This Congress is going out just the way it began: in complete disarray.
Fourteen months after tea party conservatives ignored Republican leaders and forced a two-week government shutdown, another one came close to happening - this time because liberals were blowing off President Barack Obama's pleas to support a government funding measure.
For weeks, legislative leaders insisted another shutdown wouldn't happen. And it didn't. But the House was just two hours away, and the Senate might not cast its final votes until this weekend.
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Barack Obama may be the President of the United States, but for a few minutes on Monday, he was also Stephen Colbert, outgoing host of "The Colbert Report."
Obama sat down for an interview with Colbert in Washington - his third appearance on the show - and surprised the host by taking over the taping for a segment.
"You've been taking a lot of shots at my job, I've decided to take a shot at yours," Obama said before taking over for Colbert on "The Word," a segment where Colbert (in this case, Obama) says a line or two before a witty word or phrases flashes to the right. "How hard can this be? I am just going to say whatever you were about to say."
From there, Obama launched into a monologue about Obamacare, congressional Republicans and his last two years in office.
From the streets of California to the shopping malls of New York, protesters are making sure no one forgets the case of Eric Garner.
But some are choosing to do so more violently than others.
Demonstrators flooded a highway in Oakland, California, prompting a heated standoff in the freeway between protesters and California Highway Patrol.
Some threw explosives, bottles and rocks at officers, authorities said.
The family of Luke Somers, the American hostage being held in Yemen, have taken to the internet to ask for his release.
"Luke is only a photojournalist, and he is not responsible for any of the actions the U.S. government has taken," says Jordan Somers, Luke's brother.
Luke's mother Paula Somers goes on to ask for mercy, saying Luke "is all that we have."
When violence swallows a city as wholly as it has Kobani, as in so many of Syria's mottled cities, the fight becomes about who wins, rather than what is left for the victor.
Its streets have been so ground down to the bone, that the prize - so small but so intensely fought over - is now unrecognizable.
Every time you open your eyes in Kobani, you see the damage.
There are people still there, but it is hard to gauge how many. Food is scarce, as is fuel for heat. And day and night, indiscriminate, homemade mortars rain down on Kurdish homes - ISIS borrowing a technique, it seems, from the Syrian regime, and using domestic gas canisters and junk metal to kill or maim civilians.
INTERACTIVE: Explore the devastation of this Syrian city
New elections will likely be held on March 17, the speaker of Israel's parliament said Wednesday, a day after the Prime Minister sacked two senior members of his coalition Cabinetfor criticizing government policy.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also called for Parliament to be dissolved, with lawmakers expected to vote on that shortly.
Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein told reporters the party heads were informing their members of the proposed election date and that there would then be an official announcement.
Hong Kong's teenage protest leader Joshua Wong has begun a hunger strike with two members of his youth activist group Scholarism in his latest attempt to secure talks with the government to demand democracy.
"I know it is really harmful to my body, however it is the only way to give pressure to the government to get a meeting with us," Wong told CNN.
"If the government can have a proper meeting with Scholarism to discuss whether political reform will be launched immediately, we will stop the hunger strike."
The U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria has stepped up its attacks on the militant Islamist group's de facto capital, with 30 airstrikes targeting Raqqa overnight, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday.
Separately, another opposition activist group based in Raqqa reported that about 30 airstrikes by "the crusader alliance" targeted areas northwest of the city.
Previously, coalition strikes have primarily targeted Kobani, near the Turkey border. The attacks in Raqqa mark an increase in coalition activity there.
Pope Francis is meeting with Turkey's leaders Friday on the first day of a rare papal visit to the predominantly Muslim country.
During his trip, his first to Turkey as pontiff, Francis will meet the head of the Orthodox Church and voice support for Christians in the region and the many refugees who have fled fighting in Iraq and Syria.
The Pope's first stop was at the Ataturk Mausoleum, tomb of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Turkish republic and its first president, where he laid a wreath.
A suicide attack in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Wednesday killed five people and wounded 33 others, including at least four children, said Hashmat Stanikzai, Kabul's police chief.
An explosive-laden car was detonated as a foreign embassy convoy was passing in the 9th District police zone, said Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi.
The UK Foreign Office said two of those killed worked for the British Embassy.
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