WASHINGTON -- A former Army captain hailed for bravery during combat in Afghanistan in 2009 is adding the Medal of Honor to his list of military decorations.
President Barack Obama will bestow the nation's highest military honor on William D. Swenson today. Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama will also attend the ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
The White House said Swenson is being recognized for courageous actions while he was an embedded trainer and mentor with the Afghan National Security Forces in Kunar Province in northeastern Afghanistan on Sept. 8, 2009.
Swenson retired from the military in February 2011. He has a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal and lives in Seattle.
U.S. economists win Nobel: Ordinary investors don't stand much chance of beating the market. It moves way too fast and efficiently. Or it behaves in ways that make no sense at all. Three Americans won the Nobel prize in economics Monday for their sometimes-contradictory insights into the complexities of investing. Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen of the University of Chicago and Robert Shiller of Yale University were honored for shedding light on the forces that move stock, bond and home prices -- findings that have transformed how people invest.
Study ties chemical: New research suggests that high levels of BPA, a chemical in many plastics and canned food linings, might raise the risk of miscarriage in women prone to that problem or having trouble getting pregnant. The work is not nearly enough to prove a link, but it adds to "the biological plausibility" that BPA might affect fertility and other aspects of health, said Dr. Linda Giudice, a California biochemist who is president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The study was to be presented Monday at the group's annual conference in Boston. Last month, ASRM and an obstetricians group urged more attention to environmental chemicals and their potential hazards for pregnant women.
Libyan al-Qaida suspect arrives: After a weeklong interrogation aboard a U.S. warship, a Libyan al-Qaida suspect is now in New York awaiting trial on terrorism charges, U.S. officials said Monday. Abu Anas al-Libi was grabbed in a military raid in Libya on Oct. 5. He's due to stand trial in Manhattan, where he has been under indictment for more than a decade on charges he helped plan and conduct surveillance for the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998. Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, confirmed that al-Libi was transferred to law enforcement custody over the weekend. Al-Libi was expected to be arraigned today, Bharara said.
Has record number of passengers: Railroad officials said Amtrak carried a record number of passengers in the year ending Sept. 30 despite Northeast service that was temporarily knocked out by Superstorm Sandy. The nation's passenger railroad network carried 31.6 million riders during the 2013 federal budget year. Amtrak's long-distance routes recorded their best ridership in 20 years with 4.8 million passengers. Ridership for all of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington reached 11.4 million passengers, the second-best year for the corridor. That was despite service interruptions when Superstorm Sandy slammed into New York, New Jersey and Connecticut last October, flooding tunnels and tracks.
Mosque bombing kills governor: A bomb planted inside a mosque microphone killed the governor of Afghanistan's eastern Logar province as he was delivering a speech to worshippers thisday morning to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, officials said. The explosion at the main mosque in the provincial capital of Puli Alam killed Governor Arsallah Jamal and wounded 15 people -- five of them critically, said the governor's spokesman, Din Mohammad Darwesh. Jamal, 47, was a close confidant of President Hamid Karzai and served as his campaign manager during the 2009 presidential elections. He also served as governor of the eastern Khost province until he was appointed to his current post in Logar in April.
Bomb in Iraq kills 12 Sunnis: A bomb ripped through a crowd of Sunni worshippers coming out of a mosque in northern Iraq after prayers at the start of a major Muslim holiday today, killing 12 people and wounding 24, a police official said. The attack took place in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, said Police Col. Taha Salaheddin. The bomb went off as worshippers were leaving the al-Qodus mosque after morning prayers for the beginning of the Eid al-Adha holiday.
Mining magnate gives $62M: Mining magnate Andrew Forrest pledged today to give 65 million Australian dollars ($62 million) to university education in his home state in one of Australia's largest philanthropic donations. The chairman of iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group said AU$50 million will be used to establish the Forrest Foundation to fund scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships at all five universities in Western Australia state. Another AU$15 million will build a residence for rising star researchers called Forrest Hall at St. George's College at the University of Western Australia.