10:04am

Tue December 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Nancy Lanza, Gunman's Mother: From 'Charmed Upbringing' To First Victim

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:34 pm

Nancy J. Lanza, mother of suspected mass shooter Adam Lanza, was one of the 26 victims of the mass shooting on Friday.
Handout Courtesy of family of Nancy Lanza via Getty Images

Before he forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday and began a rampage that would leave 20 children and six adults dead, police say, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother at their home in Newtown, Conn.

Who was Nancy Lanza, 52?

A picture is emerging.

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9:59am

Tue December 18, 2012
Europe

In France, Free Birth Control For Girls At Age 15

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 2:16 pm

An employee tidies boxes of medicines displayed in a pharmacy in the city of Caen in western France last month. Beginning in 2013, girls between the ages of 15 and 18 will be able to get birth control free of charge, and without parental notification.
Charly Triballeau AFP/Getty Images

Beginning next year, young women in France between the ages of 15 and 18 will have access to birth control free of charge, and without parental notification. The French government says the new measure is intended to reduce pregnancies in this age group that result from a mixture of ignorance, taboo and lack of access to contraception.

One place where information is available on birth control, abortion and sexual abuse is a family planning clinic in a gritty neighborhood in the east of Paris.

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9:50am

Tue December 18, 2012
Shots - Health News

Seniors Looking To Quit Smoking Get More Help From Medicare

Medicare is making it easier for beneficiaries to stamp out cigarettes for good.
larding Flickr

Everyone knows that quitting smoking is one of the surest ways to reduce the risk of dying.

But it has taken a long time for some Medicare beneficiaries to get the same kind of help with quitting that's routinely available to people with private health insurance.

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9:42am

Tue December 18, 2012
Commentary

History Matters: Remembering Operation Linebacker II

Commentator Gary Joiner marks the 40th anniversary of a milestone in military aviation. Operation Linebacker II was an 11-day assault on the North Vietnamese capital and surrounding area in Dec. 1972 that forced the enemy back to the negotiating table.

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9:26am

Tue December 18, 2012
Business

Christmas tree stand operator stays with trees 24/7

Leah Anthony of Mooringsport, La., rarely ever leaves her Christmas tree stand in south Shreveport from Thanksgiving Day to Jan. 2.
Credit Kate Archer Kent

The American Christmas Tree Association says sales of both real and artificial trees have been robust this year. The preliminary report reflects Leah Anthony’s sales at her Christmas tree stand in south Shreveport. Anthony has sold 85 trees since she opened on Thanksgiving Day, up a bit from last year. She says she’ll change her stand over to fireworks sales this week. During the past nine years, Anthony worked her way into operating her own stand.

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8:08am

Tue December 18, 2012
The Two-Way

For Two Cubans In Guantanamo, Daily Commute Between Two Worlds Ends

Luis La Rosa, left, and Harry Henry on one of their last days at work on the U.S. Naval Station Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Suzette Laboy AP

We've had to focus on news about the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., since Friday, which means we missed some interesting stories over the past few days. NPR intern Rachel Brody shares one of them.

This is a story about a daily commute that spanned regimes, not just miles.

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7:31am

Tue December 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Is A 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Near?

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:50 am

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the White House last month.
Toby Jorrin AFP/Getty Images

(Scroll down for updates on the GOP's "plan B" and White House rejecting it.)

Talks are "heating up."

Differences are "narrowing."

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7:01am

Tue December 18, 2012
The Two-Way

NBC News' Richard Engel, Two Colleagues Freed From Syrian Captors

NBC News' Richard Engel. (2009 file shot.)
Meet the Press Getty Images

NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and two members of his production team are free after five days of being held captive in Syria.

The network says Engel and his colleagues were traveling with rebels in Syria last Thursday when they were kidnapped by armed men. Their captors "executed one of the rebels 'on the spot,' " NBC says.

Monday evening, NBC reports:

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6:35am

Tue December 18, 2012
The Two-Way

In A 'Numb' Newtown, Students Head Back To School

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:00 pm

In Newtown: A memorial to the victims.
Mario Tama Getty Images
  • NPR's Don Gonyea, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Most students returned to school today in Newtown, Conn., site of Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school that left 20 first-graders and six adults dead or dying.

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6:11am

Tue December 18, 2012
Animals

Christmas Comes Early At Australia's Taronga Zoo

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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