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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Men Who Vandalized Egyptian Pyramid To Prove Theory Face Charges

Domique Goerlitz shown in one of the pyramid's chambers in this screen grab from their video, which has apparently been removed.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 2:41 pm

Two self-styled amateur archeologists from Germany, who filmed themselves scraping off pieces of Egypt's Great Pyramid in hopes of proving that the ancient wonder was built by people from the legendary city of Atlantis, are now facing possible criminal charges in their home country.

During a trip to Egypt in April 2013, Dominque Goerlitz and Stephan Erdmann, along with a German filmmaker, were granted access to parts of the Great Pyramid at Giza that are normally off-limits to the public. They smuggled their samples back to Germany with plans to produce a documentary.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:33 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Ape Dread, Dog Worry: Animals And Anxiety

Fernando Camino Cover/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 6:02 pm

Like joy and grief, anxiety is something we share with certain other animals.

Chimpanzees and elephants sometimes get anxious. Dogs and cats too. They are aware creatures who — at times — becomes fearful about the bad things that might happen (or happen again).

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Books
11:20 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Author James Patterson To Give $1 Million To Bookstores

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James Patterson writes suspense and thriller novels as well as children's books. He runs the children's literacy campaign ReadKiddoRead.
Deborah Feingold Courtesy Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 9:43 am

James Patterson, the best-selling author of thrillers and romance and young adult novels, has pledged to give away $1 million of his personal fortune to independent booksellers around the country. Today, he announced the names of the dozens of booksellers who are receiving grants in the first round of his big giveaway.

The money is heading toward smaller bookstores, which are under pressure from competitors like Amazon and e-books. Patterson's own books are big sellers everywhere — he doesn't depend on small bookstores to succeed. But his giveaway is driven by a broader concern.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Thu February 20, 2014

In Venezuela, Another Beauty Queen's Death Adds To Anger

This photo, which witnesses say shows Venezuelan beauty queen Genesis Carmona being evacuated from the scene of a protest on Tuesday, is ricocheting around the Web. She died after being shot.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:40 am

There's a sad symmetry to the news from Venezuela, where anti-government protests in recent weeks have been fueled in part by outrage over the shooting death of a beauty queen — a death that underscored that nation's struggle to control violent crime.

One of the five people killed this week during protests against the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro, it's now being reported, was another young beauty queen.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Thu February 20, 2014

VIDEO: Pussy Riot Defies Ban On Sochi Protests, Skewers Putin

As members of the punk protest group Pussy Riot recorded a song and video in Sochi this week, a uniformed Cossack used a whip to try to stop them. The attack ended up being part of the band's video.
Morry Gash AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:29 am

The Russian punk protesters known as Pussy Riot have indeed followed up on their promise to pull off a political protest at the site of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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Book Reviews
11:09 am
Thu February 20, 2014

A Cautionary Tale For Aspiring 1-Percenters In 'Young Money'

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:17 am

In Young Money, Kevin Roose poses many important questions about the lives of newly minted Wall Streeters, but perhaps none more important than this: "What if Wall Street doesn't just attract pre-existing douchebags, but actively draws normal people into an inescapable vortex of douchebaggery?" For Roose, it's not just a glib rhetorical exercise. Over the course of three years, the New York Times contributor recruits and interviews eight anonymous first-year bankers for details of their experiences in the notoriously opaque, reputedly douchebaggy world of high finance.

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Planet Money
11:09 am
Thu February 20, 2014

What It Was Like To Be A Wall Street Recruit After The Bailouts

John Angelillo UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:05 am

Back in 2012, reporter Kevin Roose went undercover at a very exclusive party.

It was a dinner for a secret society, held once a year, at the St. Regis hotel in New York City. The secret society is called Kappa Beta Phi, and it's made up of current and former Wall Street executives — people like Michael Bloomberg, former heads of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs. And every year the group holds a dinner to induct new people into the group — they're called neophytes.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Dip In Weekly Jobless Claims Seen As Sign Of Better Times Ahead

As the weather warms, will more signs such as this pop up? Economists say the latest data on claims for unemployment benefits may signal that better times are ahead.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:37 am

There were only 3,000 fewer first-time claims filed for jobless benefits last week, but the slight decline is being seen as another sign that the nation's labor market will gain some strength once spring arrives.

