The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Human Rights Watch Says Chávez's Government Intimidates Opponents

A report (pdf) released today by Human Rights Watch accuses the government of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela of consolidating power in the executive branch and using that power to intimidate his opponents.

"The accumulation of power in the executive, the removal of institutional safeguards, and the erosion of human rights guarantees have given the Chávez government free rein to intimidate, censor, and punish Venezuelans who 'offend' the president or obstruct his political aims," the report found.

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Economy
4:53 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Bernanke: U.S. Economic Growth Is Slowing

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:16 pm

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers that progress toward bringing down the nation's high unemployment rate will be "frustratingly slow." He reiterated previous statements that the Fed stands ready to do more, but declined to be specific about what it would do. Bernanke also defended the Fed's role in addressing the manipulation of a benchmark interest rate by at least one big bank.

NPR Story
4:37 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Olympic Security Firm Under Fire Days Before Games

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:16 pm

In London, the fight over the G4S security company and the Olympics is growing. More guards failed to show up for work on Tuesday. And the CEO of the massive security company is being grilled by the Home Affairs Committee.

Sports
4:07 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Is The Big Apple About To Lose Its Love Of Linsanity?

Jeremy Lin, who last season went from benchwarmer to star for the New York Knicks, might be shipping off to Houston if the Knicks don't match a $25 million contract offer.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:16 pm

In case you were living under a rock last winter, here's a quick refresher on the phenomenon known as "Linsanity."

In just a few weeks, Jeremy Lin — a lanky Asian-American point guard who played his college ball at Harvard — went from a benchwarmer to a star. He led an unlikely winning streak that made the long-downtrodden New York Knicks seem momentarily relevant in the NBA title hunt.

"This kid has single-handedly done the unthinkable: made people want to watch the New York Knicks," Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert said, joining the media frenzy.

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Music Interviews
4:06 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Jimmy Cliff's 'Rebirth' Gives New Life To Vintage Reggae

Jamaican singer Jimmy Cliff performs in Rabat, Morocco, in May. His new album is titled Rebirth.
Fadel Senna AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:16 pm

Pop music in the 21st century has been flush with precise re-creations of '60s and '70s American R&B — think of Sharon Jones, Adele, Raphael Saadiq and the late Amy Winehouse. Meanwhile, I've been waiting for a similar revival of Jamaica's R&B: ska, rocksteady, roots-reggae.

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Pot Growers May Be Killing Rare Creatures With Poison, Researchers Say

A fisher. It now has another challenge.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Already among the animals that may be added to the list of those protected by the Endangered Species Act, the weasel-like fisher now faces this deadly threat:

Rat poison that illegal marijuana growers put out to protect their crops in California.

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U.S.
3:51 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

States To Use U.S. Immigration List For Voter Purges

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:06 pm

Several presidential battleground states are moving quickly to reach agreements with federal officials to access a U.S. immigration database to purge noncitizens from voter rolls.

The states, including some with large Latino populations, are following Florida, which last week reached its own pact with the Department of Homeland Security to use a database that contains information about immigrants who are in the U.S. legally. The states' efforts had initially been blocked by DHS until the agency relented.

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Books
3:02 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Encyclopedia Brown: The Great Sleuth From My Youth

cover detail

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:35 am

Donald Sobol, the creator of the beloved character Encyclopedia Brown, died last week of natural causes, his family says. He was 87. The first in the Encyclopedia Brown series book was published in 1963, and the series has never gone out of print.

Crime novelist and forensic pathologist Jonathan Hayes has this appreciation of the character Sobol gave young readers.

While other boys got hooked on books about sports legends and race car drivers, there was something about Donald Sobol's boy detective Encyclopedia Brown that spoke to me right away.

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On Aging
2:44 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Recipe For Good Friendships: Best If Formed By 30

piece in The New York Times." href="/post/recipe-good-friendships-best-if-formed-30" class="noexit lightbox">
"Schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends," Alex Williams writes in a piece in The New York Times.
Sean Locke iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 1:17 pm

Making close friends after college can be challenging. As the days of dorm life, dining halls and synchronized schedules fade, it can be tough to form solid bonds. Once marriage and children enter the scene, adults have even less say in choosing friends.

In a piece for The New York Times, writer Alex Williams explores his own changing friendships and his sometimes failed efforts to connect.

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Sometimes, 4Chan Users Do The Right Thing

This is the photo posted on 4Chan last night.
Anonymous

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:42 pm

4Chan is a cesspool. That's not even editorializing. A few minutes on the notorious, free-for-all Internet message board that gave birth to Anonymous will — in the famous words of Gawker — "melt your brain."

But every once in a while, they do the right thing — like today.

As Hypervocal reports, last night a 4Chan user posted a picture of someone standing on two containers full of lettuce with the taunting caption: "This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King."

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