Boy Scouts approve plan to accept openly gay boys GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) - After lengthy and wrenching debate, local leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have voted to open their ranks to openly gay boys for the first time, but heated reactions from the left and right made clear that the BSA's controversies are far from over. The Scouts' longstanding ban on gay adults remains in force, and many liberal Scout leaders - as well as gay-rights groups - plan to continue pressing for an end to that exclusion even though the BSA's top officials aren't ready for that step.
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck on Interstate 5 heading to a camping trip when a bridge before them disappeared in a "big puff of dust." "I hit the brakes and we went off," Sligh told reporters from a hospital, adding he "saw the water approaching ... you hold on as tight as you can."
WASHINGTON (AP) - Forecasting the changing nature of threats against the U.S. for years to come, President Barack Obama says "America is at a crossroads." And so, too, is his presidency's counterterrorism policy, which has long struggled to balance protecting the nation from terror attacks while upholding Americans' rights. The Obama administration this week acknowledged that four Americans have been killed - three of whom were not specifically targeted - in secretive overseas drone strikes against al-Qaida extremists since 2009. And in a wide-ranging speech Thursday, Obama warned that Americans must be vigilant against increasing homegrown threats from within, including from fellow citizens like the surviving suspect in last month's Boston Marathon bombing.
LONDON (AP) - Britain is bracing for clashes with right-wing extremists and possible copycat terror attacks after the brutal slaying of a young soldier. London's Metropolitan Police said more than 1,000 officers will be sent to potential trouble spots with armed response units. Only a fraction of Britain's police officers are armed.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service official who led the unit that targeted tea party groups and publicly disclosed the activity has been replaced, making her the third top IRS official moved aside since the episode was revealed two weeks ago. Lois Lerner was put on administrative leave on Thursday, said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and two congressional aides.
BEIRUT (AP) - The Syrian government has agreed "in principle" to attend a conference proposed by Russia and the United States on ending the Arab country's conflict, Russia's foreign ministry said Friday. It was the first confirmation that President Bashar Assad's government would be willing to take part in the talks with the opposition.
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - The 25,000 people at the soccer stadium and the millions more watching at home waited 90 minutes before the Australian evangelical preacher got to the message he had come to Communist-ruled Vietnam to deliver. "Do you know why I love God?" Nick Vujicic asked a young girl on stage who, like him, was born without arms and legs. "Because heaven is real. And one day when we get to heaven, we are going to have arms and legs. And we are going to run, and we are going play, and we are going to race."
PHOENIX (AP) - As jurors in Jodi Arias' murder trial filed one by one from the courtroom after a dramatic five months of gut-wrenching testimony and gruesome photographs, three women on the panel cried and one looked to the victim's family, mouthing the word, "Sorry." The silent gesture offered a glimpse into what was likely a tense few days inside the deliberations room as the jury finally determined it could not agree on whether to sentence Arias to life in prison or execution for murdering her boyfriend.
SINGAPORE (AP) - Portraying USS Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu in the latest "Star Trek" movie comes with big shoes to fill, but the man who played the part in the TV series and six films has given his blessing to the actor currently playing the role. Even though George Takei - whose portrayal of Sulu made him a science fiction legend - said he had not yet had time to catch recently released "Star Trek Into Darkness" due to his busy schedule, he feels John Cho is the "ideal choice" to carry on Sulu's legacy due to the actor's "charm, intelligence, dash and sharpness."