Marine Corps Capt. Jeff Cliffe, sat to reflect Sunday next to the grave of his grandfather and grandmother at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Credit Lexey Swall / Getty Images
At Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday, President Obama expressed the nation's gratitude to its veterans.
"Whenever America has come under attack, you've risen to her defense," he said. "Whenever our freedoms have come under assault, you've responded with resolve. Time and again, at home and abroad, you and your families have sacrificed to protect that powerful promise that all of us hold so dear –- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
A second term means some new Cabinet appointments for President Obama, including at the Treasury. After four pretty grueling years, Secretary Timothy Geithner has made it clear he will be leaving Washington.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said last week that Geithner would be staying on through the inauguration. He's also expected to be a "key participant" in "fiscal cliff" negotiations.
In 1979, when Jim Stigler was still a graduate student at the University of Michigan, he went to Japan to research teaching methods and found himself sitting in the back row of a crowded fourth-grade math class.
US troops from the 1-91 Cavalry patrol in Baraki Barak district in Logar Province, south of Kabul. Insurgents carry out frequent attacks in the area. The U.S. is trying to improve the capabilities of Afghan forces so they will be able to take control when U.S. troops leave.
As NATO prepares to withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan in 2014, Afghan forces are increasingly taking the lead against the Taliban and other insurgents. But the results are mixed.
In parts of Logar Province, just south of Kabul, Afghan troops are successfully leading security operations. In other parts of the same province, where insurgents are more active, U.S. troops are still taking the lead.
A "return on investment" is a concept better known to Wall Street than to Washington. But after President Obama and the Democrats won most of the close elections last week there are questions about the seven- and eight-figure "investments" made by dozens of conservative donors.
During the election season, it was pretty common to hear about donors making "investments" in superPACs and other outside groups, rather than a "political contribution," perhaps because the phrase has a sort of taint to it.
In Spain, new austerity measures mean higher sales tax on everything from beer and wine to clothing and movie tickets. But in Bescanó, a small town in the country's northeast, the local theater director has come up with a rather creative way to get around a new 21 percent tax on tickets for plays at his theater –- by selling carrots instead.
Among the difficult decisions facing President Obama is whether to give the go-ahead for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would bring oil from Canada down to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
Environmentalists want it blocked. They are concerned about endangering the Nebraska sand hills, under which is the largest aquifer in the country. It provides drinking water and irrigation water for several states.
Daily Show host Jon Stewart recently called writer Jon Ronson an investigative satirist. As Ronson himself puts it: "I go off and I have unfolding adventures with people in shadowy places. I guess I tell funny stories about serious things."
Ronson has collected many of these stories in his new book, Lost at Sea. He talks to Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about the characters and places he has encountered along the way.