updated 9:24 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014


Historic thaw in U.S., Cuba standoff
Secret talks and freed American pave way for historic announcement from Obama, Castro
Democrats use nuclear option

As they make a final push to approve presidential nominations before Republicans take control of the Senate, Democrats said Tuesday the confirmation of a record number of federal judges was evidence they were right to make controversial changes to filibuster rules, despite objections from Republicans.

Goodbye, Congress: Moses, fish and 'awful' staff

Several congressional giants, who are retiring or were voted out of office, quietly said their public goodbyes during the first half of December.