The Brief


Obama Vows to Defend Japan

The President has said for the first time he would defend Japan if disputed islands claimed by both Japan and China come under attack

South Korean Ferry

Ferry Disaster: Litany of Errors

Prosecutors have raided the offices and home of the Sewol's reclusive owner, seeking answers to a tragedy that has so far claimed 171 lives

Three Americans Killed in Kabul Hospital Attack

Three American doctors were killed by an Afghan policeman at the Cure International Hospital on Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul has confirmed. The suspected shooter, newly assigned to guard the hospital, was wounded and is being held and treated

Rancher Cliven Bundy poses at his home in Bunkerville, Nevada, April 11, 2014.

Nevada's Ranch Rebellion Takes a Racist Turn

Cliven Bundy became an overnight icon for his refusal to pay the government to graze his cattle herd on public land, but that stance lauded by some conservative media is becoming overshadowed by his recent pro-slavery comments

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the journalists after a nationally televised question-and-answer session on April 17, 2014 in Moscow.

Putin Calls the Internet a 'CIA Project'

Russian President Vladimir Putin calls for his country to protect and "fight for its interests" on the Internet just days after telling former NSA contractor Edward Snowen that Russia doesn't intercept its citizens' data

Phil Bryant, governor of Mississippi, attends the Wal-Mart Manufacturing Summit in Orlando, Fla., on Aug. 22, 2013.

Advocates, Critics React To Mississippi Abortion Bill

The bill signed this week by Gov. Phil Bryant that bans abortions after the midpoint of a pregnancy, and which makes no exception to cases of rape or incest, has quickly provoked adverse reactions from the pro-choice and pro-life communities

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, on Jan. 12, 2014.

Israel Halts Peace Talks After Palestinian Deal

Israel has called for an end to sputtering peace talks with Palestinians on Thursday, one day after rival factions Fatah and Hamas announced a unity deal, potentially bringing an end to the nine-month U.S.-backed effort

A Google logo is seen at the garage where the company was founded on Google's 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California

Tech Giants Fund Encryption After Heartbleed Bug

Google, Amazon, Microsoft and at least nine other companies plan to contribute $100,000 or more per year over the next three years to the Core Infrastructure Initiative in the wake of the Heartbleed bug that targeted the free encryption protocol OpenSSL

Daryl Cura demonstrates an e-cigarette at Vape store in Chicago, April 23, 2014.

FDA Proposes Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed rules that include requiring the markers of e-cigarettes and other tobacco-related products to register their ingredients in the next two years, marking a first step toward national regulation

A pro-Russia activist hangs a flag of the so-called "People's Republic of Donetsk" on the regional administration building seized by separatists as armed men in military fatigues guard the premises in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 21, 2014.

U.S.: Further Sanctions on Russia Are Possible

Tension between the U.S. and Russia continues to escalate as President Obama says new sanctions could be days away and Moscow claims the U.S. is fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, where state buildings in several towns have been seized by pro-Russian separatists

Venture capitalist Tom Wheeler in announced to head the Federal Communication Commission at the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, May 1, 2013.

Open-Internet Advocates Cry Foul on Planned Rules

Internet service providers could strike special deals with Internet companies like Netflix or Skype for preferential treatment, under proposals by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, violating the ideal of equal access for all consumers