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Stories for December 18, 2012

Major Questions Unanswered In Texas Helicopter Shooting Of Immigrants

Dec. 18
By David Martin Davies

Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra formed a grand jury to look into the shooting. He wants to see why the call was made to open fire.

State Department Faulted For Inadequate Security In Benghazi Attack

Dec. 18
Stephanie Federico / NPR

An independent panel has sharply criticized the State Department for inadequate security at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on the day of an attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

State Department Faulted In Benghazi Attack

Dec. 18
Stephanie Federico / NPR

Security at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was inadequate on the day of an attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, an independent panel has found.

Tease photo for Investors, Retailers Shy Away From Guns; Will It Last?

Investors, Retailers Shy Away From Guns; Will It Last?

Dec. 18
Alan Greenblatt / NPR

It's a nervous time for companies that make and sell guns.

Tease photo for Filner's First Ordinance Deals With Foreclosures

Filner's First Ordinance Deals With Foreclosures

Dec. 18
By Katie Orr / Capital Public Radioand City News Service

New San Diego Mayor Bob Filner signed his first ordinance into law today. It deals with keeping foreclosed homes in good condition.

Parents of Slain Children Share Memories At Newtown Funerals

Dec. 18
Padmananda Rama / NPR

Two more funerals were held in Newtown, Conn., Tuesday, for first-graders James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos. The two children were killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week.

Michigan's Snyder Vetoes Bill Allowing Concealed Guns In Schools

Dec. 18
Bill Chappell / NPR

Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed pistols to be carried in schools and other places where they had been banned. The Michigan legislature had approved the legislation when its lame-duck session ended Thursday -- one day before the Newtown elementary school shootings.

NRA Issues Statement Amid Calls For New Gun Control Laws

Dec. 18
NPR

The National Rifle Association of America has broken its silence to comment on Friday's gun violence that ravaged a tight-knit Connecticut community, releasing a statement in which the gun-owners' rights group said it "is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

Tease photo for Ex-NFL Players Talk To Camp Pendleton Marines About Depression

Ex-NFL Players Talk To Camp Pendleton Marines About Depression

Dec. 18
By Beth Ford Roth

Former National Football League players spoke out at Camp Pendleton earlier this week about the emotional challenges they faced leaving the NFL. The players hoped to help Marines getting ready to leave the military and transition to the civilian world.

Building A Rover Of The Edible Kind

Dec. 18
Joe Palca / NPR

The folks at the California Institute of Technology have built another Mars rover, but this one will never get to leave Earth. Not surprising, really, since it's made of gingerbread.

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One Airport's Trash Is 2 Million Worms' Treasure

Dec. 18
Julie Rose / NPR

Food waste is not just a problem for restaurants -- airports also have to deal with piles of this kind of garbage.

Officials In Newtown Follow A Well-Worn Media Script

Dec. 18
Scott Neuman / NPR

Fielding questions from reporters Friday in the first hours after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance made one thing perfectly clear: The news media could consider him the one and only reliable source for information on the tragedy.

Tease photo for Why Is Marine Veteran Jon Hammar In A Mexican Prison?

Why Is Marine Veteran Jon Hammar In A Mexican Prison?

Dec. 18
By Beth Ford Roth

A White House petition with more than 20,000 signatures is calling for the freedom of Marine veteran Jon Hammar. Hammar, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been jailed in Mexico for more than four months for possessing a firearm, even though he declared the gun to Mexican Customs agents.

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Coal May Pass Oil As World's No. 1 Energy Source By 2017, Study Says

Dec. 18
Bill Chappell / NPR

Despite a slowdown in U.S. consumption, coal is poised to replace oil as the world's top energy source -- possibly in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency. The rise will be driven almost entirely by new energy demands in China and India, the IEA says.

Tease photo for Deborah Seiler Reminisces About Her Time As San Diego's Voter Registrar

Deborah Seiler Reminisces About Her Time As San Diego's Voter Registrar

Dec. 18
By Marissa Cabrera, Peggy Pico, Alison St John

Deborah Seiler has been explaining the complexities of our election process to us for the past five years. Now she's retiring with a number of changes to her credit.

Tease photo for Dr. Seuss's 'Midnight Paintings' Unveiled In New Art Book

Dr. Seuss's 'Midnight Paintings' Unveiled In New Art Book

Dec. 18
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Alison St John

Interesting stories about Ted Geisel's work revealed in "The Cat Behind the Hat."

