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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Oso Mudslide: As List Of Missing Shrinks, Death Toll Rises

A flag flies at half-staff in the midst of the mudslide rubble in Oso, Wash.
U.S. Army National Guard/handout Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:45 pm

This post will be updated as news comes in.

Here is some of the latest news from Oso, Wash., the tiny community north of Seattle that was devastated by a mudslide on March 22:

-- Death Toll At 29: Authorities say the number of confirmed fatalities as of this morning was 29. (We updated that figure at 11:15 a.m. ET.)

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Tense Hours, Then Sighs Of Relief After Huge Quake Off Chile

Scared residents hug in the hallway of an apartment building Tuesday after Iquique, Chile, was rocked by a strong earthquake.
Cristian Viveros AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:32 pm

The extent of the damage isn't yet clear and the six deaths reported so far may be followed by news of other fatalities.

But on the morning after a massive, 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern Chile there are sighs of relief there and in neighboring Peru.

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Around the Nation
5:16 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Finding A More Nuanced View Of Poverty's 'Black Hole'

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:04 pm

Ask Anne Valdez what poverty means for her, and her answer will describe much more than a simple lack of money.

"It's like being stuck in a black hole," says Valdez, 47, who is unemployed and trying to raise a teenage son in Coney Island, New York City. "Poverty is like literally being held back from enjoying life, almost to the point of not being able to breathe."

For years, researchers have complained that the way the government measures income and poverty is severely flawed, that it provides an incomplete — and even distorted — view.

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Religion
2:56 am
Wed April 2, 2014

For 'Lent Madness,' Reverend Pits Saints Against Each Other

Comments on the Lent Madness website have gotten heated. Mark D. writes, "So I got my wish: JS Bach is in the mix. But he's in the same bracket with the Wesleys and Thomas Merton?? This is going to be ugly."
Courtesy of Adam Thomas/Lent Madness

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:04 pm

We're deep into Lent, the season when Christians prepare themselves for Easter. For those of you who have been preparing by giving up something — chocolate, or driving, or yelling at the kids — it can feel like a pretty long time.

But, some folks are looking to reframe Lent, with a little madness.

"A lot of people see Lent as the church's season of doom, and gloom, and guilt, and depression, and eating dirt," says Tim Schenck, an Episcopalian priest in Massachusetts.

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Parallels
2:55 am
Wed April 2, 2014

So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent

A group of 3,000 ordinary citizens, armed with nothing more than an Internet connection, is often making better forecasts of global events than CIA analysts. Here, a man crosses the CIA logo at its headquarters in Langley, Va.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:04 pm

The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria.

It wasn't the only question she was considering; there were others:

Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014?

Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich's answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn't feel much pressure because this wasn't her full-time gig.

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Paying For College
2:55 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Changing The Face Of Astronomy Research

Students from CUNY's AstroCom NYC program meet for a weekly class at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Dennis Robbins, an associate professor of science education at CUNY's Hunter College, teaches Betsy Hernandez (from left), Jaquelin Erazo, Ariel Diaz and Mario Martin.
Beth Fertig WNYC

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:04 pm

Shooting for the stars is expensive.

Advanced sciences like astronomy require years of study and graduate degrees. And the soaring cost of college can be a heavy obstacle for low-income and minority students hoping to break into those fields.

A program at the City University of New York hopes to lift that burden by providing scholarships and one-on-one mentoring to underrepresented students.

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Politics
2:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

In Arkansas, Voters May Get Chance To Raise Minimum Wage

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor speaks to reporters at his Little Rock campaign headquarters on Feb. 28. A minimum wage increase on the ballot alongside Pryor could give Democrats more of a reason to show up on Election Day.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:04 pm

President Obama travels to Michigan Wednesday to tout his proposal to boost the minimum wage.

Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour is one of the top agenda items for Obama and his fellow Democrats during this mid-term election year. The White House says the move would put more money in the pockets of some 28 million workers.

One test of that strategy will be in Arkansas, where proponents are trying to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in November. Arkansas has some of the lowest wages in the country and it's also home to one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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Shots - Health News
2:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Small Health Insurance Co-Ops Seeing Early Success

Karl Sutton leaves his mobile greenhouse in Montana. He sells spinach as part of a farmers co-op, and likes that nonprofit business model for his health insurance, too.
Eric Whitney for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:04 pm

Many of us know the names of some of the big U.S. health insurance companies — like Blue Cross, Aetna and Wellpoint. But what about CoOportunity Health, or Health Republic Insurance of New York? These are among 23 new companies started under the Affordable Care Act. They're all nonprofit, member-owned insurance cooperatives that were begun, in part, to create more competition and drive prices down.

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Code Switch
6:58 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

The Harlem Hellfighters: Fighting Racism In The Trenches Of WWI

The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel by Max Brooks, retells the story of the first African-American unit to fight in World War I.
Caanan White Courtesy of Broadway Books

The 369th Infantry Regiment served 191 days under enemy fire in Europe. They returned home one of the most decorated American units of World War I.

"The French called them the 'Men of Bronze' out of respect, and the Germans called them the 'Harlem Hellfighters' out of fear," explains Max Brooks, author of The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel about the first African-American infantry unit to fight in World War I.

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The Two-Way
6:15 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Congress Sends Ukraine Aid, Russia Sanctions Bill To White House

After weeks of political wrangling and in a rare show of bi-partisanship, Congress approved a bill calling for $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and new sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea.

On Tuesday, with a vote of 378-34, the House passed a final version of the bill, sending it to the White House for President Obama's signature. The bill passed in the Senate last week with a 98-2 vote.

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