National News

A new study finds that students who attend state-funded pre-K are less likely to need special education programs later on in school.

Pre-K Pays Off By Lowering Special Ed Placements

Attending state-funded prekindergarten substantially reduces the likelihood that students will end up in special education programs later on, according to a new study by researchers at Duke University.

A new study finds that strenuous labor in the sugar cane fields of Central America is contributing to a mysterious form of kidney failure. Above: Workers harvest sugar cane in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua.

New Clues To Mysterious Kidney Disease Afflicting Sugar Cane Workers

Something is destroying the kidneys of farm workers along the Pacific coast of Central America. Over the past two decades, more than 20,000 people in western Nicaragua and El Salvador — mostly men and many of them in their 20s and 30s — have died of a mysterious form of kidney failure. Researchers have been able to say definitively that it's not diabetes or other common causes of kidney failure.

This picture taken on Jan. 27, 2015 shows a seized cat in one of the cages being transported in a truck in Hanoi.

Thousands Of Cats Destined For Vietnamese Tables Are Buried Instead

Vietnamese authorities have buried thousands of cats, many of them apparently still alive, that were destined for restaurant tables. The Associated Press says the felines were culled because they posed an environmental and health risk.

French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala arrives for his trial at the courthouse in Paris on Jan. 28. He goes on trial again today on charges of "defending terrorism," following remarks he made on Facebook after the deadly attack on the satirical weekly <em>Charlie Hebdo</em>.

French Comedian Dieudonne Goes On Trial For 'Defending Terrorism'

Updated at 2:35 p.m.

Controversial French comedian Dieudonne has gone on trial today on charges of "defending terrorism," which stem from comments he made on Facebook after the deadly attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

Charlie Sifford works out at a course in Los Angeles in 1957 after winning $11,500 in the Long Beach Open. Sifford helped break the color barrier in the PGA.

From Caddy To Pro: Golfer Charlie Sifford Dies At 92

He started out in golf as a caddy, earning handfuls of change as a boy. Decades later, Charlie Sifford was named to the World Golf Hall of Fame, after a career marked by talent, character and the drive to change his sport. Sifford, the first black golfer to hold a PGA Tour card, has died at age 92.

The poverty in Afghanistan takes a particular toll on children. These youngsters live in a mud-walled home in Kabul's Nasaji Bagrami camp for internally displaced Afghans. In the most dire of circumstances, a parent might abandon or sell a child.

The Woman Who Sold Her Baby For $435 To Buy Firewood

Last week in the northern Afghan province of Balkh, an impoverished mother chose the only option she felt was left to her, after her drug-addicted husband abandoned her. She had to care by herself for five young children and an elderly father. So she sold her 1-month-old infant for money — the equivalent of about $435 in American currency — to buy kindling wood to keep her four other children from freezing in the harsh winter weather.

Staples Says It's Buying Office Depot For $6.3 Billion

Nearly 20 years after an earlier proposed merger was rejected by U.S. regulators, Staples says it is acquiring Office Depot for $6.3 billion. Combined, the two office supply giants would have annual sales of some $39 billion.

"Staples began discussions to acquire Office Depot in September 2014," the companies said in a news release. "The agreement has been unanimously approved by each company's Board of Directors."

Saif al-Kaseasbeh (dressed in black), father of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh, sits with senior officers of Jordan's military Wednesday at the headquarters of his family's clan in the city of Karak. Kaseasbeh is calling for revenge against ISIS for killing his son.

Jordan Reacts With Rage And Sorrow After ISIS Burns Pilot Alive

Responding to a horrific video that shows one of its pilots being burned alive, Jordan has executed two jihadists, including a prisoner whose freedom had been sought by the self-declared Islamic State militant group. The father of pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh is calling for revenge.

In Jordan, reactions to the pilot's killing have ranged from sorrow to anger. Today, the pilot's father said that ISIS must be eliminated.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler unveiled his plan in a <em>Wired</em> op-ed on Wednesday. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the proposal Feb. 26.

FCC Chairman Wheeler Backs Regulating Internet As Public Utility

Updated Feb. 4, 11:52 a.m. ET: Wheeler Outlines His Proposal In Wired.

Today is the day net neutrality watchers had been waiting for, according to numerous reports. After months of debate, discussion and the culling of nearly 4 million public comments on the matter, the Federal Communications Commission appears poised to decide how it will regulate the Internet.

Juniper Russo walks her dogs with her daughter Vivian (left).

Once A Vaccine Skeptic, This Mom Changed Her Mind

The ongoing measles outbreak linked to Disneyland has led to some harsh comments about parents who don't vaccinate their kids. But Juniper Russo, a writer in Chattanooga, Tenn., says she understands those parents because she used to be one of them.

"I know what it's like to be scared and just want to protect your children, and make the wrong decisions," Russo says.