In the audience for Obama's State of the Union speech will be several Americans touched by gun violence and a group of undocumented immigrants – human reminders of the president's coming legislative challenges.
Congress seems primed to address immigration reform in 2013, and even a path to citizenship – which critics deride as 'amnesty' for illegals – may be on the table. The shift in the national conversation came suddenly. Here's why.
From storms to politics, the year was a wild ride. What are the most meaningful US stories of 2012? Here's the Monitor's list, in roughly chronological order.