Special Coverage

Connecticut Shootings
8:20 am
Sat December 15, 2012

In Connecticut: Prayers, Grief, Questions And Stories Of Heroism

Parishioners attend a prayer service at Saint Johns Episcopal Church near Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
John Angelillo UPI /Landov

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 4:46 am

The day after one of the worst mass murders in the nation's history, Americans are learning more about Friday's horrific attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and six adults lying dead.

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Connecticut Shootings
10:40 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

In Grief-Stricken Newtown, Vigils and Support for Victims, Families

People grieve outside the overflow area of a vigil at the Saint Rose of Lima church in Newtown, Conn., on Friday following the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 5:08 am

Hours after a Connecticut community was riven by a deadly gun assault on an elementary school's students and staff, residents reached out to support one another, and to grieve. Churches and public spaces became the settings for vigils, as the shocking murder of 20 children and six adults at the school echoed through Newtown, Conn.

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Gun Violence
4:56 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

How to Talk to Children About the Connecticut School Shooting

Austin schoolchildren may be curious or worried about the shootings in Connecticut.
KUT News

If you have a school-age child, he or she may have come home today with questions about the Connecticut school shooting. Julia Hoke, a psychologist with the Austin Child Guidance Center, says it’s important for parents to reassure children of the safety plans in their school. You can remind them of the school’s safety measures, like checking in all visitors or having security doors.

Hoke says it’s also important to let children know the chances of a similar shooting happening at their school.

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Gun Violence
2:58 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Video: Watch President Obama Address the Conn. School Shooting

White House

President Barack Obama just spoke to the nation regarding the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut today. The latest reports from Connecticut list dozens dead, including 20 children. 

A live blog from NPR covering today's tragedy writes: 

A visibly upset President Obama, pausing at times to wipe his eyes, just told the nation that "our hearts are broken today."

Gun Violence
1:40 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Texas Officials React to Conn. School Shooting (Updated)

WFSB; Hartford, CT

Details surrounding the elementary school shooting in Newton, Connecticut are still unfolding. The Associated Press cites a police source reporting 27 dead, including 18 children. You can follow updates in a live blog from NPR, and get real time coverage from Google News.

Elected officials in Texas are beginning to issue statements about the shooting. KUT News has compiled them below; we will update this post as more come in.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

“The horrific event that transpired at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut is as profoundly disturbing as it is impossible to fully understand. The fact that so many victims were children weighs heavily upon the hearts and souls of each Texan and every American. Anita and I send our personal condolences to everyone touched by this senseless tragedy, pray for the quick healing of those injured, and extend our hopes that time will help ease the suffering of those who lost loved ones.”

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Gun Violence
12:48 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Tragedy In Connecticut: 20 Children, 6 Adults Killed At Elementary School

In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, Connecticut State Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a shooting there Friday.
Shannon Hicks Newtown Bee/AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 10:36 am

The nation watched in horror Friday as the scope of a tragedy in Newtown, Conn., became clear. As a visibly upset President Obama said at midafternoon, "our hearts are broken."

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Drugs
11:44 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Obama: 'We've Got Bigger Fish to Fry' Than Going After Pot Smokers

A woman, identified only as "Hurricane," lights up in Seattle. Washington state's law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana went into effect on Dec. 6.
Cliff Despeaux Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:57 am

It looks like the feds will not be worrying much about those folks who choose to smoke pot in Colorado and Washington state, where new laws decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

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Census Data
11:25 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Census: We're Getting Older and More Diverse, Though More Slowly

The crowded scene on "Black Friday" at Macy's in Manhattan. The U.S. population is projected to hit 400 million in 2051, Census says, up from 321 million in 2015.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:02 pm

The trends continue:

"The U.S. population will be considerably older and more racially and ethnically diverse by 2060, according to projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau."

Based on data from the 2010 census, the bureau projects that:

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middle east
8:05 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Obama Recognizes Rebels as 'Legitimate Representative' of Syrian People

Rebel fighters take part in a demonstration against the Syrian regime after Friday prayers in Aleppo on Friday.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:58 am

President Obama said Tuesday that his administration now formally recognizes the Syrian rebels who are fighting President Bashar Assad.

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middle east
10:41 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Young Gazans Brave Fear To Welcome Hamas Leader

Exiled Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal (left) and Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh wave during a news conference upon Meshaal's arrival at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday.
Suhaib Salem AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:14 am

Tens of thousands of people turned out for a mass rally in the Gaza Strip on Friday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hamas, which governs Gaza. The guest of honor was the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal.

This is Meshaal's first-ever trip to Gaza, and it's been seen as a political milestone in Hamas' attempt to gain wider acceptance in the region.

Gaza is a small, very crowded strip of land that is full of young people. Roughly 1.7 million people live here, and about half are under the age of 18.

