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It's All Politics
6:23 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Why The Democrats' Koch Brothers Fixation?

Democrats say they're focused on the Koch brothers because, they allege, Republican candidates are doing the billionaires' bidding. Republicans say Democrats are desperate. David Koch (above) is chairman of Americans for Prosperity.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 6:32 pm

Another day, another wave of Democratic attacks on the Koch brothers and their Republican allies.

Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, took to the Senate floor Monday to bash the Koch brothers and the GOP, as has become his habit in recent weeks.

In his latest criticism, he accused Republicans of stalling aid to beleaguered Ukraine until Democrats agreed to delay new Internal Revenue Service rules that would affect the political activities of nonprofit groups.

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The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

In Taiwan, Police Evict Protesters From Government Building

Riot police detain a protester near the Cabinet compound in Taipei, Taiwan, on Monday.
David Chang EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:09 pm

Early Monday morning, police moved into the Executive Yuan in Tapei to remove student protesters who had barricaded themselves inside the cabinet offices.

That erupted into a dramatic clash between protesters and police, which resulted in 58 arrests and 137 people injured.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the demonstrations are in response to a controversial trade agreement that would bring the country closer to China.

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Girl Scout Sells Record 18,107 Boxes, Says She Can Move Samoa

Lisa Crigar Ocala Star-Banner/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 11:42 am

Dough-she-does, for sure.

When it comes to selling Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, Tagalongs and other Girl Scout cookies, all sixth-grader Katie Francis of Oklahoma City can seem to say is let me sell Samoa. (Rimshot!)

KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City shares the story of her sweet success:

"Katie ... a sixth-grader at Hefner Middle School, set a new cookie selling record Sunday night by selling 18,107 boxes [since sales began on Feb. 7].

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The Two-Way
5:12 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Senate Poised To Approve Ukraine Aid, Russian Sanctions Bill

A measure imposing sanctions on Russia and giving aid to the Ukraine overcame a procedural hurdle in the Senate with a vote of 78-17.

The lopsided vote signals the Senate will likely pass the measure later this week.

Politico reports, however, that whether the measure makes it to President Obama's desk is still up in the air. The Senate measure includes a measure reforming the International Monetary Fund that the House will likely not agree to.

Politico adds:

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Shots - Health News
4:34 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Ebola Breaks Out In West Africa For The First Time

The fatality rate in an Ebola outbreak ranges from 25 percent to 90 percent, depending on the particular strain of the virus involved.
Cynthia Goldsmith/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:49 pm

Health workers are rushing to stop a "rapidly evolving Ebola outbreak" in West Africa, the World Health Organization said Monday.

So far, the deadly virus has sickened 86 people and killed 59 of them.

This is the largest Ebola outbreak seen anywhere since 2007, and it's the first one in West Africa, although the virus has been found in the region's monkeys.

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Putin's Out Of The Club For Now: G-8 Is Back To Being The G-7

President Obama and other leaders met in The Hague. Clockwise from bottom left: European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and EU President Jose Manuel Barroso.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 9:02 am

Russia's 20 years of having a seat at the table when leaders of the world's most powerful industrialized nations meet came to at least a temporary end.

President Obama and his counterparts from six other major nations announced in The Hague that because of Russia's actions in Crimea, "we will suspend our participation in the G-8."

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Indiana Becomes First State To Back Out Of Common Core

Mike Pence, in 2011, when he was a congressman.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 11:06 am

With the stroke of Gov. Mike Pence's pen, Indiana became the first state to back off implementing a set of national standards for grade-school education.

The standards, known as Common Core, had been adopted by 45 states, but have lately unleashed a political fight that blurs party lines.

The Indianapolis Star reports Pence signed a law on Monday that requires Indiana to come up with its own academic standards. The Star adds:

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Parallels
4:07 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Short On Dollars, Venezuela Tries To Halt Black-Market Trading

Venezuelans line up to buy goods at a store in Caracas on March 10. Protesters have been taking to the streets for weeks over the country's troubled economy and other issues. The government introduced a new foreign currency exchange system on Monday, seeking to stabilize the bolivar, which has lost much of its value against the U.S. dollar.
Leo Ramirez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 8:45 pm

The Venezuelan capital, Caracas, can be one of the most expensive cities in the world — or one of the cheapest. It all depends on how you exchange your dollars.

At a fast food restaurant in the city recently, a pretty tasty plate of chicken and rice cost me 160 bolivars. At the official exchange rate set by the government, that works out to a little more than $25; at the black market rate, it's just $2.

Needless to say, most anyone who can change money on the black market in Venezuela does so.

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Television
4:03 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Fans Of 'The Good Wife' Rocked By [Spoiler Alert]

Matthew Goode (left) as Finn Polmar and Josh Charles (right) as Will Gardner in Sunday night's episode of CBS's The Good Wife.
CBS

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 5:46 pm

The CBS legal drama The Good Wife centers on smart, attractive Chicago lawyer Alicia Florrick. She's "the good wife" because she stood by her politician husband when he cheated on her.

But the show's most compelling story line has always been between Alicia and another lawyer, Will Gardner. And if you don't want to know what happened in that storyline last night, stop reading NOW.

No, Really: Major Spoiler Ahead

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Architecture
4:00 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

In The Face Of Disaster, Pritzker Winner Shigeru Ban Designs Solutions

Cardboard Church, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Stephen Goodenough Photographer Shigeru Ban Architects

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 8:19 pm

Each year the Pritzker Architecture Prize goes to a star architect with a long list of glamorous commissions around the globe. This year's winner is a little different.

Shigeru Ban has designed museums, homes and concert halls. But Ban is best known for a more humble kind of work: The temporary structures he's built for refugees and evacuees all over the world.

Ban may be the only architect in the world who makes buildings out of paper — cardboard paper tubes, to be precise.

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