Washington, D.C.

Children on food stamps highest since 2008

Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the economy tumbled in 2008. Numbers released by the Census Bureau show that one in five children were on food stamp assistance in 2014. In the 2007 Census survey, 9 million children received food assistance.

Supreme Court halts executions

The Supreme Court stayed the executions of three Oklahoma inmates challenging the state's lethal injection protocol on grounds that it might cause intense suffering. The court barred Oklahoma from executing the inmates using the sedative midazolam. The stay came after the court agreed Friday to hear the inmates' case, which contends that new combinations of execution drugs used in several states violate the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.


Police shootings to be investigated

An independent city official who monitors the Denver Police Department said he will investigate its policies and practices related to shooting at moving vehicles after a 17-year-old girl was shot and killed. Nicholas Mitchell said that such shootings pose unique safety risks. The Monday shooting of Jessica Hernandez was the fourth time in seven months that a Denver officer fired at a vehicle after perceiving it as a threat.


President denies authorizing deadly raid

President Benigno Aquino III said that he had not specifically authorized the raid that left 44 elite police officers dead on Sunday and jeopardized a landmark peace deal with rebels in the country's south. " 'Can we proceed with the mission?' I don't think I was ever asked that question," Aquino said during a nationally televised speech. About 400 police officers conducted the raid early Sunday to capture a top terrorism suspect.


Greece resists additional sanctions on Russia

Greece's new government questioned moves to impose more sanctions on Russia. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's Syriza-led coalition said it opposed a European Union statement issued in Brussels paving the way for additional curbs on the Kremlin over the conflict in Ukraine, and complained it hadn't been consulted. Sanctions require unanimity among the 28 E.U. governments. A Greek veto would shatter a fragile consensus over Russia.


Amnesty International faults government

Nigeria's military failed to protect civilians despite being warned of impending Islamist attacks on two towns where hundreds died this month, Amnesty International said. Boko Haram militants warned residents of Baga "almost two months ago" that they would come there to attack troops and local militias before their Jan. 3 raid, the London-based group said. Boko Haram told locals the next target would be Monguno and the military was informed, Amnesty said. Boko Haram has escalated its violent campaign to impose Islamic rule in Africa's biggest oil-producing nation, killing more than 4,700 people last year.

News services