In Washington, D.C., the glittering marble of public buildings and monuments can conceal the darkest of deeds. And in the crime novels of Mike Lawson, they do.
"When I started writing, the very first decision I made was, I wanted the book set in D.C.," says Lawson, who recently published his seventh Washington-based thriller, House Blood. "That was before I had a character, or anything else."
Researchers are studying the ability of beneficial micro-organisms - or probiotics - to treat a range of conditions from eczema to inflammatory bowel disease. And the idea that "good" bacteria are healthy for us is gaining traction.
Syrian activist Karam Nachar is pursuing a doctorate in Middle Eastern history at Princeton. His family is working on several fronts against the Syrian regime. His father, who has been jailed previously, helped form the Syrian National Council, an organization of dissidents.
The Nachar family has long been on the radar of the Syrian government, and since last year, they have become even more visible.
When Syrians first started openly protesting inside the country in the spring of 2011, 29-year-old Syrian Karam Nachar was working on his doctorate in Middle East history at Princeton University. He joined demonstrations outside U.N. headquarters in New York.
There are two big factors that will determine the outcome of the presidential election: the economy and demographics.
The economy is weak and doesn't look likely to improve by much, but the makeup of the electorate on the other hand is highly dynamic. It continues a trend underway for years: a rapid rise in the number of people who are not Anglos in both the population and at the polls.
That percentage actually doubled between 1992 and 2008, says Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University.