agrees to Syria deal
The five permanent members of the divided Security Council have reached agreement on key elements of a resolution to require Syria to dismantle its chemical weapons stockpiles, U.N. diplomats said Thursday.
The diplomats said Russia and the United States were still negotiating on a handful of unresolved issues, reportedly including details on how the chemical weapons will be destroyed. They spoke on condition of anonymity because negotiations have been private.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in hastily scheduled, closed-door talks on Thursday afternoon at the United Nations and “continued to make progress” in overcoming the lingering differences, an American official said.
Interpol issues alert
for ‘white widow’
The tabloids call her “the white widow,” a British-born Muslim convert who was married to one of the suicide bombers in the 2005 attack on London’s transit system. And for days now, the British media have been rife with speculation she took part in the terrorist takeover at a Nairobi shopping mall.
On Thursday, Interpol, acting at Kenya’s request, issued an arrest notice for 29-year-old fugitive Samantha Lewthwaite — not in connection with the mall attack, but over a 2011 plot to bomb holiday resorts in Kenya.
If Lewthwaite indeed embraced the jihadi cause, it would mark a chilling turnaround for the apparently grieving widow who originally condemned the London transit bombings and criticized her late husband, Jermaine Lindsay, for taking part.
Officials have not made public any evidence linking her to the mall attack. The Interpol notice did not mention it. And al-Shabab, the Somali Islamic extremist group behind the takeover, denied any female fighters participated.
SANTA CRUZ, Calif.
Discovery may help
Examining the molecular profiles of tumors from 12 different types of cancers, scientists working with the National Institutes of Health-backed Cancer Genome Atlas said Thursday they had found striking similarities between tumors originating in different organs.
Their discoveries, made possible by improvements in sequencing technologies and computing methods, could herald a day when cancers are treated based on their genetic profiles, rather than on their tissue of origin, said University of California, Santa Cruz, biomolecular engineer Josh Stuart, a participant in the project and co-author of a commentary discussing its findings released Thursday by the journal Nature Genetics.
Eventually, such a shift in thinking could lead researchers to new treatments for hard-to-treat cancers, Stuart said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
If scientists can find molecular similarities, say, between a rare form of breast cancer and a form of ovarian cancer, they might be able to use a drug known to target the ovarian tumor to treat the unusual subtype of breast cancer.
Want a salad
with that Big Mac?
McDonald’s says it will start giving customers the choice of a salad, fruit or vegetable as a substitute for french fries in its value meals. The world’s biggest hamburger chain was set to make the announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, where CEO Don Thompson was slated to speak.
The fast-food company also said it would use the packaging for its Happy Meals to promote healthier options. It said all advertising to kids will include a “fun nutrition or children’s well-being” message.
The changes come as McDonald’s faces criticism from health advocates who say it promotes bad eating habits. McDonald’s, based in Oak Brook, Ill., is also trying to shake its fast-food image to keep up with shifting tastes.