Curiosity Sniffing the Ground on Hunt for Martian Organic Material

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_d5335e713f.jpgJPL-Caltech/MSSS/NASA (NEW YORK) -- Curiosity had its head in the clouds for the past couple of months, so to speak. Its first scientific reports focused on what was left of Mars' atmosphere, including the lack of any methane there. But Curiosity's research team is now turning its focus back on the ground, narrowing its search toward where exactly to find organic material that may have supported life on the red planet.

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Kerry to Return to Middle East this Week; Will Also Visit Philippines

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_e581138f5d.jpgUS Department of State (WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will return to Jerusalem and Ramallah this week to try to rescue Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. “In Jerusalem, Secretary Kerry will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss a range of issues including Iran and the ongoing final status negotiations with the Palestinians,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.

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Protests in Ukraine Show Struggle over Joining the West

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_399794038f.jpgGENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- American celebrities including George Clooney and Hayden Panettiere are sending their support to the protesting people of the Ukraine as protesters fill the streets in a challenge to the Russian-leaning government. In demonstrations that have lasted weeks in Ukraine's capital of Kiev, protesters are demanding the country become more open to the West and the European Union after a deal that would have brought closer ties to the West was abruptly shelved.

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US Will Help Deploy African Troops to Central African Republic

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_e910b314b0.jpgiStock/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- At France’s request, the U.S. will send two military planes to help deploy African peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic. Two C17s will move troops from nearby Burundi to the CAR’s capital of Bangui, where hundreds have reportedly been killed by Muslim and Christian militias over several days.

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North Korea Purges Kim Jung Un’s Uncle for ‘Depraved Lifestyle’

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_9106ca4ef6.jpgJUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images (BEIJING) -- North Korea confirmed a major shakeup Monday in top leadership with its purge of Kim Jong Un’s uncle, who was accused of drug abuse, improper relations with women and living a “capitalist lifestyle.” The news comes just as the reclusive country’s neighbor, South Korea, announced on Sunday an expansion of its own Air Defense Identification Zone. Seoul’s new ADIZ now overlaps with airspace claimed by both Japan and China.

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