Jewish-American charged in killings
A Jewish-American extremist was charged Thursday with shooting to death two Palestinians and trying to kill others with explosive devices and poison. According to the indictment, Jack Teitel, 37, originally from Florida, sought to avenge the deaths of Israelis killed by Palestinian militants. The indictment said the ultra-Orthodox Jewish West Bank settler's rampage, which began with the slaying of a Palestinian taxi driver in 1997, included bomb attacks against a dovish Israeli professor and messianic Jews who venerate Jesus. "It has been a pleasure and an honor to have served my God," Teitel said in court.
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon dropped nearly 46 percent from August 2008 to July 2009 — the biggest annual decline in two decades, the government said Thursday. Analysis of satellite imagery by the National Institute for Space Research shows an estimated 2,705 square miles of forest were cleared during the 12-month period, the lowest rate since the government started monitoring deforestation in 1988.
Vatican eyes the Web
Vatican officials and Catholic bishops are getting a lesson on the Internet from Facebook, Wikipedia and Google executives. A four-day symposium in the Vatican, which opened Thursday, also will address Internet copyright issues and hacking. The meeting is being hosted by the European bishop's media commission and is designed to delve into questions about what Internet culture means for the church's mission.
Drugs equal power
Most-wanted drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has reached a new level of fame — or infamy — by making Forbes magazine's list of the 67 "World's Most Powerful People." Guzman is considered more powerful than Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, No. 67, and France's Nicolas Sarkozy, No. 56, according to the Forbes list. At No. 41, Guzman was just below Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
17 held in terror case
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said Thursday that authorities have smashed an international terror cell with the arrest in Italy and elsewhere in Europe of 17 Algerians who were raising money to finance terrorism. The arrests stemmed from an investigation in Milan, and antiterrorist units from Algeria, Austria, Britain, France, Spain and Switzerland cooperated.