9:11am

Tue December 18, 2012
Music

Danica McKellar: Billy Joel Helped Teen Stress

You may remember Danica McKellar as Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years. Today, the actress is also a math advocate and the author of Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape. In Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, McKellar talks about the songs that helped her beat stress as a teen and inspire her as an adult.

9:03am

Tue December 18, 2012
Best Music Of 2012

Ken Tucker's Top 10 Albums Of 2012

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 6:25 pm

Dan Monick

8:34am

Tue December 18, 2012
Global Health

States Dreading Fiscal Cliff Outcome — But Indecision May Be Worse

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 9:35 am

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says uncertainty about a federal budget deal in Washington played a big part in his recent announcement of cuts to his state's budget by $500 million.
Steven Senne AP

It's not the cutting, it's the uncertainty.

That's the lament these days from governors and mayors awaiting the outcome of federal budget negotiations.

They know they're likely to take a hit; they just don't know how bad it's going to be.

"How do you budget for the unknown?" wonders Ed Long, the county executive in Fairfax County, Va. "Our worst fear is that by [the federal government] not acting, the economy is going to get worse going forward."

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8:04am

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 10:34 am

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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7:59am

Tue December 18, 2012
Europe

In France, Free Birth Control For Girls At Age 15

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 12:16 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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7:50am

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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6:08am

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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6:06am

Tue December 18, 2012
KALW Almanac

Tuesday December 18, 2012

1961 -
  • 353rd Day of 2012 / 13 Remaining
  • 3 Days Until The First Day of Winter
  • Sunrise:7:20
  • Sunset:4:54
  • 9 Hours 34 Minutes of Daylight
  • Moon Rise:11:08am
  • Moon Set:11:18pm
  • Moon’s Phase: 36 %
  • The Next Full Moon
  • December 28 @ 2:22 am
  • Full Cold Moon
  • Full Long Nights Moon

During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest.

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5:31am

Tue December 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Is A 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Near?

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 2:50 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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5:01am

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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