The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Obama: U.S. To End Aid Drops In Iraq, But Airstrikes To Continue

President Obama speaks about the situations in Iraq and Ferguson, Mo., Thursday, in Edgartown, Mass., during his family vacation on the island of Martha's Vineyard.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 6:50 pm

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET.

President Obama says U.S. airstrikes have broken a siege by Islamic militants of minority Yazidis on a mountaintop in northwestern Iraq and it's unlikely that more airdrops of humanitarian aid will be necessary.

"Our military was able to successfully strike ISIL targets around the mountain," where the militant group had laid siege to the Yazidis, he said.

He said U.S. airstrikes against the militants would continue "to protect our people and facilities in Iraq."

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Obama Urges Healing, Peace In Ferguson, Mo.

President Obama speaks to reporters Thursday about the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 6:35 pm

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET:

President Obama is calling the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where violence has broken out in the aftermath of a police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, "heartbreaking and tragic."

Speaking in Edgartown, Mass., on Martha's Vineyard where he is vacationing, Obama said he received a briefing this morning from Attorney General Eric Holder.

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Thu August 14, 2014

New Scrabble Champ: Oregon Man, 24, Wins Title

Conrad Bassett–Bouchard, 24, of Portland, Ore., won the National Scrabble Championship held in Buffalo, N.Y. His winning words included "florigen."
Marc Murphy National Scrabble Championship

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 1:23 pm

Conrad Bassett–Bouchard of Portland, Ore., is the 2014 National Scrabble Champion, taking the title after a tournament that unseated Nigel Richards, who had won the previous four years in a row. Words used in the final round included "barf" and "florigen."

The championship went to Bassett-Bouchard, 24, after he drew both a blank wild-card tile and an S on his first rack of tiles. His first word was "zilch." His biggest score, of 82 points, came courtesy of "docents."

From a news release by the tournament:

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Code Switch
11:35 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Roundtable: The Past And Present Of 'Yellowface'

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 1:55 pm

Every few months, there's a renewed discussion about "yellowface" — when people wear makeup or clothes in an attempt to look more Asian. In just the past year, the subject has come up in conversations about How I Met Your Mother, The Mikado, Magic in the Moonlight and a performance by Katy Perry. (And now, HBO's show Jonah from Tonga is sparking a similar discussion on "brownface.")

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Parallels
11:24 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Pakistan's Mixed Message: Celebrations Amid A Security Lockdown

Members of the Pakistani navy march at the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, to celebrate Independence Day in Karachi. Security was heavy in the capital Islamabad as the government braced for protests in addition to the ceremonies and celebrations.
Fareed Khan AP

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 11:45 am

It is Independence Day in Pakistan, an occasion traditionally celebrated with military parades and grandiose speeches, with poetry and prayers, and with a great deal of flourishing of the national flag.

But 67 years after this nation was carved out of the subcontinent at the end of British colonial rule, the capital is spending the day gripped by anxiety, and partially paralyzed by a government-enforced lockdown.

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Code Switch
10:15 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Wanted At Barneys New York: An 'Anti-Profiling Consultant'

People walk by a Barneys New York retail store in New York City.
Eric Thayer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 12:22 pm

The luxury retailer Barneys New York is hiring.

WANTED: an "anti-profiling consultant."

The hire is just one part of Barneys' new settlement with the New York state attorney general's office, as The Two-Way reported this week.

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The Salt
10:06 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Beneath These Masks Is An Artist Conflicted By Junk Food

British photographer James Ostrer named his photographs after the European codes for food additives.
James Ostrer

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:56 am

British photographer James Ostrer purchased about $8,000 worth of junk food over the past two years — enough to fill up six or seven cars.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Thu August 14, 2014

How People In Ferguson See The Police In Ferguson

"I'm out here to stand for my children and their future," said Terrell Williams El, who hugged his daughter while standing with his wife and two daughters near the QuickTrip in Ferguson, Mo., Wednesday. Several other residents say they've often felt harassed by police.
David Carson MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 4:06 pm

A police officer's killing of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Mo., has ignited racial tensions in a town whose population is two-thirds black — and whose police force reportedly has three black members. Some black residents say that long before Brown's death, they saw the police as a potential threat.

"It's the constant pressure of every time a police officer gets behind us, we're gripping the steering wheel," Anthony Ross, 26, of neighboring Berkeley tells NPR's David Schaper. He added, "Everything on the car is right."

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NPR Ed
8:18 am
Thu August 14, 2014

The NPR Ed Mailbag: The Participation Trophy

LA Johnson/ NPR

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 8:44 am

On Saturday, for our series on learning and play, I reported a story for Weekend Edition exploring this question: Should kids get a trophy for participating in organized sports? Well, it touched a nerve: comments, tweets and emails poured in — hundreds of them. So many that we thought it worth sharing a few. Here goes.

Against

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Goats and Soda
7:48 am
Thu August 14, 2014

A Fiasco At The Burial Ground, A Prank At The Shop: Covering Ebola

The makeshift markers for graves of Ebola victims lie scattered in a burial site located on swampland, some two hours from the capital city of Monrovia.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 1:34 pm

NPR's global health correspondent Jason Beaubien tries to keep his cool when traveling abroad. But he may have set a new record for chillness.

En route to Liberia to cover the Ebola outbreak, he flew out of Sierra Leone's Freetown airport. Like all passengers, he had his body temperature measured by an ear gun thermometer. The reading: 32.8 degrees centigrade (roughly 91 degrees Fahrenheit).

A 95-degree temperature can mark the onset of hypothermia; at 91 degrees amnesia can kick in. But Jason remembers (and has photo proof) of that clearly erroneous temperature reading.

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