The Two-Way
6:17 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Potential Whitey Bulger Witness Was Poisoned

Stephen Rakes as he arrived at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Boston on June 12 for the first day of the "Whitey" Bulger's trial.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Police in Massachusetts arrested a man they say poisoned Stephen "Stippo" Rakes, who was a potential witness in the case against notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

The important detail: The Boston Globe reports Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said they believe William Camuti, 69, "acted alone" and they did not believe the homicide was connected to the Bulger case.

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The Two-Way
6:03 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Jury Rejects Death Penalty For Somali Pirates

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, on a yacht in Bodega Bay, Calif., in 2005. The two were part of a group hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman in February 2011.
Joe Grande AP

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 6:22 pm

A Virginia jury has recommended life in prison for three Somali pirates convicted of murdering four Americans seized from a sailing yacht off the coast of Africa in 2011.

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It's All Politics
5:07 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Congressional Recess Isn't A Cease-Fire; It's A Chance To Reload

Bill O'Leary The Washington Post via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:32 pm

As Congress heads off for its 2013 summer recess, who could blame a citizen for thinking that maybe the slogan above the House dais should be changed from "In God We Trust" to "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here."

Experts in government like Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann have repeatedly warned that compromise, the lubricant that makes the U.S. system work, has been a missing ingredient in recent Congresses, especially in the House. And there were no signs Friday that anything will be different when Congress returns in September from its five-week break.

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Shots - Health News
4:39 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Congress May Be Getting Its Own Obamacare Glitch Fixed

If you worked here, you'd be worried about losing your employer-funded health insurance contributions.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:16 pm

As its last official action before leaving for a five-week summer break, the House today voted — for the 40th time — to block implementation of the federal health law.

But it was something that happened late Thursday night affecting members of Congress and their staffers' own health insurance that attracted more attention around the Capitol.

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It's All Politics
4:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Obama Nominee For IRS Chief Has History With Tough Tasks

President Obama has nominated John Koskinen to be commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:26 pm

The Internal Revenue Service, under attack by congressional Republicans, has been operating without a permanent commissioner. President Obama nominated John Koskinen on Thursday for what might be seen as a thankless job.

The president called his nominee "an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform." But Koskinen will have his work cut out for him, starting with his Senate confirmation hearing.

History With Struggling Agencies

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Supreme Court Denies California Delay On Prisoner Release

A California Department of Corrections officer looks on as inmates at Chino State Prison exercise in the yard in 2010.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant California an extension on an order issued by the justices more than two years ago for the state to release some 10,000 inmates from its overcrowded prisons.

The high court's original May 2011 ruling held that congested conditions in the California's 33 prisons amounted to cruel and unusual punishment as defined by the Eighth Amendment. The court gave the state two years to comply with an order to free the prisoners and alleviate the overcrowding.

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Political Crisis In Egypt
3:28 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

In Egypt, 'Third Square' Protesters Seek Middle Road

Activists from a group called "Third Square," which promotes a middle way in the rift between the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the army's overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, shout slogans as they gather to oppose both parties at Sphinx Square in Giza on July 30.
Asmaa Waguih Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 6:05 pm

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The Record
3:22 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

When Stage Banter Goes Wrong

Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem (left) performing with Bruce Springsteen in London in 2009.
Andy Sheppard Redferns

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

'Whitey' Bulger Won't Testify, But He Didn't Finish Quietly

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:19 pm

In Boston Friday, former mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger said he would not take the stand in his criminal trial and that his defense would rest. But before that happened, he railed at the judge and his defense team.

NPR Story
3:13 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

N.C. Abortion Law Sparks Protest; Governor Responds With Cookies

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:19 pm

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory sent out a plate of cookies to abortion law protesters who had gathered outside the governor's mansion on Tuesday. Audie Cornish speaks with Mary C. Curtis, who writes for the Washington Posts' blog She the People, about the incident and North Carolina politics.

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