Parts of a global climate agreement being hammered out in Paris should be legally binding, President Barack Obama said Tuesday. The declaration was a boost to climate negotiators seeking a tough accord and a challenge to Republican senators, many of whom don’t believe that global warming is real. Whether or not to make the climate accord legally binding is a major sticking point at the two-week talks in Paris, which aim to get all countries to agree to cut emissions that scientists say are warming the Earth and are increasing extreme weather such as droughts and floods. Obama has spent months prodding other countries to make ambitious carbon-cutting pledges to the agreement, which would last long beyond the end of his presidency in early 2017. In Paris, Obama said the specific emissions...Nancy Benac | Associated Press
A few weeks before I started medical school in 1981, the first reports of previously healthy young men with a rare form of pneumonia were released. When I think back on the past 34 years, I remember many patients from the early days of the epidemic who died. I remember the fear of family members, friends and medical staff. I remember the sickening feeling of an accidental needlestick to my finger while caring for a patient with AIDS. I also remember the first patient I spoke with about a brand new drug, AZT, which promised to control the human immunodeficiency virus, the virus that causes AIDS. Her expression was one of concern mixed with cautious hope about what this would mean for her future. Her hope was not in vain. The progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS has been truly...Dr. Jay Butler
PARIS — President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended his willingness to undertake climate talks in the midst of a war in Syria, saying it was “because this one trend, climate change, affects all trends.” If global temperatures continue to increase at their current pace, if sea levels continue to rise and weather patterns continue to shift, much of the United States’ military and other spending would have to be devoted to dealing with those changes, Obama said at a news conference in Paris, where he was attending the climate talks. Referring to the Islamic State, Obama also said that, despite repeated meetings with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, “I don’t think you should be under any illusions now that Russia will start targeting only ISIL targets.” The Russians have been deeply...Gardiner Harris
Do you have a male brain or a female brain? The answer, according to science, is no. If you didn't expect this to be a yes-or-no question, you're not alone. Male brains do seem to be built differently than female brains. An analysis of more than 100 studies found that the volume of a man's brain is 8 percent to 13 percent greater than the volume of a woman's brain, on average. Some of the most noticeable differences were in areas of the brain that control language, memory, emotion and behavior, according to a 2014 report in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. To find out whether these structural differences translated into cognitive differences, scientists examined detailed brain scans of more than 1,400 men and women. No matter which group of people they looked at, what...Karen Kaplan
MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine court on Tuesday convicted a U.S. Marine of homicide in the killing of a transgender woman last year. Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, 20, had been charged with murder, but the court convicted him of the lesser offense of homicide and sentenced him to six to 12 years in prison, a court clerk said. He was found guilty of killing Jennifer Laude, 26, of the Philippines, whom he had met in a nightclub in Olongapo City, about 100 miles north of Manila, in October 2014. The court said that it had reduced the charge from murder because the element of “treachery” was not present in the killing. In addition to his prison sentence, Pemberton was ordered to pay the equivalent of about $100,000 to Laude’s family, most of it as compensation for income lost because...FLOYD WHALEY
EUTAW, Ala. — After decades of relentless rise, the number of new cases of diabetes in the United States has finally started to decline. The rate of new cases fell by about a fifth from 2008 to 2014, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first sustained decline since the disease started to explode in this country about 25 years ago. The drop has been gradual and for a number of years was not big enough to be statistically meaningful. But new data for 2014 released Tuesday serves as a robust confirmation that the decline is real, officials said. There were 1.4 million new cases of diabetes in 2014, down from 1.7 million in 2008. “It seems pretty clear that incidence rates have now actually started to drop,” said Dr. Edward Gregg, one of the CDC’s...Sabrina Tavernise
A Fairbanks man wielding a mallet who stole a phone from a woman Monday didn’t get far before he was sniffed out by a K-9 unit, according to Alaska State Troopers. Troopers said in a dispatch that the call resulting in the arrest of 21-year-old Derek Forsythe came in at about noon Monday, from a home where he was trying to break in. “Derek was able to force his way into the residence and then threatened to assault an elderly woman with a mallet,” troopers wrote. “Once troopers arrived, Derek fled to a nearby abandoned trailer with the victim’s cellphone and hid in the crawlspace. Derek was ultimately apprehended with the use of Alaska State Trooper K-9 Skippy.” Forsythe was arrested on third-degree counts of domestic-violence assault and theft, as well as fourth-degree criminal mischief...Alaska Dispatch News
Q: Several years ago, when one of our employees was stealing from other employees’ purses and desks, we called the police. The process -- calling in the police, alerting our insurance carrier and interviewing multiple employees to be able to show fairness so we wouldn’t get sued for wrongful termination when we fired the one employee -- tore apart our company. Once again, we have a problem. Several employees have reported missing small things from their desks. It appears that these items are being taken at night and since everyone has a key, it could be anyone. We suspect the new employee as the problem began when he was hired. Is there a discreet way to handle this, so we don’t have to interview everyone, casting suspicion on other employees who we believe blameless? Can we just fire him...Lynne Curry
KENAI — Star of the Discovery Channel reality show "Alaska: The Last Frontier" Atz Kilcher is looking to build up a site at Fox River where young people can gather to work on art projects. The Peninsula Clarion reports Kilcher, who is a homesteader near Homer, applied to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for permission to construct several permanent buildings near the Old Believer Russian Orthodox village Kachemak Selo. The proposed campground would include a two-story barn, cabin, bunkhouse, workshop and outhouse. Camp participants would be there for several days working on singing, poetry, painting and other art forms. "The dream as it's unfolding, it could involve kids, youths, parents and their kids — I see it more as a writing, art retreat," Kilcher said. "I could envision...The Associated Press
Paul Hill died as defiantly as he had lived. America's most infamous abortion clinic killer was executed at 6 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2003. As the hour approached, supporters gathered outside the Florida State Prison near Jacksonville to promise divine retribution for Hill's death. They howled as a storm broke above their heads, seeing the weather as a sign of heaven's wrath. Inside the execution chamber, however, there was calm. Hill, sentenced to die for gunning down an abortion doctor almost a decade earlier, was peaceful, even as thunder clapped and the lights flickered overhead. Strapped to a gurney, Hill calmly used his last words to urge others to continue his bloody crusade. "If you believe abortion is a lethal force, you should oppose the force and do what you have to do to stop it," he...Michael E. Miller and Yanan Wang