National News

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Here, mixed plastic items are seen at a recycling plant in Vernon, Calif., earlier this year.

Ban On Single-Use Plastic Bags Is Enacted In California

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed SB 270, the first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in the U.S.

"This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself," Brown said. "We're the first to ban these bags, and we won't be the last."

Two container ships collide in the Suez Canal on Monday.

WATCH: Container Ships Collide In Suez Canal

Two container ships, the German-flagged MV Colombo Express and the Singapore-flagged MV Maersk Tanjong, collided on Monday at the north end of the Suez Canal, delaying traffic.

In the video above, apparently filmed from a third vessel, it appears that the 1,062-foot Colombo Express is overtaking the 1,089-foot Maersk Tanjong when the first ship suddenly careens into the side of the second vessel.

Secret Service Chief On White House Breach: It Won't Happen Again

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Images from August 2000 (left) and August 2014 (right) show the drop in water levels in the Aral Sea.

Aral Sea's Eastern Basin Has Dried Out, NASA Photos Show

"For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has completely dried."

That's the word from NASA, which has released images showing the progressive decline of the water levels in the Aral Sea, which straddles the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia. The space agency captured the striking photographs via its Terra satellite.

Boys show off their four-legged friends at a rabies vaccination drive set up by the Serengeti Health Initiative in the Bariadi District of Tanzania.

Doggone It, The World Can Wipe Out Rabies

The word "rabies" may draw faint memories of Old Yeller or Cujo. Thanks to an effective vaccine for dogs, the deadly virus has been nearly eliminated in the U.S.

But rabies is still a problem in many parts of Africa and Asia. The virus kills more than 69,000 people each year, many of them children.

Now scientists say that doesn't need to be the case.

Putting Caffeine In Your Underwear Won't Make You Slimmer, Alas

I love caffeine. I would love to trim my derriere. Combining the two seems like such an obvious win. Evidently some manufacturers of women's undergarments thought so, too. And now they're $1.5 million poorer.

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered two companies, Norm Thompson Outfitters Inc. and Wacoal America, to stop marketing shapewear infused with caffeine. The firms claimed that the amped-up underwear would cause fat loss and a reduction in body size.

Database Flaws Cloud Sunshine On Industry Payments To Doctors

Editor's note: The Open Payments database is live and can be found at here.

Husain Abdullah of the Kansas City Chiefs scores a touchdown after an interception against the New England Patriots Monday. He was then penalized for praying on his knees — something the NFL now says shouldn't have been punished.

In NFL Game, A Slide And A Prayer Spur Debate And Clarification

When an NFL defender picks off a pass and runs it back for a touchdown, the celebration is often spirited. But referees in Monday night's game took exception to Kansas City's Husain Abdullah actions after he slid in the end zone and prostrated himself, imposing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty.

The play quickly became a hot topic on social media, where many criticized a penalty for what qualifies as a quiet gesture in the NFL, where excited players are known to point at themselves, others, and the sky, sometimes while making crude gestures.

Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar (right) and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham exchange documents after signing the Bilateral Security Agreement, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (rear, left) and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in the background.

Afghanistan Signs Deal Allowing 10,000 U.S. Troops To Remain

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET

Afghanistan has signed a pact with the U.S. to allow about 10,000 troops to remain in the country after the end of the year, when most American forces are to be withdrawn.

The country's newly inaugurated president, Ashraf Ghani, signed the Bilateral Security Agreement, or BSA, which would leave in place the U.S. troops and a few others from NATO allies to bolster Afghan forces.

Security personnel guard the entrance of a road leading to a trail on Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture Tuesday, three days after the volcano erupted in central Japan.

Ominous Tremors At Mount Ontake Force Rescue Crews Off Volcano

More than 20 bodies remained near the summit of Japan's Mount Ontake as new tremors and venting gases forced search teams to abandon their efforts early Tuesday local time. Officials don't yet know precisely how many climbers were trapped when the volcano erupted Saturday, a busy day for hiking.

From Tokyo, John Matthews reports for NPR: