South Africa

Pistorius to go from prison to house arrest

Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympic runner who shot his girlfriend to death on Valentine's Day 2013, can leave prison and move to house arrest next week, South Africa's Department of Corrections said. A parole board at the prison where Pistorius has served nearly a year of his five-year sentence for manslaughter made the decision. It came after an initial ruling to release the athlete in August was canceled at the last minute after intervention by the justice minister.

Myanmar

8 ethnic rebel armies sign cease-fire pact

Myanmar's government and eight smaller ethnic rebel armies signed a cease-fire agreement to end more than six decades of fighting, but other more powerful groups refused to come on board, signaling that peace will remain elusive for some time to come. The pact was signed at a ceremony in Myanmar's administrative capital, Naypyitaw, by President Thein Sein and representatives of the groups.

New York

Parents' accounts on son's beating differ

Parents charged with beating their teenage son to death inside a church are giving diverging versions of what happened, though lawyers for both said the couple hadn't intended the brutality that unfolded. An attorney for the mother, Deborah Leonard, said she felt helpless to stop an "intervention" that spiraled into severe punishment by others at the Word of Life Christian Church. But a lawyer for the father, Bruce Leonard, said the incident stemmed from a family meeting that had nothing to do with the church. Police said a spiritual counseling session devolved into violence Sunday as members of the church tried to get Lucas Leonard, 19, and his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, to confess sins and seek forgiveness. Lucas died after the beating.

Maryland

Activists arrested after City Hall protest

Activists in Baltimore protesting the permanent appointment of interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis were arrested early Thursday after they refused to leave City Hall. The demonstrators began the sit-in before a City Council subcommittee Wednesday approved the appointment of Davis, who took the interim post in July amid the fallout from the death of a black man in police custody and concerns over rising gun violence in the city. A full council vote on Davis is scheduled for Monday. The protesters' demands included changes to police tactics and more money toward education.

California

Train hero released after stabbing

Airman Spencer Stone, who helped thwart a terrorist attack on a French train in August, was released from the University of California, Davis Medical Center, where he had been treated for stab wounds suffered in an attack in Sacramento last week. Stone thanked the emergency responders and the team at UC Davis for caring for him.

SeaWorld to sue Coastal Commission

SeaWorld San Diego's parent company said it will sue the California Coastal Commission over conditions the agency imposed that would ban killer whale breeding in the marine theme park. SeaWorld Entertainment called the conditions placed on its expansion project "overreaching" and said only the federal government has authority to impose conditions on marine mammals. SeaWorld did not say when it would file the lawsuit.

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