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12:20 am
Sat December 15, 2012

Ready. Set. Memorize!

Argh, it's on the tip of my tongue! Contestants in the Names and Faces competition focus at last year's World Memory Championships held in Guangzhou, China. A new field of mental athletes is currently vying for the 2012 championship.
Peng Tong Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 8:43 am

In the gymnasium of a South London technical school, site of this year's World Memory Championships, Norwegian Ola Kaere Risa checks his stopwatch.

Risa is Norway's only contestant this year.

"I hope to defend the glory of my country," he says, laughing.

The 21st World Memory Championships are under way in London this weekend. About 75 competitors from some two dozen countries are vying to see who can memorize the most numbers, faces, playing cards or random words in a set amount of time.

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It's All Politics
12:19 am
Sat December 15, 2012

Democrats Dig In Their Heels On Entitlement Cuts

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said Democrats aren't going to throw America's seniors over the fiscal cliff to give a tax cut to the wealthiest.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 8:43 am

Congress has barely two weeks to agree on a deficit-cutting deal to keep the nation from going over the "fiscal cliff" in the new year. The problem is that right now there is no such deal to agree on.

Republicans reject the higher tax rates for top incomes that President Obama demands. And they also insist on more austere entitlement programs, which has Democrats digging in their heels.

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The Two-Way
12:17 am
Sat December 15, 2012

Egyptians Hurry To Vote On Draft Constitution

Women wait in line outside a polling station to vote on a disputed constitution drafted by Islamist supporters of President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo on Saturday.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 8:43 am

Update at 2:54 p.m. ET: Voting Hours Extended:

Voter turnout on the first day of a referendum on Egypt's controversial draft constitution was so high in Cairo and nine other governorates that election officials decided to extend poll hours from 7 until 11 p.m. local time.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
11:34 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Small Town Tries To Cope With Unimaginable Tragedy

Mourners gather for a vigil service for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown, Conn., on Friday night.
Andrew Gombert AP

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 8:43 am

Newtown, Conn., is a white-collar community an hour and a half northeast of New York City. It's the kind of place where crime is rare and the biggest thing that happens each year is the Labor Day parade.

Now the peace and quiet has been shattered, and residents are trying to make sense of what's happened.

Hours after the shootings that left so many people dead, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church opened its doors for a prayer vigil. People filed through the streets and past houses decorated with Christmas lights.

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Music Interviews
9:03 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

A Civil Rights Figure's Long Road — To Carnegie Hall

Myrlie Evers-Williams leads her three children — Reena (from left), Van and Darrell — at the family piano, circa 1965.
Courtesy of the Evers family

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 8:43 am

You know the old joke: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice." Myrlie Evers-Williams took a different route.

Her late husband, Medgar Evers, was the Mississippi head of the NAACP; he was assassinated for his work in 1963. Evers-Williams wound up moving to Southern California, where she became an educational, corporate and political leader and, in the 1990s, chairwoman of the NAACP.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
4:48 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Reporter: Gunman's Father Was Shocked To Learn About Shooting

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

According to federal law enforcement sources, Adam Lanza, the gunman, one of his victims was his own mother, which has led to much speculation about the Lanza family and relations within it. Well, Adam Lanza's parents were divorced. And reporter Maggie Gordon of the Stamford Advocate is now going to tell us about Mr. Lanza's father. Where did you come across him?

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
4:43 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Shooter's Family Connections Begin To Emerge

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We begin this hour with the tragedy in Connecticut. This morning, around nine o'clock, a young man walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and began shooting. Federal law enforcement officials now tell NPR the gunman was 20-year-old Adam Lanza of Newtown.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:50 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Multiple Prayer Vigils Held For Conn. Shooting Victims

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We begin this hour with tragedy in Connecticut. This morning, around nine o'clock, a gunman walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He was armed and, at some point, began shooting.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:49 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Newtown Holds Prayer Vigil For Shooting Victims

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Many residents of Newtown are gathered this evening at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church for a prayer vigil. NPR's Quil Lawrence is outside the church and he joins us now. And, Quil, what's going on inside the church this evening?

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
2:52 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Conn. Governor Speaks At Mass For Shooting Victims

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And joining us now from Newtown, Connecticut is Craig LeMoult of member station WSHU. And, Craig, what's the latest on the investigation?

