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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Mon January 20, 2014

U.N. Rescinds Offer For Iran To Take Part In Syrian Peace Talks

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the media during a news conference at U.N. headquarters in New York on Sunday.
Jason Szenes EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 5:06 am

This post was updated at 4:35 p.m. ET.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn an invitation to Iran to participate in Syrian peace talks after groups opposing President Bashar Assad's regime threatened a boycott of the discussions if Tehran got a seat at the table.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Mon January 20, 2014

American Held In North Korea Asks U.S. To Secure His Release

American missionary Kenneth Bae leaves after speaking to reporters at Pyongyang Friendship Hospital on Monday.
Kim Kwang Hyon AP

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 3:38 pm

American missionary Kenneth Bae, who's been held for more than a year in North Korea following his arrest and trial on espionage charges, spoke to reporters for Western media on Monday, calling for the U.S. government to help win his freedom.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Book News: Amazon Wants To Ship Products Before You Even Buy Them

An employee prepares an order at Amazon's fulfillment center in San Bernardino, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 12:34 pm

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

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The Two-Way
5:48 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

United Nations Invites Iran To First Day Of Syrian Peace Negotiations

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 7:32 pm

Update at 8:27 p.m. EST State From U.S. Department of State:

State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said in a statement Sunday that Iran's invitation must be rescinded unless Iran makes "explicit and public support for the full implementation of the Geneva communique including the establishment of a transitional governing body by mutual consent with full executive authorities."

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Obama: Marijuana Is Not 'More Dangerous Than Alcohol'

President Barack Obama.
Getty Images

The New Yorker has just dropped an extensive profile of President Obama by David Remnick, who wrote a major book on the president published in 2011.

It's nuanced and touches on issues like gay marriage and Israel and Palestine. But Obama also drops this bombshell about marijuana: "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

Obama goes on to add more nuance to the statement. Here's the context for the statement:

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

House Intelligence Chairman Implies Snowden Had Help From Russians

Edward Snowden.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 3:06 pm

Rep. Mike Rogers made some strong allegations against former NSA contractor Edward Snowden on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday.

Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, implied that Snowden received helped from Russia's security service both to steal the highly classified documents and then to travel to Russia, where he received temporary asylum.

NBC News reports:

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Sun January 19, 2014

At Least 10 Arrested In Calif. During Officer Acquittals Protest

At least 10 demonstrators were arrested on Saturday in Fullerton, Calif., after a protest over two officers acquitted in the death of a homeless man turned violent.

The Los Angeles Times reports that most of the arrests came after a television news videographer was attacked and police issued an order ending the rally. The paper adds:

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Syria Denies Reports Of President Assad's Defiant Comments

Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian government says a report by Russian media that said President Bashar Assad is not willing to step aside are "not accurate."

Reuters reports that state media said that the Russian news service Interfax "did not conduct an interview" with Assad.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Former NBA Star Dennis Rodman Checks Into Alcohol Rehab

Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman waits to check in for his flight to North Korea after his arrival at Beijing's international airport on Monday.
Wang Zhao AFP/Getty Images

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has checked into an alcohol rehabilitation center in the east coast, his agent tells CNN.

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