4:08 pm

Picture this: You're standing on a stage. You're the center of attention in an auditorium filled with over 3,000 people. Roughly 40 million more are watching you on TV.

No, this isn't a nightmare β€” it's the Academy Awards. Every year, the standout members of the film industry are presented with Hollywood's highest honor: an Oscar.

But what happens after you've won the coveted gold statue? What does it feel like to walk away from the flashbulbs and fans, and step into the quiet darkness behind the curtains?

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