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
2:47 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Police Cordon Off Conn. Shooter's Mother's House

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And we turn now to NPR's Robert Smith. He has been outside the home of Adam Lanza's mother on the outskirts of Newtown, Connecticut. And, Robert, has the home also been a crime scene today?

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
2:38 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Authorities Release Name Of Newtown, Conn. Shooter

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
2:27 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Conn. Shooting Brings Attention To School Security

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
1:45 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Grief Counselors Meet With Sandy Hook Parents

Audie Cornish talks to Craig Lemoult about the latest in the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
1:43 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Conn. Police: 'Very Horrific And Difficult Scene'

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We end this hour with an update on the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Here's what we know. In total, 28 people are confirmed dead, including the gunman. And NPR has confirmed his identity. He was Adam Lanza, 20 years old. That's according to federal law enforcement officials. Earlier today, his brother Ryan was taken in for questioning. Ryan Lanza is not believed to be involved in the shootings.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
1:34 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Pastor: 'Our Hearts Desperately Go Out For The Victims'

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We end this hour with a recap of our main story today: the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. A total of 28 people, including the gunman, are confirmed dead. Federal law enforcement officials tell NPR that the shooter was Adam Lanza, 20 years old of Newtown. They say he walked into Sandy Hook Elementary and opened fire, killing six adults and 20 children. Lanza also died at the school.

State police say another adult was killed before the rampage at the Lanza family home in Newtown.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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It's All Politics
1:10 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Obama Remembers 'Beautiful Little Kids,' Calls For 'Meaningful Action'

President Obama pauses as he speaks at the White House about Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 2:22 pm

Horrible acts of violence have forced President Obama to speak to a shocked nation after several mass shootings — at a shopping center in Arizona, a Colorado movie theater, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and, on Friday, a Connecticut elementary school.

Each time his sadness has been readily visible, mirroring the feelings of millions of Americans.

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Shots - Health News
12:55 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

How To Talk To Your Kids About The Conn. Shootings

A woman holds a child as people line up to enter the Newtown Methodist Church near the scene of the elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn.
Douglas Healey Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 3:03 am

When acts of violence against children become national news, it's natural for kids to worry and wonder what it means for them.

So amid the coverage of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., that have claimed the lives of 20 schoolchildren, what should parents do for their kids?

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Religion
12:51 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Singing Loud And Proud: Choir For LGBT Mormons Breaks Out

The One Voice Choir is not officially part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the ensemble is invited to perform this weekend at an LDS church-sponsored event intended to reach out to the LGBT community.
Andrea Smardon KUER

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 8:13 am

Growing up in Utah, Ross Owen watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on television every Sunday with his family.

"It was almost like watching a rock concert, and I thought, 'Oh, I'd love to do that,' " he says.

But by the time Owen was old enough to join the choir, he was no longer a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; he had been excommunicated after he came out as gay.

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Space
12:26 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

50 Years After First Interplanetary Probe, NASA Looks To Future

The Mariner 2 probe at an assembly facility in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Aug. 29, 1962.
NASA/JPL/Caltech

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

Fifty years ago, on Dec. 14, 1962, reporters gathered for a press briefing at NASA headquarters and heard an unearthly sound: radio signals being beamed back by a spacecraft flying within 22,000 miles of Venus.

The Mariner 2 mission to Venus was the first time any spacecraft had ever gone to another planet.

These days, vivid photographs showing scenes from all around the solar system are so ubiquitous that people might easily forget how mysterious our planetary neighbors used to be.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Connecticut School Shooting: Confusion Over Suspect's Name

Police and medical staff work outside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 27 people — 20 of them children — were killed Friday morning. Police have not officially declared a suspect, but news accounts have named Adam Lanza, 20, as the suspected gunman.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 2:40 pm

As details emerged about the tragic shooting deaths of more than 20 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school today, law enforcement sources first named Ryan Lanza as the suspected gunman. But that account, reported by NPR and other news outlets, was later called into question by reports that identified Lanza's younger brother, Adam, as the suspect.

Update at 7:28 p.m. ET: Suspect's Identity Confirmed.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

What Kind Of Place Is Newtown, Conn.?

A flag is seen at half-staff along Main Street in Newtown, Conn., on Friday after a mass shooting that left at least 28 dead, including the suspected gunman.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 2:10 pm

Newtown, Conn., the town where Friday's mass school shooting took place, is described on its website as a "scenic small town" 60 miles northeast of New York City, with a 110-foot flagpole that serves as an unofficial town symbol.