Young People, Politically Minded

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syria
6:19 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

U.S., Russia Try To Find Common Ground On Syria

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers a speech at Dublin City University in Ireland on Thursday. She also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss Syria.
Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 5:40 pm

As Syrian fighting intensifies in Syria, diplomatic efforts are also heating up.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the main international envoy to Syria were all in Dublin for an international gathering Thursday. The meeting came as Syria's opposition tries to get better organized to offer a real alternative to President Bashar Assad's regime.

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Syria
10:55 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Panetta Warns Syria: 'Whole World Is Watching'

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 5:27 pm

In one of the sharpest warnings so far to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today "the whole world is watching" and that if Assad uses chemical weapons against his people, "there will be consequences."

Without saying specifically that the U.S. and its allies would take military action, Panetta said it is "fair enough to say that their use of those weapons would cross a red line."

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Middle East
1:00 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Europeans Summon Israeli Diplomats on Settlement Plan

Construction workers are seen at the E1 construction site near the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem in 2007.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:11 am

The U.S. has called the latest Israeli settlement plan "counterproductive," and now the Europeans have weighed in, with even more pointed criticism.

Israeli ambassadors to Britain, France, Denmark, Spain and Sweden were summoned Monday to hear opposition to the settlement plan.

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Syria
1:20 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

U.S. Has Growing Concerns About Syria's Chemical Weapon Stockpile

A man is seen in the al-Amirya neighborhood of the city of Aleppo on Sunday. Syrian artillery and aircraft also battered rebel positions in and around Damascus in an operation to secure the capital.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 1:07 pm

The United States is increasingly concerned that Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons might be used by the regime of Bashar Assad or that it could fall in the hands of terrorists, as the country's civil war continues.

NPR's Tom Bowman tells our Newscast unit that Syria has one of the largest stockpiles of deadly nerve agents in the Middle East. Tom filed this report:

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Mexico
5:12 pm
Sun December 2, 2012

High Expectations Welcome Mexico's New President

Mexico's new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, has made big promises in a country with a mixed record.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 9:33 pm

It's Inauguration Day in Mexico, and President Enrique Pena Nieto inherits a country with a mixed record.

Most of Mexico is embroiled in a deadly drug war that has claimed the lives of as many as 50,000 people, but Pena Nieto is also taking over an economy that is doing surprisingly well — thanks, many say, to the outgoing head of state.

Calderon's Violent Legacy

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Middle East
1:56 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Spain Will Back Palestinian U.N. Bid, Britain Wants Assurances

The United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:37 am

Following the French, Spain announced it would back the Palestinian bid to attain non-member observer state status at the United Nations.

Bloomberg reports that Spanish Foreign Minister Jose-Manuel Garcia-Margallo made announcement in a speech to the country's national parliament in Madrid.

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Bangladesh
8:56 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Outrage, Protests In Bangladesh After Factory Fire That Killed Scores

Inside the factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, after the blaze.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:19 am

Horrific is a word that quickly comes to mind about the news from Bangladesh concerning a fire Saturday in a garment factory where clothes were made for retailers around the world, including some in the U.S.

Here's how The Associated Press starts its latest report:

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middle east
2:15 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Egyptians Take To The Streets After President Expands Powers

Egyptian opponents and supporters of President Mohammed Morsi clashed here in Alexandria and in other cities on Friday. The protests broke out a day after Morsi gave himself sweeping new powers.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:31 am

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was showered with international praise on Wednesday as he brokered a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, he was the target of angry protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square as they denounced Morsi's decision to grant himself sweeping new powers a day earlier.

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Pakistan
1:55 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

In Tribal Pakistan, Radio Spreads Word of Free Education

Freshly admitted students at Government High School Razmak.
Tayyeb Afridi for KUT News

Tayyeb Afridi is a journalist from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan, a region that borders Afghanistan. He visited KUT in May 2011 on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists. You can read his blog at tayyebafridi.blogspot.com.

A local radio station in Pakistan’s unsettled tribal area shows how important media can be in spreading awareness of the importance of education. About 180 new students turned up at one government school in the town of Razmak in North Waziristan after the local radio station broadcast announcements telling parents that education in government schools was free. Most local parents thought they would have to pay for schooling.   

Razmak Radio was established in 2006 to bridge the gap between people and their government. It has started a public service announcement (PSA) campaign to educate people on development issues. It designed PSAs in March and broadcast them throughout the month to motivate local people to enroll their children in school.

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Middle East
9:51 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Bus Bombed in Tel Aviv; Israel Continues Strikes on Gaza

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the "hold fire" agreement in Cairo.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 8:58 am

After a week of bloodshed, Israel and fighters in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip agreed to "hold fire" beginning at 2 p.m. ET today, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced at a joint news conference this afternoon with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Egypt had been trying to broker a truce to end the exchange of rockets and air strikes between Israel and militants in Gaza.

We'll post more on the agreement, which was announced at 12:35 p.m. ET., as the story develops.

Update at 5:55 p.m. ET. 'A Tenuous Nature':

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