News in Brief

Bomb tears through Damascus, killing 14

A powerful bomb ripped through a bustling commercial district of Damascus on Tuesday, killing at least 14 people, shattering store fronts and bringing Syria’s civil war to the heart of the capital for the second consecutive day. A day earlier, the Syrian prime minister narrowly escaped an assassination attempt after a car bomb struck near his convoy, a few kilometers from Tuesday’s blast. The bombings appear to be part of an accelerated campaign by opposition forces to hit President Bashar Assad’s regime in the heavily defended capital. ‏(AP‏)

Obama: Reviewing whether intel missed in Boston bombing

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the U.S. will review whether any sensitive intelligence was missed that could have prevented the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon. Obama said the review, which will last just 90 days, will help determine if all the information was shared properly. Brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, both Russian natives who lived for several years in the U.S., are accused of using a weapon of mass destruction during the April 15 marathon. “Based on what I’ve seen so far, the FBI performed its duties, the Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing,” Obama told a White House news conference, describing how the FBI earlier had interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev. ‏(AP‏)

Court bans Musharraf from office for life

A Pakistani court on Tuesday banned former military ruler Pervez Musharraf from running for public office for the rest of his life, the latest blow since he returned from exile last month to make a political comeback. The ban came as Pakistan’s powerful army chief pledged in a rare speech that the military would do everything in its power to ensure the parliamentary election is held as scheduled on May 11, despite the Taliban’s attempt to disrupt the vote by attacking candidates. One of Musharraf’s lawyers, Saad Shibli, said he would go to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling against his client, claiming the former leader should not be singled out for punishment for his actions while in power since others were involved. ‏(AP‏)

5-year-old girl dies after rape in India

A 5-year-old girl has died after being raped in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, an official said Tuesday, in the latest in a series of brutal attacks that have sparked outrage in the country. The girl suffered cardiac arrest and died late Monday at a hospital in Nagpur city in neighboring Maharashtra state where she was being treated for injuries from the April 18 assault, said Bharat Yadav, collector for Seoni district, where the attack occurred. Two men have been arrested in connection with the attack, he said. ‏(AP‏)

2-year-old girl gets windpipe made from stem cells

A 2-year-old girl born without a windpipe now has a new one grown from her own stem cells, making her the youngest patient in the world to benefit from the experimental treatment. Hannah Warren has been unable to breathe, eat, drink or swallow on her own since she was born in South Korea in 2010. Until the operation at a central Illinois hospital, she had spent her entire life in a hospital in Seoul. Doctors there told her parents there was no hope and they expected her to die. The stem cells came from Hannah’s bone marrow, extracted with a special needle inserted into her hip bone. They were seeded in a lab onto a plastic scaffold, where it took less than a week for them to multiply and create a new windpipe. About the size of a 3-inch ‏(76.2-millimeter‏) tube of penne pasta, it was implanted April 9 in a nine-hour procedure. Early signs indicate the windpipe is working, Hannah’s doctors announced on Tuesday. ‏(AP‏)