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.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced for the first time Monday she supports marriage rights for same-sex couples, saying that "gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights."
"America is at its best when we champion the freedom and dignity of every human being," Clinton said in a video produced by the Human Rights Campaign.
The U.S. Senate approved John Brennan as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency Thursday after a Republican senator ended his delay of the vote earlier in the day.
Brennan (pictured) was confirmed by a 63-34 vote that crossed party lines. His elevation to the post was widely expected, though he faced vocal opposition from critics like Sen. Rand Paul, who filibustered the vote and demanded more answers from President Barack Obama's administration on when they might use unmanned drones to target Americans suspected of being terrorists.
After days of controversy surrounding the issue, the U.S. House has approved a bill that would send more than $50 billion in aid to states affected by last fall's Superstorm Sandy.
The bill passed 241-180.
Tuesday evening's vote came two weeks after the House approved a smaller, $9.7 billion package paying for flood insurance claims. It also comes following a controversy that arose because the House leadership did not put a Sandy aid package to vote in the final day of the last Congress. That delay came amid fiscal cliff bickering and consternation over dwindling federal funds.
The bill that the House passed Tuesday will now go to the Senate.
It’s a new year, a new Congress, and a new driving ban for U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo.
The Idaho Republican, arrested in December on suspicion of drunken driving in Virginia, pleaded guilty Friday to the charges, which came with a $250 fine and a year-long suspension of his driver's license.
A 180-day jail sentence was suspended on condition of good behavior. His guilty plea came a day after the 113th Congress was sworn in.
Crapo, re-elected in 2010 with 71% of the vote, was arrested at 12:45 a.m. ET on December 23 in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, after a police officer noticed his vehicle running a red light. Alexandria police said Crapo's blood alcohol level was .110 at the time of his arrest.
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