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The Palestinian decision to join the International Criminal Court this month comes at a challenging time for the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal.

The ICC is just over a decade old and has had to back off from some controversial cases, including one in Kenya, where an investigation collapsed into the country's president for election violence. The Hague-based court may have to walk an especially fine line in the Middle East.

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Ex-Miami Dolphins Player Swims To Safety

Jan 9, 2015
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A bitter cold snap has descended on the Middle East; in Lebanon, they call the storm Zeina. And in a muddy cluster of tents and huts close to the city of Saida, refugees from neighboring Syria say she showed no mercy.

"The wind, the wind, God almighty, it was a storm," says one Syrian woman, Gamra al-Khalil. A tree fell on her corrugated-metal shack, crushing half of it, just missing her family.

"It's this year that's the worst," Khalil says. "We're dying of cold."

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AARP Members Tour Cutting Edge Tech Show

Jan 9, 2015
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The Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Canadian oil sands down to the U.S. Gulf Coast, isn't just an infrastructure project. It's also a symbol for the fight over the future of energy.

Producing oil from Alberta's tar sands emits more pollution than traditional oil drilling, so many environmentalists want that crude left in the ground. And more broadly, they want the world to turn away from climate-changing fossil fuels toward cleaner forms of energy, like wind and solar.

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Judge Accepts Nike Trainers As Bond

Jan 8, 2015
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Administering the oath of office to the U.S. Senate sounds like a mundane job. That task falls to the vice president.

But the current occupant of that office, Joe Biden, turns it into an event that's so joyful, and so lacking the partisan rancor that typically dominates American politics, that it's almost hard to believe that you're watching a scene from Washington.

Every two years, a third of the U.S. Senate is elected — and there's a formal oath-taking on the Senate floor. But then, right afterward, each senator takes his or her turn in a ceremonial swearing in.

Boston Time Capsule Reveals Colonial Trove

Jan 7, 2015
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In this country, we now know the contents of a time capsule that is nearly as old as the country itself. Here's Bruce Gellerman of WBUR in Boston.

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The modern Republican Party is rooted in the South. But there's little evidence of that when it comes to congressional leadership.

When the new Congress begins its session, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will lead Senate Republicans. Across the Capitol, though, it's not a Southerner that will wield the gavel. It's Ohio Republican John Boehner, a pragmatist who is ideologically — and geographically — distant from many of the members he will again lead if elected for a third term as speaker of the House.

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