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How To Master The Fine Art Of Political Symbolism

Politicians around the country — and around the globe — continue to embrace the most basic symbols as a means of getting their points across more powerfully to voters.

Michigan Man Will Stand Trial For Porch Shooting

The case has put race relations in the spotlight once again. Theodore Wafer of suburban Dearborn Heights has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Renisha McBride. The African-American teen knocked on Wafer's door late one night. He says the shooting was an accident.

The Washington Two-Step: Dancing Back To Normal

Washington took two big steps toward more normal times. First, the Federal Reserve said it will modestly taper down its easy-money program. And then Congress completed the first bipartisan budget agreement in years. But some other obstacles loom.

'Duck Dynasty' Dad Doubles Down; Palin Defends Him

Phil Robertson has been suspended from the popular A&E reality show for saying, among other things, that homosexuality is sinful and comparing gays to "the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers." He says he's reflecting "what the Bible teaches."

Handcuffed Suspect Proposes To Girlfriend, She Says 'Yes'

A man being arrested in Elk City, Okla., for allegedly writing bad checks asked the officer if he could have a moment because he had been about to propose to his girlfriend. The cop said he couldn't remove the man's handcuffs, but did help him out by getting the ring from his coat pocket.

Breach At Target Stores May Affect 40 Million Card Accounts

The retailer acknowledged early Thursday that there was a massive security breach of its customers' credit and debit card accounts. It started the day before Thanksgiving and extended at least to Dec. 15 — the heart of the holiday shopping season.

Chicago TV Anchor Wrestles With Alligator Story

A Miami man captured a small alligator, took it to a store and offered to trade it for a 12-pack. His attempt made news on Chicago TV, where an anchor tried to tell the story. Instead, he started laughing uncontrollably.

Obama Panel: NSA Phone Record Surveillance Should Be Limited

A review group appointed by President Obama has recommended major changes to government surveillance programs. The group effectively called for the end of one of the most controversial programs run by the National Security Agency: the collection and storage of phone records of millions of Americans.

Defense Bill Addresses Sexual Assaults In The Military

The Senate is expected to meet Thursday to resume consideration on a defense bill that includes provisions aiming to more aggressively prosecute sexual assault in the military. Many praise the changes as the most significant to the military justice system in decades. Others say they don't go far enough.

Fed To Dial Back Its Bond-Buying Stimulus Program

Federal Reserve policymakers announced on Wednesday they will begin reducing the amount of stimulus they've been providing the economy each month. The Fed also promised it would keep short-term interest rates near zero even longer than previously expected.