2:11am

Sun December 23, 2012
U.S.

New Lives Emerge From Colo. Wildfire Ashes, Still Scarred

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 10:44 am

Janet Wilson describes the charred hillsides above her old home as "a vast area of toothpicks." She found the scene too sad to return to.
Megan Verlee for NPR

West of the city of Colorado Springs, trees charred by the summer's wildfire scar the steep foothills. The Waldo Canyon fire destroyed more than 300 homes in June.

Now, that devastated neighborhood is coming back to life, with construction workers swarming over half-completed houses. While many of its former residents are preparing to move back, some just want to move on.

In the days after the fire devoured their homes, shell-shocked residents tried to wrap their minds around what had just happened to them.

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2:08am

Sun December 23, 2012
Shootings In Newtown, Conn.

Tragedy Spotlights Connecticut's Previous Efforts At Gun Control

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 10:46 am

Police Lt. Ray Mesek registers a rifle at a gun buyback event on Saturday in Bridgeport, Conn.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

At about 8 a.m. on March 6, 1998, Matthew Beck arrived to work at the headquarters of the Connecticut State Lottery. He hung up his coat, walked into an office and shot the first of four victims.

Beck ended up killing a number of his co-workers and then took his own life in the parking lot when the police arrived.

Mike Lawlor, the Connecticut governor's criminal justice adviser, was a state representative at the time, and wanted to understand what led to the rampage. He learned that Beck had previously attempted suicide and owned a number of guns.

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2:07am

Sun December 23, 2012
Around the Nation

With Growth Of 'Hacker Scouting,' More Kids Learn To Tinker

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 9:41 am

Kids build robots with Popsicle sticks at an Oakland meeting of Hacker Scouts, a group that encourages young people to create do-it-yourself crafts and electronics.
Jon Kalish for NPR

Countless kids have grown up with the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts or Campfire Girls, but for some families, the uniforms and outdoor focus of traditional Scouting groups don't appeal.

In recent months, Scoutlike groups that concentrate on technology and do-it-yourself projects have been sprouting up around the country. They're coed and, like traditional Scouting organizations, award patches to kids who master skills.

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3:01pm

Sat December 22, 2012
Shootings In Newtown, Conn.

Near-Replica Of Sandy Hook Made Nearby For Students

Originally published on Sat December 22, 2012 4:54 pm

A school bus drives past a welcome sign near the Chalk Hill Middle School in Monroe, Conn. Students from Sandy Hook Elementary in neighboring Newtown will attend the school in January.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

The surviving students of Sandy Hook Elementary will not be returning to their school in Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six educators were shot to death on Dec. 14.

Instead, when classes resume after the holidays, they'll attend a school in the neighboring town of Monroe. Parents, teachers and administrators in both towns are working to make the new school as similar as possible to the one Sandy Hook students left behind.

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2:14pm

Sat December 22, 2012
It's All Politics

How Boehner's 'Critical Moment' Could Turn Out OK For Him

Originally published on Sat December 22, 2012 5:50 pm

House Speaker John Boehner holds a press conference at the Capitol on Friday. The night before, he did not have enough backing from his own party to pass his fiscal cliff legislation.
Win McNamee Getty Images

"The House has done its part to avert this entire fiscal cliff," House Speaker John Boehner said Saturday in his weekly address.

He cited the measure that passed Thursday, which would reorganize the automatic spending cuts to protect the defense budget and cut deeper elsewhere. He also pointed to legislation that would stop all tax hikes on Jan. 1.

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2:01pm

Sat December 22, 2012
Around the Nation

It's Not Jolly, It's A Job: Pro Santas Say It's More Than Just The Beard

Originally published on Sat December 22, 2012 3:37 pm

Charity workers dressed as Santa Claus wave to pedestrians in New York. Professional Santas say it's not an easy job, and it's not just as simple as putting on a beard.
John Minchillo AP

WARNING: The following story contains Santa information that may not be suitable for youngsters.

So, you're considering becoming a Santa — getting a suit, throwing on a beard — after all, how hard could it be?

"Being a good Santa Claus, it's a calling," says Santa Jim Manning, aka Boston Santa.

Manning has been playing Santa for about a decade, doing mostly home visits. He says the first thing you're going to need to do is figure out is what kind of Santa you're going to be.

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1:25pm

Sat December 22, 2012
The Two-Way

'Unprecedented' Public Rage Over Gang Rape In India

Originally published on Sat December 22, 2012 3:25 pm

Protestors are storming central Delhi streets, calling for women's safety following a brutal attack on a young woman last weekend.
Sajjad Hussain AFP/Getty Images

Waves of angry demonstrators were repelled by tear gas and water cannons in New Delhi on Saturday as they marched on the president's residence to protest the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a private bus last weekend.

With cries of "be ashamed," thousands flowed through central Delhi, trying to break through steel barricades as the seesawing battle lasted into the evening. It's the fourth straight day of protests that have shaken the government and taken police aback.

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1:17pm

Sat December 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Constitution Vote Seen As Referendum On Egyptian Brotherhood

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 5:22 am

Egyptians wait in line to vote on a new draft constitution in Giza, south of Cairo, on Saturday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Update Dec. 23, at 5:30 a.m.:

Egypt's constitution appears to have passed with 64 percent of Egyptians voting "yes," according to preliminary results issued by state-run media. But the document passed under a cloud of controversy as the opposition to the Islamist-backed document cried fraud.

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12:50pm

Sat December 22, 2012
Climate Change

Your Call (December 20th): How far have we come in fighting global warming in 2012?

On Your Call, Thursday December 20th we aired a pre-taped conversation looking back at climate change activism over the last year.  What strides have we made? Where have we fallen short?  The UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar this month didn’t seem to move the international community any closer to solutions.  So what needs to be done?  Can local actions make a difference?  What are we facing for climate change in 2013?  

Guests:

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9:25am

Sat December 22, 2012
NPR Story

Fresh Air Weekend: Barbra Streisand, Pizzarelli

Originally published on Sat December 22, 2012 9:28 am

Barbra Streisand is Joyce Brewster in The Guilt Trip. The multitalented performer has won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony — a feat achieved by fewer than a dozen artists.
Sam Emerson Paramount Pictures

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:

'Guilt Trip': Streisand On Songs, Films And Family: In her new movie, singer, actor, writer, director and producer Barbra Streisand plays a well-meaning if overbearing Jewish mom. The star says her own mother both encouraged her talents and was jealous of them.

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