Many US college campuses are becoming tobacco-free as US schools institute total bans, indoors and out, on cigarettes and related products. Some smokers say the bans infringe on their choices.
The widely-watched Kids Count annual survey on the state of America's children shows gains in health and education despite the poor economy. But advocates say raised poverty rates merit more attention from lawmakers.
The end of the fiscal year is typically a flash point for partisan battles, but not with a 'fiscal cliff' looming after November elections. Even GOP conservatives are accepting higher spending levels, rather than risk a government shutdown.
President Obama is defying political gravity – pulling ahead of Mitt Romney, even as pessimism about the economy grows. The question is, how long can he keep it up?