The Brief

Barack Obama,
Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP

Obama Backs Central America

President Barack Obama will request $1 billion from Congress on Monday to aid Central American governments making tough reforms as more youth seek opportunities in the United States, Vice President Joe Biden wrote in an op-ed published Thursday

Senate Votes On Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Keystone Bill Passes Senate

The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would authorize construction of a pipeline linking the Canadian tar sands with Gulf Coast oil refineries

Armed police officers stand outside the Grand Mosque on Jan. 9, 2015 in Paris.

Europe's Gun-Smuggling Problem

Police quickly traced the source in the Paris attacks but stopping criminals and other jihadist cells from acquiring assault weapons might not be so easy

The packaging process at the Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif. on Nov. 21, 2014.

Amazon Just Made a Profit for the First Time in 6 Months

Amazon's fourth-quarter earnings beat analysts' expectations but missed on revenue. The Internet retail giant turned a profit of $214 million, a stark reversal from last quarter. The big number is 53%, or the increase in paid membership, worldwide, for Amazon Prime

Robert Ladd

Texas Executes Man After Court Rejects Impairment Plea

Robert Ladd was convicted of killing a woman nearly two decades ago while on parole for a triple slaying. The court also rejected an appeal that challenged whether the pentobarbital Texas uses in executions is potent enough to not cause unconstitutional pain and suffering

Dalai Lama White House

Dalai Lama, Obama to Make Public Appearance Together

The Tibetan leader is set to participate in the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 5, and the President is expected to attend. Barack Obama has never appeared publicly with the Dalai Lama, who is viewed by the Chinese government as a dissident

Australian Open Tennis

Murray Into Final; Williams, Sharapova to Meet in Australia

Andy Murray has reached the Australian Open final for the fourth time, beating Tomas Berdych in a tension-filled semifinal to earn one more shot at a long elusive title. Murray said the emotional reactions were understandable given the hype leading into the match

Two Men Just Flew a Balloon Across the Pacific

When Troy Bradley and Leonid Tiukhtyaev land in Mexico on Saturday in their large helium balloon Two Eagles, they will have broken at least one and possibly two world records. The duo set out flying across the Pacific from Japan on Sunday

Posing Heroes, "A Dog Day Afternoon" Benefiting A Wish For Animals - Portraits

Suge Knight Involved in Hit-and-Run, Reports Say

Suge Knight, the founder of Death Row Records, was involved in a hit-and-run incident on Thursday in which a man was killed, according to multiple reports. The hip-hop mogul was apparently on a set in Compton, Calif., on Thursday when there was a collision

A Shake Shack restaurant in New York City.

Shake Shack Prices IPO Above Expected Range

The popular burger chain founded in New York City priced its initial public offering at $21 a share late Thursday, the company announced, and it plans to sell 5.75 million shares. Shake Shack's stock will begin trading on NYSE Friday under the symbol "SHAK"