11:23am

Mon July 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Gov. Rick Perry Says He Won't Seek Re-Election In Texas

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 4:01 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he will not run for re-election in 2014, feeding speculation that he might again pursue the presidency as a Republican candidate in the 2016 race.

The governor made his announcement at a news conference Monday in San Antonio, which was carried live online by The Texas Tribune.

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11:20am

Mon July 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Snowden: Americans Are Good; But Their Leaders Lie

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA /LANDOV

When he went to work for the nation's spy agencies, "I believed in the goodness of what we were doing" and in the "nobility of our intentions to free oppressed people overseas," says the so-called NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, in a month-old video posted online Monday by The Guardian.

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10:59am

Mon July 8, 2013
Parallels

Reversing Direction, Some Syrian Refugees Now Head Home

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:36 am

Refugees at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan try to squeeze on one of the buses heading back to Syria. Syrian refugees have been coming to Jordan for two years, but some are now starting to head home.
Peter Breslow NPR

In the Jordanian desert, the chaos begins at sundown, when the wind whips up the desert sand and the buses arrive. For the past two years, Syrian refugees have been streaming into Jordan, and they now number an estimated half million.

But for the past month, more refugees have returned to Syria than entered Jordan, and hundreds are leaving daily from Zaatari, the U.N.'s largest refugee camp in Jordan.

"Four buses are going every day," says Kilian Kleinschmidt, who runs Zaatari. "Depending on how many people manage to storm the buses, it's probably 300 to 400 people."

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10:53am

Mon July 8, 2013
The Two-Way

A 'Mea Culpa'

Nina Totenberg
Steve Barrett NPR

I have always believed in correcting mistakes, especially bad ones. In my wrap-up piece at the end of the Supreme Court term, I quoted Northwestern University law professor John McGinnis as one of several conservative scholars highly critical of the court's decision on the Voting Rights Act.

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10:41am

Mon July 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Boy Writes To NASA; NASA Writes Back

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:53 pm

A boy's letter to NASA is making waves and softening hearts on the Internet today.
imgur

Not many children write letters to government entities, we would think. But a boy's letter to NASA is making waves and softening hearts on the Internet today.

"Dear NASA," the letter begins. "My name is Dexter I heard that you are sending 2 people to Mars and I would like to come but I'm 7." The handwritten note, in which Dexter asks for advice about becoming an astronaut, got a full response from NASA, along with some stickers and posters.

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10:37am

Mon July 8, 2013
The Two-Way

At Murder Trial, Friends Say It's Zimmerman's Voice On Tape

George Zimmerman in a Sanford, Fla., courtroom on Monday.
Joe Burbank/pool Getty Images

The key takeaway from Monday morning's testimony at the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin is that the defense produced three people to say they're convinced it is Zimmerman's voice that can be heard calling for help on the recording of a 911 call.

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10:29am

Mon July 8, 2013
Music Reviews

Eleanor Friedberger's 'Personal Record' Examines The Little Things

Personal Record is the second solo album by Eleanor Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces.
Courtesy of the artist

One major source of pleasure in the music Eleanor Friedberger makes as half of The Fiery Furnaces is a matter of sheer density — the density of The Fiery Furnaces' musical ideas, the thick layers of words, lyrics that operate as dense sounds with meaning to be extracted from them.

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10:29am

Mon July 8, 2013
Television

As 'Ray Donovan,' Liev Schreiber Cleans Up Hollywood's Messes

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 5:53 am

One of the aspects that attracted Schreiber to Ray Donovan was the prospect of playing a character for whom words were relatively unimportant.
Showtime

In the new Showtime series Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber stars in the title role as a man who knows how to handle a crisis. It's Donovan's job to clean up the messes of Hollywood's rich and powerful while trying to keep his own personal problems under wraps.

A TV series is something of a new turn for Schreiber, who's been acting onstage and in movies for two decades. But playing complicated characters is something he's earned a reputation for, with roles in films like Defiance and The Manchurian Candidate.

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10:29am

Mon July 8, 2013
Television

'The Bridge:' Mayhem On The Border, With Big Issues At Stake

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 12:37 pm

In the new FX series The Bridge, Diane Kruger stars as a detective investigating a murder along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Jordin Althaus FX Networks

The FX version of the Scandinavian series The Bridge, like the Showtime version of the Israeli TV series that inspired Homeland, is a major revamp as well as a crucial relocation. With Homeland, the focus became American politics and home-soil terrorism. In The Bridge, premiering July 10, the setting is changed to the U.S.-Mexico border. This allows executive producer Meredith Stiehm, a writer-producer from Homeland, to deal with everything that relocation provides — including the white-hot issues of immigration reform and border security.

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10:00am

Mon July 8, 2013
The Two-Way

L.A. Residents Get Paid To Cut Lawns — Permanently

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:54 pm

Homeowners can receive up to $4,000 for replacing their lawns with less thirsty plantings, in a rebate program run by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
iStock

Faced with persistent drought and water-usage concerns, the city of Los Angeles is paying property owners to replace their grassy lawns with heartier plants, such as shrubs, trees, and perennials. The city's water utility is hoping to boost the successful program by raising its offer, to $2 a square foot from $1.50, reports member station KPCC.

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