A custody battle involving the "best interests" of an 3-year-old Cherokee girl will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court, an issue spanning the rights of adoptive parents and the desire to preserve Native American families within tribes.
Lawmakers erupted in applause at Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's inauguration six years ago. An orchestra played. Chavez beamed. It's a different scene this year.
Flicking through her photos on her living room couch, Julia Quinn recounts the array of plastic surgery procedures she has undergone. A few years ago, feeling unhappy about the lines around her eyes and mouth, she first dabbled in surgery. She opted for a private clinic in the UK, but after a bad experience there she started looking around for alternative places to get the work done. That's when she first discovered that South Africa offered the same procedures at a fraction of the cost, she says.
The deadly church and mosque attacks in Nigeria and Kenya, and the deaths of Ghanaian and Ethiopian leaders dominated sub-Saharan Africa headlines in 2012. But lost in the midst were a series of positive stories. For every conflict, there was a milestone. For every violence, there was reconciliation. For every setback, progress. Here are the top 5 positive stories out of the continent, as chosen by those who call it home.
The central government may step in to stop a city in Aceh province from prohibiting women from wearing pants and "straddling" motorbikes or bicycles, requiring women to instead ride two-wheel vehicles "sidesaddle." The mayor of the town of Lhokseumawe told the Jakarta Globe earlier this week that the town planned to submit the new rule because "we've seen that people's behaviors and morals are getting far from Aceh's Islamic cultural values."
The Dakar Rally is arguably the world's most dangerous motorsport race, but for one newcomer it cannot compare with what he has already been through. British soldier Tom Neathway will be co-driving in the 16-day event, which traverses the mountainous desert terrain of South America, despite losing both his legs and an arm after standing on a booby trap while serving in Afghanistan in 2008.
POL-Obama-Congress (with art)
If all the recent wrangling over the fiscal cliff has revealed anything, it's how tense and strained President Obama's relationship is with Republicans in Congress.
It was a common refrain during the House and Senate late-night votes to avert the fiscal cliff. Senator after senator, congressman after congressman lamented the fact that the legislation didn't "do more," "go bigger" or that it was "far from perfect." Political watchers believed the fiscal cliff negotiations were the perfect time for President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to hatch a "grand bargain" -- a deal that would have included both large increases in tax revenue and major cuts in government spending. At the time, both men looked better positioned to deliver a bipartisan plan. Boehner seemed to have a firmer hand on his caucus leading up to the talks, and the president was coming off a hard-fought re-election win. Those hopes, however, proved empty.
The year 2013 promises to be an interesting one politically -- with two governors races that will be closely watched, the very real possibility of another special Senate election in Massachusetts, a possible debate in Washington over immigration reform as the political clout of Latinos continues to grow, and a planned push by Democrats for gun control measures. By the numbers, here's a look ahead at politics in 2013.
OK. The budget deficit, the debt ceiling, and tax reform are givens. We know that those battles will continue to be in the political spotlight throughout 2013. But what else will be front and center in the New Year Here are five other things to keep your eyes on.
MONEY-hopelessly-unemployed-workers (with art)
Employers may be hiring, but there's another big problem with the job market that isn't being tracked as closely: the hopelessly unemployed.