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The latest budget deal from Washington includes provisions that would make new federal workers contribute more toward their retirement. And changing the rules for public pensions has been happening for a while at the state and local level.

John Podesta, the newly named counselor to the president, is a second-term crisis management specialist who many Democrats hope will help the recently unsteady Obama White House get its act together.

In the first Senate session since Democrats detonated the "nuclear option" and eliminated the minority's ability to filibuster most nominations, Republicans fought back by dragging debate out as long as possible, keeping the Senate in session for over 48 straight hours.

Ka'nard Allen, 11, has been caught in New Orleans crossfire — twice. He survived, but his extraordinary story made him a symbol of the toll of violence in American cities. But what happens after the bullets stop flying? How does a child get up after being gunned down?

As a therapist, Nelba Márquez-Greene has spent a career counseling mentally ill and troubled young people. But she'll never understand what drove a young man to take the life of her 6-year-old daughter and 25 others. A year later, she is trying to prevent violence and promote healing.

Ann Cavoukian, privacy commissioner for Ontario, Canada, says the tech industry has the power to make products that protect users' personal information. The trick, she says, is to think about privacy while creating a new app or service, not after.

Equality for all South Africans, regardless of race or color, was at the core of the struggle against apartheid. Nineteen years after Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the first black president in the country's first democratic elections, what is the status of race relations?

Twitter on Thursday changed its blocking policy, then changed it back. Users were outraged that the initial switch allowed stalkers and abusers open access to their posts. Some say the incident shows that Twitter isn't listening to women and cyberbullying victims on the site.

One year after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., the issue of gun violence continues to resonate around the country. In some communities, like the Castlemont neighborhood in Oakland, Calif., some young people try to cope with the threat of daily violence by simply trying to tune it out.

The House adjourned for the holidays Thursday night after passing a two-year budget agreement. But despite pressure from President Obama and congressional Democrats, the deal did not include an extension of the long-term unemployment benefit program that aids 1.3 million Americans.

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