House votes to end funding for conventions
House Republicans and Democrats came together Wednesday on at least one way to reduce government spending: eliminating federal assistance for the two parties' increasingly expensive and stage-managed presidential conventions. The vote was 310-95. The Senate has approved similar legislation and the two sides must now resolve differences in the two bills.
Rep. Jackson's home is for sale
A real estate listing for the Washington home owned by Illinois Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., who is on a leave of absence from Congress while under treatment for depression, contributed to speculation Wednesday that he would not return to finish his term. But his office said he is selling the house for $2.5 million to help pay for health care costs, playing down a connection to Jackson's future in Congress.
Convictions upheld for 23 Americans
Italy's supreme court Wednesday upheld the convictions of 23 Americans in the 2003 abduction of a militant Egyptian cleric in Milan, making it the first case to successfully challenge the contentious U.S. program of extraordinary rendition. The ruling opens the way for the extradition of the defendants, who were tried in absentia. But legal experts said it's unlikely proceedings would begin anytime soon. The court confirmed sentences of seven years for 22 CIA employees and an Air Force colonel at a U.S. base in Italy, and eight years for former CIA Milan station chief Robert Seldon Lady.
Arctic Ocean ice sets new low
Scientists say the amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean, a critical climate indicator, shrank to an all-time low this year. The ice cap at the North Pole measured 1.32 million square miles Sunday. The previous low was 1.61 million square miles in 2007. Ice in the Arctic melts in summer and grows in winter, and it started growing again Monday. National Snow and Ice Data Center scientist Walt Meier says man-made global warming has melted more sea ice and made it thinner.
'Warfighter' on dangerous ground
The former Navy SEAL who wrote an unauthorized account of the Osama bin Laden raid also helped develop an upcoming video game featuring U.S. antiterrorist tactics, the Los Angeles Times reports. Matt Bissonnette, who wrote No Easy Day under the name Mark Owen, was among the special operations forces who consulted with Electronic Arts on "Medal of Honor Warfighter," the Times said. Military personnel must get authorization to work on such projects to prevent classified information from being made public, officials said, but military officials said no requests were made for "Warfighter."