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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Mega Millions Jackpot Grows To $550 Million

A customer buys Mega Millions lottery tickets at a 7-Eleven store on Friday in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 2:28 pm

Because no one matched all six numbers on Friday, the Mega Millions jackpot jumped to $550 million for Tuesday's drawing.

It's possible that the second largest pot in the history of the Mega Millions will eventually make a run for the all-time record of $656 million, which was split by three players on March 30, 2012.

NBC News reports:

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Sat December 14, 2013

A Year After Shooting, Bells Toll In Newtown

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama take a moment of silence in honor of the Newtown shooting victims on the one year anniversary of the tragedy.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

As a steady snow blanketed Newtown, this morning, the bells at St. Rose of Lima church tolled 26 times. After each, a name was read.

It was an intimate acknowledgment of the 20 children and six educators who were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School one year ago today.

The town asked for privacy and decided not to have any formal remembrance services.

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, meanwhile, lit 26 candles at the Map Room of the White House. After all the votives were lit, they paused for a moment of silence.

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Parallels
10:36 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Africa Wanders From Mandela's Path To Democracy

Nelson Mandela casts his vote during South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994. Mandela's example led to more democracy across Africa, although overall political freedom has declined on the continent in the last five years.
John Parkin AP

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 3:27 pm

When Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, Africa's record on democracy was abysmal. One stark fact summed it up: Not a single African leader had ever lost his job at the ballot box in the three decades since African countries began receiving independence around 1960.

But with Mandela leading the way, South Africa became the most prominent example of the emerging democracies and open elections that spread across the continent in the 1990s.

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Rape Accusation Still Shadows Heisman Finalist

Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston faced an accusation of rape, but the state of Florida decided not to press charges following an investigation.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 3:22 pm

On Saturday night, there's a very good chance Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will win the Heisman Trophy, awarded each year to the best college football player in the country.

For Winston, family, friends, teammates and Seminole fans, undoubtedly it'll be a shining moment, but a discordant note continues to run through this tale of football glory.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Sat December 14, 2013

IN PICTURES: Mandela's Journey Home

A military aircraft carrying the body of former South African President Nelson Mandela departs from Waterkloof military airbase for the Eastern Cape on Saturday in Pretoria, South Africa.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 10:47 pm

On the final leg of 10 days of mourning, Nelson Mandela's body was flown from the seat of government in Pretoria to his ancestral hometown of Quno on Saturday.

"A guard of honor carried his casket from the hearse onto the transport plane that flew the late South African statesman home to the Eastern Cape for burial on Sunday," NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells our Newscast unit from Johannesburg. "The two-hour flight was preceded by a moving memorial, organized by his governing ANC Party."

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Robert Redford, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Sheen

In All Is Lost, Robert Redford plays an unnamed sailor, stranded at sea on a badly damaged yacht.
Daniel Daza Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 11:46 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Sat December 14, 2013

State TV: Chinese Spacecraft Makes Soft Landing On The Moon

Staff members make preparations for Chang'e-3's soft-landing on the moon at the Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, on Saturday.
Li Xin Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 9:01 am

A Chinese spacecraft made a soft landing on the surface of the moon on Saturday, China's state television is reporting.

Televised images showed the control room at the Aerospace Control Center in Beijing erupted into applause at about 8:10 a.m. ET. Almost immediately, the lander started to deploy its solar panels and began running a systems check.

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Simon Says
7:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Draining The Daring From A High School Production Of 'Rent'

Anthony Rapp (left) and Adam Pascal perform a scene from the New York Theatre Workshop production of Rent in 1996.
Joan Marcus AP

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Quite a show has been going on in Trumbull, Conn.

Last week, the principal of Trumbull High School canceled a student production of Rent scheduled for next March.

Rent is Jonathan Larson's 1994 rock musical about a group of colorful young people living and loving in a colorful wreck of a brownstone on New York's Lower East Side, when struggling young artists could afford the rent there.

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Around the Nation
7:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

A Common Story: Bullet's Trajectory Interrupts Child's Path

Ka'nard Allen, twice a victim of gun violence, started at a new this fall in New Orleans. Administrators say he's just like any other fifth-grader, despite all the adversity he's faced in his life.
Keith O'Brien for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Murders are down in New Orleans this year, bucking a national trend. Still, gun violence remains a problem — and children can't escape it. They're left with scars both physical and emotional.

What happens after the bullets stop flying? How does a child get up after being gunned down?

One boy's story shows the tragedy of gun violence and a community's efforts to heal its victims.

Caught In The Crossfire

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Politics
7:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

White House Hires A Crisis Manager, Easing Democratic Worries

John Podesta was Bill Clinton's White House chief of staff from 1998 to 2001, helping the president survive impeachment.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

It's not big enough to be called a shakeup, but the new hire announced this week at the White House is important: John Podesta will come on board in January as a counselor to the president.

