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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Company Hopes To Strike It Rich By Mining Pacific Seafloor

Shrimp surround a volcanic vent nearly 4,000 feet beneath the Pacific Ocean, south of Samoa. Some mining companies are interested in the rich sulfide deposits surrounding vents such as these.
NSF/NOAA AP

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 6:41 am

A Canadian company has signed a contract to open the first deep-sea mineral mine off the coast of Papua New Guinea, realizing a decades-long ambition to tap the seafloor's vast resources.

Nautilus Minerals is hoping to extract copper, gold and silver at a depth of about 5,000 feet as part of the mining project, known as Solwara 1.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Is Opera In America In Peril?

In Boston Baroque's semi-staged version of Claudio Monteverdi's "Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria," Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães makes his U.S. debut as Ulisse, and Jennifer Rivera plays his wife, Penelope. (Clive Grainger)

Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 12:09 pm

With the New York City Opera announcing its closing and the San Diego Opera in peril, the state of opera in the United States appears to be tottering.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Ceasefire Ends In Pakistan

In Pakistan, officials say the military has launched a series of air strikes against suspected militants near the Afghan border. They say at least 12 suspected militants have been killed.

It’s the first such operation in two months and yet another sign of just how deep the divisions run in Pakistani society between those who are fighting for a theocracy and those who believe in democracy.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

100 Percent Of California Now In Drought

Source: United States Drought Monitor

This week, the U.S. Drought Monitor declared that 100 percent of California is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought.

Richard Heim, a meteorologist with the National Climatic Data Center, joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss which parts of the state are most affected and what steps are being taken to deal with it.

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It's All Politics
11:53 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Boehner Mocks GOP Colleagues For Immigration Fears

House Speaker John Boehner leaves the chamber of the Portuguese Parliament during an April 17 visit in Lisbon. Boehner was in Lisbon as part of an international trip that included visits to Afghanistan and Abu Dhabi.
Francisco Seco AP

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 3:00 pm

Voting to overhaul the nation's immigration laws would be a difficult vote for many House Republicans at any time, but especially in an election year.

Which explains why many of them don't want the issue to come to the floor this year for a vote.

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It's All Politics
11:37 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Maryland's Obamacare Stumble Fails To Sway Governor's Race

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown at a January 2014 minimum-wage rally outside the Maryland State House.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 8:04 am

Here's a measure of Maryland's Democratic tilt: Even an epic failure in launching the state's health care website isn't enough to derail the political fortunes of the official responsible for it. The Affordable Care Act is that popular.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Space X To Protest No-Bid National Security Contracts

Elon Musk, chief executive officer and chief designer of SpaceX.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 3:17 pm

SpaceX will launch an official protest against the Air Force for its no-bid national security launch contracts to Boeing and Lockheed, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a televised press conference.

He said his company thought the process was "unfair" and that he wanted to shine a light on the process.

"As I've said, sunlight is the best disinfectant. If everything's fine, then I guess that's great," Musk said. "But that seems unlikely to me."

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Saint Who? John XXIII Overshadowed By John Paul II

Tapestry portraits of Pope John Paul II (left) and Pope John XXIII hang from balconies on the facade of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. On Sunday, the two pontiffs will officially be declared saints.
Claudio Peri EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 1:53 pm

There's never been much doubt that Pope John Paul II was destined for sainthood. In more than a quarter-century as the head of the Holy See, he left such an indelible mark that at his funeral in 2005, mourners chanted "Santo subito (sainthood now)."

That road might have seemed less obvious for the other saint-to-be, Pope John XXIII — especially for young Catholics who may not be familiar with his relatively short but highly influential papacy, from 1958 to 1963.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Before This Blogger Moves On, He Wants To Say Thanks

Mark Memmott: All packed up and ready to move on to a new role at NPR.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 11:36 am

The Two-Way is just shy of its fifth anniversary, on May 13.

This blogger has written just over 9,700 posts for NPR — almost 9,500 of them for The Two-Way.

It seems like a good time to move on.

Next week, I'll be on vacation. When I return to work May 5, I'll be taking on the duties of "standards and practices" editor at NPR and no longer blogging for The Two-Way.

According to our ethics handbook:

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Business
10:51 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Gasoline Prices Rise As U.S. Refineries Send More Fuel Overseas

With so much fuel headed elsewhere, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is now $3.69, compared with $3.53 a month ago, according to AAA.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 11:28 am

The weather is warming and vacation season approaching.

And, just as predictably, the price of gasoline is rising. It does that every spring as refineries switch to more expensive summer blends.

But this year, the seasonal price bump is getting an extra bounce. Gasoline is costing consumers about 5 percent more than last year at this time, even though oil supplies are abundant. Why?

Experts say U.S. retail prices are nudging higher in large part because Gulf Coast refineries are sending more gasoline to other countries.

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