Gas blast at Mexico City children's hospital
At least three people are dead and dozens are injured.
Dartmouth College to ban hard alcohol on campus
(Reuters) - Dartmouth College will ban hard alcohol on campus as it seeks to cut down on binge drinking among students, the Ivy League school's president said on Thursday. The ban, which applies to students and all college-sponsored events, comes at a time when universities across the United States are trying to fight what the White House has described as an "epidemic" of sexual assault. The Hanover, New Hampshire, college is among the more than 50 elite U.S. learning institutions that the Department of Education is investigating to see if their policies on sex assault violate U.S. laws requiring equal treatment for men and women in higher education. Researchers say the culture of binge drinking on college campuses has fueled sex assaults.
Brawl erupts at Missouri meeting over black teen killing case
A meeting aimed at easing tensions between blacks and police in St. Louis erupted into a brawl Wednesday night, underscoring the ongoing anger that persists in the area after the August police killing of an unarmed black teen. The meeting, held at St. Louis City Hall, was focused on seeking public comment for how and why a civilian review board should provide oversight for police. A police union official who was seen wearing a wristband supporting Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson further antagonized some in the crowd, according to the reports. "It seemed he was intentionally trying to provoke people," said Rasheen Aldridge, a member of a separate citizen's commission formed to address racial tensions in Ferguson, who attended the meeting Monday night.
Islamic State purportedly sets new deadline for hostage swap
A voice claiming to be a Japanese hostage relays the group's latest threat.
Weekly Ebola cases below 100
By Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The number of new confirmed Ebola cases totaled 99 in the week to Jan. 25, the lowest tally since June 2014, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, signaling the tide might have turned against the epidemic. "The response to the EVD (Ebola virus disease) epidemic has now moved to a second phase, as the focus shifts from slowing transmission to ending the epidemic," the WHO said. "To achieve this goal as quickly as possible, efforts have moved from rapidly building infrastructure to ensuring that capacity for case finding, case management, safe burials, and community engagement is used as effectively as possible." The outbreak has killed 8,810 people out of 22,092 known cases, almost all of them in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Cases and deaths have fallen rapidly in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the past few weeks, with just 20 deaths recorded in Liberia in the 21 days to Jan. 25.
U.S. jobless claims plunge 14%
New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits plunged to the lowest level in nearly 15 years last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, dropped to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 in the week ending January 24, a hefty decline of 43,000 from the prior week's slightly upwardly revised level of 308,000. It was the lowest level for initial claims since mid-April 2000. The Labor Department said there was no particular factor influencing the week's claims data, which is often volatile.
Exclusive: CDC installing cameras in labs in agency-wide safety push
By Julie Steenhuysen ATLANTA (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has introduced camera monitoring of workers in its highest-level biosafety laboratories as it seeks to restore public faith in its procedures after a series of mishaps, agency officials tell Reuters. The mishaps have raised major questions over safety practices at more than 1,000 laboratory and support facilities that make up the CDC, whose role is to monitor and prevent outbreaks of disease. The move to monitor workers will allow lab directors and senior scientists to ensure they have followed safety protocols exactly, Leslie Dauphin, interim director of laboratory safety, told Reuters in an interview. "That is what the camera system helps with." The agency is expected to release details within a week of its own investigation into the Ebola mishap.
Malaysia declares MH370 an 'accident', airline to proceed with compensation
Malaysia declared on Thursday the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident, clearing the way for the airline to pay compensation to victims' relatives while the search for the plane goes on. "We officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident ... and that all 239 of the passengers and crew onboard MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives," Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said in a statement. The announcement is in accordance with standards of annexes 12 and 13 in the International Civil Aviation, said Azharuddin. It will allow families of the passengers to obtain assistance through compensation, he said.
Matt Bai: Jeb and the myth of the Sister Souljah moment
Contrary to what people say, there’s really no such thing as a “Sister Souljah moment” unless a political candidate has spent a good bit of time making the argument that underlies it first.
Islamic State releases new audio message by Japanese hostage
Jordan says it is ready to trade an Iraqi woman militant for a pilot held by IS extremists.