National News

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (center) leads the first Cabinet meeting of the new Palestinian unity government in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday.

Israel Criticizes U.S. Decision To Deal With Palestinian Government

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he's troubled by the U.S. decision to maintain ties with the new Palestinian unity government, which includes the militant group Hamas.

"I'm deeply troubled by the announcement that the United States will work with the Palestinian government backed by Hamas," he told The Associated Press, saying the group has murdered "countless innocent civilians."

Alexander Shulgin, the pharmacologist and chemist known as the godfather of Ecstasy, died Monday at his home in northern California. He was 88.

Alexander Shulgin, The 'Godfather Of Ecstasy,' Dies At 88

Alexander Shulgin, the researcher who transformed MDMA from an obscure chemical to a party drug known as Ecstasy, has died at his home in Northern California. He was 88, and the cause was liver cancer, the BBC reported.

In a statement on Facebook, Shulgin's wife and collaborator, Ann Shulgin, said:

President Obama, Jani Bergdahl and Bob Bergdahl speak during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on May 31 about the release of their son, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Administration Defends Bowe Bergdahl's Release Amid Criticism

President Obama today [Tuesday] defended the deal under which Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed in exchange for high-level Taliban prisoners, saying his administration had consulted with Congress over a possible trade. And, he dismissed questions about how Bergdahl was captured by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan in June 2009.

Despite Law, Rape Victims Sometimes Pay For Medical Services

The effects of a sexual assault can be long-lasting, but the medical bills aren't supposed to be.

Yet a study published recently finds that despite federal efforts to lift that burden from rape victims, a hodgepodge of state rules mean some victims may still be charged for medical services related to rape, including prevention and treatment of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections.

In a photo released on the Syrian Presidency's Facebook page, Syrian President Bashar Assad casts his vote on Tuesday with his wife, Asma, at his side.

Syrians Head To Polls In An Election Expected To Go To Assad

Syrians head to the polls today in a vote that's expected to keep President Bashar Assad in power.

"The election is widely condemned as a sham by Western governments but hailed by Syria's allies Russia and Iran," NPR's Deborah Amos tells our Newscast unit. She says only residents in areas controlled by the Assad regime are allowed to vote.

Unlike in previous elections where Assad ran unopposed, there are two other names listed on the ballots — but they're little-known figures and their candidacies viewed as mostly symbolic.

President Obama and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk at a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday.

Obama Seeks $1 Billion To Boost U.S. Military Presence In Europe

President Obama said today [Tuesday] that he wants to boost the U.S. military presence in Europe amid simmering tensions with Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

Kenyatta Collins, a New Orleans charter school student.

Local Views Of New Orleans' Changing School Landscape

New Orleans marked a milestone last week. The city's "Recovery School District" closed its remaining five public schools, making it the first public all-charter school district in the nation.

Justice Department Renews Focus On Homegrown Terrorists

The U.S. has devoted billions of dollars to fighting terrorism overseas in the years since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Justice Department is increasingly warning about the danger posed by radicals on American soil, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder wants prosecutors and FBI agents to devote more attention to the threat.

Nearly two decades ago, after the Oklahoma City bombing killed 168 people, the Justice Department launched a group to fight domestic terrorism.

French physicist, Philippe Hubert uses gamma rays to detect radioactivity in wine. "In the wine is the story of the Atomic Age," he says.

How Atomic Particles Helped Solve A Wine Fraud Mystery

In a laboratory, deep under a mile-high stretch of the Alps on the French-Italian border, Philippe Hubert, a physicist at the University of Bordeaux, is testing the authenticity of a bottle of wine.

"We are looking for radioactivity in the wine," says Hubert. "Most of the time the collectors send me bottles of wine because they want to know if it is fake or not."

Just some of the more than 700 math books that have been reviewed for Common Core alignment by professor William Schmidt and his team at Michigan State's Center for the Study of Curriculum.

The Common Core Curriculum Void

Right now, America's schools are in a sprint. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards. That means new learning benchmarks for the vast majority of the nation's young students — millions of kids from kindergarten through high school. And, for many of them, the Core will feel tougher than what they're used to. Because it is tougher.

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