The opposition group Syrian National Coalition took considerable heat from inside Syria when it decided to meet with government representatives at the Geneva peace talks. But after several days, coalition members say they're pleased to find their star is rising among Syrians. The talks have also been a kind of trial by fire for the coalition, which says its ability to make its case is improving daily. Syrians also seem fascinated to see government officials caught in face-to-face confrontations with the opposition.
Oil development is significantly straining communities across the Great Plains. In small Sidney, Mont., a steady stream of big rigs pounds the streets as a rapidly increasing population stretches the town's sewer system to its limit. As Dan Boyce reports, the mayor says the town has nowhere near enough money to pay for all of its infrastructure needs.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio moved toward fulfilling a major campaign promise on Thursday: he announced the city will settle a long-running lawsuit against the police department's stop-and-frisk policy. A federal judge last year found that the NYPD violated the civil rights of blacks and Latinos with its aggressive tactics. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration appealed the ruling, but de Blasio won a landslide electoral victory in 2013 partly by promising to reform the stop-and-frisk policy. Now, some New Yorkers are worried about a possible rise in crime.
The world's largest breeding colony of Magellanic penguins is seeing unprecedented deaths among young birds. A scientist who has spent 30 years studying the penguins says that climate change is to blame — triggering, among other things, more heat waves and wetter storms that kill fledglings.
The FAA is poised to decide whether to grant the space company a launch license. If it does, SpaceX could build its first commercial orbital launch facility near the border city of Brownsville. The prospect of living in the world's newest aerospace hub has stirred a buzz among locals.
To understand speech, the brain has to quickly recognize the sounds used to form words. Now researchers have discovered a way to watch how the brain does this. They've found that the process of understanding speech involves highly specialized brain cells, which respond specifically to the dozen sounds produced by the human vocal tract.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict includes a shadow war in which Israel turns to Palestinian informants to gather intelligence. Palestinian Abed Hamed el-Rajoub was imprisoned for fighting against Israel, but while in jail, he secretly gathered information from fellow Palestinian prisoners.
On Wednesday, President Obama directed the Treasury Department to create a new retirement plan called "myRA." The decision, a circumvention of Congress, follows through on one of the promises made by the president in his State of the Union. As Yuki Noguchi reports, the success of the plan may depend on its ability to move beyond the limitations of existing retirement plans.
Among the many issues in contention at the Syrian peace talks is the possibility of humanitarian relief for cities and villages under siege. No place is in greater need of assistance than the city of Homs in western Syria. One of the first regions to rise up against President Bashar al-Assad, Homs is now the site of an ongoing humanitarian aid crisis. Approximately two to three thousand people find themselves trapped in a disputed district and in increasingly desperate circumstances.
After two years of fits and starts, a new farm bill appears on the verge of passing Congress. The House passed the 959-page proposal on Wednesday, with the Senate likely to pass it next week. The compromise cuts $8 billion from food stamps over the next decade and replaces farm subsidies with more extensive crop insurance.
Thousands of students spent the night stranded in Atlanta area high schools as a result of road closures from the Deep South freeze. Audie Cornish speaks with Reed Christian, an English teacher who along with her colleagues looked after more than 250 students through the night.
John Moffitt once played for the Seattle Seahawks, but before this season opened, he was traded to the Denver Broncos. In midseason, as the Broncos were battling their way to the Super Bowl, he quit the team. Moffitt talks about why he walked away and what it's like to watch his two former teams make it to the NFL's biggest game.