National News

Lots of swimming in icy seas may have helped bears evolve to eat a high-fat diet yet remain healthy.

If Polar Bears Can Eat A Ton Of Fat And Be Healthy, Why Can't We?

If you were a bear and wanted to make a go of it in the frozen north (think polar bear, of course), what would you need to survive?

White fur would help, to help you sneak up on predators. Also plenty of body fat to stay warm. And you'd need great stamina in order to swim many miles from one ice floe to the next.

And there's another important trait, researchers reported Thursday: Polar bears have genes that help them live on a diet that's overloaded with fat – without suffering the sorts of human diseases that typically come with a diet of that sort.

Tsarnaev's Attorneys Say FBI Questions Violated His Rights

Results of the FBI's questioning of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a hospital last April should not be allowed as evidence, Tsarnaev's attorneys say. They're asking a federal judge to suppress statements he made as he suffered from gunshot wounds.

The agents said they needed to be sure the threat to public safety was over, according to the filing, which says they went too far in an attempt to "extract as much incriminating information as possible, without regard for the protections of the Fifth Amendment."

Peter Lee (left), executive director of Covered California, greets employees at a call center in Fresno, Calif., in February.

HealthCare.Gov Looks Like A Bargain Compared With State Exchanges

Sometimes there really are economies of scale. And the nation's health insurance exchanges may be a case in point.

As rocky as the rollout of HealthCare.gov was, the federal exchange was relatively efficient in signing up enrollees. Each one cost an average of $647 in federal tax dollars, an analysis finds. It cost an average of $1,503 – well over twice as much – to sign up each person in the 15 exchanges run by individual states and Washington, D.C.

Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meets President Clinton at the White House on Dec. 16, 1996. Lewinsky, whose affair with Clinton eventually led to his impeachment, has written an article in <em>Vanity Fair</em> in which she talks about her life after the scandal.

The Interesting Bits From Monica Lewinsky's 'Vanity Fair' Article

The story you thought was long over is back: Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern whose affair with President Clinton eventually led to his impeachment and made her the object of punch lines and scorn, has written an article in Vanity Fair in which she says, "It's time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress."

Lewinsky, who was 21 at the time of the affair, is now 40. She writes that it's "time to stop "tiptoeing around my past — and other people's futures."

The effort to find hundreds of abducted Nigerian schoolgirls has gone international — and so has anger over the mass kidnapping, as evidenced by this protest Thursday in South Africa. Retired Gen. Carter Ham says there's still a chance for the U.S. to help.

Former U.S. General In Africa: 'I Think We Can' Help Find Nigerian Girls

What can the U.S. — or anyone — do to return more than 200 abducted girls to their families in Nigeria? And what might happen if the U.S. engages with another violent group of extremists? Retired Gen. Carter Ham, who until last year led the U.S. African Command, says there's still a chance to help.

Activists hold signs during a rally on Jan. 18, 2013, at New York's City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. Last month, New York City began requiring employers to provide paid sick days, joining the ranks of other cities such as Washington, Seattle and San Francisco.

Advocates Back Paid Sick Leave, But Opponents Won't Cough It Up

If you've ever seen your waiter sneeze, you may have asked for a different server. If you've seen one sneeze repeatedly, you might wonder why he's still at work, serving tainted food.

See, most restaurant workers don't get paid when they stay home sick. But, some go to work anyway, when they've got the sniffles or worse, because they need the paycheck.

For labor advocates, that's a problem.

Brutal Attack On Nigerian Village Kills More Than 125

At least 125 people were killed in an attack on a market in a Nigerian village near the Cameroon border. The violence is suspected to be the work of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, which has also claimed responsibility for abducting more than 250 girls from a school last month.

CNN says that the attack targeted "an area that troops had been using as a base in the search" for the kidnapped girls.

Pro-Russian separatists say they'll hold a referendum on seceding from Ukraine Sunday, despite comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Thursday, a gunman installs a banner reading "Do not forget, do not forgive!" in front of the city hall at the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in the center of Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine's Separatists Will Hold Vote, Despite Putin

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin told separatists in Ukraine they should postpone a referendum on secession, leaders of the group say they'll hold the vote this Sunday, as planned.

The decision was announced by a committee heading the so-called Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine. The group held a news conference Thursday to say they would go ahead with plans to hold the vote on May 11.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., started what she calls power workshops for women in the Senate years ago.

Women On Capitol Hill Reach Across Party Lines To Get Things Done

There's a long-held assumption that women are more likely than men to collaborate. As the number of women in Congress has increased, however, so has the partisanship and gridlock. So does a woman's touch actually help on Capitol Hill?

There's a lot of academic research that supports the idea that women are better at building bipartisan coalitions. Studies have found that women in Congress not only sponsor more bills but also collect more co-sponsors for those bills.

Dr. Jay Chapman, pictured here in 2007, developed the original formula for lethal injections with the intention of making executions in the U.S. more humane.

The Executioner's Lament

In 1977, death row inmate Gary Mark Gilmore chose to be executed by a firing squad. Gilmore was strapped to a chair at the Utah State Prison and five officers shot him.

The media circus that ensued prompted a group of lawmakers in nearby Oklahoma to wonder if there might be a better way to handle executions. They approached Dr. Jay Chapman, the state medical examiner at the time, who proposed using three drugs based loosely on anesthesia procedures at the time: one drug to knock them out, one to relax or paralyze them and a final drug that would stop their hearts.

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