Senator: CIA improperly searched computer network WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee accused the CIA Tuesday of criminal activity in improperly searching a computer network set up for lawmakers investigating allegations that the agency used torture in terror investigations during the Bush administration. Democrat Dianne Feinstein, in an extraordinary speech on the Senate floor, publicly aired an intense but formerly quiet dispute between Congress and the spy agency. She said the matter has been referred to the Justice Department for further investigation.
Malaysian military says missing jet changed course KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - The Malaysian military has radar data showing the missing Boeing 777 jetliner changed course and made it to the Malacca Strait, hundreds of kilometers (miles) from the last position recorded by civilian authorities, according to a senior military official. The development injects more mystery into the investigation of the disappearance of Saturday's flight, and raises questions about why the aircraft was not transmitting signals detectable by civilian radar.
Crimea's parliament pushes for independence KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Crimea's Parliament said Tuesday that if the public votes to become part of Russia, the peninsula will declare itself independent and propose becoming a Russian state. That could offer a way of de-escalating the standoff between Russia and the West. The vote in Crimea's Parliament about Sunday's referendum could give Moscow the option of saying there is no need for Crimea to become part of Russia while keeping it firmly within its sphere of influence.
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General's defense to try for plea deal in sex case FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - A military judge on Tuesday dismissed the jury in the midst of an Army general's court martial on sexual assault charges to give prosecutors and defense lawyers time to hammer out a plea deal in the closely watched case. Judge Col. James Pohl made the highly unusual move after new evidence indicated that political concerns may have improperly influenced military officials' rejection of a previous plea offer by made by Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair.
Health care law gets 1st test in Florida election PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) - President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is getting its first test ahead of the 2014 midterm elections Tuesday in a Tampa-area House district where Democrats and Republicans have spent millions of dollars trying out national strategies for the rest of the year. The candidates are Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly, and their contest to succeed the late GOP Rep. Bill Young is considered a tossup, although Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby could affect the outcome by siphoning votes away from both candidates. The perception of what the race means has inspired both parties to call in star advocates like President Bill Clinton and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, in addition to blanketing the district with ads, calls and mailings. More than $11 million has been spent on the race, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit group that tracks government information. More than one in four registered voters in the district is older than 65, a population that could account for more than half of those casting ballots.
50 years later, New York murder still fascinates NEW YORK (AP) - Kitty Genovese's screams for help couldn't save her on the night she was murdered outside her apartment in 1964. Fifty years later, those screams still echo, a symbol of urban breakdown and city dwellers' seeming callousness toward their neighbors. The case "caught the spirit of the time," said Thomas Reppetto, a police historian. "It seemed to symbolize that society no longer cared about other people."
Ex-DC teacher gets 25 years in child porn case WASHINGTON (AP) - A former Washington elementary school teacher who became one of the FBI's most-wanted criminals after taking hidden video of his students using the bathroom and then eluded law enforcement officials by assuming fake identities and escaping to Nicaragua has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Eric Justin Toth spent five years on the run, living in Arizona and Texas before escaping the country. In 2012, the FBI put him on its "Ten Most Wanted" list, where he filled a vacancy created by Osama bin Laden's death.
UN: 5.5 million Syrian children affected by war BEIRUT (AP) - The number of Syrian children affected by the civil war in their homeland has doubled in the past year to at least 5.5 million - more than half the country's children - with devastating effects on the health, education and psychological well-being of an entire generation, the United Nations children's agency said Thursday. The conflict, which enters its fourth year this month, has unleashed massive suffering across all segments of Syrian society, but the impact on children has been especially acute, according to a new report by UNICEF. Malnutrition and illness have stunted their growth; a lack of learning opportunities has derailed their education; and the bloody trauma of war has left deep psychological scars.
Europe wants its Parmesan back, seeks name change WASHINGTON (AP) - Would Parmesan by any other name be as tasty atop your pasta? A ripening trade battle might put that to the test. As part of trade talks, the European Union wants to ban the use of European names like Parmesan, feta and Gruyere on cheese made in the United States.
Ancient masks go on display in Jerusalem JERUSALEM (AP) - The oldest known masks in the world went on display in Jerusalem on Tuesday in the largest-ever exhibit of the ghoulish faces, believed to have been created in the Holy Land thousands of years before the time of the Bible. The 11 stone masks, said to have been discovered in the Judean desert and hills near Jerusalem, date back 9,000 years and offer a rare glimpse at some of civilization's first communal rituals.