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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says contractors and diplomats will be sent to Eastern Syria to help stabilize the country. They will be protected by American troops already there. Mattis says that besides rebuilding, the increased American presence will make sure diplomatic efforts continue for the future of Syria. Both Russia and Syria have said U.S. forces should leave.

It was a messy year in Congress. Despite control of the House and Senate — and a president willing to sign legislation — Congressional Republicans spent much of the year fighting amongst themselves. But at both the start and the finish of the year, they scored some important wins.

In January, Sesame Workshop will start creating programs for Syrian kids who've had to flee their homeland. The goal is to help them deal with the "toxic stress" of refugee life.

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Devin Leonard about President Trump's tweet saying the U.S. Postal Service should charge more to deliver Amazon packages. Leonard wrote a book about the U.S. Post Office called Neither Snow nor Rain.

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Stephen Kurkjian, former investigative reporter for The Boston Globe, and author of the book Master Thieves, about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist in 1990. The museum still hopes to get the artwork back and set a deadline on New Year's Eve for a $10 million reward on leads for the 13 missing paintings, that include works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Degas.

People who work for the minimum wage in 18 states are getting a raise on Jan. 1. From Alaska to Maine, increases range from 4 cents to a dollar.

President Trump has given relatively few interviews to networks other than Fox News since taking office. But CBN, founded by the televangelist Pat Robertson, is an exception.

From virtuoso players and visionary composers to charismatic bandleaders and golden-eared producers, explore the musical voices who left us this year.

Some of President Trump's most ambitious immigration policies have been blocked by the courts, or stymied by Congress. Here are five immigration stories to watch in 2018.

As battery technology improves and cities get denser, some West Coast companies are targeting millennial and Gen X consumers by producing cheaper and greener mopeds, scooters and e-bikes.




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