Army National Guard, Reserve suicides spike
Suicides among active duty soldiers dropped slightly in 2010 after five years of record increases, Army leaders said Wednesday. But the number rose sharply among the Army National Guard and Reserve. The big increase in suicides for members of the Guard and Reserve involved soldiers who were not on active duty at the time. Pentagon statistics released Wednesday listed 145 members of the Army National Guard and Army Reserves as suicides in 2010, up from 80 in 2009. Active-duty suicides totaled 156 in 2010, down from 162 in 2009.
Controversial Fla. pastor is barred
A Florida pastor who threatened to burn a Koran on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has been barred from visiting Britain. The Home Office said Wednesday that Terry Jones, of Gainesville, was excluded because the British government opposes extremism in all its forms. British media reports said Jones planned to give a speech to a right-wing group, England is Ours.
Vatican says letter misunderstood
The Vatican said Wednesday that a 1997 letter warning Irish bishops against reporting abuse to police had been "deeply misunderstood." The Vatican said the letter was only intended to emphasize that Irish bishops must follow church law meticulously, and Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the Holy See wanted to ensure that pedophile priests wouldn't have any technical grounds to escape church punishment. An Irish government-ordered investigation concluded that bishops understood the letter to mean they shouldn't report suspected crimes.
Stamford, Conn.: Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut said Wednesday that he will retire next year, ending a career in which he became his party's vice presidential nominee but six years later ran as an independent after losing the Democratic primary.
Tunis, Tunisia: Tunisia's transitional government on Wednesday began to redress alleged financial and political abuses of deposed President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his family. To address some of the human rights abuses during Ben Ali's 23-year-reign, the release of 1,800 political prisoners was announced.
Rome: Silvio Berlusconi and Karima el-Mahroug, the Moroccan 18-year-old at the center of an underage prostitution probe targeting the Italian premier, both denied any sexual contact in separate comments Wednesday. She issued her denial on the Mediaset network Berlusconi, 74, founded.
Juba, Sudan: The referendum committee for Central Equatoria State said preliminary results show more than 98 percent of voters in and near Southern Sudan's capital voted for independence from the north.