missile designed to counter u.s. shield tested
Russia's military reported a successful test Wednesday of a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that generals said was designed to overpower the U.S. missile defense system. The rocket, they said, uses a new type of fuel to shorten the time it needs to launch into space. Russian generals said the missile's development was a direct response to U.S. plans for a shield.
Plastic grocery bags banned
Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to approve a ban on plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines, handing a hard-fought victory to environmentalists. The City Council voted 13-1 to phase out plastic bags in the next 16 months at an estimated 7,500 stores. Shoppers must bring reusable bags or buy paper bags for 10 cents each. Los Angeles is the latest in a string of California cities — including San Jose, San Francisco and Long Beach — to ban the bags.
Veterans charity to be investigated
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said Wednesday that the Finance Committee he chairs will investigate a charity it suspects may be exploiting veterans. Baucus said the Disabled Veterans National Foundation has raised millions of dollars but apparently spent very little on disabled veterans. Large sums instead went to a marketing firm. The organization said it welcomes the inquiry "as our opportunity to set the record straight." CharityWatch gives DVNF an "F".
Reuse suggested for Astrodome
The Astrodome, a now-empty showplace that has hosted everyone from Elvis Presley to Hurricane Katrina evacuees, should be turned into a multipurpose facility that could spark fresh interest in the city, a group of consultants recommended Wednesday. The $270 million option that would preserve the iconic structure's outer shell was one of four considered by consultants led by Dallas-based CSL. The other options included leaving the dome alone, demolishing it and building an outdoor plaza, or building a massive and expensive "renaissance" complex anchored by a luxury hotel.
Unabomber sends update to Harvard
Harvard University alumni attending their 50th class reunion this week are getting updates on classmates — including Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. The 1962 graduate is in the federal Supermax prison in Colorado for killing three people and injuring 23 in bombings nationwide between 1978 and 1995. In an alumni directory, he lists his occupation as "prisoner" and says his awards are "eight life sentences."
WASHINGTON: Two female soldiers asked a federal judge Wednesday to throw out the military's restrictions on women in combat, claiming the policy violates their constitutional rights.
BANGOR, MAINE: Officials say evidence doesn't support charging a French woman with causing a US Airways flight to be diverted to Maine by claiming she had a surgically implanted device, and she will be returned to France.
GREENSBORO, N.C.: Jurors in the campaign finance trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards deliberate a fifth day today.