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) - An Interstate 5 bridge over a river collapsed north of Seattle Thursday evening, dumping two vehicles into the water and sparking a rescue effort by boats and divers as three injured people were pulled from the chilly waterway. Authorities said it appeared nobody was killed in the bridge failure that raised the question about the safety of aging spans and cut off the main route between Seattle and Canada.
LONDON (AP) - A man seen with bloody hands wielding a butcher knife after the killing of a British soldier on the streets of London was described as a convert to Islam who took part in demonstrations with a banned radical group, two Muslim hard-liners said Thursday. Police raided houses in connection with the brazen slaying of the off-duty soldier, identified as Lee Rigby, of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who served in Afghanistan. In addition to the two suspects who were hospitalized after being shot by police, authorities said they had arrested a man and a woman, both 29, on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
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.
NIAMEY, Niger (AP) - Suicide bombers in Niger detonated two car bombs simultaneously, one inside a military camp in the city of Agadez and another in the remote town of Arlit at a French-operated uranium mine, killing 26 people and injuring 30, according to officials in Niger and France. A surviving attacker took a group of soldiers hostage, and authorities were attempting to negotiate their release. The attack in Arlit was claimed by Moktar Belmoktar, the extremist who led the attack on a natural gas plant in Ain Amenas in Algeria in January, according to a communique posted on jihadist forums.
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.
Hurricane center: Beware of the storm surge MIAMI (AP) - During a hurricane, the storm surge poses the greatest threat to life and land, yet many people don't even know what it means. Simply put, storm surge is the abnormal rise of sea water. Predicting it is far more complicated and explaining it is tricky, too, as forecasters at the National Hurricane Center discovered, again, during a review of Superstorm Sandy.
PHOENIX (AP) - Jurors who spent five months determining Jodi Arias' fate couldn't decide whether she should get life in prison or die for murdering her boyfriend, sending prosecutors back to the drawing board to rehash the shocking case of sex, lies and violence to another 12 people. Judge Sherry Stephens gave a heavy sigh as she announced a mistrial in the penalty phase of the case Thursday and scheduled a July 18 retrial.
NEW YORK (AP) - Police say actress Amanda Bynes has been arrested in midtown Manhattan after she heaved a marijuana bong out of a window. It happened at an apartment building on West 47th Street at about 7:40 p.m. Thursday.