The Two-Way
6:43 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Brunei's Shariah Law Spurs Boycott Of Beverly Hills Hotel

People protest outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei, over the country's Shariah law penal code in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Monday.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 12:20 pm

The Beverly Hills City Council voted Tuesday night to ask the government of Brunei to divest itself of the famed Beverly Hills Hotel.

At issue: Shariah, or Islamic, law. Last week, Brunei, a tiny oil-rich kingdom in southeast Asia, adopted Shariah as part of its penal code. The law, which will be introduced in phases, makes abortion, adultery and gay relationships punishable by flogging and stoning.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Nation's Report Card Shows Stagnant Scores For Reading, Math

In the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, 26 percent of high school seniors scored at or above grade level in math compared with 38 percent in reading.
Chad McDermott iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:26 am

The government released the latest national test scores on Wednesday, and the news isn't good: 12th-graders are headed toward graduation, but many don't have the skills they need to succeed in college or work.

The test is the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often referred to as "the nation's report card."

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Reported $147 Million Home Price Would Set New U.S. Record

A satellite image depicts a beachfront estate that reportedly sold for $147 million in East Hampton, N.Y.
Google Maps

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 12:12 pm

The stock market has been on a winning streak — and that means these are busy times in exclusive U.S. housing markets. How else to explain three homes that each reportedly sold for more than $100 million in the past three months?

News that hedge fund founder Barry Rosenstein is buying an East Hampton, N.Y., property for $147 million prompted Bloomberg News to declare, "The U.S. trophy-home market is shattering price records this year."

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Shots - Health News
5:37 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Employers Eye Moving Sickest Workers To Insurance Exchanges

Would he be happier with a health plan bought on the exchange? His boss probably would be.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 8:40 am

Can corporations shift workers with high medical costs from the company health plan into online insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act? Some employers are considering it, say benefits consultants.

"It's all over the marketplace," said Todd Yates, a managing partner at Hill, Chesson & Woody, a North Carolina benefits consulting firm. "Employers are inquiring about it, and brokers and consultants are advocating for it."

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The Two-Way
4:03 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Report Details Hundreds Of Complaints Against U.S. Border Agents

A new report lists more than 800 complaints made against U.S. Border Patrol agents; most include physical abuse. Here, an agent patrols the U.S.-Mexico border fence at in San Diego, Calif., last year.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:36 am

Physical abuse and excessive force top the list of hundreds of complaints filed against U.S. Border Patrol agents, according to a new report. The accusations include charges that agents kicked a pregnant woman, stomped on a man and physically forced a minor to sign a document.

Those accusations are in a report on government data about the complaints that was obtained by the advocacy group the American Immigration Council via a Freedom of Information Act request.

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Krulwich Wonders...
3:03 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Draw My Left! No, No, My Other Left! A Hidden Bias In Art History Revealed

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 5:48 am

Look at this guy.

He is half-smiley, half-frowny. I drew the mouth carefully to make it equal parts sad and happy.

But when you look at him — take him in whole — would you say he's having a good day or a bad day?

Most people would say: good day. He seems a little more smiley than not.

That's because, says science writer Sam Kean, when we look at somebody, the left side of that person's face is more emotionally powerful and "determines the overall emotional tenor."

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It's All Politics
3:03 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Democrats Play Wait-And-See On Benghazi Panel

A Libyan man is shown inside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, on Sept. 11, 2012.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 8:05 am

Updated on May, 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

Late Tuesday, House Republicans made public on Speaker John Boehner's website their draft resolution to create the Benghazi select committee. The resolution calls for a panel of seven Republicans and five Democrats and no written rules for the panel.

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The Two-Way
3:02 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Thai Court Removes Prime Minister Yingluck From Office

Ousted Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra received roses from supporters in a Bangkok suburb on Wednesday.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:29 am

Saying Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had violated Thailand's constitution, the country's Constitutional Court ordered the caretaker leader to step down from office, along with nine ministers. She had held the post since the summer of 2011.

The court's ruling Wednesday stems from accusations that Yingluck abused her powers in 2011 by transferring the national security chief, who had been appointed by the opposition. The court's nine judges went on national television to broadcast their decision.

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Parallels
11:37 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

In Ukraine's Corridors Of Power, An Effort To Toss Out The Old

An activist waves the Ukrainian national flag at Independence Square on April 6.
Valentyn Ogirenko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:57 am

The first time I saw the word "lustration," I thought it was a case of bad translation from Ukrainian. In Kiev, a flyer advertised a talk by the head of parliament's "lustration" committee.

"What does this word mean in English?" I asked a press aide.

"I don't know the English word for it, but it will be an interesting speech," he replied.

And indeed, it was.

Weeks later, Sam Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King's College in London, explained to me that lustration actually is an English word.

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War On Poverty, 50 Years Later
11:34 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough'

Victoria Houser of Painted Post, N.Y., is raising her son, Brayden, on her own. She says she feels stuck in a never-ending cycle, constantly worried that one financial emergency will send everything tumbling down.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 1:27 pm

There are 46 million poor people in the U.S., and millions more hover right above the poverty line — but go into many of their homes, and you might find a flat-screen TV, a computer or the latest sneakers.

And that raises a question: What does it mean to be poor in America today?

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