Washington, D.C.

FAA probes lasers aimed at planes

Federal authorities launched an investigation after more than 20 aircraft were struck with laser beams while in flight over at least 16 U.S. cities, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Three strikes were reported in the New York City area and three hit jets in Texas.

New York

Mobster acquitted in Lufthansa robbery

Vincent Asaro, the reputed mobster charged in connection with the notorious 1978 Lufthansa robbery that inspired the movie "Goodfellas," walked out of federal court in Brooklyn a free man after a jury cleared him of racketeering and other charges. The verdicts shocked the courtroom and stunned prosecutors who had spent years building a case against Asaro, 80.


Court reverses death penalty ruling

A federal appeals court reversed a federal judge's ruling that declared California's capital punishment system unconstitutional on grounds that appeals took too long. In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the delays are not cruel and unusual punishment.


Backlash greets new Mormon gay rules

New Mormon church rules targeting gay members and their children have triggered a firestorm of backlash. Mormon scholar Patrick Mason said the symbolism of targeting kids has riled up even conservative, orthodox Latter-day Saints who don't usually question church decisions. Rules issued last week said that children living with gay parents are barred from being baptized until they're 18.


Opposition wins historic majority

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory for Myanmar's prodemocracy movement, official results show. The Election Commission said the party won enough seats for a majority in the 664-member Parliament.


First lady's nephews face drug charges

Two nephews of Venezuela's first lady, Cilia Flores, face arraignment in New York after being arrested in Haiti on charges of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. The arrests of Efrain Campos and Francisco Flores are likely to revive U.S. accusations of drug trafficking in President Nicolas Maduro's administration.


Sweden defends new border controls

Sweden defended its decision to reintroduce border controls as European Union leaders meeting in Malta signed an aid pact with African nations intended to stem the influx of migrants. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden framed the new limits as necessary to maintain order.

News services