Vatican paper calls jesus' wife scrap fake
The Vatican newspaper has added to the doubts surrounding Harvard University's claim that a fourth century Coptic papyrus fragment showed that some early Christians believed Jesus was married, declaring it a "fake." L'Osservatore Romano published an article Thursday by leading Coptic scholar Alberto Camplani and an accompanying editorial by the newspaper's editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, an expert in early Christianity. They both cited concerns expressed by other scholars about the fragment's authenticity and that it was purchased on the market without a known archaeological provenance. "At any rate, a fake," Vian titled his editorial, which criticized Harvard for creating a "clamorous" media frenzy over the fragment.
Partnering with Afghans resumes
Most U.S. and coalition combat units in Afghanistan have returned to partnering with Afghan forces, nearly two weeks after the top U.S. commander put restrictions on such arrangements, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday. Panetta provided no details on why partnering has returned to normal in most cases. The limitations were set Sept. 16 by Gen. John Allen after a string of deadly insider attacks against coalition forces, and amid concern about Afghan backlash over an anti-Islam video.
Spain, Greece to cut deficits for aid
Spain and Greece outlined plans Thursday to reduce government spending and raise taxes to convince international lenders and financial markets they are on track to cut their deficits. Spain's plan to slash its deficit in 2013 and 2014 signals to many analysts it's preparing to request a financial lifeline from other governments and the European Central Bank. To receive this help, countries must first show they are serious about reining in deficits. For similar reasons, Greece's coalition government agreed to cut spending in the next two years by $14.77 billion.
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Man kills masked teen, finds it's son
A man fatally shot a masked teenager in self-defense outside his neighbor's house during what appeared to be an attempted burglary and then discovered it was his son, police said. Police identified the dead boy as 15-year-old Tyler Giuliano, who was shot about 1 a.m. Thursday. A woman alone in the house thought someone was breaking in and called the teen's father, fifth-grade teacher Jeffrey Giuliano who lives next door, and he grabbed a gun and went outside to investigate, police said. The father confronted someone wearing a black ski mask and black clothing and then fired his gun when the person went at him with a shiny weapon in his hand, police said. No charges have been filed.
Proposal calls for record Ferris wheel
The Big Apple is to get another "biggest": the world's tallest Ferris wheel, part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ambitious plan to draw visitors to the "forgotten borough," Staten Island. The 625-foot, $230 million New York Wheel is to overlook the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline. Designed to carry 1,440 passengers, it would be part of a hotel and shopping complex expected to draw 4.5 million people a year.