Activists: Syria again attacking rebels with gas
Syrian government forces have attacked rebel-held areas with poisonous chlorine gas in recent weeks and months, leaving men, women and children coughing, choking and gasping for breath, according to Associated Press interviews with more than a dozen activists, medics and residents on the opposition side. Syria flatly denied the allegations, and they have yet to be confirmed by any foreign country or international organization. But if true, they highlight the limitations of the global effort to rid President Bashar Assad's government of its chemical weapons.
Social media CEO flees the country
The founder of Russia's leading social media network — a wunderkind often described as Russia's Mark Zuckerberg — has left his post as CEO and fled the country as cronies of President Vladimir Putin have made steady inroads into the company's ownership. The slow-motion ouster of Pavel Durov from the network known as VKontakte, or "In Contact," is the latest sign that independent media outlets in Russia have become increasingly imperiled.
Gaza City, Gaza Strip
Palestinian rivals try for unity deal
Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah agreed Wednesday to form a unity government and hold new elections — a potentially historic step toward mending the rift that has split their people between two sets of rulers for seven years. In an initial response, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned meeting for Wednesday evening between Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators.
Court rejects inmates' claims
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that two death row inmates are not entitled to know the source of the drugs that will be used to kill them. In rejecting the inmates' claims, the court also lifted a stay of execution that it had granted earlier in the week. Wednesday's decision paves the way for death row inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner to receive a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Ebola death toll now at 147 people
The World Health Organization says 147 people have died from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. In a statement posted on its website, the organization said more than 240 cases of the virus have been recorded in Guinea and Liberia. Most of those cases are in Guinea, where 136 people have died. Another 11 people have died in Liberia.
Soldier in file leak gets name change
An Army private convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks won an initial victory Wednesday to living as a woman when a Kansas judge granted a petition to change her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. The decision does not compel the military to treat the soldier previously known as Bradley Edward Manning as a woman. That includes not being moved from the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, where Manning is serving a 35-year prison sentence, to a prison with a woman's unit.