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The State Department's point person on human rights says his office is in a "cat and mouse" game with authoritarian governments that are trying to restrict free speech on the Internet.

Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and other luxury retailers were hit hard during the recession but made money in the first quarter of 2011. Contrast that with the chains owned by Gap Inc, which were down by 10 percent.

In the 1970s, the BBC's Upstairs Downstairs became one of the most popular British television series to date. The show took a leisurely look at a Britain in which class distinctions were firmly embedded and everybody knew their place. Now, Upstairs Downstairs is back with an only slightly updated take.

Afghan culture places a high value on marriage and family life — but also favors big, expensive weddings that most young people can't afford. The Afghan government says that leads to frustration and instability. But so far, its efforts to remedy the problem are going nowhere.

Michael Dickinson

The ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan may undermine support for nuclear power in the U.S. But it could accelerate the natural gas boom already under way in the Marcellus basin — a 400-million-year-old shale formation stretching from New York to Kentucky.

Hundreds of veterans are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with disabilities that make it hard or impossible to get a job. Many are eligible for disability benefits — but with a wait time of months or years, the veterans risk serious financial trouble.

Even though millions of Americans are looking for work, many employers say it's too hard to find good help. So, many companies and organizations are encouraging employees to be on the lookout for talent and are offering cash bonuses for referrals that lead to a hire.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is in Iraq Thursday on what could be his last visit to the country as the head of the U.S. military. One issue still facing the secretary is whether American troops will remain in Iraq after this year.

Japan was rocked Thursday by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake just off its coast. Technically, that strong shaking was an aftershock of the devastating 9.0 temblor that hit the nation nearly a month ago. But it wasn't a shocker. Volkan Sevilgen with the U.S. Geological Survey explains the science of aftershocks.