Secretary of State John Kerry said after meeting with Iraqi leaders on Monday that embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had pledged to form a new government. Maliki is under pressure to make his Shiite-led government more inclusive as al Qaeda-linked Sunni extremists seize more territory and press toward Baghdad. Kerry went to Iraqi Kurdistan on Tuesday to urge leaders there to be part of the new government, instead of breaking away.
Kerry says Maliki will form a new Iraqi government
Authorities free 168 children in sex-trafficking crackdown
State, local, and federal law enforcement officials arrested 281 alleged pimps in 106 cities and recovered 168 children in a week-long nationwide crackdown on sex traffickers, federal officials announced Monday. Law enforcement targeted casinos, escort-service websites, and truck stops. "Child sex traffickers create a living nightmare for their adolescent victims," said Leslie R. Caldwell, an assistant attorney general.
Legal memo justifying drone strike against U.S. citizen released
A federal court on Monday released a long-secret government memo spelling out the legal justification for killing al Qaeda suspect Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, with a 2011 drone strike in Yemen. The document claims Awlawki posed an ongoing imminent threat to the U.S., and that his ties to al Qaeda "brings him within the scope" of Congress' 2001 authorization of the use of military force.
High court lets the EPA continue limiting greenhouse gas emissions
The Supreme Court left the Environmental Protection Agency's power to curb greenhouse emissions at power plants and refineries largely intact in a Monday ruling. The justices rejected an argument backed by the industry saying that most facilities should not be covered under the EPA pollution control program. The high court did, however, issue the EPA what observers called a "tongue-lashing" for over-reaching, suggesting possible limits on its authority down the road.
Tsunami warning goes out after Alaska earthquake
A tsunami warning was issued for the sparsely populated Aleutian Islands in Alaska on Monday after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck 13 miles southeast of Little Sitkin Island. Residents were urged to move to higher ground, although there were no immediate reports of damage. The quake was recorded at a depth of only 60 miles, shallower than normal for the island chain. Shallow earthquakes are more likely to be felt.
Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to hang for apostasy released
A Christian woman in Sudan who was sentenced to death for renouncing Islam was set free on Monday after an appellate court overturned her conviction. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, was jailed in February along with her first child after a relative reported her for marrying a non-Muslim — American Christian Daniel Wani of South Sudan. Ibrahim, who gave birth to her second child in prison, insisted she was raised Christian.
Prominent Mormon women's rights advocate excommunicated for apostasy
The Mormon church has excommunicated Kate Kelly, founder of the Ordain Women group pushing to let women serve in the Mormon priesthood, for advocating positions running counter to church teachings, Kelly's organization announced Monday. Another activist — gay rights advocate John Dehlin — also faces possible excommunication. The proceedings are the highest profile excommunication proceedings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1993.
Dov Charney vows to fight American Apparel firing
American Apparel founder Dov Charney filed formal notice on Monday that he would challenge his ouster by the company's board. Charney was fired last week as the clothing maker's chairman after facing years of accusations of sexual harassment and assault. Charney's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said he believed his termination was "without merit and intends to contest it vigorously."
Report says rising seas could swallow a million U.S. homes this century
More than a million U.S. coastal homes and businesses could be flooded repeatedly and ultimately destroyed, with rising sea levels covering more than $370 billion worth of property in Florida and Louisiana alone by 2100, according to an report on global warming impacts released Tuesday by a bipartisan coalition of business and political leaders. A monthly federal climate report said that last month was the hottest May on record.
U.S. coach accuses FIFA of giving Germany a World Cup edge
U.S. World Cup soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann is accusing the sport's international governing body, FIFA, of favoring Germany by giving its players an extra day of rest before Thursday's U.S.-Germany match. The game's result will help determine whether the U.S. advances to the next round of the World Cup. Klinsmann noted that the U.S. also has to travel farther for the match. "Everything was done for the big favorites to move on," he said.