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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Agreed, Baby Pandas Are Cute. But Why?

Tai Shan and his mother, Mei Xiang, enjoy frozen fruit treats at the National Zoo in 2006.
Avie Schneider NPR

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 10:05 am

Xiao Liwu made his public debut Thursday at the San Diego Zoo. Fans crowded around the exhibit, their camera lenses extended, hoping to catch a glimpse of the 5-month-old giant panda cub. If they're lucky and actually do see the 16-pound panda (his Chinese name means "Little Gift"), there'll be much oooing and aaahing.

You'd have to be heartless not to agree that pandas, especially the youngest of them, are as cute as all get-out. Right? But why?

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Baseball Will Test For Human Growth Hormone During Season

Major League baseball will begin random regular-season blood tests for human growth hormone, seen here in an injector pen holding about one week's worth of HGH doses at the clinic of Dr. Mark Molitch of Northwestern University.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:47 am

Major League Baseball will expand its effort to fight performance enhancing drugs to include random blood tests for human growth hormone and other substances during the regular season, under the terms of an agreement with the players union that was first reported by

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

What Does $1 Trillion Worth Of Platinum Look Like?

You'd need a lot of these — think in terms of railroad cars to haul them — to have $1 trillion.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

OK, OK. We know that you don't actually need $1 trillion worth of platinum to make this debt-defying coin.

But just for the sake of some financial fun, how much platinum would you actually need to mint a coin that contains a trillion dollars worth of platinum?

Turns out, it's probably more than mankind has available on the market right now.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Study Of Junior Seau's Brain Finds Signs Of Neurodegenerative Disease

Junior Seau, seen here playing for the New England Patriots toward the end of his career, suffered from a degenerative brain disease, scientists say.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 12:19 pm

Junior Seau, the former NFL linebacker whose suicide last May at age 43 shocked fans and former teammates, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive head injuries, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Reports: Two Hurt, One Suspect In Custody After Shooting At Calif. School

An area is cordoned off outside Taft Union High School in Taft, Calif., Thursday. Authorities said a student was shot and wounded and another student was taken into custody.
Doug Keeler AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:33 pm

There was a shooting incident at a high school in Taft, Calif., this morning. Now that many reports have come in from the scene, it appears that two people were injured and a shooter has been taken into custody.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Obama Taps Top Aide Lew For Treasury

Jack Lew has been nominated to be the next Treasury secretary.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 11:57 am

  • President Obama announces nomination of Jack Lew for Treasury

Saying he "cannot think of a better person" to take the job, President Obama this afternoon formally announced he is nominating Jacob "Jack" Lew, his chief of staff, to be the next Treasury secretary.

Word of Obama's decision to tap Lew, who previously served as budget director in the Obama and Clinton administration, broke Wednesday.

"Jack has my complete trust," Obama said.

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The Salt
11:11 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Moroccans Celebrate A Bountiful Year For Date Harvest

A Moroccan date harvester sorts his yield, which was well above average this year.
Jeff Koehler for NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 2:38 pm

In the heart of the Moroccan oasis and palm grove of Skoura, west of Marrakesh, yellow and reddish dates dangled heavily from branches high above us. It's going to be a good year, a man harvesting dates said, offering me a handful of fresh, still-yellow fruit cut from the tree just moments before.

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Afghanistan
10:48 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Small Strike Against Corruption: Afghan Governors Chosen On Merit

Deputy provincial governors and district governors selected under a new merit-based program are sworn in Tuesday in Kabul. The development is part of an effort to address rampant corruption in Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:26 pm

Regularly ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, Afghanistan has implemented what for it is a novel new program: selecting provincial and district officials on the basis of their skills, rather than connections.

By all accounts, Afghanistan's corruption is endemic at all levels of government. It's hoped the new effort will begin to curb graft, patronage and nepotism in the country's 34 provinces and roughly 360 districts.

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It's All Politics
10:28 am
Thu January 10, 2013

What 'Lincoln' Says About Today's Congress

Daniel Day-Lewis takes on one of America's most famous presidents in Lincoln.
David James DreamWorks

Lincoln may not be a political film for the ages, but it's certainly a movie that speaks to our own time.

Although the movie centers on the abolition of slavery, Lincoln taps into one of the deepest desires of our historical moment — the desire for politicians in Washington to get their acts together and compromise to succeed in passing major legislation.

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NPR Story
10:23 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Former Cabinet Members On Being Part Of The President's Team

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 11:07 am

President Obama nominated Jack Lew, his current chief of staff, for Treasury Secretary today. Former cabinet members explain what it takes to put together a good cabinet, and how to get the members to work together.

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