Seoul, South Korea
as pope visits, N. Korea fires projectiles
As Francis became the first pope in 25 years to visit South Korea today, North Korea made its presence felt by firing three short-range projectiles less than an hour before he arrived, officials said. Although the North declined an invitation to Seoul for the papal visit, Francis plans to reach out to North Korea during his five-day trip in a Mass for peace and reconciliation on the war-divided Korean Peninsula. Francis also will beatify 124 Korean martyrs and encourage the faithful in a church seen as a model for the future of Catholicism.
North Babylon, N.Y.
N.Y. suburbs get record rainfall
New York's heaviest downpour on record dumped a summer's worth of rain on parts of Long Island in hours Wednesday, swamping highways, flooding basements and causing at least one death. The 13.26 inches recorded at MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma was more than the area's normal combined total for June, July and August of 11.75 inches. It smashed the previous state record for 24-hour rainfall of 11.6 inches near Tannersville during Tropical Storm Irene three years ago.
Gay marriages are possible next week
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that last month struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex unions refused Wednesday to delay the effects of its ruling. State officials said that unless the U.S. Supreme Court interceded, Virginia counties could begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples next week.
Libya asks for international help
Libya's newly elected parliament asked the United Nations for an "international intervention" and voted Wednesday to dismantle the militias responsible for violence raging across the country for weeks. Libya is witnessing its worst spasm of violence since the 2011 ouster and killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi as rival militias battled for control of territory and political clout. Thousands have fled the country, including diplomats and foreign nationals, as dozens have been killed in the bloody confrontations.
Air Force Academy, Colo.
Coaches told to help curb assaults
The superintendent of the Air Force Academy said Wednesday she has told athletic coaches to take a bigger role in preventing sexual assaults, pulling them into the years-long campaign at the school to stem abuse. Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, who took charge of the school a year ago, said coaches had not been fully involved in what she called the broader conversation about school standards. She said she has spoken with them twice about her expectations and told them to talk to athletes about sexual assault.
6 climbers killed in fall from peak
Six French climbers were reported dead Wednesday after falling about 800 feet as they began to descend one of the highest peaks of the Mont Blanc range in France, authorities said. Police officials think the five climbers, whose ages ranged from 27 to 45, and their 42-year-old guide plunged to their deaths after reaching the 12,800-foot Aiguille d'Argentière, a craggy summit near the Swiss border.