The Employment and Training Administration said Thursday that 336,000 applications were submitted last week, versus 339,000 the week before.

That means the pace of claims is still running about where it's been since late 2011.

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The Edge
11:03 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Women Are Front And Center In Today's Olympic Events

The Canadian women beat the U.S. in an early round match in Sochi on Feb. 12. The two teams face each other again today for the gold medal.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 4:32 pm

Forget about the men. There's only one Olympic hockey rivalry that matters today, and it's between the women.

The women's hockey teams of Canada and the U.S. will face off today for Olympic gold. It's the latest square-off in a tug of war that's been hot since 1998, when the U.S. team won the first Olympic gold in women's hockey, beating Canada.

Update at 6:30 p.m. ET: Canada Won, 3-2

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Korean Families, Long Separated By War, Meet In Border Town

South Korean Park Yang-gon (left) and his North Korean brother Park Yang Soo get emotional as they meet Thursday during the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea.
Park Hae-soo AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 11:16 am

Some 80 elderly South Koreans, long cut off from family members by the Korean War, arrived in North Korea on Thursday for a brief reunion with loved ones they have not seen in decades.

About 180 North Koreans were meeting with 82 elderly South Koreans and 58 of their family members who had traveled by bus to the North Korean resort of Mount Kumgang, or Diamond Mountain. The meetings between family members will take place Feb. 20-25.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Thu February 20, 2014

5 Things To Know About Venezuela's Protest Leader

Leopoldo López, an ardent opponent of Venezuela's socialist government facing an arrest warrant after President Nicolas Maduro ordered his arrest on charges of homicide and inciting violence, kisses his wife Lilian Tintori, before turning himself in to authorities on Tuesday.
Leo Ramirez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 3:07 am

If you've been following the crisis in Venezuela only peripherally, the name Leopoldo López must've come as a surprise.

During a major protest on Tuesday, he turned himself in to authorities in dramatic fashion. This picture of him saying goodbye to his wife cemented his place as the face of the opposition to the government of Nicolas Maduro:

It meant that López has, for now, replaced Henrique Capriles, who ran against Hugo Chávez and Maduro in presidential elections, as the symbolic head of the opposition.

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Monkey See
10:51 am
Thu February 20, 2014

If You Like The Old 'About A Boy,' You May Not Like The New 'About A Boy'

Benjamin Stockham as Marcus and David Walton as Will in NBC's adaptation of About A Boy.
Jordin Althaus NBC

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:36 am

If you're familiar with the Nick Hornby book or the 2002 film of About A Boy, you will find that what has been kept in the new TV adaptation, coming Saturday night in a preview to NBC, is the clichéd skeleton of the story: a lazy, glib bachelor befriending the child of a single mom and learning how not to be such a selfish baby. Child-averse jerk and wisecracking moppet: a well-worn dynamic that animated, among other things, the early stages of Two And A Half Men.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Thu February 20, 2014

These Reindeer Really Do Shine, And It's For Their Own Good

His antlers are so bright.
Reindeer Herders' Association (of Finland)

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 7:23 am

Feeli the Finnish reindeer,

Had some very shiny horns ...

OK, we'll stop there.

Here's the news:

"Herders in Lapland are spraying their reindeer with reflective paint to help drivers see them in the dark," the BBC writes.

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Europe
10:38 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Sochi Was Once A Vacation Spot Fit For A Dictator

A wax sculpture of Stalin sits behind the desk he used at the dacha. From the time he first began to visit the villa, Stalin was signing death warrants for his rivals — and living in fear of retribution.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 5:02 pm

Long before it became an Olympic host city, Sochi was a favorite getaway for one of history's most ruthless dictators: Josef Stalin.

The Soviet leader had a villa built in the hills overlooking the Black Sea, and he visited it during some of the most tumultuous years of his reign.

The villa, known as Stalin's dacha, or summer house, was built in 1934, and he used it until the end of World War II in 1945. No Soviet or Russian leader after Stalin is known to have visited it.

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The Protojournalist
10:38 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Rethinking The First Signs Of Spring

Chris Smith iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:13 am

For eons in New England, a First Sign of Spring has been sap oozing from a maple tree. In northwestern Montana, officials at Glacier National Park report that a long understood First Sign of Spring is the appearance of a bear — emerging from hibernation.

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