From NPR: As members of the House and Senate head to Capitol Hill for the final weeks of this Congress, perhaps they will bring the "Spirit of 2010" with them. Despite partisan bickering, the lame-duck session two years ago got big things done. Then again, those lawmakers weren't being asked to avert a fiscal cliff.
From NPR: When President Obama sets off to Asia this weekend to highlight his so-called pivot to the region, he will make a bit of history: Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar. The country, also known as Burma, was a pariah state for decades, ruled by a ruthless military dictatorship. That is changing, and the Obama administration has encouraged a dramatic reform process in the country. But it may be too early for a victory lap.
From NPR: Members of Congress are asking why the FBI and Justice Department didn't tell them earlier about an investigation into CIA Director David Petraeus. But the legal authority for reporting such sensitive information to lawmakers is murky.
From NPR: Jin Li is a professor at Brown University who compares the learning beliefs of Asian and U.S. children. She says that to understand why these two cultures view struggle so differently, it's good to step back and examine how they think about where academic excellence comes from.
From NPR: Far from the political theater of China's Communist Party Congress in Beijing this week is a cave that the country's next leader once called home. Just 15 at the time, Xi Jinping was sent by his family in Beijing to the remote rural village Liangjiahe in the hills of Shaanxi Province, hundreds of miles away, where for seven years he lived in a cave scooped out of the yellow loess hillsides.
From NPR: With the election over, attention in Washington has turned to the nation's debt and deficit challenges — most immediately the looming fiscal cliff. That's the $600 billion worth of expiring tax breaks and automatic spending cuts set to start taking effect Jan. 1.