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It's been a year of influence, resilience and determination for the tea party. But not all of its actions were successful, and it faces political battles in year ahead — not just with Democrats, but also with the GOP.

Ryan Begin, an injured veteran, says marijuana helped his pain and PTSD in ways that prescription drugs did not. Those drugs "drained his soul," he says. But pot brought on new complications for the Iraq vet because while six states allow the use of marijuana for PTSD, the federal government does not.

More than 85 percent of the people who live in Qatar are not citizens. Most are foreign workers who can face harsh conditions that are coming under increasing scrutiny as the emirate undergoes a building boom in advance of the 2022 World Cup.

The Hospital de Bonecas in downtown Lisbon has been fixing dolls since the early 19th century. At a time of unemployment and rising poverty, repairing an old doll offers a frugal alternative to new toys for Christmas.

A new law lets adopted people in Ohio see their original birth certificates — but opponents say it comes at a cost to the birth parents. Guest host Celeste Headlee takes on the topic with law professor Carol Sanger, birth mother Jodi Hodges, and advocates Adam Pertman and Betsie Norris.

Since the recent arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, US-Indian relations have been strained. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of South Asian-Americans Leading Together and Sandip Roy, Culture Editor for the Indian news site FirstPost.com.

Another deadline for the Affordable Care Act has been pushed back. Guest Host Celeste Headlee speaks to Kaiser Health News reporter Mary Agnes Carey and Washington Post reporter Sarah Kliff and what the decision means and how the healthcare rollout is going across the country.

Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, with her short moussed hair and armloads of religious tattoos, is a bit of a Lutheran rock star at the moment (although the term makes her cringe). Her new book — a memoir on faith and her religious experience — recently made The New York Times bestseller list.

From gun control and immigration overhaul to changes to taxes and entitlements, 2013 seemed like a year when big things could accomplished in Congress. Whatever the cause of the logjam, big-ticket items that once seemed possible at the beginning of the year fell by the wayside.

It's easy to get discouraged by a constant stream of bad news about unemployment, crime, war and political dysfunction. You might think we humans can't do anything right. But good news: We can. Here are a few areas of real progress in the U.S. and around the world.

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