Emergency workers frantic to regain control of Japan's dangerously overheated nuclear complex turned to increasingly elaborate methods Thursday to cool nuclear fuel rods at risk of spraying out more radiation. They tried with police water cannons, heavy-duty firetrucks and military helicopters dropping bucket after enormous bucket of water onto the stricken system.
RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan (AP) — The elderly couple fled their home on foot as the warning sirens blared. But they could not keep up with their neighbors and fell behind as the tsunami rushed in. Nearly a week later, 71-year-old Taeko Kanno and her husband are still missing.
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahrain's Sunni monarchy detained at least seven prominent opposition activists Thursday, and Iran recalled its ambassador to protest the Gulf troops backing the government against the Shiite protests that forced martial law-style rule in the island nation. Bahrain's government is gambling that it can survive the sectarian faultlines that splinter the region, with Sunni leaders in the Gulf sending forces to bolster a regime that they — and the U.S. — see as a bulwark against Shiite Iran's expanding military ambitions.
LONDON (AP) — A revealing piece of royal history was sold Thursday for 78,000 pounds ($125,871) when an unidentified buyer bought the infamous see-through dress Kate Middleton wore back in 2002 when she and Prince William were university friends. Some reports maintain that the sight of Middleton in the transparent dress as she walked down the catwalk at a charity fashion show helped convince William that she was someone he wanted to get to know better.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's army chief strongly condemned a U.S. drone attack that killed more than three dozen people Thursday, saying the missiles struck a peaceful meeting of tribal elders near the Afghan border. The accusation by Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani adds tension to a relationship that was already strained by the shooting deaths of two Pakistanis by a CIA contractor who was freed Wednesday following a contentious deal to pay millions in "blood money" to the men's families.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Homeland Security demoted a senior career employee who confidentially complained to the agency's internal watchdog that political appointees were improperly interfering with requests for federal records by journalists and others. The chairman of the House committee investigating those practices told the Obama administration that the decision "appeared to be an act of retaliation."
ATLANTA (AP) — A New York City patient was infected with the AIDS virus through a kidney transplant from a live donor, in what health officials are calling the first confirmed U.S. case since the 1980s. The case is considered extremely rare, but some health officials noted that there is no strict policy for when live donors should be tested for the AIDS virus before a transplant.
NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama found out years ago he had an Irish ancestor who fled the potato famine in 1850. He can now claim 28 living relatives who also descended from that Irishman, including a Vietnam veteran, a school nurse and a displeased Arizona Republican. The president's newly identified relatives are revealed in a study released to The Associated Press by Ancestry.com, whose genealogists also traced descendants of 23 other Irish passengers on the ship that brought Falmouth Kearney, Obama's great-great-great-grandfather, to the United States when he was 19.
Diet Coke has topped rival Pepsi-Cola for the first time to become the second-most popular soft drink in the country behind Coca-Cola. It marks a victory for Coca-Cola Co. as its sodas now hold the top two spots, beating out its longtime rival PepsiCo Inc. Diet Coke's rise reflects a long-term trend toward diet sodas. Ten years ago, only two of the top 10 were diet sodas. Now, four are on the list: the diet versions of Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Dr Pepper.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California authorities say Mel Gibson was booked and released on a misdemeanor battery charge as part of the criminal case involving his former girlfriend. Jail records show the actor-director turned himself in Wednesday to the El Segundo Police Department.