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An exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington has sparked debate over federal funding for the arts. The exhibit, called Hide/Seek, features artists and cultural figures who were gay, or believed to be gay. A video in the exhibit was removed after it prompted complaints, but the debate didn't end there.

A handful of the diplomatic cables released by the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks this week focused on Yemen. Intelligence officials worry that the leaked dispatches could end up helping al-Qaida's arm in Yemen with its recruitment efforts. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP, has criticized the Yemeni government, saying it is corrupt and insufficiently Islamic, and the cables, at least on a cursory level, could be seen as bearing that out.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on 2010-12-01 on an older version of

You wouldn't expect a landfill to be a place where you could turn something (with a high yuck factor) into a thing of beauty. But decorative tile maker Paul Burns saw an opportunity. He's taking discarded porcelain toilets and using them to make tile.

A 2,000-year-old building at the ancient site of Pompeii collapsed in rubble several weeks ago, only months after a piece of Rome's Colosseum fell to the ground and the roof of the home of Emperor Nero crumbled.

The collapses made world headlines and triggered criticism of sharp budget cuts and charges of neglect of Italy's vast archaeological heritage.

Sean Lennon recently sat down with his mother, Yoko Ono -- not to talk about John Lennon or The Beatles, but to talk about her life.

"I was born from my mother, who is a Yasuda, and my father, who is an Ono," Ono says.

Education is like gold — more precious than any other possession.

That's according to an 11-year-old girl named Bilqis Ehsan. She lives in Kandahar, Afghanistan. She speaks nearly fluent English. And she wants to be a doctor.

Education "shines your life," she says.

Bilqis and other girls and young women are taking classes in English and computer technology at the Afghan-Canadian Community Center in Kandahar. But it's not just for the joy of learning. They want careers.

North Korea's attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong comes during a difficult period for the isolated regime in Pyongyang.

It is going through a process of political succession, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il seeking to ensure that his son Kim Jong Un is the country's next leader. At the same time, North Korea is facing new food shortages. In the past, weakness and uncertainty have sparked provocations like the Nov. 23 attack.

A Pre-Emptive Strike?

Sixty million Americans say they plan to shop this holiday weekend.

Black Friday is the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, but lots of retailers began promoting their Black Friday specials weeks ago -- hoping to get an early jump on sales.

And many stores will actually be open on Thanksgiving Day.

Consumers are expected to spend a bit more than last year. But they're doggedly looking for good deals, which are often found online.

I've almost made peace with the fact that we aren't hauling our kids down to my parents in Florida for Thanksgiving.

Actually, it's my sister Cecily I feel bad about. She's the one I don't keep in touch with enough. She's 39, and -- deep breath -- "developmentally disabled and legally blind." Those jargon-y words give only the barest outline of her experience of navigating the world. And my family's experience, too.