Clap for loopholes! The National Security Agency actually has broad authority to pore through phone calls and emails "inadvertently acquired" from regular Americans without first seeking a warrant—broad authority granted by the secretive court system that's supposed to act as a check on the NSA. And who gets to decide who's an acceptable target or not? The NSA. Not the courts.

This sounds familiar. The United Nations and independent experts say American claims that Syria used chemical weapons—a justification for limited intervention in its civil war—are pretty much unverifiable if you're going to be fully rigorous about these types of things.

The FAA is very close to deciding to no longer bother the few air passengers who can't be bothered to be discreet when defying rules that tell you to turn your phone or iPod off because plane might crash (I never do; it never does). A ruling was expected today but now won't come until September.

Brazilian protests that started over high bus fares, before quickly exploding in anger over a litany of repressed public grievances, hit a new height of 2 million people last night. The day after the government relented on the demonstrators' original claim and lowered bus fares. An emergency government meeting has been called.

Calgary (that's in Canada!) is in danger of being partly washed away by two flooding rivers. With waters still rising, officials warn that some 100,000 people in the city of 1 million could lose their homes in the scramble for high ground.

The real point in this story about two planes nearly crashing into one another over New York City is how amazingly little, if ever, this nightmare scenario actually happens in our densely crowded skies.

A desperate Russia, dragged down by corruption and fading oil revenue, will defy economics experts and pillage internal pension funds to pay for a risky stimulus program centered on infrastructure projects.

Russia's money troubles have no bearing on reports that Vladimir Putin has been accused of stealing a Super Bowl ring from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

A police infiltrator, working for a disbanded unit in the London police force that targeted political activists, wrote the anti-McDonalds leaflet in 1986 that sparked a multimillion-dollar libel spat between the fast-food empire and Greenpeace.

A dead woman whose rotting body was found in a hotel rooftop cistern—prompting complaints of a foul taste in the water—fell in and drowned accidentally, the Los Angeles County coroner has ruled.

A terrified burglar slipped his way out of charges after busting into a house and bumping into a hanging corpse—and then screaming so loud and so long that he woke up neighbors... before calling the police all by himself and running in a panic back to his own house.