The United States Senate might actually get around to debating an insanely popular and sensible (if also watered down) proposal for gun purchase background checks. The deal allowing debate was struck, in part, by West Virginia's gun-loving Democratic senator, Joe Manchin. And the mere whiff of compromise is enough to spark thumbsucker stories about the dawn of a new political age.

Back at home, a Portland man who probably maybe was a conspiracy theorist, cops say, was arrested on suspicion of harassment after he allegedly called up and threatened victims' families in last year's Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting massacre.

A new front has opened in 1982's Falklands conflict: Maggie Thatcher's funeral.

Egypt has its own pope! And Egypt's pope doesn't like Egypt's Islamist president very much, complaining the president callously let a mob swoop down on the country's central cathedral—another sign the place has descended into madness.

Egypt also has bigger problems. A new report says its army doctors were ordered not to use anesthesia or properly clean wounds when operating on protesters injured during clashes with government forces.

North Korea has a missile in an erect, upright position, maybe ready for launch whenever. The Group of 8—made up of the world's richest nations—castigated the country for it, but everyone else is trying to play it off like Fonzi: cool.

Same-sex marriage is now the law in Uruguay. It's still not the law in the United States. Or even Oregon.

A man who power-sawed his arms off in a Los Angeles-area Home Depot was saved after medics and horrified shoppers foraged through bloody aisles for ropes and rags they quickly pressed into service as tourniquets.

A neatly dressed hermit who camped in rural Maine for 27 years—surviving by stealing food from cottages, and becoming a figure of local lore—was finally caught and arrested by a frustrated, long-obsessed game warden.

Thanks! Someone left a severed goat's head outside Chicago's Wrigley Field. Because the Chicago Cubs are cursed. It's a good idea. But if you really wanna help, next time drop off some of Mark Grace's old liquor bottles. Or Sammy Sosa. Just Sammy Sosa. Naked.