Billionaire investment legend Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has had its credit rating lowered from AA+ to AA by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.
In a statement, S&P says that even though Berkshire Hathaway has an "excellent business profile," the lower credit rating "better reflects our view of BRK's dependence on its core insurance operations for most of its dividend income." (S&P's statement is posted on its website, but you have to register to view it.)
Rutgers athletics director Julie Hermann takes a question as university President Robert Barchi looks on Wednesday. Hermann' hire comes a month after the school fired its basketball coach over a video of abusive practices.
Rutgers University officials are welcoming the arrival of new athletic director Julie Hermann as the beginning of a new era, as the school seeks to rebound from the turmoil that recently engulfed its athletics department.
In a message written on a wall of the boat where he was found hiding, Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was motivated by anger over the Afghan and Iraq wars, sources familiar with what was found have told CBS News correspondent John Miller.
-- There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up 32,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 360,000, the pace was the fastest since the last week of March. But it remained well below the 400,000-and-higher rate that lasted from mid-2008 into 2011.
"The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis," the BBC reports. "Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said anyone using social media sites — and especially Twitter — 'has lost this world and his afterlife.' "
That's how the New Orleans Police Department spread the word on Facebook early Thursday that its officers had "arrested 19-year-old Akein Scott in connection with the shooting of 19 people on Mother's Day."
Early casualty reports indicate that a powerful suicide car bombing Thursday in Kabul killed at least seven Afghan civilians, four foreign civilian contractors who were working for international forces and two members of the international military force.
Dozens more people were reportedly injured by the blast in Afghanistan's capital city.
"A massive emergency response" is underway in North Texas, where tornadoes blew through Wednesday night, The Dallas Morning News says. A twister that hit Granbury, about 35 miles southwest of Fort Worth, left at least six people dead, more than 100 injured and even more homeless, The Associated Press adds.
Religious authorities responded after Saudis used Twitter to show images of human rights activists on trial. The BBC reports the kingdom's most senior cleric called Twitter users "fools." The head of the religious police says any social media user will lose the afterlife.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand greets panel members from the military and the Defense Department testifying on Capitol Hill on March 13 before the subcommittee's hearing on sexual assault in the military.
Credit Kathy Willens / AP
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand holds her son Henry, 4, after greeting supporters at New York State Democratic Headquarters on Nov. 6. The 2009 appointee won her first six-year term with 72 percent of the vote.
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is introducing legislation with other lawmakers Thursday that would change how the military handles sexual assault cases. The proposal would let military prosecutors — rather than commanders — decide whether to bring serious military crimes to trial.
It's the latest high-publicity move for a senator who was virtually unknown four years ago when she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's senate seat. Now, she's on some lists for possible candidates for vice president — even president.
A dozen universities are collaborating on a sort of extreme winemaking project: How cold a climate can a grape survive and still make good wine? The Northern Grapes Project is inventing wines the world has never seen before, winning wine awards and creating a new crop for struggling rural economies.
How often do you find Iran, Russia and the United States united behind a single message? Well, representatives from all three countries were in New York City yesterday rallying support for the sport of wrestling, which could be excluded from the upcoming Olympic Games. It was quite a show of sportsmanship and diplomacy. Of course, there was time for some conflict among the wrestlers. It took place at New York's Grand Central Terminal, that's why they called it the Rumble on the Rails.
Japan has embarked on a massive effort to stimulate its economy. Both the government and the central bank are collaborating to end a long period of stagnation and deflation. But the effects are also being felt outside Japan.
After President Obama overturned Bush-era policy restricting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research in 2009, Nebraska Right to Life led a protest of the research outside the University of Nebraska regents' meeting.
This map, from the United States Geological Survey, shows the age of bedrock in different regions of North America. Scientists found ancient water in bedrock north of Lake Superior. This region, colored red, was formed more than 2.5 billion years ago.
Mars, seen in this composite image, has a lot of water in its polar ice caps. If water is also trapped in the planet's crust, experts say, it could house microbial life.
Scientists have discovered water that has been trapped in rock for more than a billion years. The water might contain microbes that evolved independently from the surface world, and it's a finding that gives new hope to the search for life on other planets.
The water samples came from holes drilled by gold miners near the small town of Timmins, Ontario, about 350 miles north of Toronto. Deep in the Canadian bedrock, miners drill holes and collect samples. Sometimes they hit pay dirt; sometimes they hit water, which seeps out from tiny crevices in the rock.
Afghan and U.S. officials attend the closing ceremony for the Paktia provincial reconstruction team on April 9 in eastern Afghanistan. NATO created more than 20 teams to help the Afghans rebuild. But now the U.S. teams are winding down their activities.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
The main road through the Panjshir Valley, shown here April 9, remains under construction. A U.S. reconstruction team started the project in northern Afghanistan, and the provincial government is overseeing the completion.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
Lt. Col. John Chong (left), the last commander of the Paktia PRT, rolls up and cases the flag at the closing ceremony on April 9.
On a sunny spring day in eastern Afghanistan's Paktia province, Afghan officials and U.S. troops and civilians gather inside the ancient mud fort in the center of Forward Operating Base Gardez. They're attending a ceremony marking the formal end of the work of the provincial reconstruction team, or PRT.
President Obama announced late Wednesday that the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steve Miller, has resigned in the wake of a report that employees at the agency engaged in partisan scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
The president, appearing for a brief statement at the White House, said he had directed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew "to accept the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS."
Astronomers said Wednesday that a reaction wheel that keeps the orbiting telescope pointed at tiny, distant patches of sky to look for Earth-like planets has failed. If they can't fix it, Kepler will be relegated to a less prestigious mission, directing its gaze much closer to home in a search for so-called "near-Earth objects," i.e., meteors and asteroids.
MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, BYLINE: And I'm Audie Cornish.
The Obama administration is doing some intensive damage control this evening. Tonight, the president announced that the acting commissioner of the IRS, Steven Miller, is being pushed out over heightened scrutiny given to Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations.
When Garfield High School in Los Angeles stopped suspending students for "willful defiance" several years ago, it saw suspensions drop from more than 600 to just one. Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District board voted to follow suit in all LA schools.
School suspensions are a big issue in California. Last year, schools handed out 700,000 of them. But the Los Angeles Unified School District took a step to change that this week when it voted to ban suspension of students deemed "willfully defiant."
On Monday, the team behind Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck" gathered in Nashville to celebrate the song's reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. From left: co-songwriters Jimmy Yeary, Connie Harrington and Jessi Alexander, military father Paul Monti and singer Lee Brice.
Revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted some conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny have put a spotlight on a part of the tax code increasingly popular with political groups: section 501(c)(4).
But what's the benefit for organizations to get approved for 501(c)(4) status?
The Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called "a very grave leak" to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there's a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.
A black dehorned rhinoceros is followed by a calf at the Bona Bona Game Reserve in 2012. South Africa has seen a devastating increase in poaching in recent years as black-market demand for rhino horn has grown.
When Duan Biggs was growing up in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, he used to watch elephants and rhinos walking past his bedroom window. He left home to pursue degrees in biology and economics, and when he returned in 2011 the park looked and sounded "like a pseudo war zone," he says.
"There'd be helicopters flying overhead all the time," he says. "I remember one afternoon coming back to my home from a game drive and the bush was crawling with people with assault rifles, from the army, from the police, and from National Parks. They were looking for poachers."