Goal set on education law revamp
The Obama administration set a goal Thursday of revamping the federal No Child Left Behind education law before students start the next school year in the fall. The Associated Press said it was told by a congressional aide that the Democratic-controlled Senate is largely in agreement with the administration, but in the Republican-led House some GOP lawmakers prefer a series of small measures to a broad rewrite of the law.
Guantanamo likely to stay open: Defense Secretary Robert Gates, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday that the prospects of closing the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay are very remote, a reflection of fierce congressional opposition to transferring terrorism suspects to the United States.
Immigration checks: Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday it has sent notices of inspection to 1,000 employers in the United States, warning that agents will scrutinize their hiring records to check for illegal workers.
Army trains for 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal
Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff, kicked off the service's training program Thursday on the new law allowing gays to serve openly in the military, and officials said they hope to have the whole force trained by mid-August. The largest of the service branches, the Army plans to finish training the active duty force of 565,000 by mid-July and the 567,000 members of the Guard and Reserve by mid-August. Casey made a slide presentation in the Pentagon for most of service's dozen four-star generals. Due to its size, the Army is scheduled to take longer to complete the training than the smaller services.
Kidney transplanted into wrong person
USC University Hospital shut down its kidney transplant program last month after a kidney was accidentally transplanted into the wrong patient, according to a spokesman for the program that coordinates organ transplants in Los Angeles. The patient escaped harm apparently because the mistake involved a kidney that happened to be a close enough match, said Bryan Stewart, a spokesman for One Legacy, which was notified of the error by the hospital. In a statement, the hospital confirmed that it had temporarily halted transplants Jan. 29 after a "process error" was discovered. It did not detail the nature of the error and declined to answer questions.
Friend says Giffords is speaking more
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is able to laugh at jokes, recognize visitors and even offer a poignant response when asked recently by her husband how she was doing. "Better," Giffords said. Family friend Tilman Fertitta described the encounters after spending time with her family and friends and recently visiting Giffords at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston. Giffords, who was shot in the head Jan. 8., is in therapy from morning until night, Fertitta said, and sees her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, every day.
Baghdad wants $1 Billion, apology: The Baghdad city government filed a lawsuit in an Iraqi court Thursday, demanding the United States pay $1 billion and apologize for damage to the city caused by blast walls erected during the nearly eight-year war.
Gays allowed civil ceremonies in church: Gay couples in Britain may get a chance to go to the chapel and get married — almost. The British government on Thursday announced plans to allow gay couples to hold civil partnership ceremonies in houses of worship. The government stressed, however, that houses of worship can opt out if they wish.
Tanzania blast kills 25: Thousands of people crowded a stadium for safety Thursday after a military ammunition depot exploded in the city of Dar es Salaam, killing at least 25.