The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Kidnapping Of MLB's Wilson Ramos Part Of Trend In Venezuela

Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals during a game in Phoenix on June 2, 2011.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals appears to be the first Major League Baseball player to have fallen victim to what's become an alarming trend in Venezuela: the kidnapping and holding for ransom of the rich. He was grabbed Wednesday by gunmen and hasn't been seen since.

But he's not the first major leaguer to have been touched by the epidemic of kidnappings-for-ransom in Venezuela.

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12:45 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

From Chompsgiving to Chew Year's: Holiday Dishes

'Tis almost the season, and what would the holidays be without our favorite foods?

There are the traditional standbys — like turkey and cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, or latkes for Hanukkah. But many people also have a special dish they eat only during the holidays. For example, one NPR reader raves about lefse, which she says is a potato-based staple for any traditional Norwegian-American holiday dinner. It's "best served hot with butter. Or cold with butter and sugar. Butter is key," she writes.

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Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

Elizabeth Shogren is an NPR News Science Desk correspondent focused on covering environment and energy issues and news.

Since she came to NPR in 2005, Shogren's reporting has covered everything from the damage caused by the BP oil spill on the ecology of the Gulf Coast, to the persistence of industrial toxic air pollution as seen by the legacy of Tonawanda Coke near Buffalo, to the impact of climate change on American icons like grizzly bears.

The Salt
12:05 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

How African-Americans Can Get Healthy With Big Helpings Of Soul Food

An illustration of a healthful meal drawing from the African Heritage Diet Pyramid and African culinary traditions.
Illustration by George Middleton

Soul food has become the comfort food for a lot of Americans – not just the African-Americans whose ancestors invented it.

Now, food educators are looking closely at soul food's culinary roots for inspiration on how to eat healthfully today.

A group of culinary historians, nutritionists and health experts have put together the Oldways African Heritage Diet Pyramid, a new model for healthful eating designed specifically for African-Americans and descendants of Africans everywhere.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Now Public: Richard Nixon's Grand Jury Testimony

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 3:12 pm

The Nixon Library and National Archives have released a trove of documents (.pdf and a big file) relating to former President Richard Nixon's grand jury testimony. The testimony, taken after Nixon resigned, was the first by a president. Nixon was interviewed at his California home on June 23 and 24, 1975, after he had been pardoned by President Gerald Ford. The release of documents was ordered by a federal judge back in July.

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Penn State Scandal: Families Of Alleged Victims Upset By Protests, Jokes

Police (center) had to move in to disperse the crowd in the streets of State College, Pa., Wednesday night after students and others gathered to protest the firing of football coach Joe Paterno.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 10:48 pm

With so much attention being given to the firing of football coach Joe Paterno and school President Graham Spanier, as well the long-term impact on the school from the sexual abuse scandal that came to light at Penn State this week, there's a danger of the alleged victims being forgotten.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:34 am
Thu November 10, 2011

An Unorthodox Approach To Tricky Surgery

Striking a pose like Hamlet, Kofi Boahene, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, peers through the natural opening under the cheekbone and above the jaw that he uses for surgery.
Keith Weller Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine

Add minimally invasive surgery through an opening between the cheek and jaw to the list of procedures I'm happy exist and that I hope I'll never have to endure.

A Johns Hopkins surgeon who is pretty handy with an endoscope has figured out how to operate in some hard-to-reach spots at the base of the skull through a natural opening that's above the jawbone, behind the back teeth and just below the cheekbone.

It requires a small incision inside the cheek, sure, but that's no biggie, really.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Thu November 10, 2011

After Uproar, Government Scraps 15-Cent Christmas Tree Fee

Forest worker Peter Otto carries two fir trees during the official opening of Christmas tree season in Stolpe, northern Germany.
Carsten Rehder AFP/Getty Images

It didn't take before the Obama administration backed down on a plan to tax Christmas trees this holiday season. Shortly after the USDA announced it had approved a 15-cent per tree fee, there was an uproar.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Thu November 10, 2011

French Court Convicts Cyclist Floyd Landis In Hacking Of Doping Lab

Floyd Landis, left, and then-teammate Lance Armstrong during the 2004 Tour de France.
Bernard Papon AP

Disgraced American cyclist Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title, today was convicted in absentia by a French court "for his role in hacking into the computers of a French doping lab," The Associated Press reports. Landis was given a suspended sentence of 12 months.

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