Why the new initiative is so controversial among US conservatives.
How the 'outsider' status of Pope Francis and his frugal ways may portend a shake-up for the Catholic Church.
In many countries, women have historically served in combat when demographics demanded it. But the US move is based on equal opportunity for women – and could become a model for others.
The often-slow arc of good news may not make headlines. But 2012 brought its quiet share: from extreme poverty dropping by half since 1990 to a robot with the bulky profile of an NFL player that may have a role in bringing jobs back to the US.