Big changes in 2011 — from the Arab Spring to the death of North Korea's dictator — create opportunities for 2012. But change can be scary, even when the regimes to be replaced are unpopular or repressive, because there's never a guarantee the new regime will be better.
The next sounds you hear will be Iowa Republicans rendering their judgment for 2012. The road to the magic number of 1,145 — delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination — begins Tuesday. The caucuses, all 1,774 of them, start at 7 pm Central time (8 Eastern), and results may start to trickle in within the hour.
The new measure signed into law by President Obama imposes sanctions on financial institutions that deal with Iran's central bank. That's in addition to existing international sanctions. Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, tells Steve Inskeep that the new sanctions could put tremendous pressure on Iran's economy.
College football bowl games began last month but the big games are being played in the new year. There were six games played Monday including the Rose Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl. Michigan and Virginia Tech meet Tuesday night in the Sugar Bowl.
An Iraq war veteran who is suspected of killing a park ranger has been found dead in a snowy stream at Washington's Mount Rainier National Park. The park had been closed since Sunday while authorities searched for Benjamin Barnes.
The voting in the Iowa GOP caucuses begins Tuesday night. On the last day before the caucuses, Republican presidential candidates campaigned across the state Monday. Their goal was the same — motivating supporters to leave their homes on a cold evening, go to their precinct meeting places and vote.