Government and politics
WASHINGTON - The most far-reaching U.S. immigration legislation in about two decades moved forward on a solid bipartisan vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee after supporters avoided a controversy over the rights of gay spouses.
The 13-5 vote cleared the way for a full Senate showdown on one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities — and gives the opposition Republican Party a chance to recast itself as more appealing to minorities.
JERUSALEM - Israeli and Syrian troops exchanged fire across their tense cease-fire line in the Golan Heights on Tuesday, prompting an Israeli threat that Syria's leader will "bear the consequences" of further escalation and raising new concerns that the civil war there could explode into a region-wide conflict.
KABUL - A co-ordinated Taliban assault on checkpoints in southern Afghanistan killed four police before a counterattack drove the insurgents back, Afghan officials said Tuesday. Also, at least 10 other police died in two attacks in the country's west.
The deadly 24 hours came during a crucial season of fighting that is testing the abilities of Afghan security forces as international troops increasingly draw back, preparing for withdrawal of most foreign soldiers by the end of next year.
MOSCOW - Russia's point man on Syria and on its relations with the U.S. on Tuesday turned his attention toward a subject close to Russian hearts — alleged vote theft at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was meeting with his counterpart from Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic that is investigating why the country's announced votes did not give any points to Russia.
TUCSON, Ariz. - Authorities are set to release more than 300 photos on Tuesday that investigators took in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others.
GUATEMALA CITY - Guatemala's top court overturned the genocide conviction of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt and ordered on Monday that his trial restart, throwing into disarray proceedings that had been hailed as historic for delivering the first such guilty verdict for a Latin American leader.
constitutional Court secretary Martin Guzman said the trial needs to go back to where it stood on April 19 to solve several appeal issues.
WASHINGTON - The White House chief of staff and other senior presidential advisers knew in late April that an upcoming report was likely to find that employees of the U.S. tax agency had inappropriately targeted conservative political groups — but they didn't tell President Barack Obama.
WASHINGTON - Actor Sean Penn urged the U.S. government to pressure Bolivia to free an American businessman detained without charge since 2011 in a case that has drawn accusations he was the victim of corrupt local prosecutors.
Penn said pressure on Bolivian President Evo Morales could help free Jacob Ostreicher.
BAGHDAD - Iraq's wave of bloodshed sharply escalated Monday with more than a dozen car bombings across the country, part of attacks that killed at least 95 people and brought echoes of past sectarian carnage and fears of a dangerous spillover from Syria's civil war next door.
JOHANNESBURG - Nelson Mandela, old and frail, lives in seclusion in his Johannesburg home. Beyond the high walls of the house, the fighting over his image and what he stood for has already begun.