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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Pakistani Taliban Promise Cease-Fire To Resume Peace Talks

Shahidullah Shahid (right), spokesman of banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan sits with a local commander Azam Tariq as they speak to journalists at an undisclosed location near the Afghan border last month.
Saood Rehman EPA/Landov

The Pakistani Taliban said Saturday it will observe a month-long cease-fire to revive failed peace talks with Islamabad.

"The senior leadership of the Taliban advises all subgroups to respect the Taliban's call for a ceasefire and abide by it and completely refrain from all jihadi activities in this time period," the militant group said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Russia's Parliament Approves Putin's Call For Troops In Ukraine

Young people look at pro-Russian armed men blocking access to the Ukrainian frontier guard base in Balaklava, a small city not far from Sevastopol, on Saturday.
Viktor Drachev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 6:32 pm

This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

Russia's parliament has unanimously approved a request by President Vladimir Putin to authorize the intervention of Moscow's forces in Ukraine until "the normalization of the political situation" there. In response, Ukraine put its own forces on alert and warned that a Russian invasion would spark war between the two countries.

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Animals
7:57 am
Sat March 1, 2014

In The Arizona Wilds, Burro Murders Baffle Investigators

In Oatman, Ariz., burros are likely to nuzzle with tourists and are notoriously difficult to move out of harm's way.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 11:03 am

In the desert outside of Phoenix, there have been 18 shootings in the last five years, a series of mysteries that has stumped federal investigators.

Let's be clear, we're talking about donkeys: specifically, wild burros, the federally protected asses of the Old West. In late January, out among the desert scrub and beavertail cactus, two from the Lake Pleasant herd were found dead.

"We consider that a murder scene," says Steve Bird, a burro specialist with the Bureau of Land Management.

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Media
6:01 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Haven't I Seen You Before? Why News Reports Quote The Same People

Who ya gonna call?
Chagin iStockphoto

Al Cross has been all over the news lately.

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Around the Nation
5:43 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Sand Grinds World's Largest Tunneling Machine To A Halt

The Seattle tunneling machine known as Bertha, which started its task in July, is now stuck 60 feet underground.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 11:03 am

Contractors working for the state of Washington are planning a high-stakes operation to rescue Bertha — the world's largest tunneling machine.

Bertha is supposed to be boring a 2-mile highway tunnel under downtown Seattle, but it got stuck in December.

Bertha is on Seattle's waterfront, between South Main and South Jackson streets, about 60 feet straight down. At first, they thought the machine was being stymied by a big glacial rock. Then attention focused on the chewed-up remains of a metal pipe. But now it seems Bertha's ailment is mechanical.

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