(Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

WORLD: Radiation levels still fatal near Fukushima

Near the damaged nuclear reactor of Fukushima Dai-ichi, Tepco reported Monday that radiation levels were at a record high, ABC reports. In related, but less sad, more sweet news, at a retirement home in Japan, elderly survivors of the March earthquake and tsunami find comfort in the form of a small white robotic seal named Paro (pictured above).

POLITICS: Gabby Giffords returns to Congress to help pass debt deal

Tears and applause greeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on her return to the House floor, seven months after being shot. See video here.

WORLD: Somalia militants block famine help

The famine in Somalia is beocming increasingly worse. From the New York Times: “The Shabab Islamist insurgent group, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape Shabab territory.”

NATIONAL: Believe in yourself

Worth repeating: