It's a cross between Secret Santa and Make-a-Wish. For more than 20 years, ordinary Brazilians have read letters addressed to Santa that end up at their local post office and helped fulfill those wishes. The Father Christmas Project helps about half a million kids, some of whom ask for basic things like food and beds.
Upwardly mobile consumers in China and Korea also are buying lots of fur, and "not necessarily your grandmother's old mink coat," says an observer. U.S. and Canadian trappers are flush; animal welfare advocates are concerned.
Young professionals "co-living" in San Francisco-area mansions say they're doing more than cutting costs and promoting sustainability — they're building communities, and tech-powered social networking makes it easier.
Sarah Ramirez left a high-prestige career to bring California's bounty of unsellable fruit to food banks in the state's Central Valley. Her grassroots organization is trying to address a regional conundrum: While many area farms end up with imperfect fruit that can't be sold to supermarkets, local farmworkers struggle to afford fresh produce.
Hispanics and Asian-Americans say getting relief from deportations is more important for many of the 11 million immigrants here illegally than creating a pathway to U.S. citizenship. That's according to a Pew Research Center survey released Thursday.
Reliance on the death penalty continues to decline with 39 people executed this year, only the second time in 19 years that fewer than 40 people were put to death, a private group reported Thursday.
Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson is off the hit A&E reality series indefinitely after disparaging gays as sinners akin to adulterers and swindlers, the network said. A&E announced Wednesday what it called a "hiatus" for Robertson, 67, after he disparaged gays in the January edition of GQ magazine.
The same kind of technology that recommends movies on Netflix or purchases on Amazon is now helping students choose college courses. A new program developed on a campus in Tennessee uses predictive analytics to suggest classes and is seen as a way to make higher education more efficient.
Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee are pressing for the release of a so-called torture report on Bush-era interrogation practices. But there are several hurdles to clear before portions of the report might become declassified.
In the past five years, the Fed has created $3 trillion out of thin air. In that context, today's news is vanishingly small.
Michael Steinberg, the highest-ranking employee at the hedge fund to be convicted in an insider trading sweep, was found guilty on five counts of conspiracy and securities fraud.
Sophie Varon loves to shop. The store Forever 21 is her weakness. And lately, she's been wondering if her shopping habit has become a shopping problem.
When a Kenyan women was diagnosed with HIV, she thought it meant the end of her marriage and her hopes to have children. But with the help of HIV therapy, Benta Odeny not only protects her husband from the virus, but she also has a healthy, HIV-negative daughter.
The deal, with much less drama than past spending votes, is OK'd by a simple majority nearly a week after the House approved the measure.
The DNA from a 50,000-year-old Neanderthal bone found in a cave in Siberia is more evidence that genetic mixing took place among Neanderthals and other hominid groups. One researcher hopes to use such evidence to help compile a catalog of the genetic changes that make modern humans unique.
In a year that featured divisive fights over the budget, health care and presidential nominations, 65 members of the U.S. Senate took a break from partisan bickering Tuesday night to participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange.
A panel appointed by President Obama to review U.S. surveillance activities has recommended that the NSA not be allowed to store Americans' phone records.
Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., says it's a key moment for the international community to "change the calculus" in the Central Africa Republic and prevent further atrocities. The U.S. has authorized up to $100 million to support African Union forces and other material aid.
What books that touch on topics of race would you recommend to a not-so-bookish teen? A reader asks us to share our suggestions.
President Obama is staying home from next year's Winter Games, sending openly gay athletes instead to scold Russia for its anti-gay policies. This isn't the first time politics has intruded on the Olympics. Although the games are intended to be an apolitical athletic gathering, they have frequently provided a platform for protest.