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Venezuelans began blocking deserted streets Wednesday as the opposition held a two-day strike opposing President Nicolas Maduro's planned vote for a new Constituent Assembly. A banner reading "The Constituent Is Hunger," is seen in Caracas' Petare neighborhood on Wednesday. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

The Two-Way - News Blog

As Venezuelans Strike, U.S. Announces Sanctions Against Maduro

The sanctions target 13 current or former officials from President Maduro's government, freezing their U.S. assets and preventing Americans from doing business with them.

Inmate Ronald Phillips was executed at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio, on Wednesday morning. Above, the prison's death chamber in 2005. Kiichiro Sato/AP hide caption

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Kiichiro Sato/AP

The Two-Way - News Blog

After Three-Year Hiatus, Ohio Carries Out An Execution

The lethal injection of Ronald Phillips may mark the end of Ohio's battle to find a legally permissible means of execution, and the state may soon execute more of the 138 people on its death row.

President Donald Trump at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, on Tuesday. Trump tweeted on Wednesday that "The United States Government will not accept or allow ... Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military." Justin Merriman/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Merriman/Getty Images

The Two-Way - News Blog

Trump Says Transgender People Can't Serve In Military

"The United States Government will not accept or allow ... Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military," Trump tweeted. Transgender people already serve in the military.

Cover detail from Chester B. Himes, by Lawrence P. Jackson. W. W. Norton & Co. Inc hide caption

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W. W. Norton & Co. Inc

Book Reviews

New Chester Himes Biography Reveals A Life As Wild As Any Detective Story

Fresh Air

Lawrence P. Jackson's biography tracks the writer's course from prison to published novelist. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Himes' life story is well worth reading.

New Chester Himes Biography Reveals A Life As Wild As Any Detective Story

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U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), House Republican Whip, speaking at a press conference last month in Washington, DC., has been discharged from the hospital. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Two-Way - News Blog

Rep. Scalise Released From Hospital 6 Weeks After Shooting

Steve Scalise, who was critically wounded by a gunman who fired on a congressional baseball practice in June, has left a Washington, D.C., hospital to begin a period of intensive rehabilitation.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, joined at left by Sen. Orrin Hatch, leads a hearing on attempts to influence American elections, with a focus on Russian meddling in the last presidential race. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Politics

Foreign Agents Take Center Stage In Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

As congressional scrutiny of Russian interference expands, the panel began looking Wednesday at the advocacy of foreign governments — though key witnesses did not appear as originally planned.

People look at a forest fire in La Croix-Valmer, near Saint-Tropez, as they sit on the beach. Thousands of French firefighters have been battling blazes that consumed swathes of land in southeastern France. Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

The Two-Way - News Blog

French Wildfires Force 12,000 People To Flee Coastal Resort Areas

Some 12,000 people — including 3,000 campers — reportedly moved to safety in Bormes-les-Mimosas, east of Marseille.

Tiny houses are lit from inside in this miniature model of Rio de Janeiro. Courtesy of Gulliver's Gate hide caption

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Courtesy of Gulliver's Gate

Arts & Life

Honey, They Shrunk The World: NYC Exhibition Lets You Tour A Tiny Globe

The miniature models of Gulliver's Gate represent places in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. They're populated by tiny people, pint–size penguins and bitty cars that move.

Honey, They Shrunk The World: NYC Exhibition Lets You Tour A Tiny Globe

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Christian Wade of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune shoots a suppressed carbine. The suppressor, which is the canister on the end of the barrel, turn a painful, deafening noise into simply a loud one. Timothy Lutz and Clarence Wimberly/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps hide caption

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Timothy Lutz and Clarence Wimberly/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

Back At Base

Military Tries To Cut Through The Noise Of War

North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC

The military wants to reduce the deafening, chaotic roar of firefight noise so that front-line commanders can communicate with their troops.

Military Tries To Cut Through The Noise Of War

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Hip Hop deejays Stretch Armstrong (right) aka Adrian Bartos and Bobbito (left) aka Robert Garcia became legends on The Stretch Armstrong Show during the 1990s. Back then, they were hip hop tastemakers on college station WKCR in New York City. Now they're back together hosting "What's Good? With Stretch and Bobbito," an NPR podcast. Nickolai Hammar/NPR/. hide caption

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Nickolai Hammar/NPR/.

Code Switch

Stretch & Bobbito On Race, Hip-Hop, And Belonging

The pioneering hip-hop radio duo drop by the Code Switch podcast to talk about making their way in a traditionally black genre and their new NPR interview show, What's Good? with Stretch & Bobbito.

Stretch & Bobbito On Race, Hip-Hop, And Belonging

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