Damascus, rebels trade charges on "chemical attack"
Syria's government and rebels accused each other of launching a deadly chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday in what would, if confirmed, be the first use of such weapons in the two-year-old conflict.
Syria's information minister said rebels had fired a rocket carrying chemical agents that killed 16 people and wounded 86. State television said later the death toll had risen to 25.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict using a network of contacts in Syria, put the number of dead at 26, including 16 soldiers.
Pope sets tone for humbler papacy, calls for defense of the weak
Pope Francis set the tone for a new, humbler papacy on Tuesday with a call for the defense of the weak and the environment, saying this was the way to prevent the triumph of death and destruction.
Addressing up to 200,000 people and many foreign leaders gathered under bright sunshine in St. Peter's Square, the Argentine pope underlined his constant message since he was elected by a secret conclave of cardinals last Wednesday - that the Church's mission was to defend the poor and disadvantaged.
In line with this message, the inaugural Mass on the steps of the giant St. Peter's Basilica was much simpler and an hour shorter than the baroque splendor of his predecessor Benedict's inauguration in 2005.
Wave of Iraq blasts kill 57 decade after invasion
A wave of bombings tore through the Baghdad area Tuesday, killing 57 people on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion and showing how unstable Iraq remains more than a year after the withdrawal of American troops.
Violence has ebbed sharply since the peak of Sunni-Shiite fighting that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006-2007. But insurgents maintain the ability to stage high-profile attacks while sectarian and ethnic rivalries continue to tear at the fabric of national unity.
The symbolism of Tuesday's attacks was strong, coming 10 years to the day that Washington launched the invasion with a "shock and awe" campaign of airstrikes on March 19, 2003 — before dawn the following day in Iraq.
Seven Marines killed in Nev. training exercise
An explosion at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada late Monday killed at least seven Marines and injured several more, the Marine Corps confirmed in a statement.
Officials say it was a Marine Corps training exercise accident, and involved servicemen from the 2nd Marine Division.
Missouri law for employers to exempt birth control coverage struck down
A federal judge has struck down a Missouri law exempting moral objectors from mandatory birth control coverage because it conflicts with an insurance requirement under President Barack Obama's healthcare law.
The ruling by US district judge Audrey Fleissig cites a provision in the US constitution declaring that federal laws take precedence over contradictory state laws. But Fleissig emphasized that she was taking no position on the merits of the Obama administration policy, which requires insurers to cover contraception at no additional cost to women.
Missouri attorney general Chris Koster did not say on Monday whether he would appeal the ruling, which was dated Thursday but not publicized.
Investigators say they identified culprits in Gardner Museum theft, tracked art to Philadelphia decade ago
Federal investigators, in an unprecedented display of confidence that the most infamous art theft in history will soon be solved, said Monday that they know who is behind the Gardner Museum heist 23 years ago and that some of the priceless artwork was offered for sale on Philadelphia’s black market as recently as a decade ago.
In the most extensive account to date of the investigation, Richard DesLauriers, the FBI special agent in charge of the Boston office, would not identify those involved in the heist, saying it would hinder the ongoing investigation. But he said that knowing the identity of the culprits has “been opening other doors” as federal agents continue their search for the missing artwork.
Though officials did not provide details about the thieves, or say how long they have known their identity, the disclosure seemed to confirm a line of inquiry that emerged last spring. That was when the FBI searched the Connecticut home of a Mafia figure with ties to Philadelphia organized crime.
Stingrays Fed by Tourists Showing Distinct Feeding, Behavior Patterns: Study
Tourists feeding stingrays have changed the creatures' feeding habits along with behavior and mating habits, a new study finds. Researchers say the research finding raises questions about the impact of interactive tourism on marine wildlife, reports e!sciencenews.
Stingrays are commonly found in shallow coastal waters in temperate regions, according to the National Geographic. Their toxin can be fatal to humans.
How a healthy heart can keep cancer at bay
Following a heart-healthy lifestyle can also lower the risk of cancer, according to a new U.S. study that looks at how adhering to recommendations by the American Heart Association can do more than just fend off cardiovascular disease.
Dubbed “Life’s Simple 7,” the list of recommendations was introduced by the AHA as part of a public campaign aimed at preventing heart disease.