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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Russia Calls On U.S., North Korea To Step Back From The Brink

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with top brass in a photo released by the state-run KCNA. The chart in the background reportedly reads "U.S. mainland strike plan".
KCNA Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 2:08 pm

Russia is urging the U.S. and North Korea to end an escalating cycle of dangerous provocations after Pyongyang put its missile forces on high alert and American stealth bombers flew practice bomb runs over the Korean Peninsula.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking Friday in Moscow, said the tit-for-tat moves were becoming a "vicious cycle" that could "simply get out of control," Reuters reports.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Consumer Spending Rose 0.7 Percent In February; Higher Gas Prices A Factor

Retailers are doing all they can to attract consumers, who drive the economy. (File photo from 2012 of a store window in Santa Monica, Calif.)
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 10:30 am

There was a slightly larger-than-expected increase of 0.7 percent in consumer spending from January to February, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

Higher gasoline prices, though, were much of the reason for the rise. According to the bureau, if spending is adjusted for inflation the increase was a more modest 0.3 percent — the same as in January. And higher energy costs were behind most of the inflationary pressures last month.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Satellite Image Shows 'Incredible' Storm Stretching Across North Atlantic

That's the coast of the U.S. on the left, the tip of Greenland at the top center and the coast of Europe on the top right. Meanwhile, the storm's tail extends down into the Caribbean.
NOAA Satellite and Information Service

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 10:27 am

The same weather system that left a few inches of snow on parts of the eastern U.S. earlier this week is now over the North Atlantic, and Jason Samenow of The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang says he's not sure he's ever "seen a storm this big before."

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Book News: New Book To Feature Unseen Works Of Art By Jean-Michel Basquiat

A Sotheby's employee walks past a work by Jean-Michel Basquiat titled "Untitled (Pecho/Oreja)" at the auction house.
Alastair Grant ASSOCIATED PRESS

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Actor Richard Griffiths, Uncle Vernon In 'Harry Potter' Movies, Dies

Actor Richard Griffiths in 2011.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:58 am

Richard Griffiths, who millions of Harry Potter movie fans loved and likely despised as the cruel Uncle Vernon Dursley, has died.

The BBC, The Guardian and other news outlets in the U.K. report that he passed away Thursday at the age of 65. There were "complications following heart surgery," the BBC says. The Guardian adds:

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