12:24pm

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Servicewomen, ACLU Sue Pentagon Over Combat Exclusion

Cap. Zoe Bedell, one of the plaintiffs.
ACLU

Four servicewomen along with the American Civil Liberties Union are suing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta over the military's policy to exclude women from combat. The policy, says the ACLU, is unconstitutional.

US News reports:

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12:12pm

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Powerball Jackpot Is $500 Million; Now Will You Buy A Chance?

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 4:23 pm

A ticket and a dream.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

We know there's only a 1 in 175 million chance of winning. Even then, you might have to share the prize.

But with Wednesday's Powerball jackpot now estimated to be $500 million (a record for that lottery), we wonder: Are Two-Way readers playing?

Yes, it is kind of silly to think that just because the jackpot has hit half a billion dollars it makes a lot more sense to buy a chance now than it did when you would "only" win $40 million.

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11:34am

Tue November 27, 2012
Around the Nation

Kennedy Center's New Organ No Longer A Pipe Dream

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:16 am

After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

It was almost spooky. Each night after 11 p.m., when nothing was stirring in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, two men would enter. One would sit at the organ, playing a key or series of keys, and the other would crawl around inside the organ pipes, 40 feet off the floor. The process went on for months.

It was the all but final phase of installing a new organ for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And on Nov. 27, the organ makes its formal debut.

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10:52am

Tue November 27, 2012
Music Reviews

Cecilia Bartoli's New 'Mission' Unearths Baroque Gems

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:17 pm

On her new album, opera star Cecilia Bartoli tackles the work of Baroque composer Agostino Steffani.
Uli Weber Decca

I never heard of the Baroque composer Agostino Steffani until last year, when the Boston Early Music Festival presented the North American premiere of Steffani's Niobe, an opera about the mythical queen who bragged so much about her many children, the gods killed them all in revenge. One of the leading roles, Niobe's husband King Amphion, was played by the early-music superstar countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who sang the opera's most sublime aria — a hymn to the harmony of the spheres. I couldn't wait to hear Jaroussky again, and was eager to hear more Steffani.

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10:40am

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Venezuela's Chávez Will Return To Cuba For Medical Treatment

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks on November 1.
AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela's National Assembly has approved a measure that allows President Hugo Chávez to leave the country for medical treatment in Cuba.

Chávez, as we've reported, has been battling cancer for more than a year. His treatments and the secrecy surrounding his condition led some to wonder whether he could handle a rough reelection campaign. But he made a remarkable comeback and handily won another term in October.

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10:05am

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Grover Norquist: Pink Unicorns Aren't Real And GOP Won't Break Tax Pledge

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:35 pm

Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform and the man behind the pledge.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images
  • Grover Norquist on Keynesianism
  • Grover Norquist: Pink unicorns aren't real either
  • Congressman-elect Ted Yoho on 'Morning Edition'

There has not been a wave of defections by Republicans who signed on to his "no new taxes" pledge and even the few who have spoken about possibly going along with revenue increases won't do so in the end, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told NPR Tuesday.

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9:42am

Tue November 27, 2012
Shots - Health News

Momentum Builds For Hepatitis C Testing Of Baby Boomers

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Hospitals began testing blood for hepatitis in 1992, so anyone who received a blood transfusion before then is at an increased risk for contracting the disease.
iStockphoto

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an influential and often controversial panel of doctors, is moving toward a recommendation for testing that could apply to all baby boomers.

The group issued draft advice to doctors saying they should consider giving a hepatitis C test to people born between 1945 and 1965, regardless of their risk factors for having the disease.

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9:40am

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

France Will Support Palestinian Bid For Status At United Nations

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 5:36 am

The United Nations General Assembly during a vote earlier this year.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

France became the first major European country to say they will support the Palestinian bid to attain non-member observer state status at the United Nations.

Israel has been lobbying U.N. members to vote against the measure so a defection from France, a permanent member of the Security Council, is a setback for them. The United States has also opposed the move, saying it would veto any attempt brought before the Security Council.

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9:26am

Tue November 27, 2012
Arts & Culture

StoryCorps: A most peculiar playground

Marianne Gillmer was born in Germany during World War II. Growing up in her village during those tragic years was tough on her family, especially after her father died in battle. She was aware of death at a young age, but she and her best friend still found ways to remain playful and adventurous. In this story, she tells her daughter Susan about one of her most peculiar playgrounds – the local cemetery.

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8:54am

Tue November 27, 2012
The Two-Way

GOP Senators More Troubled About Benghazi After Talking With Amb. Rice

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:56 pm

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., speaking to reporters after their meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Win McNamee Getty Images

After meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice this morning, three key Republican senators emerged to say they're more troubled — not less — by what they say were intelligence failures and misleading information concerning the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.

One, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said it's too soon to even be speculating about promoting Rice to be secretary of state.

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