[Updated at 10:06 a.m. ET] Could the end of the war in Afghanistan be in sight? A flash of hope flickered at the end of the tunnel Tuesday.
Afghan forces formally took over security responsibilities for their violence-plagued country from NATO-led troops on Tuesday, marking a key transition in the long and costly war.
President Hamid Karzai also announced that a government group dedicated to Afghan peace and reconciliation will go to the Gulf state of Qatar and participate in talks with the Taliban militant group – long the adversary of the Afghan and coalition soldiers trying to keep order in the nation.FULL STORY
A man who paraded his cloaked 16-year-old nephew around a busy Phoenix intersection with a fake rocket-propelled grenade launcher was convicted Monday on endangerment and terrorism hoax charges.
Michael David Turley, 40, posted a video on YouTube showing the teen walking around the streets covered in a sheet and pointing the fake weapon at cars. The video went viral with over 250,000 hits.
In the video, a man says he and an actor are trying to test how police would respond to such a scene at a busy intersection.FULL STORY
The Supreme Court on Monday tossed out a provision in Arizona's voter registration law that required proof of citizenship.
The 7-2 majority said the state's voter-approved Proposition 200 interfered with federal law designed to make voter registration easier.
The state called the provision a "sensible precaution" to prevent voter fraud. Civil rights group countered that it added an unconstitutional and burdensome layer of paperwork for tens of thousands of citizens.FULL STORY
Six teenagers and one of their fathers were found guilty by a Dutch court Monday of the killing of an amateur football linesman last year.
The 50-year-old adult was sentenced to six years in jail, with five of the teenagers given the maximum sentence of two years in youth detention. The other will serve one year.
Richard Nieuwenhuizen, 41, was set upon by his seven attackers after officiating at a youth match between his son's football team, SC Buitenboys and Nieuw Sloten in Almere, near Amsterdam on December 2, 2012.FULL STORY
The man who admitted leaking classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs purportedly went online live on Monday to declare the truth would come out even if he is jailed or killed, and said President Barack Obama did not fulfill his promises and expanded several "abusive" national security initiatives.
According to the Guardian newspaper, Edward Snowden (pictured) answered questions in an online chat about why he revealed details of the National Security Agency's secret surveillance of U.S. citizens.
Snowden said he did so because Obama campaigned for the presidency on a platform of ending abuses. But instead, he said Obama "closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge."FULL STORY
The family of former South African leader Nelson Mandela is overwhelmed with support as the 94-year-old remains hospitalized in serious condition.
"So much love and generosity from South Africans, Africans across the continent, and thousands more from across the world, have come our way to lighten the burden of anxiety; bringing us love, comfort and hope," former first lady Graca Machel said in a statement Monday.
Mandela has been in serious condition since he was rushed to a Pretoria hospital June 8 with a recurring lung infection.FULL STORY
As hundreds of firefighters began to get the upper hand on a huge blaze near Colorado Springs, Colorado, investigators stepped up their probe into the cause of the most destructive wildfire in the state's history.
The 16,000-acre Black Forest Fire was 65% contained Sunday, but part of the burn area has been declared a crime scene, according to El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa. The sheriff said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been called in, along with state authorities.
"It has far expanded beyond just my arson investigator," he said Sunday. "We have brought experts in to give us the greatest possible chance to not only determine the cause, but whether there was criminal intent or not."FULL STORY
Not long after the United States said it will start arming Syrian rebels, Syria's longtime ally Russia fired back by saying the move supports those "who kill their enemies and eat their organs."
The latest dispute sets a riveting backdrop to the Group of Eight summit in Northern Ireland on Monday, where the Syrian civil war will likely top the agenda among eight of the world's most powerful countries.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama will meet one-on-one to discuss the war that has now killed more than 92,000 people - including thousands of children.FULL STORY
Ending Syria's brutal civil war will take on fresh urgency at this week's Group of Eight summit in Northern Ireland, where global leaders are poised to pressure Russia's defiant president over his support for Syria's government.
The conference of eight of the world's most powerful nations comes days after the United States pledged to play a greater role in assisting Syrian rebels. The move was backed by seven of the eight nations represented at this week's conference in Loch Erne, while Russia remains the sole G8 nation supporting al-Assad.FULL STORY
The Russian president is fighting back: no, he did not steal a Super Bowl ring. And no, he's not rocking the diamond-encrusted prize on his finger, either.
President Vladmir Putin's spokesman denied accusations that the president pocketed a Super Bowl ring that belonged to the New England Patriots' owner, Robert Kraft.