Tease photo for How San Diego County Deals With Severe Mental Illness

How San Diego County Deals With Severe Mental Illness

Dec. 18
By Megan Burke, Marissa Cabrera, Peggy Pico, Alison St John

Laura's Law in California allows counties to court order individuals suffering from untreated mental illness into treatment. Why hasn't San Diego County adopted it?

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Obama Supports New Bid To Ban Assault Weapons, Close Gun Show 'Loophole'

Dec. 18
Mark Memmott / NPR

President Obama has thrown his support behind a leading Democratic senator's effort to reinstate a ban on assault weapons -- another sign that Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut has put gun control back on Washington's political agenda.

Tease photo for Border Water Report Calls For Action To Deal With Long-Term Drought

Border Water Report Calls For Action To Deal With Long-Term Drought

Dec. 18
By David Martin Davies

A recently published report on water resources along the border cautions that reforms and investments need to be implemented now to keep the water flowing in the future.

Tease photo for Smuggler Caught With 80 Assault Weapon Magazines At Border

Smuggler Caught With 80 Assault Weapon Magazines At Border

Dec. 18
By Tracy Greer

A 20-year-old Mexican national was arrested this weekend at the port of entry in San Luis, Ariz. for attempting to smuggle empty assault weapon magazines into Mexico.

Tease photo for Marine Corps Ends Sponsorship Of UFC (Video)

Marine Corps Ends Sponsorship Of UFC (Video)

Dec. 18
By Beth Ford Roth

The Marine Corps' sponsorship contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship expired on November 30, and the Marines have chosen not to renew that contract. The Marines had used their relationship with the UFC as a recruitment tool.

Investment Firm Selling Stakes In Gun Makers

Dec. 18
Korva Coleman / NPR

The issue of gun control appears to have moved into business and finance. One of the largest private equity companies in the country is terminating its relationship with a firearms corporation associated with one of the weapons used in the Newtown school shooting.

No Federal 'Cyberstalking' Charges Against Woman In Petraeus Affair

Dec. 18
Mark Memmott / NPR

Paula Broadwell, whose affair with retired Gen. David Petraeus led to his resignation from the post of CIA director, will not face federal charges related to the alleged cyberstalking of another woman, according to a letter sent by the Justice Department to Broadwell's attorney.

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States Dreading Fiscal Cliff Outcome -- But Indecision May Be Worse

Dec. 18
Alan Greenblatt / NPR

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

Tease photo for WWII Submarine Discovered In Baltic Sea (Video)

WWII Submarine Discovered In Baltic Sea (Video)

Dec. 18
By Beth Ford Roth

The Swedish Navy says it has discovered in the Baltic Sea a World War II era Soviet submarine that sank in 1941. Civilian scuba divers were the first to spot the sub on the seabed.

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Nancy Lanza, Gunman's Mother: From 'Charmed Upbringing' To First Victim

Dec. 18
Mark Memmott / NPR

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.

Tease photo for WWII Hero Sen. Daniel Inouye Dead At 88

WWII Hero Sen. Daniel Inouye Dead At 88

Dec. 18
Associated Press

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye died Monday after a uniquely American life defined by heroism in war and decades of service in the Senate — and a lifelong love of Hawaii symbolized by his last utterance: "Aloha."

Tease photo for What Gun Control Could Look Like

What Gun Control Could Look Like

Dec. 18
Alan Greenblatt, NPR

The stage appears to be set for a renewed debate about gun control. The NRA and other proponents of gun owners' rights have been silent in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, but many will question the benefits of possible restrictions.

Tease photo for Women Veterans Have Unique Needs After Leaving The Service (Video)

Women Veterans Have Unique Needs After Leaving The Service (Video)

Dec. 18
By Beth Ford Roth

There are an estimated 1.8 million female veterans in the United States right now. Roughly 25,000 of them live in San Diego County. Women leaving the service have unique needs, and the Department of Veterans Affairs is working to keep up with those challenges.

Coverage Rapid, And Often Wrong, In Tragedy's Early Hours

Dec. 18
David Folkenflik / NPR

Nearly everyone reported so many things wrong in the first 24 hours after the Sandy Hook shootings that it's hard to single out any one news organization or reporter for criticism.

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'Black America's Law Firm' Looks To Big Cases With New Leadership

Dec. 18
Carrie Johnson / NPR

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has been called the law firm for black America. Once run by Thurgood Marshall, the group played a major role in desegregating public schools and fighting restrictions at the ballot box.

The Downsides Of Living In An Oil Boom Town

Dec. 18
Meg Luther Lindholm / NPR

The population boom in Williston, N.D., has been a blessing and a curse for many local businesses. Williston, the fastest growing small city in America, is enjoying an oil boom and has seen its population double in the past two years.