The seemingly unbroken run of news this year about earthquakes, floods and wildfires will prompt lots of discussion about how and where houses get built, in hopes of making them safer.
But chances are that few regulatory changes will actually occur.
Rewriting the codes that regulate building practices is a long, drawn-out process that encounters push-back every step of the way from home builders and other property-rights advocates, because of their concern about the impact on the cost of construction.
Ever since President Reagan's 1982 State of the Union, part of the story of presidential addresses to Congress has been who gets invited to sit with the first lady in the gallery.
Reagan's A-list guest was Lenny Skutnik, who two weeks earlier was among the heroes who helped pull people from the icy waters of the Potomac River after an Air Florida jet crashed shortly following takeoff from National Airport (now known as Reagan National Airport).
In West Virginia, an Appalachian mountain is being transformed into a vast Boy Scout camp. It's more than 10,000 acres and will cost the Boy Scouts of America more than $400 million to build The Summit Bechtel Reserve, also known simply as the Summit.
The year-round high-adventure camp will soon be the permanent home of the National Scout Jamboree — the next one is in 2013 — and the camp will host the 2019 World Jamboree. The Boy Scouts announced on Thursday that they received $85 million in new gifts to help the effort.
President Obama on Thursday will outline for Congress his new jobs-creation plan amid the grimmest employment picture in decades, with private sector hiring at a virtual standstill and state and local governments cutting jobs by the thousands to plug budget shortfalls.
A federal appeals court in Virginia has dismissed two lawsuits that had claimed President Obama's health care overhaul was unconstitutional.
The unanimous decision was issued Thursday by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It is the second appellate court ruling affirming the government's right to require individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. A federal appeals court in Cincinnati also upheld the law, but an appeals court in Atlanta struck down the insurance mandate.
August was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in the nearly 10-year-old war in Afghanistan. Sixty-six U.S. service members were killed, including 30 Americans who were shot down in a Chinook transport helicopter by the Taliban on August 6.