Nation / World

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted.  (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

Bombing Suspect Back in Court

Friday, December 19, 2014

Boston — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings. Security was tight at the federal courthouse in Boston for …

Study Links Autism to Air Pollution Exposure in Pregnancy

Friday, December 19, 2014

Women who are exposed to high levels of air pollution during their third trimester of pregnancy may be twice as likely to have an autistic child, a study found. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found the risk of autism rises in parallel with exposure to fine particulate matter during pregnancy, with the biggest effect occurring in the final months of …

‘External Factors’ Cited in Russia’s Economic Woes

Friday, December 19, 2014

Moscow — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday blamed “external factors” for the plunge in his country’s economy, but said it would bounce back within two years even “under the most unfavorable circumstances.” Speaking at his annual news conference, Putin was typically defiant, defending the annexation of Crimea, downplaying Russia’s role in the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and blaming the West for …

Song Mocking ‘Bro Country’ Hits No. 1

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Girl in a Country Song, the breakout first single from duo Maddie & Tae, just hit No. 1 on the Mediabase and Billboard country airplay charts last week. It’s cause for a lot of folks to cheer: for Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye, enjoying a triumphant debut before …

Drugmakers, Internet Companies Join Forces to Track You

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Washington — Ever since the days of castor oil laxatives and mercury syphilis tablets, pharmacists and patients have had a tacit understanding: whatever you buy, the information is confidential. No longer. Drugmakers and Internet companies are quietly joining forces to link U.S. pharmacy records with online accounts to …

Stocks Plunge as Oil Rout Continues

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New York — A rout in oil prices shook financial markets Friday, pushing stocks to their worst weekly loss in two and a half years. The stock market fell sharply as investors worried that slumping oil demand is signaling that growth outside of the U.S. is weaker than …

Banks Eye Rollback Of Rules

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Washington — Banks and Dodd-Frank Act foes on Capitol Hill, close to achieving their biggest financial-regulation rollback since the 2008 credit crisis, are already looking to next year for more wins. Wall Street firms such as JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs and regional counterparts like PNC Financial Services …

U.S. Egg Market to Be Disrupted as Cages Made Roomier

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Chicago — Eggs are about to get more expensive as California moves to make sure hen houses are roomy enough to allow the birds to lie down, stand up, extend their wings and move around. Farmers nationwide who want to continue selling to the most populous U.S. state …

Photographer Ralph Morse, Captured History, Was 97

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — Ralph Morse saw it all. From Germany’s surrender in World War II to Babe Ruth’s farewell at Yankee Stadium, to the cutthroat space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, he was there, camera in hand, capturing history as it was made. In …

Diplomatic Troubleshooter Robert Oakley Dies at 83

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Robert Oakley, a career diplomat and three-time ambassador with a reputation for shrewdness in Washington and toughness in crisis zones, and who in retirement obtained the release of an American pilot captured during the “Black Hawk Down” incident in Somalia, died Dec. 10 in McLean, Virginia. He was …

Ernie Brace, Civilian Pilot Held by N. Vietnamese, Dies at 83

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pilot Ernie Brace, who was a prisoner in Laos and North Vietnam for seven years — longer than any other American civilian during the Vietnam War — was held mostly in solitary confinement, sometimes in stocks or chains. But in a prison near Hanoi, he and a U.S. …

Older Boomers Stay Put, Stabilizing Home Prices

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Washington — Bill Braswell is staying put in his Virginia home even though he could sell it for 10 times what he paid in 1980 and some of his retired friends are moving to warmer climates. “I’m on boards and commissions and I enjoy that brain activity, so …

Study: Laughing Gas Can Relieve Depression

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The dentist’s office might be the last place you’d look to find a quick cure for an implacable bout of depression. New research, however, suggests that laughing gas — the mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen that eases the pain and anxiety of having dental work — may …