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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Mon May 25, 2015

On Memorial Day, Obama Honors Sacrifices Of Service Members

Army veteran Bernie Klemanek, of Mineral, Va., stops to salute his fallen comrades on Memorial Day during an early morning visit Monday to "The Wall" at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 11:08 am

Americans are paying tribute today, Memorial Day, to the sacrifices of service members in the nation's earliest conflicts and the newest.

President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, just outside Washington.

Some 5,000 people were at the grounds of the cemetery, which Obama called "more than a final resting place for fallen heroes." It is, he said, "a reflection of America itself. A reflection of our history, the wars we've waged for democracy, the peace we've laid to preserve it.

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Iraq, Iran Push Back Against Defense Secretary's Comments On Iraqi Forces

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 11:19 am

Updated at 1:04 p.m. ET

Iraq and Iran are refuting U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter's assertion that Iraqi forces lacked the "will to fight" the self-declared Islamic State, resulting in the loss last week of Anbar Province and its capital, Ramadi.

Saad al-Hadithi, a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, told The Associated Press that Ramadi's loss was due to mismanagement and poor planning by some senior military commanders.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Police: Malaysia Uncovers 139 Mass Graves Believed To Hold Migrants

A Malaysian forensic team personnel handles bags of human remains found at abandoned camps used by human traffickers on the Malaysia-Thailand border in Wang Kelian on Monday.
Joshua Paul AP

Police in Malaysia say they have uncovered more evidence of human smuggling, with the discovery of at least 139 graves along the country's border with Thailand.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Ex-Israeli Leader Ehud Olmert Sentenced To 8 Months In Corruption Trial

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison for accepting illegal payments from a U.S. businessman.
Heidi Levine Reuters/Landov

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who as recently as 2009 led his country, was sentenced Monday by a Jerusalem court to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a U.S. supporter.

As we reported in March when Olmert was convicted in the case:

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Texas Governor Calls Flood Damage 'Devastating'

San Marcos, Texas, resident Keith Varela checks out the damage done to his wife's truck in the San Marcos Mobile Home Park on Sunday.
Jerry Lara EPA /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 11:16 am

Updated at 4:41 p.m. ET

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is calling the flood damage in the central part of his state "absolutely devastating."

Abbott flew over parts of the Blanco River Monday, a day after storms triggered flooding. The hardest-hit communities were Wimberley and San Marcos. Abbott added 24 counties to the disaster declaration he issued earlier this month to help communities overwhelmed with heavy rains and tornado damage.

The high water forced Peggy Wilborn — and her neighbors — from their homes in Wimberley.

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NPR Ed
8:10 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Colleges To Students: Don't Trash Those Dorm Castoffs! Donate!

Families peruse the belongings left behind by DePauw students.
Stan Jastrzebski

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 1:49 pm

The goat barn at the Putnam County fairgrounds in Greencastle, Ind., will soon be full of, well, goats. But right now it's full of folding tables stacked with clothes, books and housewares — including an anatomically correct coffee mug in the shape of a woman.

At the tables are families, lots of them. Some waited in line for more than an hour to get first dibs on the larger items, like furniture and appliances. Carrie Ardito was first in that line and ran to the back to claim a clothes dryer.

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Photography
7:17 am
Mon May 25, 2015

It's Not Rude: These Portraits Of Wounded Vets Are Meant To Be Stared At

Army Spc. Jerral Hancock sits for a portrait with his son Julius. It is believed that Hancock was trapped under the wreckage of his Army tank in Iraq for half an hour before he was rescued.
Courtesy of David Jay/Unknown Soldier

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 12:50 pm

It's impolite to stare. But when it comes to severely injured soldiers, maybe we don't look enough; or maybe we'd rather not see wounded veterans at all.

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Parallels
4:29 am
Mon May 25, 2015

An Island Wonders: Why Are The Sharks Attacking So Often?

Surfer Alexis Gazzo (left) is helping train specialized lifeguards who will survey the waters around popular beaches in Reunion for sharks. Shark attacks have gone up sharply along the coast of the Indian Ocean island, with seven people killed in recent years.
Emma Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 25, 2015 2:56 pm

The 850,000 people who live on the island of Reunion, which lies east of Madagascar, depend on the Indian Ocean that surrounds them. Many homes are near the sea. The beaches attract tourists.

But the ocean has also become a source of dread for this French island. Since 2011, sharks have attacked 16 people, killing seven of them. It's a sharp jump from previous years and has left islanders at a loss as to why.

Bishop Talon, 22, was attacked off a beach called Étang-Sale in February. She died a few hours later from her injuries.

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Parallels
3:59 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Trying To Organize A Marathon, An Arab-Israeli Woman Runs Into Opposition

Haneen Radi, an Arab Israeli, wants to organize a marathon for her town of Tira, but was told the run couldn't include women. When she insisted, she received threats, and the back window of her car was shot out.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Mon May 25, 2015 8:08 am

Haneen Radi learned to run by walking.

"I used to walk," says the 36-year-old mother of four. "I saw people running and said, I'll try that."

Radi took off. In the decade since then she's finished eight marathons, and she now coaches a girls' running club with 80 members.

"I'm another person when running," Radi says. "I'm happy, I'm smiling."

A few months ago, Radi decided to organize a marathon in Tira, her hometown in northern Israel.

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Back At Base
3:39 am
Mon May 25, 2015

On Memorial Day, Learning The Story Behind The Markers

A memorial honors Staff Sgt. John Henry McCarthy on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Colborne Road in Boston.
Jesse Costa WBUR

Originally published on Mon May 25, 2015 8:08 am

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

Walk through a town square this Memorial Day and you might just see a marker or monument commemorating sacrifice in war. On it: The name of an American who died in combat.

In some parts of the city of Boston, there are markers on nearly every corner.

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