President Barack Obama recently announced that 10,000 American troops will be pulling out of Afghanistan by year's end, and after years spent overseas, many in the military are thinking ahead to what they can expect when they get home.
A South Sudanese man sings the new national anthem.
Credit Phil Moore / AFP/Getty Images
A handout picture released by the United Nations Mission in Sudan shows South Sudanese children rehearsing their dance routine to be performed at half time during a football match as part of independence day celebrations in Juba on Thursday, two days before South Sudan secedes from the north and becomes the world's newest nation.
Credit Paul Banks / AFP/Getty Images
It is not often the world welcomes a brand new nation into its fold. But that will be the case on Saturday, when South Sudan becomes the United Nations' 193rd member and the African Union's 54th.
Independence comes after a bitter and long-fought conflict against Sudan's north, which left the south marginalized, underdeveloped and facing huge challenges — and the specter of more fighting.
But in Juba, the new capital, South Sudan is preparing to celebrate.
If there's one place that has come to illustrate the perils confronting the hundreds of thousands of migrants crossing Mexico in an attempt to reach the United States, it's San Fernando in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
During Obama's Twitter Town Hall meeting Wednesday, several questions focused on U.S. schools' needs and budgets. Host Michel Martin and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan discuss No Child Left Behind, the plan aimed to improve failing public schools; as well as the Dream Act, which would create a path to citizenship for some undocumented youth.
The final launch of NASA's shuttle Atlantis is this Friday. When that mission ends, so will the shuttle program that produced scientific advances and stunning cosmic photos. To learn about the program's legacy and the future of space exploration, host Michel Martin speaks with Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and host of "NOVA scienceNOW."