The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Senate Democrats Say Caterpillar Avoided $2.4 Billion In Taxes

Caterpillar Inc Vice President for Finance Services Julie Lagacy is flanked by former Senior International Tax Manager Rodney Perkins (left) and Chief Tax Officer Robin Beran (right) as they are sworn in to testify on Tuesday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:31 pm

At a Senate committee hearing on Tuesday, senior officials of Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc. defended the company against accusations that it had used an affiliate in Switzerland to avoided paying some $2.4 billion in taxes over a 12-year period.

"Americans pay the taxes they owe and not more. And, as an American company, we pay the taxes we owe, not more," Julie Lagacy, vice president of financial services at Caterpillar, told a Senate panel on Tuesday.

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Parallels
1:29 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Not An April Fools' Joke: Russians Petition To Get Alaska Back

Russians in Moscow's Red Square hold banners reading, "Love You Crimea!" "Together For All Time" and "Obama, Think About Alaska!" during a March 18 rally celebrating the annexation of Crimea.
Sergei Ilnitsky EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:35 pm

President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea is reigniting talk in Russia of taking back Alaska from the United States, which purchased the territory from a czar for $7.2 million nearly a century and a half ago.

Most of the talk is tongue-in-cheek, but it comes at a time of heightened sensitivity in the West over whether Russia is planning further incursions or land grabs.

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Music News
1:25 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

On The Auction Block: The Stradivarius Of Guitars

A few of the D'Angelico guitars set to be auctioned, pictured here at the GTR showroom in New York City.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 10:54 am

Hundreds of acoustic guitars, some dating back to the 19th century, are coming up for auction in New York City. They include Martins, Gibsons, classical guitars from famous Spanish guitar makers, and some exquisite models from Greenwich Village luthier John D'Angelico.

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It's All Politics
1:17 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

The Ryan Budget, Coming To A Campaign Near You

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee on March 6.
Susan Walsh AP

Liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans both can find plenty to love in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's new plan.

For conservatives, there's the promise of a balanced budget by 2024; a repeal of Obamacare; cuts and structural changes to Medicaid totaling $732 billion in savings; a subsidized alternative to Medicare for those currently 55 and younger; a reduction in the top personal income tax rate to 25 percent; and an increase in defense spending by $791 billion over 10 years.

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It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Conservative Media Watchdog: Univision, Telemundo Favor Liberals

President Obama participates in a 2012 town hall hosted by Univision with news anchors Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas. A conservative media watchdog group says the Spanish-speaking network is biased in favor of Obama and liberals.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 4:28 pm

The nation's increasingly powerful Spanish-language television networks show a distinct liberal bias in covering domestic news, a conservative media watchdog group asserted Tuesday.

The Media Research Center says that its four-month analysis of weekday evening newscasts aired on Univision and Telemundo showed that the networks' domestic coverage was "dominated by partisans" from the left.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

As Peace Talks Falter, Kerry Cancels Meeting With Abbas

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas speaks during a meeting at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah Tuesday, during which he signed a request to join 15 United Nations agencies.
Abbas Momani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 3:50 pm

What seemed like a stalled peace process Monday is looking even more shaky today: The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, signed documents asking to join international agencies and shortly thereafter, Secretary of State John Kerry cancelled a Wednesday trip to Ramallah to meet Abbas.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Obama: The Affordable Care Act Is Working, 'Helping People... Coast To Coast'

The HealthCare.gov website has been a source of delays and confusion for those trying to sign up for health insurance under the ACA.
Jon Elswick AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 3:00 pm

This post was updated at 4:40 p.m. ET. with Obama's comments.

President Obama emerged from the White House on Tuesday to rousing applause. He announced that 7.1 million Americans had signed up for health care through the federal exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act.

"This law is doing what it's supposed to do," Obama said at the Rose Garden. "It's working. It's helping people from coast to coast."

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Book Reviews
12:08 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

This Tightly Choreographed Tale Of Ambition And Ballet Will 'Astonish'

iStockphoto

The title of Maggie Shipstead's second novel is: Astonish Me. She did just that --astonish me -- with her debut novel of 2012, called Seating Arrangements. After reading that novel, I likened the then 20-something-year-old Shipstead to "Edith Wharton with a millennial generation edge." The comparison remains sound.

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A Blog Supreme
11:53 am
Tue April 1, 2014

A Guitarist Starts Anew, Except For This Old Song

Matthew Stevens will record his debut album this year.
Maximilian Motel Courtesy of the artist

Matt Stevens' recorded debut as a leader was supposed to have come out back in 2011.

"I had a record that was completely done," the guitarist says. "But circumstances change, and by the time it came to release it, I wanted to do something totally fresh."

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:45 am
Tue April 1, 2014

The List Of Animals Who Can Truly, Really Dance Is Very Short. Who's On It?

Courtesy of Irena Schulz/ Bird Lovers Only

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:05 pm

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