When the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il died two years ago, his son Kim Jong Un rose to power. The world knew practically nothing about the young and untested leader. In fact, nobody knew exactly how young he was until his birth date was revealed by a man who goes by the pseudonym Kenji Fujimoto, Kim Jong Il's former sushi chef and longtime confidante.
The Saturday morning fog was burning off above the part of Santa Monica's beach known as the Inkwell. It's the stretch of sand to which black Southern Californians were relegated by de facto segregation until the 1960s.
Men, women and children walked across the sand in wet suits, carrying surfboards. They're part of the Black Surfers Collective, which aims to get more people of color involved in surfing.
They had gathered to honor pioneer Nick Gabaldon, a legendary surfer who is remembered as the area's first documented board man of African-American and Mexican heritage.
In the three years since his arrest, Bradley Manning, the slight Army private first class with close-cropped blond hair and thick military glasses, has become less of a character than a cause.
"Bradley Manning is a very polarizing figure. People either think that he is a hero or they think he's a traitor," says Elizabeth Goitein, who co-directs the liberty and national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "I actually think that he's somewhere in between."
Shrinking government budgets are changing not only how people live, but also how some municipalities deal with death. In Detroit, funding is so tight that when a homeless person dies, it can take a year or more to receive even a simple pauper's burial.
I met T.C. Latham several years ago, panhandling in downtown Detroit. He was short with a scraggly beard, bent glasses missing one lens and, for the most part, on the good side of the police.