National News

Labs are now churning out large white diamonds that are indistinguishable from those found in nature. The diamond on the left is lab-grown, while the uncut version of the one on the right was created by millions of years of intense pressure.

Lab-Grown Diamonds Come Into Their Own

Around the corner from the famous Diamond District in New York City, David Weinstein sorts through some envelopes on his cluttered desk. All of them are full of diamonds.

"I deal with diamonds all day long, for three decades," says Weinstein, executive director of the International Gemological Institute, a nonprofit research institute. "To me, diamonds aren't anything spectacular. It's hard to get me to say, 'Wow!' "

Poles Return To A Taste Of Their Communist Past: Cheap Milk Bars

Zlota Kurka, or Golden Hen, sits in a central Warsaw neighborhood surrounded by telecom offices and wine bars. Inside, there's a window-sized menu offering Polish-style soups, eggs, dumplings, cabbage and potatoes, all cooked by women in flowered aprons and schoolteacher glasses.

Jakub Szwedowski, a 32-year-old postal worker, is finishing his Sunday dinner at one of the tables, which are decorated with tiny vases of fabric flowers. It's the same Sunday dinner of Russian dumplings and potato pancakes he's had here for the last seven years.

A cricket fan waves the flag of India in 2012. Moviegoers in the country should expect to see much more of it when they catch the latest blockbuster.

Coming Soon To Your Local Cinema In India: Court-Mandated Patriotism

Indian moviegoers are set to get a hefty dose of patriotism with their big-screen previews.

According to an interim order handed down Wednesday by two justices on India's Supreme Court, movie theaters nationwide must play the country's national anthem before each feature film begins. What's more, the audience members must stand in observance, while an Indian flag is depicted on the big screen and the doors of the theater are temporarily closed to prevent distractions.

A coal mining brigade unloads a cart full of coal that has been freshly mined from half-a-mile below the surface of the earth. For some rural Mongolians, risking their lives in crude, makeshift mines is the only way to survive.

Amid Economic Crisis, Mongolians Risk Their Lives For Do-It-Yourself Mining

On a hillside overlooking the steppes of northeastern Mongolia, an entire family shovels jet-black chunks of coal into a truck. Every half-hour or so, they fire up a machine that steadily pulls a steel cable attached to what looks like a roller-coaster car emerging from a hole in the ground. It takes five minutes before it arrives at the surface, full of more coal, extracted by cousins working half-a-mile beneath the earth.

For some rural Mongolians, risking their lives in crude, makeshift mines is the only way to survive.

Mount Paektu, which sits on the border with China, is known in North Korea as the "sacred mountain of revolution" and considered the legendary birthplace of Kim Jong Il and Korean culture.

North Korean Volcano Provides Rare Chance For Scientific Collaboration

In 2011, when North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il died, the state news agency reported that Mount Paektu took on a supernatural glow, and that at its summit, Heaven Lake shook with cracking ice.

Those reports were pretty unscientific. But several years earlier, between 2002 and 2005, Mount Paektu had experienced a swarm of little earthquakes.

The Pentagon building complex is seen from Air Force One on June 29. An Army review concludes that commanders did nothing wrong when they kicked out more than 22,000 soldiers for misconduct after they came back from Iraq or Afghanistan – even though all of those troops had been diagnosed with mental health problems or brain injuries.

Army Says It Fairly Dismissed Soldiers With Mental Health Problems, Brain Injuries

An Army review concludes that commanders did nothing wrong when they kicked out more than 22,000 soldiers for misconduct after they came back from Iraq or Afghanistan – even though all of those troops had been diagnosed with mental health problems or brain injuries.

The Army's report, ordered by Secretary Eric Fanning, seeks to reassure members of Congress that it's treating wounded soldiers fairly. But senators and military specialists say the report troubles them.

Boston's official Christmas tree, a 47-foot white spruce from the Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, arrives at Boston Common on Nov. 18.

Boston's Christmas Tree Tradition Rooted In A Canadian Thank You

Boston's official 2016 Christmas tree, like others that have come before it, is a thank you gift for events a century ago in the Nova Scotia's Canadian province's coastal capital of Halifax.

On Dec. 6, 1917, a French ship, the Mont Blanc, was preparing to head overseas to fight in World War I, when it ran into trouble.

"In Halifax Harbor, the Mont Blanc collides with another ship and catches on fire," says Peter Drummey, librarian at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Hotel employees watch Donald Trump following a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Trump International Hotel Oct. 26, in Washington, D.C.

Trump's Loans From Troubled German Bank Pose Conflict Of Interest

The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., is a stately old building with turrets, arches and a clock tower soaring 300 feet into the air. Inside, the lobby is equally impressive with massive chandeliers, a grand staircase and a glass ceiling 10 floors up.

The 263-room hotel is without doubt luxurious. But it could also represent a massive conflict of interest for President-elect Trump once he takes office.

Under new rules, the Justice Department can ask a federal court for permission to search mobile devices outside the court's district.

Judges Have More Power In Granting Warrants To Hack Digital Devices

Congress had a full seven months to block a rule change for federal courts that lets judges authorize the hacking of digital devices well beyond their districts.

But after a September attempt in the Senate to vote on the measure failed, opponents on Capitol Hill waited until the day before the rule change was to take effect to introduce three motions aimed at shooting it down or at least delaying its implementation.

After six years of conflict and repeated calls by the Obama administration for President Bashar Assad to step down, residents of Damascus, seen here in June 2015, have become more anti-American.

Returning To Damascus, A City Changed By War

When I last visited Damascus in 2008, the historic Old City district was full of Western students learning Arabic. Before bloody conflicts engulfed them, both Damascus and the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, were favorites with foreigners seeking to learn Arabic.

Eight years ago, U.S. student Kara Francis told me that while she did have to field some questions about then-President George W. Bush, she never felt looked down on for being American.

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