WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Thursday fought to keep secret a CIA account of the 1961 Bay of Pigs debacle.
Half a century after the failed invasion of Cuba, and three decades after a CIA historian completed his draft study, an administration lawyer told a top appellate court that the time still isn't right to make the document public.
"The passage of time has not made it releasable," Assistant U.S. Attorney Mitchell P. Zeff told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
But in this latest battle over government secrecy and the lessons of history, judges Thursday sounded a tad skeptical about the Obama administration's sweeping claims. At the least, judges on what is sometimes called the nation's second most-powerful court suggested there could be a limit to how long government documents remain locked away.
Acquittal in Katrina killing
NEW ORLEANS -- Lingering memories from Hurricane Katrina were evident in New Orleans as residents considered the acquittal of ex-police officer David Warren.
Mr. Warren was freed Wednesday after a jury found him not guilty in the shooting of an apparently unarmed man amid the city's 2005 post-Hurricane Katrina bedlam.
Mr. Warren was convicted in the death three years ago but won a retrial after an appeals court ruled he should not have been tried with others implicated in an alleged cover-up that included the burning of victim Henry Glover's body.
Law protects prostitutes
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Spurred by emotional testimony from sex workers, California officials voted Thursday to change a 1990s-era anti-crime regulation and allow prostitutes to receive money from a victim compensation fund if they're raped or beaten.
Under the current system, those harmed in violent crimes can be paid for medical costs and related expenses, but prostitutes are excluded because their activities are illegal.
Marybel Batjer, chairwoman of the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, called the rule "repugnant," adding in a later interview that, "Rape is rape, period."
The three-member board voted unanimously to end California's status as the only state with such a prohibition, though it will take several months to formally repeal the regulation. The change does not affect the illegality of prostitution.
Arctic warming slows
WASHINGTON -- The rapid melting in the Arctic eased up this year.
But the government says global warming is still dramatically altering the top of the world, reducing the number of reindeer and shrinking snow and ice, while increasing certain fish and extending the growing season.
Overall Arctic temperatures didn't soar quite as high, and Greenland ice sheets and summer sea ice didn't melt as much.
"The Arctic caught a break, if you will, in 2013, but one year doesn't change the long-term trend toward a warmer Arctic," said report card editor Martin Jeffries, a University of Alaska geophysicist who is the science adviser to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.
Weather satellites teeter
WASHINGTON -- There's a storm brewing in the world of U.S. weather forecasting, and there's not much anyone can do about it.
The U.S. faces the likely prospect that a critical tool used in predicting the weather, a fleet of civilian satellites that orbit the poles, could fail completely in less than four years, several witnesses testified Thursday at a U.S. Senate hearing about the future of weather forecasting.
With no ready backup and a replacement satellite not expected to launch any earlier than 2017, experts warned that U.S. forecasters could face at least a 17-month gap in meteorological data vital to weather prediction, including hurricane forecasting.