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In this artist concept provided by NASA, the MAVEN spacecraft approaches Mars on a mission to study its upper atmosphere.

Mission To Study Mars' Climate Enters Red Planet's Orbit

This Sunday night, we headed back to Mars: NASA's MAVEN spacecraft fired its six main engines, slowing down enough so it could be captured by the gravity of the red planet and go into orbit.

MAVEN, which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, is a distinctly un-sexy name for a project as cool as a sojourn to Mars. But whatever it's called, the probe is on a mission that should be of interest to everyone who likes living on Earth.

A Syrian family waits near the Turkish-Syrian border after entering Turkey near the town of Sanliurfa Sunday. An estimated 70,000 Syrian Kurds have fled the extremist group the Islamic State this weekend.

Thousands Of Refugees Flee Syria In Chaotic Scene At Turkey's Border

An estimated 70,000 Syrian refugees have fled the violence brought by extremist group ISIS this weekend, choosing to cross into Turkey carrying whatever belongings they can manage.

The rush of predominantly Kurdish refugees came as fighters loyal to ISIS seized dozens of villages in the area. While a U.N. agency reported about 70,000 refugees this weekend, a Turkish official says 100,000 Syrians have come to Turkey for shelter in the past week.

At a cybersecurity conference in Tel Aviv on Sept. 14, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the 43 Unit 8200 refusniks of "baseless slander" which "should be condemned."

Snowden Reveal Makes Israeli Spies' Protest An American Issue

Last Friday, 43 veteran and reserve members of Israel's secretive spy organization, Unit 8200, claimed they'd been directed to spy on Palestinians for coercion purposes.

The group signed an open letter of protest to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to the head of the Israeli army, accusing the spy agency of targeting innocent Palestinians and collecting data for political purposes, not national security.

Man Caught At White House Is An Army Veteran

Omar J. Gonzales, the 42-year-old man who the Secret Service says ran onto the White House grounds and entered a door Friday night, is an Army veteran who served in Iraq and was reportedly a sniper.

Men and women in their traditional Bavarian clothing enjoy the atmosphere at the Augustiner Beer tent after the Parade of Costumes and Riflemen (Trachten- und Schuetzenzug) in Munich. The 181st Oktoberfest will be open to the public from September 20 through October 5 and traditionally draws millions of visitors from across the globe in the world's largest beer fest.

For Oktoberfest-Goers In Munich, A Parade And A Party

Munich kicked off this year's Oktoberfest Saturday, beginning festivities in which the city expects to host 6 million visitors. Today's events included a parade celebrating Bavarian culture – and of course, the rampant consumption of beer, served in a traditional one-liter Mass mug.

Survivors and relatives of victims carry Kenya's national flags on the anniversary of last year's deadly attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya's capital of Nairobi.

One Year After Kenyan Mall Attack, Few Answers Have Emerged

Kenyans are marking the first anniversary of a deadly attack on an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi that sparked a siege and created new uncertainty over the reach of extremist violence in Africa. The attackers were identified as Islamist militants from Somalia, but few other details about the incident have emerged.

Sisters of the Servants of Mary from Kansas City, Kan., at a rally in 2012. Catholic employers don't want to offer insurance coverage for contraceptives, but Catholic insurance companies have quietly arranged for coverage for years.

Which Catholics Offer Birth Control? Look To The Insurers

The Affordable Care Act requires that most health plans offer birth control to women.

Around the country, Catholic employers have been arguing in court that having anything to do with insurance coverage of contraceptives violates their freedom of religion.

But when the insurance companies themselves are Catholic, contraceptive coverage comes without a hitch.

Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah, left, and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai shake hands after signing a power-sharing pact in Kabul Sunday. The first vote in the election was held in April; a runoff followed in June.

Afghan Presidential Rivals End Dispute — And A Long Election Season

Habemus Praesidentem: there's white smoke in Kabul – figuratively speaking.

And like choosing a pope, selecting Afghanistan's new president has been a long and enigmatic process. Candidate registration began on Sept. 16, 2013. The first round of voting was on April 5. The second round on June 14.

And now, on Sept. 21, Afghan election officials announced that Ashraf Ghani is the country's the next president. He'll succeed President Hamid Karzai, who has ruled since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

Demonstrators gather near Columbus Circle before the start of the People's Climate March in New York Sunday. Organizers are hoping 100,000 people worldwide might participate in the rally.

Large Protests In Hundreds Of Cities Vent Ire Over Climate Change

Streets in New York City and other towns were taken over by marchers Sunday in what organizers called the largest climate change protest in history. The People's Climate March was timed to draw the notice of world leaders gathering for this week's U.N. Climate Summit.

Lodging Like A High-End Health Club

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