New time zone is a message to Japan
North Korea announced that it would create its own time zone and set its clocks 30 minutes behind those of South Korea and Japan. The change is to go into effect Aug. 15, the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II, which liberated a then-unified Korea from decades of Japanese colonial rule. Japan imposed the time zone that both Koreas currently use, and North Korea said the change will rid itself of a vestige of colonial domination.
Lull in terror strikes comes to an end
A barrage of deadly suicide attacks killed at least 40 people and wounded hundreds in Kabul, ending a two-month-long lull in major terrorist strikes in the capital. It was the deadliest day in Kabul so far this year. After two earlier waves of attacks, a third large explosion went off late at night as insurgents attacked in the Qasaba neighborhood near the international airport.
Protesters seek government's dissolution
Thousands of Iraqis braved the scorching summer heat to stage a huge protest in central Baghdad, calling on the prime minister to dissolve the parliament and sack corrupt government officials. Security forces and riot police sealed off Iraq's iconic Tahrir Square and searched anyone who entered the area, but tens of thousands of people thronged the sprawling square.
Psychologists banned from interrogations
The American Psychological Association, meeting in Toronto, overwhelmingly approved a new ban on any involvement by psychologists in national security interrogations conducted by the U.S. government, even noncoercive interrogations now conducted by the Obama administration. The vote followed an emotional debate in which several members said the ban was needed to restore the organization's reputation in the wake of a scathing independent investigation ordered by the APA's board.
Steps taken to curb Syria's chemical weapons
The U.N. Security Council voted to create an investigating panel to identify chemical weapons used by Syria in its civil war. The resolution was passed unanimously. It represents the council's most significant action on the chemical weapons issue in Syria since President Bashar Assad's government pledged nearly two years ago to purge its stockpile of the munitions.
Contaminated water heads to New Mexico
A plume of mustard-colored muck that spilled from a Colorado mine was inching downstream as frustrated state and local officials awaited word from federal agencies on the kind of pollutants staining the water. An estimated 1 million gallons of contaminated wastewater was flowing through the Animas River, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said. But the agency still was running tests to see exactly what the sludge contained as it moved toward northern New Mexico.
Idaho land gets new federal protections
Calling it "a remarkable area," President Obama signed legislation creating three new wilderness regions in Idaho, enveloping nearly 275,665 acres of federal land. The designation for the wilderness land in the Boulder-White Clouds region comes after years of advocacy by environmentalists. The area provides important habitat for bighorn sheep, mountain goats and elk.
State settles lawsuits over public records
Gov. Rick Scott has agreed to spend $700,000 in taxpayer money to settle seven public records lawsuits alleging that he and several members of his staff violated state law when they created e-mail accounts to shield their communications from state public records laws and then withheld the documents. The settlement marks the first time in state history that a sitting governor and attorney general have been sued successfully for violations of Florida's public records laws.
Obama family begins summer vacation
President Obama began his summer vacation a day early. Air Force One delivered Obama and his family to a Coast Guard station on Cape Cod. The Obamas then boarded a helicopter for the short hop to the nearby island of Martha's Vineyard and the drive to his vacation rental in the town of Chilmark. They plan to stay there for 17 days. No official events are planned during his stay.