Between his trip to Europe last week and his travels to Africa next week, President Obama is doing a lot of gift exchanges with foreign leaders.
In the past, he has gotten mixed reviews. Four years ago, he was panned for giving the queen of England an iPod. Other presents have gone over better. But the president does not personally select these gifts — a staffer does.
Revelations of widespread U.S. spying on foreign Internet communications put a damper on President Obama's first state visit to Berlin. The German chancellor and other officials there say they want to know more about what the National Security Agency is looking at.
Yet the backlash has been more muted than expected. One reason is that the German government is doing similar surveillance.
Medicaid and controversy seem inseparable in many states lately. For the most part, the wrangling is about a new wrinkle in Medicaid — the expansion of the health program for the poor and disabled under Obamacare.
Mississippi, though, is raising the stakes. Democrats and Republicans in the state are in a fight, and the outcome could threaten the very existence of the entire Medicaid program there.
Disgraced former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling — convicted of conspiracy, fraud and insider trading related to the 2001 collapse of the Houston-based energy company — has gotten a decade subtracted from his 24-year sentence.
Skilling, 59, has been in prison since he was convicted and sentenced in 2006. With the sentence reduction on Friday and time off for good behavior, he could go free in 2017.
This spring, readers of The Orange County Register in Southern California started seeing much more coverage of local universities. What they probably did not know is that the stories are paid for by the schools. Depending on whom you ask, it is either a smart way to bring in revenue, or a serious breach of journalism ethics.
Joshua Kyler Hoggan of Roy, Utah, probably wasn't thinking this far ahead when he conspired to blow up his high school last year.
Hoggan, now 18 and a student at Weber State University, has declared his candidacy for mayor of Roy, challenging two-term incumbent Joe Ritchie and City Council member Willard Cragun, according to the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
Roy is a suburban community about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City.
Not even Superstorm Sandy could keep the mermaids from coming back to Brooklyn.
The Mermaid Parade is a nautically themed and occasionally naughty parade that draws close to a million people to Coney Island, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, each June. Sandy nearly drowned the organization that hosts the parade, but supporters donated more than $100,000 to get the parade back on its fins this year.
Anthony Marshall, the 89-year-old heir to the Brooke Astor fortune, is heading to prison in New York after exhausting appeals in his 2009 conviction for defrauding his famous mother.
A judge in Manhattan ordered Marshall to begin serving the one- to three-year prison term on charges that he exploited his philanthropist mother's ailing mental health to loot her millions. She died in 2007 at the age of 105.