Men with stolen passports on jet 'not terrorists' KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Two men traveling with stolen passports on a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner were Iranians who had bought tickets to Europe and were probably not terrorists, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. The announcement is likely to dampen, at least for now, speculation that the disappearance of the Boeing 777 was linked to terrorism. Police said both men bought their tickets in Thailand and entered Malaysia together.
Ukraine's Crimea seeks to become independent state KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - The Crimean parliament voted Tuesday that the Black Sea peninsula will declare itself an independent state if its residents agree to split off from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum. Crimea's regional legislature on Tuesday adopted a "declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea." The document specified that Crimea will become an independent state if its residents vote on Sunday in favor of joining Russia in the referendum.
Friend: Pistorius shot gun out of car and at cafe PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - A friend of Oscar Pistorius testified in the Olympian's murder trial Tuesday that the athlete twice fired guns for which the double-amputee is charged with firearms violations. Pistorius denies guilt in both events, which took place before he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013.
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Democrats clock all-nighter with climate talk WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic senators clocked an all-nighter, working in shifts into Tuesday morning to warn of the devastation from climate change and the danger of inaction. Addressing a nearly empty chamber and visitor gallery, more than two dozen speakers agreed with each other about the need to act on climate change. Naysayers - Republicans - largely stayed away, arguing hours earlier that regulation would cost Americans jobs in a sluggish economy.
Japan marks 3rd anniversary of tsunami disasters TOKYO (AP) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to boost rebuilding efforts as the country marked the third anniversary Tuesday of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 19,000 people dead, destroyed coastal communities and triggered a nuclear crisis. Japan has struggled to rebuild towns and villages and to clean up radiation from the meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Reconstruction plans are finally taking shape, but shortages of skilled workers and materials are delaying the work.
States wrestle with developing, restricting drones BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (AP) - Law enforcement, government agencies and others are itching to use drones for everything from finding lost hikers to tracking shifting wildfires. But privacy watchdogs are urging state legislatures to step in and head off any potential privacy violations. That tension is on display as more than 35 states consider drone legislation this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The bills include ways to attract an industry that could generate billions and restrictions on drone use and data collection.
Senators rally behind military sexual assault bill WASHINGTON (AP) - Senators rallied behind significant changes in military law to curb rape and sexual assault within the ranks, approving steps to protect the victims and barring the "good soldier defense" to ensure evidence alone determines a defendant's fate. With the women of the Senate leading the fight, lawmakers voted 97-0 Monday for legislation that would force a half-dozen major changes on a military struggling with a pervasive problem that Pentagon leaders concede could cost the services the trust and respect of the public and make it harder to attract men and women to serve in the all-volunteer force.
Checks find flaws in Bangladesh garment factories DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) - Inspections of Bangladesh garment factories under a new safety initiative have found cracked support beams, extra floors apparently built without a permit and exposed electrical cables chewed by rats. Overly heavy structures on roofs, substandard building materials and even an unauthorized helicopter pad were also among the problems revealed in the first round of inspection reports released Tuesday.
Attitudes and laws against pit bulls soften KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - For much of the past three decades, pit bulls have been widely regarded as America's most dangerous dog - the favorite breed of thugs, drug dealers and dog-fighting rings, with a fearsome reputation for unprovoked, sometimes deadly attacks. Hostility toward "pits" grew so intense that some cities began treating them as the canine equivalent of assault rifles and prohibited residents from owning them.
'Fatal Vision' author Joe McGinniss dies at age 71 NEW YORK (AP) - Joe McGinniss wasn't one to let a story tell itself. Whether insisting on the guilt of a murder suspect after seemingly befriending him or moving next door to Sarah Palin's house for a most unauthorized biography, McGinniss was unique in his determination to get the most inside information, in how publicly he burned bridges with his subjects and how memorably he placed himself in the narrative.