As Congress rushed to get spending bills passed before lawmakers went home for the holidays, unrelated riders gave gifts to mining and fossil fuel companies. And one of them comes at the expense of the environment and Native Americans.
You may not be surprised to hear that simulated drowning as a torture was first documented during the Middle Ages. But did you know it was once a common technique in US law enforcement in the early 20th century?
The Tasmanian tiger was believed to have gone extinct in the wild back in the 1930s, but it may have been more resilient than we thought. An expedition says its found evidence that the creatures still exist. Plus the Philippines try to pick up the pieces after Typhoon Haiyan devastates the area. Those stories and more in today's Global Scan.
The White House has been picking up the pace of prisoner releases at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba. Still, actually emptying the prison and shutting down the facility will be difficult because Congress prohibits the transfer of Gitmo detainees to US soil.
When Senator John Kerry was named U.S. secretary of state, it opened a vacancy in the Senate. Now, with a special election approaching, campaigning is ramping up. The Republicans, seeing how vulnerable they were among Latinos last November, have chosen a candidate who could be straight out of central casting.