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11:43 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Tornado Victims Find Snapshots Of Solace In Far-Flung Photos

Darin Repp found this photo in a forest preserve in the southwest Chicago suburbs, about 100 miles from where they came from in Washington, Ill. Overall, he's found about 80 photos and has been able to return 35 of them. This one coincidentally belonged to a close friend of his cousins in Washington.
Courtesy of Darin Repp

The tornado on Nov. 17 missed the house of Darin Repp's cousins in Washington, Ill. But less than a half-mile away, it flattened rows of homes, uprooted trees and flung cars around the neighborhood like a child with a temper tantrum.

In the following days, Repp noticed posts on Facebook about people finding — and returning — photos that belonged to Washington residents. Eager to help his cousins' community, he drove out to a forest preserve along the storm's path.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Mega Millions Jackpot Grows To $550 Million

A customer buys Mega Millions lottery tickets at a 7-Eleven store on Friday in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 12:28 pm

Because no one matched all six numbers on Friday, the Mega Millions jackpot jumped to $550 million for Tuesday's drawing.

It's possible that the second largest pot in the history of the Mega Millions will eventually make a run for the all-time record of $656 million, which was split by three players on March 30, 2012.

NBC News reports:

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Sat December 14, 2013

A Year After Shooting, Bells Toll In Newtown

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama take a moment of silence in honor of the Newtown shooting victims on the one year anniversary of the tragedy.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

As a steady snow blanketed Newtown, this morning, the bells at St. Rose of Lima church tolled 26 times. After each, a name was read.

It was an intimate acknowledgment of the 20 children and six educators who were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School one year ago today.

The town asked for privacy and decided not to have any formal remembrance services.

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, meanwhile, lit 26 candles at the Map Room of the White House. After all the votives were lit, they paused for a moment of silence.

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Parallels
8:36 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Africa Wanders From Mandela's Path To Democracy

Nelson Mandela casts his vote during South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994. Mandela's example led to more democracy across Africa, although overall political freedom has declined on the continent in the last five years.
John Parkin AP

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 1:27 pm

When Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, Africa's record on democracy was abysmal. One stark fact summed it up: Not a single African leader had ever lost his job at the ballot box in the three decades since African countries began receiving independence around 1960.

But with Mandela leading the way, South Africa became the most prominent example of the emerging democracies and open elections that spread across the continent in the 1990s.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Rape Accusation Still Shadows Heisman Finalist

Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston faced an accusation of rape, but the state of Florida decided not to press charges following an investigation.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 1:22 pm

On Saturday night, there's a very good chance Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will win the Heisman Trophy, awarded each year to the best college football player in the country.

For Winston, family, friends, teammates and Seminole fans, undoubtedly it'll be a shining moment, but a discordant note continues to run through this tale of football glory.

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