Mexico: Stolen radioactive cobalt box found empty MEXICO CITY (AP) - A stolen container of radioactive material was found empty Wednesday and radioactivity was detected nearby, Mexico's nuclear safety director said. Authorities cordoned off an area about 1 kilometer (a half mile) from where the stolen truck and empty container were found in the state of Mexico, said Juan Eibenschutz, director general of the National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards.
911 calls show anguish and tension in Conn. school HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - As gunfire boomed over and over in the background, a janitor begged a 911 dispatcher to send help, saying, "There's still shooting going on! Please!" A woman breathlessly reported seeing a gunman run down a hall. And a teacher said she was holed up in her classroom with her children but hadn't yet locked the door. Recordings of 911 calls from last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were released Wednesday, and they not only paint a picture of anguish and tension inside the building, they also show Newtown dispatchers mobilizing help, reassuring callers and urging them to take cover.
Senior Hezbollah commander killed in Beirut BAALBEK, Lebanon (AP) - The attackers waited in an olive grove around midnight. As the Hezbollah commander pulled into the garage of his nearby apartment building, they went in after him. Five bullets were pumped into his head and neck from a silencer-equipped pistol - an assassination that reverberated across the Middle East. The killing early Wednesday of Hassan al-Laqis, described as a member of the inner circle of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, was the latest in a series of recent attacks against the Iranian-backed group.
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Lawyer: Engineer in 'daze' before NYC train crash YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) - An engineer whose speeding commuter train ran off the rails along a curve, killing four people, experienced a hypnotic-like daze and nodded at the controls before he suddenly realized something was wrong and hit the brakes, a lawyer said as a federal regulator called for the railroad to make immediate safety improvements. William Rockefeller, who was operating the Metro-North Railroad train, experienced a nod or "a daze," almost like road fatigue or the phenomenon sometimes called highway hypnosis, said attorney Jeffrey Chartier, who accompanied the engineer to his interview with National Transportation Safety Board investigators Tuesday. Chartier couldn't say how long the spell lasted.
Obama: Income inequality a defining challenge WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama prodded Congress to raise wages and secure the social safety net as he issued an overarching appeal Wednesday to correct inequalities that he said make it harder for a child to escape poverty. "That should offend all of us," he declared. "We are a better country than this." Focusing on the pocketbook issues that Americans consistently rank as a top concern, Obama argued that the dream of upward economic mobility is breaking down and that the growing income gap is a "defining challenge of our time."
10 whales dead, dozens stranded in Everglades EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. (AP) - Wildlife workers in boats struggled Wednesday to coax nearly four dozen pilot whales out of dangerous shallow waters in Florida's Everglades National Park, hoping to spare them the fate of 10 others that already have died. Six of the whales were found dead, and four of the whales had to be euthanized Wednesday, said Blair Mase, coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's marine mammal stranding network. At least three could be seen on the beach, out of the water.
Boxing champ turns opposition leader in Ukraine KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Towering over his fellow protest leaders, Vitali Klitschko, the reigning world heavyweight boxing champion, has emerged as Ukraine's most popular opposition figure and has ambitions to become its next president. Thanks to his sports-hero status and reputation as a pro-Western politician untainted by Ukraine's frequent corruption scandals, the 6-foot 7-inch Klitschko has surpassed jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in opinion polls.
Bashir leaves MSNBC over inflammatory remarks NEW YORK (AP) - MSNBC host Martin Bashir resigned from the network Wednesday, nearly three weeks after making graphic remarks on his show about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. "I deeply regret" the comments, Bashir said in a statement. "It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments."
Universal shuts down 'Fast & Furious 7' production NEW YORK (AP) - Universal Pictures has shut down production on "Fast & Furious 7" indefinitely following the death of its star, Paul Walker. The studio announced Wednesday that the film will shut down "for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise."