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The Two-Way
3:28 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 5:10 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
3:26 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 8:27 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
3:22 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 5:40 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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The Two-Way
2:40 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 3:22 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
2:40 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 8:27 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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