Staring at photographs of their freckled faces, hair tucked into barrettes and baseball caps, a country divided by politics, geography, race, class and belief was united in mourning. And as their deaths confronted Americans with vexing questions about guns and violence, there were calls to turn that shared grief into a collective search for answers.
To outfit Afghanistan's security forces with new helicopters, the Pentagon bypassed U.S. companies and turned instead to Moscow for dozens of Russian Mi-17 rotorcraft at a cost of more than $1 billion.
The passing of Nelson Mandela leaves a waning number of global figures representing freedom and resilience against oppression - and a changing world that makes it harder for anyone to approach Mandela's iconic power.
France unexpectedly raised its troop deployment in Central African Republic by hundreds of soldiers on Saturday, as Christians fearing reprisal attacks sought refuge from Muslim former rebels who control the country in wake of massacres in the capital. At least 280 people have been killed in recent days - the worst violence in the lawless country in months.
To a struggling White House, the economy that was supposed to be a political millstone is losing some drag.
A couple married for just three weeks lured a man to his death with a Craigslist ad because they wanted to kill someone together, police said.
A large swath of the U.S. is experiencing frigid temperatures, sleet, snow and ice. Several deaths have been reported, most a result of treacherous driving conditions. More than a thousand flights have been canceled, numerous football and basketball games postponed and holiday celebrations - including tree lightings and parades - curtailed.
The State Department says it is welcoming North Korea's decision to release an elderly American tourist.
Japan's parliament approved a state secrets law that stiffens penalties for leaks by government officials and for journalists who seek such information, overriding criticism that it could be used to cover up government abuses and suppress civil liberties.
A court-appointed guardian is dropping her attempt to force an 11-year-old Amish girl with leukemia to resume chemotherapy after she and her parents fled their home to avoid treatment.
Federal police blocked access Friday to a central Mexico hospital where six people were reported to have been admitted with radiation exposure.
The National Security Agency on Friday said its tracking of cellphones overseas is legally authorized under a sweeping U.S. presidential order.
Leaders and citizens, athletes and artists remembered Nelson Mandela on Friday - though many struggled to find words big enough to describe the man who changed the face of South Africa and inspired a continent and a world.
Russian investigators said Friday that the pilot who sent a Boeing 737 into a near-vertical dive that killed all 50 people on board might have had a fake license.