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This December marks the one year anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since then, more than a dozen other school shootings have occurred - including one just last week. Host Michel Martin checks in with educators from around the country to ask if their jobs have become more dangerous, and hear their top school safety concerns.

Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker is heading to Washington. On Thursday, he'll be sworn in as a U.S. Senator, becoming one of just two African-Americans in the upper house. Host Michel Martin talks to former Senator Carol Moseley Braun and Emory University professor Andra Gillespsie about Booker's election and what it signals for the future demographics of Congress.

Some argue that red-state tendencies toward lower taxes and less regulated, more free-market systems make them ideal places to work and raise a family. But others counter that blue states are wealthier, offer more educational opportunities and are committed to a social safety net.

On the evening of Oct. 30, 1938, Orson Welles and his troupe went on the air to say that Martians had invaded New Jersey. Ever since, stories have made it sound as if the broadcast caused a mass panic. But that might not have been the case.

Social Security accounts for about 20 percent of federal spending. As Congress edges toward having to come up with a new spending plan, one argument in favor of cuts is that Social Security amounts to a huge transfer of wealth from the young to the old.

Commentator Frank DeFord has some theories about why NASCAR is having trouble expanding its audience.

The number of polio cases globally sank to an all-time low in 2012. But outbreaks in Syria and Somalia this year are jeopardizing efforts to eradicate the virus. A recent visit to the Somali-Ethiopian border highlights just how easily polio can regain a foothold in rural, insecure communities.

Bicycle sales held steady over a six-year period in the European Union, but sales of electric bikes soared. In places like the Netherlands, electric bikes are already the most important sales segment. Overall sales are still low, but their popularity is growing around the world.

"I want to apologize to you that the website has not worked as well as it should," the chief of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services tells Americans. She also promises it will be fixed and running smoothly by the end of November. Republicans have their doubts.

One year ago, Superstorm Sandy battered the northeastern coast causing massive damage to homes and businesses. But how does the recovery look today? Host Michel Martin speaks to WNYC reporter Stephen Nessen and New Jersey relief volunteer Jim Davis to find out.

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