After losing 576 Fort Hood soldiers in a dozen years of war, the president, along with top US military leaders, gathered at the Texas Army base to remember the three who were gunned down by Sgt. Ivan Lopez. The job of military leaders “is to prepare our soldiers for the chaos of war,” the Army’s top officer, Gen. Raymond Odierno, said in remarks at the memorial service. But that the soldiers were lost “on American soil, at the hands of one of their own, makes this tragedy inexplicable,” added General Odierno, whose lived with his family on the base for more than seven years when he wasn’t commanding troops in Iraq. Two Fort Hood soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ferguson and Staff Sgt. Carlos Lazeney-Rodriguez, joined the military two decades ago, prior to the 9/11 attacks “and stayed as the nation went to war,” Mr. Obama said.
The Catholic weekly Credere (Believe) has been caught in a delayed April Fools' prank about the Vatican recruiting a hawk to protect the pope's doves after two were killed by a crow and a seagull. The publication said a bird of prey named "Sylvia", who was specially trained for the task in northern Italy, has been taken on by the Swiss Guards following the incident in January. But a Vatican official told AFP the report, which was due to appear in the Italian weekly's Thursday edition and was relayed by other newspapers, was an "April Fools' they picked up".
By Joe Brock PRETORIA (Reuters) - A South African prosecutor forced Oscar Pistorius on Wednesday to look at a forensic photograph that showed the head of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after it was blown open by a hollow-point bullet fired by the Olympic and Paralympic track star. In a dramatic opening to his cross-examination of Pistorius, prosecutor Gerrie Nel made him admit he had killed Steenkamp then later confronted him with the photograph showing the side and back of her skull, her hair matted with blood and brains. Pistorius responded by burying his head in his hands in the witness stand, rocking from side to side and weeping. The double amputee sprinter, once revered across the world for his triumph over adversity, faces life in prison if convicted in the Pretoria High Court of the murder of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate and model.
PERTH, Australia (AP) — The frustrating monthlong search for the Malaysian jetliner received a tremendous boost when a navy ship detected two more signals that most likely emanated from the aircraft's black boxes. The Australian official coordinating the search expressed hope Wednesday that the wreckage will soon be found.
By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - A post-mortem examination into the death of Peaches Geldof, the second daughter of Band Aid founder and musician Bob Geldof, has proved inconclusive "pending toxicology tests", British police said on Wednesday. Geldof, 25, a media and fashion personality in her own right and a mother of two young children, was found dead at her home in Wrotham, Kent, in southern England, on Monday. Peaches was the daughter of television presenter Paula Yates and Bob Geldof, the Irish singer who rose to prominence as the leader of the 1970s-1980s band the Boomtown Rats, and later organized the charity Band Aid and the Live Aid concerts to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. Bob Geldof said the loss of Peaches, the latest untimely death to befall the family, had left them "beyond pain".