The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
December 31, 2012 Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop the sharp tax increases and spending cuts. The Senate may vote on the deal Monday night, but there will be no vote in the House until Tuesday at the earliest.
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Chief Justice John Roberts speaks in Farmington, Pa., in June.
December 31, 2012 The leader of the judicial branch of government uses his end-of-year report on the state of federal courts to highlight efforts to trim government costs, and to note: "For each citizen's tax dollar, only two-tenths of one penny go toward funding the entire third branch of government!"
Revelers count down to 2013 near the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, where thousands gathered for the city's first public countdown to the New Year.
December 31, 2012 It is New Year's Eve. And that means people will: go to parties and drink Champagne; ignore the hubbub and go to bed by 10; start cooking for New Year's Day; watch college football — or some combination of the above. For many people, the center of attention tonight will be New York's Times Square, where the famed ball will drop.
December 31, 2012 Some economists predict that the reconstruction from the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy will produce a stimulus effect for the U.S. economy in 2013 — especially in construction and related industries. Others say the losses associated with a storm will outweigh any positive effects from the rebuilding.
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December 31, 2012 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains hospitalized for treatment and observation of a blood clot, and she's expected to be in New York-Presbyterian Hospital at least another day or so. The State Department said it was connected to a concussion she suffered earlier this month. NPR's Joe Palca talks with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish with the latest on her condition.
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December 31, 2012 Communities hit by Hurricane Sandy are waiting for more help from Washington. There's been no agreement on how much air they can expect, but people in the storm zone are concerned that repairs and rebuilding will be delayed, leaving them vulnerable to future storms.
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December 31, 2012 The New Year's celebration in Times Square in New York is well known, but it actually takes a year of planning. As the event nears, preparations are intense, and it's not just the infamous ball; there are balloons to blow up, confetti to fluff and there's even a place for people to write their wishes on pieces of confetti that will be dropped from seven buildings in the area. With half a billion Chinese watching, and millions in Latin America, it's a worldwide celebration.
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A happy-looking 1930s couple toasts.
Fox Photos/Getty Images
December 31, 2012 Some early Europeans toasted to profess their love to young women, while others lifted their arms to honor their kings. Toasting, which dates back to ancient times, is a ritual shrouded in urban legends. But one historian says some of the tall tales are actually true.
December 31, 2012 Diana Vreeland had a troubled childhood; her mother often told her she was ugly. But she later became editor-in-chief of American Vogue and one of the country's most revered fashion icons. Her life is captured in the new biography, Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland. Host Michel Martin talks with author Amanda Mackenzie Stuart.
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December 31, 2012 The countdown is on to a new year — and the fiscal changes that are on the other side of midnight. But what else is on the cards economically for 2013, both here and overseas? Guest host Celeste Headlee puts the question to the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy.
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December 31, 2012 Michigan's Lake Superior State University collects nominees for words or phrases that should be outlawed for "misuse, overuse and general uselessness." This year's No. 1 suggestion is all about the cliffhanger.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Dec. 4 in Brussels, before she fell ill.
Kevin Lamarque/AFP/Getty Images
December 31, 2012 The clot is located in a vein that's in the space between her brain and skull. A statement by Clinton's physicians released by the State Department said the clot did not result in a stroke or neurological damage. The statement added that the doctors were "confident she will make a full recovery."
December 31, 2012 Clay's Corner Store used to lower a live possum in a box but People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued. This year, the store plans to drop a stuffed animal, or roadkill — depending on what's available.
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December 31, 2012 It turns out parents are increasingly naming newborns after grandparents. That's one new trend, according to the baby website, Belly Ballot. It is also predicting first names that sound like last names: think Kennedy.
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The U.S. Capitol. Will lawmakers avoid the "fiscal cliff" or go over?
Larry Downing /Reuters /Landov
December 31, 2012 Talks continue on a deal to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases. But with just hours to go before they kick in, an agreement remained elusive.
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