WNPR

Scott Neuman

Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim — jailed for years following a conviction on sodomy charges widely viewed as politically motivated — walked free on Wednesday following a royal pardon.

The pardon, granted by Malaysia's King Muhammad V, was announced last week, a day after Mahathir Mohamad, the 92-year-old political stalwart who was prime minister for more than 20 years until he resigned in 2003, returned to power after a 15-year hiatus.

A California law permitting physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients has been overturned by a judge who says it was passed unconstitutionally.

Judge Daniel Ottolia of the Riverside County Superior Court did not challenge the legality of the nearly 3-year-old law but said California lawmakers should not have passed it during a special session on health care funding.

Updated at 3:20 a.m. ET Wednesday

A massive ash plume rising from a fissure on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has caused authorities to issue a red alert for airplanes in the region for the first time since the mountain suddenly ramped up its activity nearly two weeks ago.

What scientists refer to as "vog" — a combination of volcanic gas and ash — reached 12,000 feet into the sky above Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes.

An explosion at a medical office building early Tuesday afternoon in Southern California killed at least one person and seriously wounded three othersm, and reportedly is being investigated as possibly intentional.

The Los Angeles Times quotes authorities as saying the explosion in the city of Aliso Viejo is suspicious and The Associated Press says authorities believe it may have been caused by a package bomb.

New commercial satellite imagery shows that North Korea has begun dismantling its underground nuclear test site ahead of schedule – an apparent goodwill gesture offered by Pyongyang in advance of a summit next month between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

A nanny convicted in New York in the stabbing deaths of two small children in her charge in 2012 has been sentenced to life without parole.

Yoselyn Ortega, 55, wept as she addressed the courtroom upon her sentencing for the deaths of the Krim children, 2-year-old Leo and 6-year-old Lucian, also known as Lulu.

"I'm very sorry for everything that happened, but I hope that no one goes through what I have gone through," Ortega told the court in Spanish.

"I ask for forgiveness from God, from Marina, from Kevin," she said referring to the parents.

The head of AirAsia, Malaysia's largest airline, has apologized for aggressively backing former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was ousted in a surprise upset in last week's elections, saying he "buckled" at a crucial moment in the country's history.

Tony Fernandes, who founded the Kuala Lumpur-based low-cost airline in 1993, appeared in a Facebook video to address "my fellow Malaysians."

Updated at 4:21 p.m. ET

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he will explore other ways to punish a Chinese cellphone manufacturer, after a surprising tweet from President Trump that said the original penalty was too harsh.

Trump tweeted on Sunday that smartphone giant ZTE was losing "too many jobs in China" as a result of U.S. sanctions. He said he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to find a solution.

Updated at 3:40 a.m. ET

Authorities in Indonesia say that a family of five riding two explosives-laden motorbikes carried out a suicide attack on police headquarters in Surabaya on Monday, wounding at least 10 people after a similar attack on three separate churches over the weekend killed more than a dozen people.

According to the BBC, video of the attack in Indonesia's second-largest city "shows two motorbikes approaching a checkpoint just before the blast."

Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET

A day after Sen. John McCain urged his Senate colleagues to reject Gina Haspel as CIA director because she had overseen torture of detainees, a White House official reportedly mocked the ailing Arizona Republican, saying his opinion "doesn't matter" because "he's dying anyway."

The video shows a white police officer choking a young tuxedo-clad man who is African-American, pushing him against a storefront and then slamming him to the ground outside a North Carolina Waffle House.

The 27-second clip provides no context for the confrontation, but the image of the burly officer, dressed in tactical gear, subduing the skinny young man, who is pleading to be let go, is the latest such video to go viral, sparking outrage and accusations of police brutality.

The bodies of seven people, including four children, have been discovered following an apparent mass homicide in a small town in Western Australia.

The remains were found in the town of Osmington, some 150 miles south of Perth in the Margaret River wine-growing region of Western Australia.

West Australian Police Commissioner Chris Dawson would not say how the victims died, but indicated that two firearms were found on the property and that "It appears that gunshot wounds are there."

Israel says it carried out airstrikes against dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria in what it is describing as the largest such operation it has ever conducted in the region, after it says its forces came under missile attack.

Updated at 3:30 a.m. ET

Three American men who had been held by North Korea touched U.S. soil once again early Thursday, where they were met by President Trump, who has hailed his diplomacy with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for winning their freedom.

The trio — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim – all held on charges of espionage, arrived at Joint Base Andrews just outside of Washington, D.C., at about 2:40 a.m. ET. Their plane taxied to the meeting area, where a giant U.S. flag was suspended over the tarmac.

Geologists are warning that Hawaii's Kilauea volcano — which has been belching toxic gas and oozing lava into a residential area for the past week — could erupt explosively in the coming weeks.

The possibility of such a sudden eruption will increase as lava flows from Kilauea's summit crater down its face and magma falls below the water table, the U.S. Geological Survey said. That could create steam pressure that would then explode.

The volcano could then eject "ballistic rocks" of lava up to several feet in diameter, the USGS said.

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