GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) - The Boy Scouts of America threw open its ranks Thursday to gay Scouts but not gay Scout leaders - a fiercely contested compromise that some warned could fracture the organization and lead to mass defections of members and donors. Of the roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA's National Council who cast ballots, 61 percent supported the proposal drafted by the governing Executive Committee. The policy change takes effect Jan. 1.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama sought Thursday to advance the U.S. beyond the unrelenting war effort of the past dozen years, defining a narrower terror threat from smaller networks and homegrown extremists rather than the grandiose plots of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida. In a lengthy address at the National Defense University, Obama defended his controversial drone-strikes program as a linchpin of the U.S. response to the evolving dangers. He also argued that changing threats require changes to the nation's counterterrorism policies.
LONDON (AP) - A man seen with bloody hands wielding a butcher knife after the killing of a British soldier on the streets of London was described as a convert to Islam who took part in demonstrations with a banned radical group, two Muslim hard-liners said Thursday. Police raided houses in connection with the brazen slaying of the off-duty soldier, identified as Lee Rigby, of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who served in Afghanistan. In addition to the two suspects who were hospitalized after being shot by police, authorities said they had arrested a man and a woman, both 29, on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
NIAMEY, Niger (AP) - Suicide bombers in Niger detonated two car bombs simultaneously, one inside a military camp in the city of Agadez and another in the remote town of Arlit at a French-operated uranium mine, killing 26 people and injuring 30, according to officials in Niger and France. A surviving attacker took a group of soldiers hostage Thursday, and authorities were attempting to negotiate their release.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Moving quickly to stem a raging controversy, the new acting head of the Internal Revenue Service started cleaning house Thursday by replacing the supervisor who oversaw agents involved in targeting tea party groups. A day after she refused to answer questions at a congressional hearing, Lois Lerner was placed on administrative leave, according to congressional sources.
NEW YORK (AP) - For decades, people have been getting rid of cockroaches by setting out bait mixed with poison. But in the late 1980s, in an apartment test kitchen in Florida, something went very wrong. A killer product stopped working. Cockroach populations there kept rising. Mystified researchers tested and discarded theory after theory until they finally hit on the explanation: In a remarkably rapid display of evolution at work, many of the cockroaches had lost their sweet tooth, rejecting the corn syrup meant to attract them.
OGIDI, Nigeria (AP) - Writer Chinua Achebe shunned Nigeria's corrupt politicians and twice turned down national honors, never fearing to criticize those he felt ruined his country. On Thursday, however, the lawmakers and the country's elite came to praise him. Hundreds attended Achebe's funeral among the rolling hills of his eastern Nigeria home, a service that saw President Goodluck Jonathan literally hold up the writer's books. The gold plaque on his coffin simply called him the "eagle atop the Iroko tree" in his native Igbo language.
PHOENIX (AP) - Jurors who spent five months determining Jodi Arias' fate couldn't decide whether she should get life in prison or die for murdering her boyfriend, sending prosecutors back to the drawing board to rehash the shocking case of sex, lies and violence to another 12 people. Judge Sherry Stephens gave a heavy sigh as she announced a mistrial in the penalty phase of the case Thursday and scheduled a July 18 retrial.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Investors have grown nervous that the Federal Reserve will scale back its efforts to boost the U.S. economy sooner than many expected. Yet almost lost in the anxiety that gripped the stock market this week is that whenever the Fed slows its drive to keep interest rates low, it will be cause for celebration: It would mean policymakers think the economy is strong enough to accelerate with less help from the Fed.