Emma Bowman

When John Banvard, 100, met Gerard "Jerry" Nadeau, 72, in 1993, neither of them had been openly gay.

"When we met, we were sort of in the closet, and I'd never had a real relationship. Now, we've been together almost 25 years," Jerry tells John during a StoryCorps interview.

"What would it have been like if you didn't meet me?" Jerry asks John.

"I would have continued being lonely," John says. "I'd been absolutely lost."

Updated 8:38 a.m. ET

A White House official confirms with NPR that Kathleen Hartnett White's controversial nomination to head the Council on Environmental Quality is being withdrawn.

Most people familiar with "face-swapping" know it as an innocuous social media feature. An algorithm captures a person's face and pastes it onto someone else's. The result is rarely seamless and often funny.

Rickey Jackson spent nearly four decades in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

In May of 1975, when a shopkeeper at a small Cleveland grocery store was slain during a robbery, Eddie Vernon, then 12 years old, served as the main witness in the case. Eddie — who, in fact, hadn't seen anything — says he was pressured into testifying by police.

In his annual New Year's address on Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned the United States that his country's completed nuclear arsenal is now a button-push away.

"The U.S. should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table," he said, according to the Associated Press translation, in a speech carried by state television. "The entire area of the U.S. mainland is within our nuclear strike range. ... The United States can never start a war against me and our country."

Updated at 9:55 p.m. ET

The Costa Rican government says a plane crash in Costa Rica on Sunday has killed all 12 people aboard.

The aircraft was carrying 10 American tourists and two Costa Rican pilots when it came down in the mountainous region of Punta Islita, about 140 miles west of its destination, the capital of San José. The cause of the crash is not yet known.

Reuters reports:

Three officials at the Miss America Organization are stepping down after having been implicated in emails published by HuffPost on Thursday that contained crude language disparaging former pageant winners.

It was Christmas of 2001, and Thompson Williams' family was struggling financially. "That year we used all our money just before Christmas so that we could pay the bills and buy groceries — at least we'd have something to eat," he tells his son, Kiamichi-tet at StoryCorps.

Thompson was teaching students with special needs, and his wife was selling handmade Christmas ornaments. They lived in Edmond, Okla., with Kiamichi-tet, then 11, and their daughter AuNane, 14.

If you usually ring in the holiday with a freshly cut evergreen, your reality this Christmas could very well be a scrawny Charlie Brown tree instead — or you may wind up paying more for a lush Fraser fir.

This year, there is a tree shortage. Most growers blame the tightened supply on the Great Recession, says Valerie Bauerlein, who covered the story for The Wall Street Journal.

A central question of debate leading up to the Senate's passage of a sweeping tax overhaul plan asked which Americans need a boost. Economists say the Republicans' selling point for previous iterations of their legislation, that the plan is designed to benefit the middle class, has a shaky foundation — that the rich are the big winners.

Meredith Corp., owner of Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle, has struck a deal to buy magazine publisher Time Inc., for an all-cash backed transaction of $1.84 billion, joining two vastly different media portfolios, that including the company's debt, is valued overall at $2.8 billion.

Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor has announced he may be leaving the hit Amazon series after two women accused him of sexual harassment.

Tambor continues to deny the allegations leveled this month by one of his co-stars on the show and by his former assistant. But the actor intimated his departure from the show, in a statement provided to NPR, due to a recent "politicized atmosphere" on the set.

Liz Smith, the longtime gossip columnist whose stories earned her a celebrity that rivaled many of the A-listers she covered, died on Sunday of natural causes, Smith's literary agent Joni Evans confirmed to the Associated Press. She was 94.

Smith started her own column, titled "Liz Smith" that ran in the New York Daily News from 1976 to 1991, and ultimately drew millions of readers when it was syndicated nationwide.

The First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs will reopen to the public as a memorial on Sunday, it announced on its website, one week after a mass shooting in the church rattled the small Texas town.

In the past few days, residents have been working as volunteers to restore the church, where a gunman opened fire on a congregation, killing more than two dozen people and wounding 20 others.

Saudi authorities arrested at least 11 princes, several current ministers and dozens of former ministers in a sweeping move reportedly designed to consolidate power for the son of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.

According to media reports citing Saudi-owned television network Al Arabiya, an anti-corruption committee ordered the arrests hours after King Salman directed the creation of the committee, headed by his favorite son and adviser, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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