Judge weighs improper influence in Army sex case FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - A military judge said Monday that there's evidence that a high-ranking lawyer at the Pentagon improperly influenced the case against an Army general charged with sexual assault, but he didn't immediately decide whether to drop the charges. Military judge Col. James Pohl found that there was the appearance of unlawful command influence in the case after reviewing emails between a top Pentagon lawyer and prosecutors. Pohl then began discussing with lawyers whether to drop charges against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair or proceed with the case.
Stolen passports probed in Malaysian plane mystery PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) - Authorities questioned travel agents Monday at a beach resort in Thailand about two men who boarded the vanished Malaysia Airlines plane with stolen passports, part of a growing international investigation into what they were doing on the flight. Nearly three days after the Boeing 777 with 239 people on board disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, no debris has been seen in Southeast Asian waters.
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.
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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.
Health law cited as US uninsured rate drops WASHINGTON (AP) - The share of Americans without health insurance is dropping to the lowest levels since President Barack Obama took office, but sign-ups under his health care law lag among Hispanics - a big pool of potential beneficiaries. With just three weeks left to enroll on the new insurance exchanges, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, finds that 15.9 percent of U.S. adults are uninsured thus far in 2014, down from 17.1 percent for the last three months - or calendar quarter- of 2013.
Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - Oscar Pistorius vomited in the dock and retched repeatedly and loudly at his murder trial Monday as he heard graphic details of the injuries sustained by the girlfriend he shot, including a head wound that was probably instantly fatal according to the pathologist who performed her autopsy. Reeva Steenkamp was shot with bullets designed to expand on impact and cause maximum damage, Prof. Gert Saayman testified after he identified the type of bullet from fragments in Steenkamp's skull.
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.
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.
Black Twitter growing into online force WASHINGTON (AP) - The hashtag gave it away. When a Florida jury convicted Michael Dunn of attempted murder, but not actual murder, in the shooting death of black teenager Jordan Davis, the hashtag (hash)dangerousblackkids popped up on Twitter. Users posted photos of black babies and toddlers, spoofing the fear that Dunn testified he felt before opening fire on a car full of teens at a convenience store.
Aretha Franklin says Obama knows 'R-E-S-P-E-C-T' NEW YORK (AP) - Aretha Franklin has much R-E-S-P-E-C-T for President Barack Obama - regardless of his spelling skills. At a White House concert last Thursday, Obama dropped the initial "E" when trying to spell out "respect" as the queen of soul does in her famous song.