WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama on Thursday is expected to address some of the thornier aspects of national security policy, including drone strikes, the prison at Guantanamo Bay and the dire threats Americans continue to face - even from fellow citizens. On the eve of the president's speech at the National Defense University, the Obama administration revealed for the first time that a fourth American citizen had been killed in secretive drone strikes abroad. The killings of three other Americans in counterterror operations since 2009 were known before a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy acknowledged the four deaths.
LONDON (AP) - The British government's emergency committee met Thursday after two attackers butchered a British soldier in a daylight attack in London that raised fears terrorism had returned to the capital. Prime Minister David Cameron says there are strong indications it was an act of terrorism, and his top advisers will be examining the potential security implications of the attack, which took place near a military barracks in the Woolwich area of the city.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A Chechen immigrant shot to death in central Florida after an altercation with an FBI agent had several ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects who authorities were questioning him about at the time. Ibragim Todashev's Chechen roots and mixed martial arts background mirror that of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston bombing suspect killed in a shootout with police last month. The two also had lived in the Boston area.
MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Nine-year-old Sydney Angle was "everywhere at once" when she was out on the softball field. Kyle Davis, 8, was nicknamed "The Wall" because of his size and presence on the soccer field. JaNae Hornsby, also 9, was the life of the party. The three were among seven small children pulled lifeless from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School after a monstrous tornado raked across the building, leaving the one-story building a heap of bricks, broken concrete and twisted metal. In all 24 people were killed - including 10 children - when Monday's storm ravaged Moore and a slice of Oklahoma City.
GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) - The Boy Scouts of America's national leadership will vote Thursday whether to allow openly gay Scouts in its ranks, a critical and emotionally charged moment for one of the nation's oldest youth organizations and its millions of members. About 1,400 voting members of BSA's national council are to cast ballots Thursday on a resolution that would end a policy that allows youth Scouts to be excluded based only on sexual orientation. The ban on gay adult leaders would remain in place.
JERUSALEM (AP) - The United States and Israel raised hopes Thursday for a restart of the Middle East peace process, despite little tangible progress so far from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's two-month-old effort to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. As they met in Jerusalem, Kerry praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the "seriousness" with which he is looking at ways to revitalize peace hopes. Kerry expressed optimism without outlining any concrete strategy for ending a stalemate between the two sides that has seen them hardly negotiate one-on-one at all over the last 4 1/2 years.
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) - An 80-year-old Japanese man became the oldest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest on Thursday - although his record may last only a few days. An 81-year-old Nepalese man, who held the previous record, plans his own ascent next week. Yuichiro Miura, who also conquered the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) peak when he was 70 and 75, reached the summit at 9:05 a.m. local time, according to a Nepalese mountaineering official and Miura's Tokyo-based support team.
TOKYO (AP) - Keeping the meltdown-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in northeastern Japan in stable condition requires a cast of thousands. Increasingly the plant's operator is struggling to find enough workers, a trend that many expect to worsen and hamper progress in the decades-long effort to safely decommission it. Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant that melted down in March 2011 after being hit by a tsunami, is finding that it can barely meet the headcount of workers required to keep the three broken reactors cool while fighting power outages and leaks of tons of radiated water, said current and former nuclear plant workers and others familiar with the situation at Fukushima.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - For bicyclist Rudi Saldia, you could say a cat is his co-pilot. Saldia often buzzes around Philadelphia with his year-old feline Mary Jane perched on his shoulder. Their urban adventures have turned heads on the street and garnered big hits on YouTube.