National News

Pope Francis inaugurates a bronze statue of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI with Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo.

Pope Says God Not 'A Magician, With A Magic Wand'

In a move that could be aimed at healing a rift between science and religion, Pope Francis has said that evolution and the Big Bang are consistent with the notion of a creator. And according to the pontiff, believers should not view God as "a magician, with a magic wand."

Francis made the remarks at an assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, billed as meeting to discuss "Evolving Concepts of Nature."

Australia is no longer processing new visa applications from the three worst-hit countries in Africa's Ebola outbreak. Here, a jetliner prepares to land at Sydney's international airport.

Australia Blocks New Visas From West Africa Over Ebola Outbreak

Australia's immigration agency has ceased processing new visa applications from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, over concerns about the possible spread of the deadly Ebola virus. The country has also shut down an aid program in West Africa, Australia's immigration chief says. The move is drawing criticism.

Robel Phillipos (left), a college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, departs federal court on Monday. Phillipos was found guilty Tuesday of two counts of lying to the FBI.

Friend Of Accused Boston Bomber Found Guilty Of Lying To Police

Robel Phillipos, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been found guilty of lying to FBI agents investigating the attack.

Prosecutors said Phillipos lied about having visited Tsarnaev's dorm room days after the April 15, 2013, attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

Police officers stand guard in front of the Hefei City Intermediate People's Court in China's Anhui Province.

China May Drop 9 Crimes From List Of Death Penalty Offenses

Chinese lawmakers are considering removing nine crimes from eligibility for the death penalty. A draft amendment to that effect went to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in Beijing this week. It appears to be part of a trend to reduce the use of the death penalty in a country that still executes more people than any other.

With Obamacare, More Millennials Are Going To The Doctor, Sort Of

I write about health and health care, but even I'm not immune to the "young and invincible" mentality. My annual dental checkup is more than six months overdue.

A provision of the Affordable Care Act that took effect in 2010 aimed to make it easier for young adults to access preventive care by allowing them to stay on their parents' insurance until they turn 26. As of 2011, some 3 million young adults gained coverage through this provision.

So does this mean more young people are getting their annual checkups and cholesterol screenings?

An Oct. 21 file photo, provided by Amber Vinson, shows Vinson at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Vinson, a Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola, is expected to be discharged today.

Amber Vinson To Be Discharged After Testing 'Ebola-Free'

Amber Vinson, one of two nurses who contracted Ebola while treating a Liberian man earlier this month, will be discharged from an Atlanta hospital this afternoon after tests showed that she is free of the virus.

A spokeswoman at Emory told The Associated Press that Vinson will be going home after she appears at a 1 p.m. ET news conference at the hospital.

Vinson, 29, is expected to make a statement at Emory University Hospital, where she had been treated for nearly two weeks.

A Ukrainian government forces member, who takes part in a military operation eastern regions of Ukraine, reads candidate information sheets during a parliamentary election at a polling station in Novoaidar near Luhansk, on Sunday.

Planned Vote In Ukraine's Separatist East Gets Moscow's Blessing

Russia is backing a plan by separatists in eastern Ukraine to hold a vote in areas under their control ostensibly as part of a deal with Kiev to allow limited self-rule in the region. The vote, set for Nov. 2 would come days after Ukrainian elections that saw pro-Western parties allied with President Petro Poroshenko sweep to power.

A geologist maps the margin of the lava flow in the open field below Cemetery Road near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii. Dozens of residents from the village may be forced to evacuate.

Hawaii Lava Flow Less Than 100 Yards From Homes In Pahoa Village

Dozens of residents from the village of Pahoa on Hawaii's Big Island are preparing to watch their homes be engulfed by a slow-moving finger of lava that has traced a scorched path for months from its origin at Kilauea volcano.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira has said residents will be allowed to watch Mother Nature consume their homes to "provide for a means of closure.

"You can only imagine the frustration as well as ... despair they're going through," he said, according to The Associated Press.

A ballot measure in Maine over bear-baiting has drawn ads from both sides of the debate, including this one from the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council, which opposes the measure.

Bear-Baiting And Big Races Drown Portland, Maine, In Campaign Ads

In terms of campaign ads, Portland, Maine, is punching well over its weight.

Nielsen ranks the Portland media market 91st in the country. But it comes in at No. 8 in terms of campaign-ad volume, according to Kantar Media research.

With voting day next week, more than $1 billion has been spent on some 2 million ads around the country. Portland proves it's not just TV viewers in the big states that are being deluged.

Political scientist Michael Franz says there are a number of reasons why Portland is so popular.

The nursing staff get a break at the Ebola care center run by Doctors Without Borders in Foya, Liberia. The center has helped stop the spread of the virus.

An Ebola Strategy Brings Good News To One Liberian Town

In one corner of Liberia, a community has come together to change the course of the deadly epidemic. New cases have been brought to a standstill. This success shows that it's going to take more than extra beds at a ward to stop Ebola.

When Doctors Without Borders arrived in the northern district of Foya in early August, Ebola was out of control. Foya was the first area in Liberia to report cases, and the community has been hit hard.

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