Pictures of Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims are displayed as Senate Judiciary Committee chairperson Dianne Feinstein speaks during a hearing on "The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013" at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, on February 27, 2013.
As you probably know, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on Big Sugary Drinks Over 16 Ounces was supposed to go into effect this week. But a judge invalidated the ban on Monday, a move applauded by restaurant owners, theater owners, and anyone who likes nothing more on a hot summer day than a refreshing bathtub full of ice-cold Coca-Cola.
Convicted murderer Gary Haugen has spent more than 30 years in prison; he's been on death row since 2007. And if he had his way, he would schedule his execution tomorrow. But in an unusual case, the Oregon Supreme Court must decide whether Haugen, who has waived his right to appeal, can die — or if Gov. John Kitzhaber's reprieve of Haugen should stand.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a meeting in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, on Thursday. Netanyahu has reached agreement with other factions to form a coalition government following an election in January.
Kevyn Orr, "a high-powered Washington, D.C., lawyer and University of Michigan graduate who worked on Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy restructuring," has been given the job of straightening out the city of Detroit's desperate financial mess, the Detroit Free Press writes.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who earlier this month declared that the city is in a financial emergency, tapped Orr with the job Thursday.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 3:24 pm
As the sun rose over Latin America this morning, we're getting a clearer picture of how Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio — now Pope Francis — was viewed in his home of Argentina and what the first pope from the New World could mean for the continent.
We've read through dozens of news outlets from the region to bring you highlights:
Villagers gather dead pigs in Jiaxing, in eastern China's Zhejiang province, on Wednesday. The number of dead pigs found in Shanghai's main river had doubled in two days to more than 6,000, the government said.
More than a week has passed since thousands of dead pigs were first discovered floating in a river in Shanghai, but authorities have yet to explain fully where the pigs came from or why they died.
Fourteen of the pigs had tags in their ears identifying them as coming from Jiaxing city, in neighboring Zhejiang province. Getting to the bottom of the pig story, though, is tough. A visit to Zhulin village, where most everyone raises pigs, was greeted by serial denials.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 4:34 pm
U.S. drivers are much more likely than Europeans to drive while distracted, federal health officials report Thursday.
Nearly 69 percent of Americans who drive say that they talked on their cell phones while driving at least once in the previous month, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That's a lot higher than what was reported by Europeans in another survey. Only 21 percent of British drivers reported chatting on their cell phones while behind the wheel, for example. In Germany and France it was about 40 percent.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 1:09 pm
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio's ascendency to Pope Francis has suddenly placed his Jesuit order in the spotlight.
Francis' papacy is the first for a member of the Society of Jesus, which was founded in 1540 by the Spaniard St. Ignatius of Loyola and has grown to become the single-largest Catholic order, playing a central and occasionally controversial role within the church.
Today, some 20,000 Jesuits, about three-quarters of them priests, work in more than 100 countries and are best known for the schools and institutions of higher learning they administer.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 2:47 pm
Monarch butterflies that once covered 50 square acres of forest during their summer layover in central Mexico now occupy fewer than 3 acres, according to the latest census.
The numbers of the orange-and-black butterflies have crashed in the two decades since scientists began making a rough count of them, according to Mexico's National Commission of Natural Protected Areas.
At a news conference Wednesday, the commission said the count was down 59 percent from December 2011 levels, when the insects filled 7.14 acres of fir trees in central Mexico.