The Two-Way
5:42 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 7:10 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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Space
5:26 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 10:27 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
5:22 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 7:40 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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Music News
5:10 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Indian Musicians Remember Their Teacher, Ravi Shankar

AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 10:27 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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World Cafe
5:01 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Gary Clark Jr. On World Cafe

Gary Clark Jr.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 4:58 pm

Gary Clark Jr.'s new album Blak and Blue is his major-label debut, but the blues guitarist is hardly a newcomer. Clark made his first album at 17, and by then he'd already spent several years hanging out in the blues clubs of Austin, Texas.

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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
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 5:22 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
4:40 pm
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 10:27 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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News
4:06 pm
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 6:32 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
3:59 pm
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 4:48 pm

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
2:41 pm
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 3:06 pm

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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