Newtown is bordered on the south by Easton and Redding, on the north by Bridgewater and Southbury, on the east by Oxford and Monroe, and on the west by Bethel and Brookfield. It is the fifth-largest town, areawise, in the state.

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Music News
12:10 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Indian Musicians Remember Their Teacher, Ravi Shankar

AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

The world mourned the death this week of Indian maestro Ravi Shankar, whose name became synonymous with the sitar. Tributes eulogized Shankar as the great connector of the East and West who'd hobnobbed with The Beatles and collaborated with violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin. Less has been said about the roots of the music he spent a lifetime perfecting and innovating.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Schools Have Become More Secure Since Columbine, Experts Say

Police gather at the east entrance of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., on April 20, 1999. School security has improved markedly since the Columbine shooting, experts say, but there still are problems.
Mark Leffingwell AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:22 pm

Even as Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., suggests that more could be done, the whole culture of school security has undergone a revolution since the 1999 Columbine school shooting, experts say.

"Schools are far more secure than they were at the time of Columbine," says Paul Timm, president of RETA Security Inc., a school security consultancy.

For one, he says, "They keep most exterior doors secured, which is something they didn't pay much attention to before."

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Asia
11:40 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Nationalist Rhetoric High As Japanese Head To Polls

Supporters hold up posters of Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a rally in Osaka on Thursday. Considered a nationalist hawk, Abe is expected to become prime minister for a second time after parliamentary elections Sunday.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

As Japanese head to the polls Sunday, Shinzo Abe is expected to become Japan's prime minister for the second time.

The election takes place as nationalistic rhetoric is on the rise, and while the country remains locked in a bitter dispute with its chief rival, China, over islands both countries claim.

'Pride And Honor'

The battle over the islands heated up last summer.

In mid-August, boats filled with about 150 Japanese activists approached one of the islands, part of a chain that the Japanese call Senkaku; the Chinese, Diaoyu.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
11:06 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Transcript: President Obama's Remarks On Conn. School Shooting

President Obama wipes his eye as he speaks during a press conference at the White House following the shooting in a Connecticut elementary school that left several dead, including children.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:32 pm

Transcript of President Obama's speech on Dec. 14 following a deadly mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Source: White House

This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.

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Shots - Health News
10:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Most States Punt Health Exchanges To The Feds

Gov. Bill Haslam speaks to reporters after announcing in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday that that he had decided against creating a state-run health insurance exchange. The Republican governor said he will leave it to the federal government to run the marketplace.
Erik Schelzig ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 11:48 am

Few people expected that the Obama administration would be running health exchanges in more than 30 states when the federal health law was signed two years ago.

But with the deadline for states to decide just hours away, only 18 states and the District of Columbia have proposed operating their own insurance marketplaces. The exchanges are a key tool under the law to expand health coverage to an estimated 23 million people over the next four years.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Fri December 14, 2012

U.S. Officials: Syria Has Prepared Several Dozen Chemical Bombs

President Obama has warned Syrian President Bashar Assad, shown here in 2009, against using chemical weapons.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 10:06 am

U.S. and allied officials say the forces of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad have prepared several dozen bombs and shells loaded with the lethal chemical sarin.

The number is a larger estimate than has previously been reported. The Syrians loaded the weapons with the chemical agents in the past several weeks, the officials say.

Those preparations raise fears that the fighting against rebel forces could enter a new and more troubling phase, according to the officials, who requested anonymity.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Amid Food Shortages, Syrian Opposition Now Runs Many Towns

A Syrian woman carries a ration of bread on her head in the northern city of Aleppo. The Syrian opposition now runs local councils in many cities, particularly in the north. They often face major challenges in providing basics likes food, water and electricity.
Odd Anderson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:18 am

As the Syrian opposition gains control of large swaths of territory in the country's north, local councils are emerging as the first alternative authority after 21 months of revolt.

It is still unclear if the civilian councils can impose order in war-torn areas where rebels have the power of arms. And at least parts of major cities remain in the hands of President Bashar Assad's forces.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Murder Him? 'I Barely Saw Him,' McAfee Says Of Neighbor

John McAfee in Miami on Thursday.
Paula Bustamante AFP/Getty Images

If you're fascinated by the story of anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee and his flight from Belize after authorities there said they want to talk to him about a neighbor's murder, CNBC has abo

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