Most talked about Christian Science Monitor stories

First day of autumn: Why do we celebrate equinoxes anyway? (+video) — It's that time of year again, the changing of the seasonal guard is upon us. Beginning Monday night - around 10:29 pm EDT, to be precise - the Earth will reach a point in its orbit known as the equinox, where the sun shines directly on the equator, favoring neither the Northern nor Southern Hemisphere.

US, ally nations launch airstrike campaign in Syria — The US and partner nations began launching airstrikes against Islamic State group targets in Syria for the first time Monday night, expanding a military campaign against the militants with a mix of fighter jets, bombers and Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from ships in the region.
Sep 23, 2014

#syriaairstrikes – Military leaders have said about 2/3 of the some 31,000 #IslamicState militants were in #Syria.

Scottish reverbations: Who might push for independence next? (+video) — Britain remains intact after Scotland's independence referendum last week, but indications are the Scots may one day try again. In the meantime, other independence movements have been galvanized worldwide to separate from countries that do not really want to see them go.
Sep 23, 2014

What to do about secession movements? More autonomy wrong, says expert. 'It reinforces a sense of separate identity.'

People's Climate March; Scottish oil and gas; Kenya's energy boom [Recharge] — The People's Climate March drew hundreds of thousands from around the world for what organizers are calling the largest climate march in history; Global energy largely welcomed Scotland's decision to stick with the UK; Big oil finds in Kenya puts it at the center of an East African energy boom.

Will White House become fortress after Omar Gonzalez intrusion? (+video) — The US Secret Service may propose enlarging the security buffer zone around the White House to defend against fence-jumpers entering the Executive Mansion complex. Consideration of such a move comes after Omar Gonzalez, a military veteran who carried a small knife in his pocket, climbed the barrier on Friday night and made it inside the unlocked White House door before agents subdued him.
Sep 22, 2014

A brief history of #WhiteHouse security. (And shouldn't it be a fortress already?) #WhiteHouseFenceJumper

Videos: Kids reminds parents of the joy of dance — Parents have always been keen to document the adorability and genius of their children, but lately a wave of videos of kids performing either spontaneously or with a parent have gone viral. It's a good time for all of us to watch and relearn to express our inner divas and front men.

Hounded by his rival, Indonesia's new president faces test of principles — The reform-minded Jakarta governor Joko Widodo won a decisive victory in this summer's presidential election - but his defeated opponent, a former general under the dictatorial Suharto regime, isn't going quietly. By assembling a majority coalition in the incoming parliament, Prabowo Subianto - once a son-in-law of Suharto - is working steadily to undermine the president-elect.

Why is your face unique? New study offers clues. — Why is each human face unique? It's a question a child might ask. The tempting response for a harried parent is, "Just because." After all, no two products of nature, be they clouds, snowflakes, or fingerprints, are exact duplicates. Mother Nature is no Henry Ford; those variations in shape, color, and texture are just part of the production process.

Why the UN Climate Summit will have a hard time doing anything (+video) — In New York on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators demanded global action on climate change. And on Monday, a new report found that global emissions of greenhouse gases jumped to new heights in 2013, with India alone increasing greenhouse emissions by 5 percent.
Sep 22, 2014

Old problem dogs #climate talks: rift between developed, developing nations over whose prosperity should take a hit.