Global warming is pushing species like the polar bear to the brink of extinction. It's not a typical conservation problem, so one government biologist discovered the best way he could help save the great white bears was to quit his job.
Thirty-four firefighters died in the line of duty this year. The unusually high number is sparking a larger conversation about the dangers firefighters face as more homes are built in and around drought-stricken forests.
As the vice president enters his sixth year as President Obama's second-in-command, there comes the natural question: What's next? A long-time senator, Biden has run for president before, and is making some moves that suggest he may do so one last time.
Beyond drastically curtailing a safety-net for jobless workers, allowing the benefits to expire sets up a major political fight for the coming new year.