good deeds
August 1, 2014

When U.S. Army Major Glenn Battschinger started his mission in Afghanistan in 2010, he knew he wanted to do something to help the hundreds of children who came to visit him and other soldiers on the base.

"The kids wanted attention and needed something to do," he told People. Thinking of his Eagle Scout sons back home, Battschinger decided to start a scouting troop. He was given permission by village leaders, and established the Qasabah Troop No. 1 for about 40 children. They met every Saturday, and learned the Boy Scout pledge, how to tie knots and give first aid, and more. Today, there are dozens of troops in five provinces, made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Department of Defense, and Battschinger still hears from young people he met through scouting who say they are using the skills he taught them.

Battschinger didn't stop with the scouts. While in Afghanistan, he met seven-year-old Bilal Sharif, a boy who worked in a brick factory. He had a club foot and bladder exstrophy, meaning part of his bladder was outside of his body. It is an incredibly painful condition, and Battschinger pledged to get him treatment. He found a surgeon, Dr. Moneer Hanna in New Hyde Park, New Jersey, who agreed to do the surgeries for free, and a host family. Bilal needs a few more surgeries, but should be able to go home in a year. He has nothing but admiration for Battschinger. "[He's] the best hero I ever met in America or Afghanistan," he said. Catherine Garcia

9:11 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Almost every examiner in the FBI's hair analysis unit repeatedly overhyped evidence to aid prosecutors over a two-decade period ending in 2000, according to The Washington Post.

The finding comes from an ongoing review of cases conducted by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Innocence Project in conjunction with the federal government. Per the review, 26 of 28 forensic hair analysts overstated evidence in 95 percent of the 268 trials examined so far.

The FBI and Justice Department acknowledged the errors, saying in a statement they were "committed to ensuring that affected defendants are notified of past errors and that justice is done in every instance."

Read the whole report here. Jon Terbush

This just in
7:58 a.m. ET
Tullio M. Puglia / Getty Images

An estimated 500 to 700 people went missing on Sunday after a boat ferrying migrants to Italy capsized north of Libya in the Mediterranean Sea.

The 65-foot-long fishing boat sent a distress call overnight, but when another vessel approached the migrants huddled to the far side of the ship, causing it to capsize, according to the Italian Coast Guard. Close to 20 ships raced to the site of the tragedy, and rescuers have pulled 28 people from the water so far.

Roughly 900 people are believed to have died this year trying to cross the sea to Italy. Jon Terbush

water wars
April 18, 2015
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California's State Water Resources Control Board released modified proposed conservation restrictions on Saturday, adjusting the planned cuts based on conservation efforts that have already been made by various communities, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A former draft divided water suppliers into four tiers; the new framework places them into one of nine tiers, "to more equitably allocate" cuts. The Associated Press reports that officials from cities which had proactively begun drought-saving efforts were frustrated with the board's original proposal, which answered Gov. Jerry Brown's executive order requiring a 25-percent cutback in urban water usage.

"The fact that we are being dinged additional costs doesn't seem fair,” John Helminski, San Diego's assistant director of public utilities, told AP.

Across the state, depending on their tier, water suppliers will be expected to cut total daily water use by anywhere from 8 percent to 36 percent. Water suppliers that do not meet their cut could face fines of up to $10,000 per day. The board is expected to vote on the revised framework proposal in early May. Sarah Eberspacher

April 18, 2015

Sixty-four years after it was scuttled off California's Farallon Islands, the USS Independence has been re-discovered, resting on the seafloor "amazingly intact," according to NOAA scientists. A survey team made up of representatives from NOAA, the U.S. Navy and private industry parties is working on a two-year project to map and study the more than 300 shipwrecks estimated to be lying off California's coast.

The Independence is thought to be the deepest shipwreck in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, which covers nearly 3,300 square miles of water beyond the Golden Gate Bridge.

"After 64 years on the seafloor, Independence sits on the bottom as if ready to launch its planes," James Delgado, chief scientist on the mission, said. "It is a reminder of the industrial might and skill of the 'greatest generation' that sent not only this ship, but their loved ones to war."

The Independence was one of more than 90 vessels used as a target fleet for the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests, in 1946. Before that, it operated out of the central and western Pacific for two years. Scientists used a remote-controlled submarine to take images of the shipwreck; check out the photo, below, and read more about the carrier via the National Marine Sanctuaries' website. —Sarah Eberspacher

(NOAA, Boeing, and Coda Octopus)

This just in
April 18, 2015
Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Australian officials said on Saturday that counterterrorism forces had arrested five men in the Melbourne area for plotting to carry out an ISIS-inspired attack on police officers during Australia's memorial day ceremonies, NPR reports.

At least two of the men were charged with terrorism-related offenses; the others were released after being questioned. Officials said two of the men planned to target police officers at ANZAC Day ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of Australia's entry into World War I. Sarah Eberspacher

April 18, 2015
Mike Stone/Getty Images

Speaking at the Republican Leadership Summit in New Hampshire on Saturday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul attacked the Obama administration's role in the 2011 toppling of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, calling the operation "a mistake," The Guardian reports.

"One thing that is probably true in the Middle East, every time we have toppled a secular dictator, a secular strong man, we've gotten chaos and the rise of radical Islam," the presidential hopeful said. "The president won't name the enemy but I will: it's radical Islam. Until we name it, we can't defeat them and I will tell you this: If I were commander-in-chief, I would do everything it takes to…defend the country against radical Islam."

Paul went on to criticize Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server as secretary of state, asking, "Is she sort of above the rules?"

Read more on Paul's speech in New Hampshire, via The Guardian. Sarah Eberspacher

Watch this
April 18, 2015

President Barack Obama announced in his weekly address that he will travel to the Florida Everglades on Wednesday, which is Earth Day, to bring attention to the dangers of climate change.

"Fourteen of the 15 hottest years on record have fallen in the first 15 years of this century," Obama says. "This winter was cold in parts of our country — as some folks in Congress like to point out — but around the world, it was the warmest ever recorded."

Florida has recently been in the news for how its legislators are addressing — or not — the problem of climate change. The Washington Post notes that Governor Rick Scott's administration reportedly tried to "ban" state officials from using the term, and presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio voted against an amendment that would have stated that "human activity significantly contributes" to climate change.

Watch Obama's prelude to his Wednesday speech on the topic, below. —Sarah Eberspacher

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