"I took out the ring and showed it to (Putin). And he put it on and he goes, 'I can kill someone with this ring,'" Kraft said, according to Bleacher Report. "I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out."FULL STORY
There's now one more Kardashian to keep up with.
On Saturday - according to E!, the network behind her family's hit reality show– Kim Kardashian gave birth to a baby girl. The report did not give a name for the newborn, but did say she came into the world at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
She's the first child for the 32-year-old Kardashian, who has modeled, acted and launched business ventures but is best known as a reality TV star with a huge international following, having amassed some 18 million Twitter followersFULL STORY
Turkish riot police used water cannons and tear gas Saturday to clear protesters camped out in an Istanbul park that has become ground zero in anti-government demonstrations targeting the policies of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
At least 29 people were injured in clashes as police took Taksim Square and adjacent Gezi Park, Istanbul Gov. Huseyin Avni Mutlu said in remarks carried on Turkish television stations.
Police pushed protesters onto side streets, where many - with their faces covered with masks because of tear gas and smoke - refused to leave and appeared to be reorganizing.
The move came shortly after police warned demonstrators who have occupied Istanbul's last remaining green space for more than two weeks to depart voluntarily or face being ejected.
Television cameras zoomed in on his hand Friday as Iran's supreme leader filled out the first ballot in the national election to replace outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei slipped the folded paper into the ballot box and turned to the cameras. His vote officially opened the ballots as he called on the 50 million Iranians eligible to vote to pick one of six candidates in the "epic" election.
"My expectation of our endeared people is for everyone to take part, and I would recommend that they go to ballot boxes as soon as possible and not to delay," he said.
Iranians appeared to heed their leader's call, with voters flocking to the country's 60,000 voting stations. The six candidates also have cast their votes, according to Iran's state-run IRNA news agency.FULL STORY
Claims and counterclaims came thick and fast Friday in response to the White House's declaration hours earlier that it believes the Syrian government has crossed a "red line" in using chemical weapons against rebels.
That conclusion – declared for the first time Thursday - is prompting the United States to increase the "scale and scope" of its support for the opposition, the White House said, although officials stopped short of saying it will put weapons in the hands of rebels.
The U.S. report won backing from the UK government Friday – but Syria and its allies in Moscow quickly sought to cast its integrity into doubt.
The Syrian foreign ministry accused Washington of releasing "a statement full of lies regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria," according to a statement on state TV.FULL STORY
Attorney General Eric Holder called the leaks about U.S. surveillance programs "extremely damaging" and vowed justice for whomever disseminated the information.
Appearing at a U.S.-European Union ministerial meeting Friday in Dublin, Holder was asked by a reporter why the United States hasn't requested the arrest of Edward Snowden, the self-avowed National Security Agency leaker.
Holder didn't mention Snowden's name and said the case remains under investigation. Snowden provided documents to journalists revealing the existence of secret programs to collect records of domestic telephone calls in the United States and the Internet activity of overseas residents.
"The national security of the United States has been damaged as a result those leaks. The safety of the American people and the safety of people who reside in allied nations have been put at risk as a result of these leaks," Holder said. "We are presently in the process of that investigation, and I'm confident the person who is responsible will be held accountable."FULL STORY
The forecast Friday provides little hope for firefighters trying to make headway against a raging wildfire northeast of Colorado Springs.
The high temperatures and blustery winds will be back, along with little chance for meaningful rain. The weather is expected to cool some over the weekend, with calmer winds, but no significant showers.
The Black Forest Fire has been dubbed the most destructive in state history after it scorched close to 16,000 acres, destroyed 379 homes and claimed at least two lives by Thursday evening.
Witnesses spoke to the two victims in the afternoon as the flames approached, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said.
"They said that they could see a glow to the west," he said. "They were packing their personal belongings, trying to get out."FULL STORY
Vladimir Putin's nearly 30-year marriage has ended, the Russian president and his wife told state-run television in a joint interview.
"This was our joint decision. Our marriage is over," Putin told Russia 24, standing next to Lyudmila Putin, in an interview shown Thursday. "We almost don't see each other. We have different lives."FULL STORY
Her family says she was brilliant, caring and had the ability to find beauty in everything.
Anne Bryan was in her first year as a full-time student at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
She was among the six people killed Wednesday when a building collapse spilled rubble into a thrift store.
Roseline Conteh, Borbor Davis, Kimberly Finnegan, Juanita Harmin and Mary Simpson also died, according to Mayor Michael Nutter.
"Anne lived her life with an open heart," her family said in a statement. "She gave herself to her family, friends and anyone in need of help. Her generosity was limitless."FULL STORY