Iraqi army retakes town from rebels
Iraqi airstrikes pounded a town near Fallujah that had been seized by al-Qaida-linked militants, and commandos swept in Wednesday to clear the area, senior military officials said. It was a rare victory for government forces that have been struggling for nearly three weeks to regain control of the mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad. North of the capital, a bomb tore through a funeral of an anti-al-Qaida Sunni militiaman, the deadliest in a series of attacks that killed at least 50 people nationwide. Violence has risen sharply as extremist Islamic militants try to exploit growing anger among the Sunni minority over what they perceive as mistreatment by the Shiite-led government. Wednesday's counterattack came a day after al-Qaida militants blew up an explosives-laden fuel tanker at an army checkpoint, killing three soldiers, on a small bridge just north of Fallujah.
Police: School shooter warned some students
The 12-year-old boy who opened fire in a New Mexico middle school gym warned some students away just before the attack, State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said Wednesday. Kassetas said the attack at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell was planned. But he said it appeared the boy's victims — an 11-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl who remain hospitalized— were chosen randomly. During a press briefing, Kassetas declined to speculate on a motive or say when charges would be filed. But he said the boy got the shotgun from his family's home and had three rounds of ammunition.
Westminster dog show to add mixed breeds
Long the province of the purebred, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show is opening a doggie door this year to mixed-breed competitors. While Labradoodles, puggles and who-knows-whats won't be able to vie for the prestigious Best in Show award, they'll be included in its new agility trial.
Church releases clergy sex abuse files
The release of 6,000 pages of documents by the Archdiocese of Chicago raised hopes Wednesday among sex abuse victims and their lawyers that new light will be shed on what the Catholic Church knew and did — or didn't do — about decades of allegations against priests. The archdiocese handed over to victims' attorneys a trove of complaints, personnel documents and other files for about 30 priests.
Marines investigate validity of war photos
The Marine Corps says it is attempting to determine the authenticity of photos published by TMZ.com that the entertainment website says show Marines appearing to burn bodies of dead Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah in 2004. A Marine spokesman said Wednesday the Marine Corps also is attempting to identify the Marines shown.