National News

Abdul-Rahman Kassig, who was formerly known as Peter, is shown with a truck filled with aid supplies for Syrian refugees. The American aid worker was seized by the Islamic State in October 2013 and the group is now threatening to kill him.

For A U.S. Hostage Facing Death, Syria Meant A New Life

I met Abdul-Rahman Kassig in Beirut in the summer of 2012, when the young American was still known as Peter. Yet the Arabic name he would soon choose for himself certainly seemed fitting — Abdul-Rahman alludes to the mercy of God, and Peter wanted so much to ease the suffering he saw in Syria.

Kassig first volunteered in the poor Palestinian camps of Lebanon, which are now also hosting thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled their homeland since war erupted there in 2011. He was deeply moved by what he saw, and he decided to delve further.

Ebola In The United States: What Happened When

When Ebola virus resurfaced in West Africa in December 2013, public health officials were hopeful that it could be contained, as it had been in past outbreaks.

But the virus continues to ravage communities in Africa and has now spread to the United States and Europe. The number of new cases in Africa make it likely that there will be more cases in other countries.

The Texas Road Food Takeover: Smoked, Fried And Tex-Mex

Recently, a friend and I rode bicycles from Brownsville, Texas, to Oklahoma, 738 miles from the Rio Grande to the Red River, just for the hell of it. Naturally, eating was the highlight of the journey. The trip turned into a 13-mph tour of Texas's evolving food geography.

Afghan schoolgirls take lessons outdoors at a refugee camp near Jalalabad.

What Will Malala's Nobel Peace Prize Mean For Girls' Education?

When Malala Yousafzai found out last Friday that she'd won the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi, the 17-year-old Pakistani girl didn't celebrate immediately. Instead she returned to a chemistry class at her high school in Birmingham, England.

It was a fitting reaction by someone who's risked her life for the right to be educated.

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha signs a guest book Friday during his visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, a landmark in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Thailand's Leader Hints At Putting Off Return To Democracy

Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power in a coup nearly five months ago, is hinting that he may need to backtrack on an earlier promise to restore democracy by next year.

In June, little more than a month after the May 22 putsch that overthrew the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Prayuth said elections would be held by late 2015.

In remarks today, however, Thailand's former army chief said the date could be pushed back.

Lena Dunham and Allison Williams star in <em>Girls</em>, one of several popular HBO shows that stand-alone streaming could include.

HBO Without Cable, Coming In 2015

HBO has built a robust and popular online presence over the past couple of years with its app, HBO GO. But to get it — as is the case with many streaming services that offer television over the Internet — you've needed a cable subscription. In other words, HBO GO was an add-on for people who already had HBO, not an alternative way of getting shows for people who didn't.

What Is Really Tearing America Apart

What separates Americans the most?

Race ... religion ... gender ...

According to Shanto Iyengar, a political scientist at Stanford University, often the most divisive aspect of contemporary society is: politics.

Divided We Stand

A view of Machhapuchhre (center) and the Annapurna Himalaya from Gulmi, Nepal.

12 Trekkers Killed In Blizzards, Avalanche In Nepal's Himalayas

At least a dozen trekkers have been killed in unseasonable blizzards and an avalanche in the foothills of Nepal's Himalayan mountain range.

NPR's Julie McCarthy, reporting from New Delhi, says locals and international tourists are among the dead. Rescuers say those killed include four Canadians, two Poles, an Israeli, an Indian and a Nepali.

The Wall Street Journal says:

A New Credential For The Tech Industry

A leader in the small but growing industry of "coder boot camps" announced plans today to develop a new set of credentials aimed at certifying the skills these programs teach.

The boot camps have surged in popularity to meet the demand for tech industry jobs such as software developers. That occupation is among the fastest-growing in the nation, projected to add a total of 220,000 jobs between 2012 and 2022.

Despite that demand — and a median annual salary of $93,000 — companies have struggled to fill those jobs.

Soldier of U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade prior to an air analysis mission near an oil and gas separation plant at the Baba Gurgur oil field outside northern Iraq's town of Kirkuk in May 2003.

Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

The New York Times is reporting that on several occasions, U.S. forces involved in Iraq after the 2003 invasion came across aging stockpiles of chemical weapons and that several service members were injured by their exposure to toxic agents.

The Times reports in an extensive article:

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