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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

55 Convicted In Public Trial In China's Northwest

Trucks packed with criminals and suspects at a mass sentencing rally at a stadium in Yili, in Xinjiang province, on Tuesday.
China Stringer Network Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 2:35 pm

In a mass trial before thousands of onlookers at a sports stadium, authorities in China's northwestern Xinjiang province convicted and sentenced 55 people on charges of terrorism, separatism and murder, state media report.

The scene, reminiscent of the communist Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and '70s, took place before a crowd of 7,000 spectators. All of the defendants appeared to be from the region's Muslim Uighur community, the BBC says.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Report Finds Evidence Of Secret Wait Lists At VA Hospital

The Department of Veterans Affairs in Phoenix, where the VA's inspector general says numerous problems with scheduling practices were uncovered.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:12 pm

The inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs has affirmed that some 1,700 patients at the Phoenix VA hospital were put on unofficial wait lists and subjected to treatment delays of up to 115 days.

In an interim report released Wednesday, the inspector general's office reported it had "substantiated that significant delays in access to care negatively impacted the quality of care" at Phoenix HCS.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Rumors Of An Intergalactic Explosion Are Greatly Exaggerated

Astronomers thought they saw a big explosion in the nearby Andromeda galaxy.
GALEX, JPL-Caltech/ NASA

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 5:17 pm

Tuesday afternoon, astronomers thought they saw a powerful explosion in the nearby Andromeda galaxy.

The Internet went wild with speculation about what it could be: Had two superdense neutron stars collided? Did a supermassive star explode?

"When I got up this morning and turned on my phone, I had a lot of emails and my Twitter feed was burning," says Phil Evans, an astronomer at the University of Leicester in Britain.

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Wed May 28, 2014

To Win, Wear Red: Physicist Hawking Advises England's World Cup Squad

Physicist Stephen Hawking has revealed "England's World Cup Success Formula," which he says was derived by using general logistic regression analysis.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:52 am

After a lifetime contemplating the mysteries of the universe, famed physicist Stephen Hawking is now considering a more mundane question: How can England win the World Cup?

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Obama Emphasizes Importance Of Alliances In Foreign Policy Address

President Obama arrives to deliver the commencement address to the Military Academy at West Point on Wednesday. In a broad defense of his foreign policy, the president declared that the U.S. remains the world's most indispensable nation, even after a "long season of war," but he underscored that not every global problem has a military solution.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 1:37 pm

President Obama sought to recast if not reboot his overall approach to foreign policy with his graduation address at West Point on Wednesday.

In essence answering critics who have complained that his administration has lacked forceful responses to challenges in places such as Syria, Iran, Ukraine and Nigeria, Obama emphasized that "America must always lead on the world stage."

But he underscored that not every global problem has a military solution.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Book News: Amazon Defends Tough Negotiating Tactics

Amazon is "not optimistic that this will be resolved soon," speaking about its dispute with the publisher Hachette. The retailer is not allowing customers to pre-order Hachette's books.
Philippe Merle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 12:17 pm

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

Note: This post was written before news of writer Maya Angelou's death emerged. Annalisa will be away until early next week, but feel free to send her your bookish thoughts and questions on Twitter at @annalisa_quinn.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Son Of Late Snake-Handling Pastor Is Bitten By Rattlesnake

Boxes housing snakes sit on the floor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, Ky.
NGT

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:45 am

Snake-handling is a tradition for the Coots family of Kentucky. But months after taking over for his father to lead a Pentecostal church, Cody Coots says he was bitten this week. His father, Jamie, died of a poisonous snakebite in February.

The family has been featured on a reality TV show, as the Two-Way reported:

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou, Poet, Activist And Singular Storyteller, Dies At 86

Angelou became Hollywood's first black female movie director on Nov. 3, 1971. She also wrote the script and music for Caged Bird, which was based on her best-selling 1969 autobiography. She had been a professional singer, dancer, writer, composer, poet, lecturer, editor and San Francisco streetcar conductor.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:58 am

Poet, performer and political activist Maya Angelou has died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86. Born in St. Louis in 1928, Angelou grew up in a segregated society that she worked to change during the civil rights era. Angelou, who refused to speak for much of her childhood, revealed the scars of her past in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first of a series of memoirs.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Wed May 28, 2014

In NBC Interview, Snowden Says He Was 'Trained As A Spy'

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden spoke to NBC's Nightly News anchor Brian Williams in Moscow last week.
NBC Nightly News

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 2:26 pm

Seeking to correct what he calls "misleading" statements about his work for U.S. government agencies, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden tells NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams he "was trained as a spy" and worked for several.

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