Edward Snowden—the NSA leaker now hiding from American drones in Russia—does solemnly swear that he never gave any of his secret files to the Russians, like a lot of bellicose Americans feared. He also has laid out why he leaked in the first place: If he blew the whistle on secret, semi-illegal spying internally, they would have snuffed him before anything ever dribbled out.

A United Nations report does some grim counting: 33 CIA drone strikes around the world that killed civilians—and apparently also broke international law.

The shutdown's over, but not the backstabbing and infighting among defeated Republicans. That was inevitable. After the Tea Party takeover flopped in the biggest and most ineffectual way possible, actually crafty members of the GOP are ready to grab back control of the wheel.

Federal workers have another scourge to confront on the second day of the rest of their professional lives: Hundreds of unread emails. (Pro tip? [1] Select all. [2] Delete. [3] Nap.)

Saudia Arabia, in a fit of pique over the United Nations' handling of Mideast policy, Syria in particular, has refused an invitation to sit on the Mideast-policy-shaping Security Council.

Syria's civil war, incidentally, could be heating up again and spreading to Lebanon. Which will mean coming up with something else to call it.

Iran is playing nice over its nuclear program. Maybe. So the United States might play nice, too. Maybe. By maybe easing up on some of the awful economic sanctions that proved so persuasive in getting the Iranians to the bargaining table.

China's economy is growing big big BIG once again, giving investors one more reason to stop obsessing so much over the American economy.

Egyptians are protesting new rules—requiring protesters to report locations to cops, giving officials permission to clear protests around government buildings—meant to keep them from protesting. These laws sound very familiar, by the way...

The discovery of an ancient skull has upturned popular theories about prehumans, suggesting they were more closely related than some scientists thought.

That gaping hole over on SW 9th downtown—the one that's been there since before Barack Obama was president—might finally get to be the building it was meant to be after all. Construction is reportedly going to resume on the bedeviled Park Avenue West tower.