National News from Yahoo

Islamic militant attack in Nigeria kills hundreds

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Islamic militants who have triggered international outrage over the kidnapping of more than 270 Nigerian schoolgirls opened fire on a busy marketplace, killing hundreds of people in a new spasm of violence in the country's northeast.


Scientists find the Black Death had a silver lining

The Black Death, a plague that first devastated Europe in the 1300s, had a silver lining. An analysis of bones in London cemeteries from before and after the plague reveals that people had a lower risk of dying at any age after the first plague outbreak compared with before. In the centuries before the Black Death, about 10 percent of people lived past age 70, said study researcher Sharon DeWitte, a biological anthropologist at the University of South Carolina. \"It is definitely a signal of something very important happening with survivorship,\" DeWitte told Live Science.


Man charged in marathon hoax makes tearful court appearance

BOSTON (AP) — With his friends and family in tears in court Wednesday, the man charged with placing a backpack with a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the one-year anniversary of the bombing was found mentally competent to stand trial.


Michael Jordan says he was 'against all white people' as a teen

Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan says in a new book that he considered himself a racist growing up. In a new book entitled "Michael Jordan: The Life" by author Roland Lazenby, the five-time National Basketball Association most valuable player and current owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, says that as a teenager he was "against all white people." Excerpts of the book published on Wednesday by the New York Post include Jordan describing how growing up in North Carolina during the 1970s, where he said the Klu Klux Klan thrived, helped shaped his views on racism. In one instance, Jordan recalls a school girl calling him the n-word. Jordan, who went on to win six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, recently spoke out against racist remarks by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who has since been banned for life by the NBA and could be forced to sell the team.


EPA pledges cooperation in internal investigations

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency assured Congress on Wednesday it will resolve a sensational dispute with its inspector general over allegations that an EPA office run by President Barack Obama's top political staff interfered with independent investigations.


Fear of economic blow as births drop around world

NEW YORK (AP) — Nancy Strumwasser, a high school teacher from Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, always thought she'd have two children. But the layoffs that swept over the U.S. economy around the time her son was born six years ago helped change her mind. Though she and her husband, a market researcher, managed to keep their jobs, she fears they won't be so fortunate next time.


Rebels evacuating strongholds in Syria's Homs

BEIRUT (AP) — Exhausted and worn out from a year-long siege, hundreds of Syrian rebels on Wednesday left their last remaining bastions in the heart of the central city of Homs under a cease-fire deal with government forces.


Vietnam: Chinese ships ram vessels near oil rig

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Chinese ships have been ramming into and firing water cannons at Vietnamese vessels trying to stop Beijing from putting an oil rig in the South China Sea, according to officials and video footage Wednesday, in a dangerous escalation of tensions over waters considered a global flashpoint.


Over 80 percent of Obamacare premiums paid, insurers say

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top health insurance companies told members of Congress Wednesday that more than 80 percent of people who've signed up under the president's new health care law have gone on to pay their premiums — a necessary step for the enrollment figures touted by the Obama administration to hold up.


Nigerian extremist leader surfaced in 2010

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The leader of the Nigerian Islamic extremist group tugged on his winter hat and said with a sneer: "I will sell women."


125 killed in Islamist attack on Nigerian border town

The latest big Islamist attack in Nigeria has killed least 125 people, police said on Wednesday after gunmen rampaged through a town in the northeast, near the Cameroon border. Scores of gunmen whom police suspect were from Boko Haram, the al Qaeda-linked group that seized the girls in the same region last week, surrounded Gamburu before dawn on Monday.

Nation's report card: No gains for 12th-graders

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an abysmal showing, only about one-quarter of U.S. high school seniors performed solidly in math in a major assessment known as the nation's report card, reinforcing concerns that large numbers of students are unprepared for either college or the workplace.


Obama's top advisers set to spill insider details

Over the next month, two of President Barack Obama's closest first-term advisers will spill insider details on the administration's handling of the early days of the Great Recession, the White House's ...


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