As politicians go, California Rep. Xavier Becerra has a relatively low profile considering that he's been in Congress for 18 years. He's the vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, the former head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the first Latino to serve on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
When the Democrats had the House majority, Nancy Pelosi appointed him to the new post of assistant to the speaker. And earlier this month, she chose him to join the supercommittee tasked with finding a way to cut $1 trillion from the federal deficit.
Syrian President Bashar Assad addresses a meeting of his Baath Party in Damascus, Syria, on Wednesday. President Obama called on Assad to step down, though it's not clear who would replace Assad if he quit or was ousted.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks ice to support scientific research in the Arctic Ocean near Barrow, Alaska, in this file photo from July 2006 provided by the Coast Guard. In addition to the medium-class Healy, the U.S. just has two polar-class icebreakers — one of which will be decommissioned soon.
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. George Pellissier stands aboard the Polar Sea, one of two of the Coast Guard's polar-class icebreakers. But the ships — built in the 1970s — have seen better days, and the Polar Sea will soon be scrapped.
Monday marks 15 years since President Clinton signed an overhaul of the nation's welfare system into law. The president said the measure wasn't perfect, but provided a historic opportunity to fix a system that didn't work.
"Today we are ending welfare as we know it," he said in a Rose Garden ceremony on Aug. 22, 1996. "But I hope this day will be remembered not for what it ended, but for what it began."
What it was supposed to begin was a program that would get the poor into the workforce and end their dependence on public aid.
On a balmy August evening in Concord, N.H., the smells of summer float through the air: cooking meat, freshly cut grass and bug spray. A few hundred Ron Paul supporters have gathered under a white tent to hear their candidate speak at the opening of his state campaign headquarters.
They're excited about the Texas congressman's close second-place finish at the Republican presidential straw poll in Ames, Iowa. They're also a little frustrated that it hasn't been getting more attention.
A new study finds that when applying for scientific research grants from the National Institutes of Health, white researchers succeeded 25 percent of the time, while blacks about 15 percent of the time. Above, the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center at the NIH Campus in Bethesda, Md.
If you glance around university corridors or scientific meetings, it's obvious that African-Americans are uncommon in the world of science. A study in Science magazine now finds that the black scientists who do start careers in medical research are at a big disadvantage when it comes to funding.
Unlike in most planetariums, the stars aren't projected in the Kovac Planetarium in Monico, Wisc. Instead, they were hand-painted by Frank Kovac, who designed and built it. Visitors sit beneath the globe and a motor rotates the structure around them.
Deep in the North Woods of Wisconsin, more than 200 miles north of Milwaukee, sits the world's largest handmade planetarium.
It isn't easy to find. A sign points down a dirt road toward Frank Kovac's backyard, where he built the planetarium over a period of 10 years. His lifelong fascination with the stars turned into a project of cosmic proportions.
As a child, Kovac looked at the sky through his father's small telescope.
The Chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party says the country will soon be facing a battle over things that most thought were settled in America. Chuck Herz took the opportunity of Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's visit to the state to attack Romney's lean to the right of the Republican Party and took after other Republican hopefuls as well. Herz says many of the proposals by Republicans concern him.