Podesta is a Democratic wise man, the founder of the Center for American Progress, a policy and personnel incubator for Democratic administrations, and he just started a new think tank on income inequality — the problem President Obama says will animate his second term.

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Politics
7:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Senate Takes a Break After 48-Hour Debate

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky heads to the Senate floor to vote on Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

After pulling two consecutive all-nighters, a bleary-eyed Senate is taking a breather on Saturday.

The fractious 48-hour session that ended Friday was fallout from a decision that the chamber's ruling Democrats made last month to move stalled nominees.

This week's session was the first since Democrats detonated the "nuclear option" and eliminated the GOP minority's ability to filibuster most nominations.

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NPR Story
7:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Hot Sauce Maker In A Jam

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The factory that makes and bottles Sriracha sauce is in trouble - for the second time this year. First, one of the company's Southern California plants faced a shutdown after neighbors complained about the pungent odor there, and now a California Department of Public Health has placed a 30-day hold on all new bottles of Sriracha, citing health concerns. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

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NPR Story
7:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

The Nobel Prize And The Rule Of Three

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, Peter Higgs and Francois Englert received the Nobel Prize for developing the theory known as the Higgs-boson particle in 1964. But distinguished as they are, Higgs and Englert are just two of six scientists who developed the theory and because of the Nobel committees rule of three; that no single prize can go to more than three individuals, most of these scientists missed out on winning the Nobel, including Carl Hagen, a University of Rochester physics professor.

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NPR Story
7:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Candles, Not Media Cameras, For Newtown On Saturday

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

At 9:30 Eastern Time this morning, houses of worship across Connecticut will rang their bells 26 times.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS RINGING)

SIMON: These are the bells of the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Stamford. Churches, mosques and synagogues in Newtown are holding events today to mark the anniversary of the shooting. Not only prayer services, also some arts and crafts activities for children, even comfort dogs.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Sat December 14, 2013

As Centennial, Colo., Picks Up The Pieces, Sandy Hook Marks Anniversary

A woman hugs a student at Shepherd of the Hills Church near Arapahoe High School after a school shooting on Friday in Centennial, Colorado.
Chris Schneider Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 11:21 am

On the first anniversary of the second deadliest school shooting in the country's history, another community thousands of miles away is trying to come to terms with its own tragedy.

As we reported, an 18-year-old student walked into Arapahoe High School on Friday in Centennial, Colo., and opened fire, injuring one student before police say he shot himself.

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Around the Nation
6:01 am
Sat December 14, 2013

School Shooting Is Another Tragedy For Colorado

Students comfort each other at Arapahoe High School on Friday.
Ed Andrieski AP

A Colorado high school student with an apparent grudge against a teacher wounded a classmate with a shotgun before killing himself, chilling a state that's still trying to make sense of mass shootings at Columbine High School and an Aurora movie theater.

Quick-thinking students at Arapahoe High School on Friday alerted the targeted teacher, who quickly left the building. Police immediately locked down the scene on the eve of the Newtown massacre anniversary — a somber reminder of how commonplace school violence has become.

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Music Interviews
5:13 am
Sat December 14, 2013

What Makes Tennessee's Music So Very Special?

Rosanne Cash, seen here in 1956 with her dad Johnny, is one of many musicians featured in Oxford American magazine's winter issue on the music of Tennessee.
Courtesy of Rosanne Cash

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

From blues to funk, to country and rock, Tennessee is the place that's given voice to the likes of Bessie Smith, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Isaac Hayes

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
5:11 am
Sat December 14, 2013

A Grieving Newtown Mother's Motto: 'Love Wins'

Jimmy Greene holds a picture of his daughter, Ana, as he kisses his wife Nelba Márquez-Greene, at a January news conference in Newtown, Conn. They try to remember the good days with their daughter. "It is what brings me great comfort and great joy," Márquez-Greene says.
Jessica Hill AP

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

As much as Dec. 14 will forever be a day of unfathomable grief for Nelba Márquez-Greene, Dec. 13 will be one of unending gratitude.

"I will never forget that day," she says.

On that day, Márquez-Greene stopped the usual frantic drill: rushing to activities and errands, worrying about the dishes and laundry, even cleaning up the mess on the floor.

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The Two-Way
5:11 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Parents Say School Security Has Increased Since Newtown Massacre

Most parents of elementary school-age children say their schools boosted security following last year's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., according to a poll from NPR in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

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Fine Art
5:10 am
Sat December 14, 2013

In The Background: Art You May Never Notice

Mountain Gorillas, one of the first dioramas on which Fred Scherer apprenticed, completed in 1936.
Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

You've probably never heard of painter Fred F. Scherer. If you've ever been to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City, though, you may have seen his paintings — probably without realizing it.

Scherer died at age 98 a few weeks ago. His art — those big murals you see behind taxidermic animals in museum dioramas — deserves a closer look.

We visited the AMNH to photograph some of the installations containing his paintings, and spoke with Stephen C. Quinn, who recently retired as an artist from the museum, and knew Scherer well.

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