DOE takes the blame for deal with Solyndra
Energy Secretary Steven Chu acknowledged Thursday making the final decision to allow a struggling solar company to continue receiving taxpayer money after it had defaulted on a $535 million federal loan guaranteed by his agency. Chu spokesman Damien LaVera said the secretary approved the deal for Solyndra because it gave it "the best possible chance to succeed in a very competitive marketplace and put the company in a better position to repay the loan."
5 added to U.S. terrorist watch list
The Obama administration has designated five people as terrorists for their support for al-Qaida, the Taliban or the Haqqani network. The individuals targeted include a Taliban and al-Qaida financier, a Pakistan-based businessman who has helped invest Taliban money, a militant who has conducted an attack in Afghanistan and a key commander in the Haqqani network.
Prison guard arrests soaring
Arrests of U.S. prison guards soared nearly 90 percent over the last decade, possibly because of poor hiring practices during a 25 percent spike in prison growth, the Department of Justice's inspector general reported. Misconduct investigations doubled, and more than half of the offenses were committed during the officers' first two years on the job.
Harsh sentences given to protesters
A court in Bahrain sentenced a protester to death Thursday for killing a police officer in March and issued harsh prison terms to medical workers who treated protesters wounded during months of unrest there this spring. The punishments drew strong criticism from human rights groups.
Saudi men vote in local elections
Saudi Arabia held its second nationwide vote ever on Thursday, a male-only election for powerless municipal councils. The balloting comes just days after the king decreed that women will be able to participate for the first time in the next local elections in 2015, a measure likely aimed at heading off Arab Spring-style dissent in the kingdom.
Court tosses 'don't ask' lawsuit
A federal appeals court refused Thursday to decide the constitutionality of the military's now-repealed "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning openly gay troops, saying the issue has been resolved since Americans can enlist and serve in the armed forces without regard to sexual orientation. The lawyer for the plaintiff, Dan Woods, said he would ask the full 9th Circuit to review the panel's decision.
New Haven, Conn.: A Connecticut judge on Thursday told attorneys for a man charged with a brutal home invasion that he would not declare a mistrial over the fact that relatives of the three people killed walked out en masse before testimony about an autopsy.
Philadelphia: More than three dozen people were charged Thursday in a prescription drug sweep that included a raid on a Boeing plant near Philadelphia that makes military helicopters.
Providence, R.I.: Federal prosecutors say an Illinois man has agreed to plead guilty in Rhode Island on charges that he shipped unwanted "erectile pumps" to diabetes patients as part of a Medicare fraud scheme.