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New gas attacks in Syria?

BEIRUT — Syrian government forces have attacked rebel-held areas with poisonous chlorine gas in recent weeks and months, leaving men, women and children coughing, choking and gasping for breath, according to Associated Press interviews with more than a dozen activists, medics and residents on the opposition side.

In Asia, Obama reaffirms alliance with Japan

TOKYO — Declaring that “the United States is and always will be a Pacific nation,” President Barack Obama launched an Asia tour designed to assure leaders of ally nations that they have a strong U.S. backup at a time of rising regional tension.

Potential for heart attack, stroke risk seen with marijuana use

Over a five-year period, a government-mandated tracking system in France showed that physicians in that country treated 1,979 patients for serious health problems associated with the use of marijuana, and nearly 2 percent of those encounters were with patients suffering from cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia and stroke, and circulation problems in the arms and legs. In roughly a quarter of those cases, the study found, the patient died.

Material on Australian shore not from Malaysia jet

CANBERRA, Australia — Australian officials said Thursday that after examining detailed photographs of unidentified material that washed ashore in the southwestern part of the country they are satisfied it is not a clue in the search for the missing Malaysian plane.

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Is the Gulf spill cleanup finished?

On Tuesday night, BP said that the “active cleanup” of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill had been brought “to a close.” Later Tuesday night, the Coast Guard said the response to the spill isn’t over yet, “not by a long shot.”

New SAT: What will those questions look like?

WASHINGTON — Calculate the foreign exchange rate a vacationing American would pay in India. Estimate from a random sample the number of 18- to 34-year olds who voted for a candidate. These are sample questions from the newly redesigned SAT, which aims for more real-world applications and analysis from students.

If filed, plane lawsuits might not get heard in US

BEIJING — Since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, some lawyers have claimed they can get several millions of dollars in damages for each lost passenger by taking the cases to the United States. But past lawsuits show U.S. federal courts are more likely to throw such cases out if the crashes happened overseas.