National News

Dudley Pratt (left) talks to reporter Jenny Gold at a gas station in Fenner, Calif. He's frustrated by all the paperwork related to his health insurance these days.

Gripes About Health Costs Punctuate A Cross-Country Trip

Recently, I moved from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco. I drove the Southern route and decided to conduct an informal survey.

I asked folks I met along the way a question relevant to the health care reporting I've been doing for the past five years: What bugs you most about your medical care?

President Obama delivers the commencement address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on May 28. The president has employed U.S. military force much more sparingly in his second term than his first.

Obama's First-Term Military Moves Give Way To Second-Term Caution

President Obama's first term was marked by the regular and dramatic use of military force: he ramped up troop levels in Afghanistan, increased drone strikes in several countries, bombed Libya and ordered the raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden.

In his second term, he has used force much more sparingly and his recent foreign policy address at West Point came under considerable criticism for emphasizing what he considers the limits of U.S. military power.

So why such a change?

Wigs play an especially important role in the drama <em>Casa Valentina</em>. The play features Reed Birney (standing) as Charlotte, one of several male characters who spend their weekends dressing and living as women.

While Broadway Sings Its Praise, The Wigmaker Remains Unsung

Every time you see a Broadway show, chances are a lot of the actors are wearing wigs.

Sunday night at the 68th Annual Tony Awards, Broadway's highest honors will be presented in a ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. Awards will go to actors, actresses, set and lighting designers, but not the people who make the wigs the stars wear, even though the wigs are an essential part of theater craft.

Essential, and yet often invisible, says Jason P. Hayes, the wig designer for Harvey Fierstein's Tony-nominated play, Casa Valentina.

Big Moments Get Less Weighty: Whatever Happened To Stiff Paper?

It's no big deal. It shouldn't matter. I just realized that something that's been around forever, that I grew up with, took for granted and used all the time, is slowly vanishing. Now that it's going, I suddenly care and want it back again, back in my hands so I can feel its touch.

I'm talking about, of all things, "card stock," a phrase I didn't know until today. It's a kind of paper that used to be everywhere ...

It was my bus ticket, somewhat rigid, that the bus driver would punch and then hand back, so I could use it again for the return trip.

Tonalist (left) with Joel Rosario up edges out Commissioner with Javier Castellano up to win the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race. Triple Crown favorite California Chrome tied for fourth place with Wicked Strong.

California Chrome Loses To Tonalist In Belmont, Misses Triple Crown

A Cinderella story came to a stunning end on Saturday, when California Chrome missed the chance to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978.

California Chrome tied for fourth place with Wicked Strong, falling in behind Tonalist in first, followed by Commissioner and Medal Count at the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Tonalist ran the mile and a half track in 2:28.52.

"As soon as he came out of the gate, I could tell he wasn't the same," said Chrome jockey Victor Espinoza said.

Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in <em>Downton Abbey, </em>which has helped fuel a growing demand for butlers around the world.

'Downton Abbey' Craze Serves Up A Demand For Butlers

Butlers in American pop culture tend to provide comic relief — think The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or The Birdcage. Or, like Batman's Alfred, the butler is more of a friend than an employee.

But one show has brought back the classic butler, with a vengeance. Since the British period drama Downton Abbey made its debut on PBS in 2010, the demand for butlers in some parts of the world has surged.

Mormon missionaries pray before the start of their Mandarin Chinese class at the Missionary Training Center, in Provo, Utah.

Lessons From The Language Boot Camp For Mormon Missionaries

On a sunny Wednesday in Provo, Utah, a long line of cars spits out about 300 new arrivals to the Missionary Training Center. The facility, known as MTC, is the largest language training school for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Every year, about 36,000 students come to the center before they leave on missions around the world to spread the Mormon faith.

Prisoner Swap One Of Several Tough Moments For Obama In Recent Weeks

The addiction of games — from casinos to smartphones — is not just about the thrill of winning.

Stuck In The Machine Zone: Your Sweet Tooth For 'Candy Crush'

If you have a smartphone — or if you've ever used the Internet — you've probably heard of Candy Crush Saga. It's a mobile game in which you line up pieces of colorful candy in rows to score points. The game is simple, but addictive.

Very addictive.

According to the game's maker, King Digital Entertainment, Candy Crush has more than 93 million users who play more than 1 billion times a day in total.

Candy Crush has people hooked.

U.S., Iran Will Meet For Another Round Of Nuclear Talks

U.S. diplomats will meet with their Iranian counterparts on Monday and Tuesday in Geneva to try to seal a deal over Iran's nuclear program.

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