General's court-martial is thrown into jeopardy FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - The sexual assault case against an Army general was thrown into jeopardy Monday when the judge said the military may have improperly pressed ahead with a trial to send a message about its determination to curb rape and other widespread misconduct. Judge Col. James Pohl refused to dismiss the charges against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair but offered the defense another chance to plea-bargain the case down with a different set of military officials.
New Senate bill to combat military sexual assaults WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate headed toward an overwhelming vote Monday in favor of big changes in the military justice system to deal with sexual assault, including scrapping the nearly century-old practice of using a "good soldier defense" to raise doubts that a crime has been committed. A bipartisan plan crafted by three female senators - Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Republicans Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Deb Fischer of Nebraska - would impose a half-dozen changes as Congress tries to combat the pervasive problem of rape and sexual offenses that Pentagon leaders have likened to a cancer within the ranks.
Crimean Tatars fear return of Russian rule SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) - The arrival of Russian troops in Crimea has opened old wounds among the Crimean Tatars, who were deported during World War II. Fearing that once again they will be unwelcome in their homeland, some are organizing community-watch patrols to protect their families and homes in a place they strongly feel should remain part of Ukraine. Tensions have grown with preparations to hold a referendum on Sunday on whether Crimea should stay in Ukraine or join Russia.
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How can jet disappear? In the ocean, it's not hard KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - In an age when people assume that any bit of information is just a click away, the thought that a jetliner could simply disappear over the ocean for more than two days is staggering. But Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is hardly the first reminder of how big the seas are, and of how agonizing it can be to try to find something lost in them. It took two years to find the main wreckage of an Air France jet that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009. Closer to the area between Malaysia and Vietnam where Saturday's flight vanished, it took a week for debris from an Indonesian jet to be spotted in 2007. Today, the mostly intact fuselage still sits on the bottom of the ocean.
In China, brutality yields confessions of graft LILING, China (AP) - The local Chinese official remembers the panic he felt in Room 109. He had refused to confess to bribery he says he didn't commit, and his Communist Party interrogators were forcing his legs apart. Zhou Wangyan heard his left thigh bone snap, with a loud "ka-cha." The sound nearly drowned out his howls of pain.
Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - Hunched over, vomiting into a bucket by his feet and retching loudly, Oscar Pistorius was vividly reminded at his murder trial Monday of the gruesome injuries he inflicted on his girlfriend when a pathologist described how the Olympian fatally shot her multiple times with bullets designed to cause maximum damage. The testimony by Prof. Gert Saayman, who performed the autopsy on Reeva Steenkamp's body, was so graphic that it was not broadcast or reported live on social media by journalists under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa.
Senate Democrats aim ire at rich, obscure brothers WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic Senate candidates, facing withering criticism on the national health care law, are gambling they can turn voters against two billionaire brothers funding the attacks - even if few Americans would recognize the pair on the street. In an accelerating counteroffensive stretching from the Senate chamber to Alaska, Democrats are denouncing Charles and David Koch, the key figures behind millions of dollars in conservative TV ads hammering Democratic candidates and their ties to President Barack Obama.
US network to scan workers with secret clearances WASHINGTON (AP) - Stung by internal security lapses, U.S. intelligence officials plan to use a sweeping electronic system to continually monitor workers with secret clearances, current and former officials told The Associated Press. The system is intended to identify rogue agents, corrupt officials and leakers and draws on a Defense Department model under development for more than a decade, according to officials and documents reviewed by the AP.
Newtown gunman's dad opens up in magazine article NEW YORK (AP) - In his most extensive comments about the 2012 Connecticut school massacre, the father of gunman Adam Lanza describes his struggle to comprehend what his son did - an act that "couldn't get any more evil" - and how he now wishes that his son had never been born. Peter Lanza also told The New Yorker magazine in a series of interviews last fall that he believes Adam would have killed him, too, if he had the chance. And he often contemplates what he could have done differently in his relationship with Adam, although he believes the killings couldn't have been predicted.
Elephants prove discerning listeners of us humans WASHINGTON (AP) - Dr. Seuss had it right: Horton really does hear a Who. Wild elephants can distinguish between human languages, and they can tell whether a voice comes from a man, woman or boy, a new study says. That's what researchers found when they played recordings of people for elephants in Kenya. Scientists say this is an advanced thinking skill that other animals haven't shown. It lets elephants figure out who is a threat and who isn't.