In climate bid, Obama stares down melting Alaska glacier SEWARD, Alaska (AP) - President Barack Obama stared down a melting glacier in Alaska on Tuesday in a dramatic use of his presidential pulpit to sound the alarm on climate change. From a distance, Exit Glacier appears as a river of white and blue flowing down through the mountains toward lower terrain. In fact, it's just the opposite. The 2-mile-long chock of solid ice has been retreating at a faster and faster pace in recent years - more than 800 feet since 2008, satellite tracking shows.
Pope: Priests in Holy Year can absolve 'sin of abortion' VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis is applying his vision of a merciful church to women who have had abortions, easing their path toward forgiveness and saying he realizes some felt they had no choice but to make "this agonizing and painful decision." In a letter published Tuesday by the Holy See, Francis said he was allowing all rank-and-file priests to grant absolution during the Holy Year of Mercy he has proclaimed, which runs Dec. 8, 2015 until Nov. 20, 2016.
Hungary bars migrants from trains; smugglers wait in wings BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) - Hungary stunned migrants and European partners Tuesday by blocking asylum-seekers from its westbound trains, a move that raised new challenges for the EU's passport-free travel zone and could drive many into the reckless hands of cross-border smugglers. Hungary's right-wing nationalist government defended its U-turn - just days after it started permitting migrants on the trains without any coherent immigration controls at all - as necessary to send a get-tough signal. Cabinet ministers told lawmakers that the nation, struggling to cope with more than 150,000 arrivals this year, was determined to seal its borders to unwelcome travelers from the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
A look at what migrants are carrying with them to Europe ROSZKE, Hungary (AP) - To survive days on end of walking and improvised camping in harsh weather, they must concentrate on essentials: pain medicine, foot powder and first aid, food and personal hygiene items. The savviest have smartphones with backup battery power and SIM cards that work in the countries they're passing through. Otherwise, they can end up walking in circles without satellite navigation, particularly at night, when many travel to avoid police. The tens of thousands of migrants who spend weeks on foot, vehicle and boat traveling to Europe to escape war, persecution and poverty must weigh carefully what they carry with them in their backpacks. Men typically carry the tents and sleeping bags, while women hold infants in slings or carriers.
Kentucky clerk, citing God, defies courts on gay marriage MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) - Invoking "God's authority," a county clerk denied marriage licenses to gay couples again Tuesday in direct defiance of the federal courts, and vowed not to resign, even under the pressure of steep fines or jail. "It is not a light issue for me," Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis said later through her lawyers. "It is a Heaven or Hell decision."
Clinton, aides stressed protecting State Dept. info in email WASHINGTON (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton and her aides at the State Department were acutely aware of - and occasionally frustrated by - the need to protect sensitive information when discussing international affairs over email and other correspondence. One example came in a February 2010 message, when an aide noted a draft of innocuous remarks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was on the State Department's classified messaging system. Clinton replied: "It's a public statement! Just email it."
Man who got life for marijuana charge goes free in Missouri JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A man sentenced to life without parole on a marijuana-related charge was freed Tuesday from a Missouri prison after being behind bars for more than two decades - a period in which the nation's attitudes toward pot steadily softened. Family, friends, supporters and reporters flocked to meet Jeff Mizanskey as he stepped out of the Jefferson City Correctional Center into a sunny morning, wearing a new pair of white tennis shoes and a shirt that read "I'm Jeff & I'm free."
Approaching health law tax is not just a levy on luxury WASHINGTON (AP) - The last major piece of President Barack Obama's health care law could raise costs for thrifty consumers as well as large corporations and union members when it takes effect in 2018. The so-called Cadillac tax was meant to discourage extravagant coverage. Critics say it's a tax on essentials, not luxuries. It's getting attention now because employers plan ahead for major costs like health care.
US stocks plunge after bleak Chinese manufacturing report NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks plunged again Tuesday, continuing a rocky ride for Wall Street, after an economic report out of China rekindled fears that the world's second-largest economy is slowing more than previously anticipated. The sell-off adds to what has been a difficult few weeks for U.S. and international markets. U.S. stocks just closed out their worst month in more than three years. Tuesday's drop also dashed hopes that, after some relatively calm trading Friday and Monday, the stock market's wild swings were coming to an end.