Fast Chat: Close Listener

Chris Matthews tends to show little patience for politicians on TV, but as he writes in his new book, "Life's a Campaign," he's learned a lot from them. One of the big lessons?

How Hillary Won Over the Health-Care Industry

She was persona non grata in the early 1990s, when the then-first lady's dramatic health-care reform package went down. These days Hillary Clinton is winning raves among health-care-industry groups—and attracting their campaign dollars.

Evangelicals and the Vitter Effect

By now, Washington has grown accustomed to its sex scandals. In the capital, obsessed with Iraq and the coming presidential election, the news that Louisiana Republican Sen.

What Really Happened That Night at Duke

They spent a year accused of kidnapping, assault and rape. Now, though, the three Duke lacrosse players were told they were 'innocent.' The inside story of the infamous evening.

Why Can't Mike Huckabee Catch Fire?

Mike Huckabee is in an unusual situation for a politician. He doesn't have to pander to his base. A former Southern Baptist preacher, he starts his 2008 presidential bid well to the right of his party's most serious contenders.

Hillary's Religious Roots

If Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush have anything in common, it is a deeply rooted wariness of outsiders. Both the president and the woman who hopes to succeed him have always relied on a small, closed circle of friends and advisers who have been with them for years.

Return To The Top

Serena Williams proved Friday night what we already knew: That when she's playing her best, no one can touch her. In a breathtaking performance, she stomped on, whipped, flogged—the thesaurus sure is fun in moments like these—the No. 1-ranked Maria Sharapova to win the Australian Open .

The Duke Case: Standing Down

The three Duke lacrosse defendants just got more good news. District Attorney Mike Nifong, who'd once called them hooligans, has asked to be recused from the case, suggesting a special prosecutor be appointed to take over.The pressure on Nifong to step down has been building.

In Scandal's Shadow

Last April, Duke lacrosse star Reade Seligmann huddled with his dad at a Durham, N.C., law firm. A stripper hired to perform at a team party on March 13 claimed several players raped her.

Shattering The Quiet

I was one of the reporters who converged on the peaceful Pennsylvania countryside after the shooting of 10 Amish girls. When there's a tragedy, journalists struggle to report what happened while still respecting the feelings of a grieving family.

Coach Danowski

They'd been favored to win the national championship last year, before they hired two strippers and a scandal was born. After sitting out the end of last season, the Duke Lacrosse team returned this fall to a new coach and 6:30 a.m.

Lara Logan

Lara logan has spent the last five years reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan. Before that, she was in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Kosovo, the West Bank and Gaza, and Burundi during the coup.

Botched

Chuck Schumer got right to the point. On Thursday afternoon, the New York Senator, who's leading the Democrats' efforts to win back the Senate, called John Kerry and let him have it.

Tragedy In Amish Country

In his years as a taxi driver, Bob Potts had driven his "FriendlyTransportation" cab all around his home of Lancaster County, Pa. The Amish weren't among his regular customers.

Outpouring

Since the Oct. 2 shooting of 10 Amish schoolgirls, sympathetic people have responded with an outpouring of donations to help the community in Nickel Mines, Pa., pay hospital bills and for a new school.

Murder on Their Minds

For months Eric Harris had been writing in his journal about murdering all the people who'd ever snubbed him. "Everyone is always making fun of me because of how I look ...

Doubts About Duke

The order had come, signed by a judge, requiring that the Duke lacrosse team give DNA samples. The prosecutor was trying to identify the three players who had allegedly raped an exotic dancer at the house rented by three of the team's co-captains on the night of March 13-14.

A Troubled Spring at Duke

A few--but only a few--facts are clear and uncontested. On the night of March 13, members of the Duke University lacrosse team, at the time ranked second in the nation, crowded into a small house rented by three of their captains to watch two exotic dancers perform.

Politics: Using Sign Language

Though K. T. McFarland is poised to jump into the New York Senate race, she says she's not ready yet to discuss the issues or the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Fast Chat: Thank You, Academy

Long before he was nominated for best director for "Capote," Bennett Miller made another film about an oddball writer with a squeaky voice. Released in 1998, "The Cruise" is a documentary tribute to Timothy (Speed) Levitch, an eccentric Manhattan bus-tour guide who speaks in florid poetry about the city that enthralls him.

Halfway To Heaven

The 5,000-acre tomato field in southwestern Florida sure doesn't look like heaven. Bulldozers scrape the land flat while clusters of Porta Pottis signal an undeniable earthiness.

Cut, Thrust and Christ

When you believe the end of the world is coming, you learn to talk fast. On a Friday afternoon the debate team from Liberty University, Jerry Falwell's fundamentalist Baptist college, is madly rehearsing for the tournament about to begin.

Where's the Wit?

The failure of Ana Marie Cox's first novel, "Dog Days," starts at the bottom, with the heroine's shoes. In the opening scene, Melanie Thorton, a low-level presidential campaign staffer, wears a pair of "strappy" Charles David sandals with a heel "thin and wide, like an upright graham cracker." The shoes, we are told, cost $350, and were a reward she gave herself though they are now causing her pain.If you're trying to knock-off "Sex and the City"--which Cox desperately is, with her single women...

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