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Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, with her short moussed hair and armloads of religious tattoos, is a bit of a Lutheran rock star at the moment (although the term makes her cringe). Her new book — a memoir on faith and her religious experience — recently made The New York Times bestseller list.

From gun control and immigration overhaul to changes to taxes and entitlements, 2013 seemed like a year when big things could accomplished in Congress. Whatever the cause of the logjam, big-ticket items that once seemed possible at the beginning of the year fell by the wayside.

It's easy to get discouraged by a constant stream of bad news about unemployment, crime, war and political dysfunction. You might think we humans can't do anything right. But good news: We can. Here are a few areas of real progress in the U.S. and around the world.

Historically, companies often viewed buildings as simply a cost, one architect consultant says. Now they're beginning to think about them as an asset — something that can be used to drive creativity and performance and attract and retain talent.

The Air Force says retiring the Cold War-era A-10 could help it balance its budget and focus on developing more versatile aircraft. But the military encounters resistance whenever it tries to mothball any weapon, and the case of the plane known as the Warthog is no exception.

Since the start of its financial crisis, Greece has been exporting some of its most highly trained professionals. Thanos Ntoumanis is just one of thousands of medical professionals who have left their struggling homeland for jobs in Western Europe.

The iconic photo taken on Christmas Eve 1968 "came about by accident," says space writer and historian Andrew Chaikin. A new NASA animation shows just how close the astronauts came to missing the shot.

Most of the wealthy Gulf emirates prefer to keep a low profile. Not Qatar. Over the past two decades, it has aggressively pursued high-profile projects such as launching the Al Jazeera satellite network and winning a bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

States screen newborns for rare genetic disorders, but increasingly those disorders don't have simple cures, if they have any cure at all. Sometimes the diagnosis isn't clear cut, either. That leaves some parents not knowing the fate of their child.

The creation of America's central bank includes a bunch of bankers locked in a private library and a secret trip to a place called Jekyll Island.

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