Washington, D.C.

Defense secretary used personal e-mail

Defense Secretary Ash Carter relied on a personal e-mail account to conduct a portion of his government business during his first months at the Pentagon, according to White House and Defense Department officials and copies of Carter's e-mails. Carter continued the practice, which violated department rules, for at least two months after it was revealed in March that Hillary Clinton had exclusively used a personal e-mail account as secretary of state.

Illinois

Professor suspended for covering her head

Wheaton College suspended a Christian tenured professor who said Christians and Muslims share the same God, sparking protests on the suburban Chicago campus. Larycia Hawkins, a political-science professor, said that she would wear a headscarf in support of Muslims after shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. "As Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God," she posted on Facebook. Some called that a conflation of Christian and Muslim theology.

Tennessee

Purple Hearts to go to reserve center victims

After determining that a shooting at a Chattanooga reserve center this summer was inspired by foreign terrorists, the Navy will award the Purple Heart to the four Marines and one sailor who were killed and the one Marine who was injured there. The finding that the shooting was terrorist-inspired came after an extensive investigation by the FBI and the Navy.

Cuba

Deal near to restore commercial flights

The U.S. and Cuba have reached an understanding on restoring regularly scheduled commercial flights, Cuban and U.S. officials said on the eve of the anniversary of detente between the Cold War foes. The diplomatic advance helps open the way for U.S. airlines to begin flying to Cuba within months in what would be the biggest business deal struck as the two countries try to normalize relations. Officials said it was not yet a formal agreement.

Britain

Parliament votes to authorize fracking

The government is trying to revive its flagging effort to extract natural gas and oil from shale rock. Parliament voted 298-261 to allow use of the shale-gas-extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing beneath national parks and other protected areas. The push by Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party came days after the United Nations climate conference agreed to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

North Korea

Canadian pastor gets life sentence

North Korea's Supreme Court sentenced a Canadian pastor to life in prison with hard labor for what it called crimes against the state. Hyeon Soo Lim, who pastors the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, has been detained since February.

News services