The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Neighboring Crises In South Sudan, Central African Republic

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 4:39 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Michele Kelemen reports from the Central African Republic

There's disturbing news this morning from neighboring nations in Africa:

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State News
8:24 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Debate on new fracking rules continues

Illinois residents get one last chance Thursday night to speak out in a public forum about new rules on fracking in the state.  These regulations are in response to legislation signed over the summer to regulate high-volume, horizontal hydraulic fracturing. It’s a process that involves pumping large amounts of chemicals and water deep underground to release oil or natural gas. Supporters say fracking will bring much-needed jobs to Illinois, while critics argue the costs far outweigh any benefits.  Illinois Public Radio’s Sean Powers reports.

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State News
8:01 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Gov. renews push to raise minimum wage

As he campaigns for re-election, Governor Pat Quinn is renewing a push for a hike in the minimum wage. IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports. 

Illinois' $8.25 minimum wage bests the federal rate by a dollar. Gov. Pat Quinn and other Democrats want to raise it higher. The governor's calling it to go up to $10.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Existing Home Sales Dip, But Prices Rise

A "sale pending" sign in front of a home in San Anselmo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 9:33 am

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: The day's second major economic indicator is another good news/bad news report.

The good news is that prices of existing homes continue to rise, the National Association of Realtors says.

"The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $196,300 in November, up 9.4 percent from November 2012," according to NAR.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Book News: Memoir Coming From Obama's Half-Brother

Mark Obama Ndesandjo. His half-brother is President Obama.
Vincent Yu AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 1:31 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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State News
7:14 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Politican's racy language debated ahead of his corruption trial

As they prepare for the trial of an Illinois state representative accused of taking a bribe, attorneys are debating the politician’s racy language. IPR'S Tony Arnold reports.

Federal prosecutors say they have State Representative Derrick Smith on tape asking for 7-thousand dollars in cash in exchange for backing a grant application. Smith’s defense attorneys say the representative was entrapped by the campaign worker who recorded him. Smith’s trial is scheduled to begin next month.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Thu December 19, 2013

'Duck Dynasty' Dad Doubles Down; Palin Defends Him

Four of the stars of Duck Dynasty, from left to right: Phil Robertson, Jase Robertson (Phil's son), Si Robertson (Phil's brother) and Willie Robertson (Phil's son).
Zach Dilgard AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 3:36 pm

Saying that his mission "is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together," Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson isn't backing away from the comments he's made about gays that have led A&E to suspend him from the popular show indefinitely.

Robertson, in a statement to Fox News' FOX411, goes on to say:

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Around the Nation
6:48 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Handcuffed Suspect Proposes To Girlfriend, She Says 'Yes'

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

In Elk City, Oklahoma, you have the right to remain silent or make a proposal of marriage. A man being arrested for allegedly writing bad checks asked the officer if he could have a moment because he had been just about to propose to his girlfriend. The cop said he couldn't remove the man's handcuffs, but he did help him out by getting the ring from his coat pocket. Police Chiefs Eddie Holland called the incident, quote, policing with a heart. And in case you were wondering, the woman said yes.

Around the Nation
5:58 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Chicago TV Anchor Wrestles With Alligator Story

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A Miami man tried to join the barter economy. He captured a small alligator, took it to a store, offered to trade it for a 12-pack. His attempt made news on Chicago TV, where the anchor tried to tell the story.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV NEWSCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: He tried to trade it for beer.

INSKEEP: But has to pause 44 seconds, laughing.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV NEWSCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I think he's lost it.

The Two-Way
5:47 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Breach At Target Stores May Affect 40 Million Card Accounts

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 8:04 am

Target Corp. acknowledged early Thursday that there was a massive security breach of its customers' credit and debit card accounts starting the day before Thanksgiving and extending at least to Dec. 15 — the heart of the holiday shopping season.

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