The Brief

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha gets in his car after the merit-making ceremony on the occasion of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's birthday at Sanam Luang in Bangkok
Damir Sagolj—Reuters

'Descent Into Dictatorship'

Martial law has been lifted in Thailand, but replaced with an order that grants identical powers to the junta. On Wednesday, the Thai King approved General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s decision to invoke an article in the interim constitution that could be used to curb dissent

Ranking member Sen. Bob Menendez listens to testimony during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington on March 11, 2015.

New Jersey Senator Is Indicted

Robert Menendez was indicted on corruption charges Wednesday and "temporarily" stepped down from his ranking spot on the Foreign Relations Committee

Cars move past a McDonald's in lower Manhattan on February 9, 2015 in New York City.

McWorkers Get a Pay Hike

The fast-food giant announced on Wednesday that it would hike its hourly pay for non-franchise U.S. workers to $10 per hour by the end of 2016

A member loyal to the ISIL waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa

Foreigners Joining Terrorists, Says U.N. Report

The number of fighters leaving home to join al-Qaeda and ISIS has spiked to more than 25,000 from over 100 nations, according to a new U.N. report. It cited the "high number" of foreign fighters from Tunisia, Morocco, France and Russia

Airbnb Said to Be Raising Funding At $10 Billion Valuation

Airbnb Heads to Cuba in Major U.S. Business Expansion

Airbnb will allow travelers to book lodging in Cuba starting Thursday in the most significant U.S. business expansion since the declaration of detente between the two countries last year. For a half-century, the U.S. trade embargo has blocked businesses from entering Cuba


March Was Hottest on Record for West Coast

Last month was the hottest March on record for cities scattered across the West Coast, with temperatures consistently higher than those posted in earlier years. Los Angeles and San Diego marked at least five days of 90°F or above temperatures

Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson on Dec. 21 2012, in Washington, DC.

Arkansas Governor Won't Sign Religious-Freedom Bill

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson called for the state legislature to make changes to a controversial religious-freedom bill that prompted an angry outcry from prominent businesses and activists who say it could lead to discrimination against gays

Weeds grow in dry cracked earth that used to be the bottom of Lake McClure in La Grange, California on March 24, 2015.

California Imposes First-Ever Mandatory Water Restrictions

California’s governor issued unprecedented mandatory water restrictions for the entire state on Wednesday in the face of a persistent drought that is growing dire, directing the State Water Resources Control Board to cut the state’s water usage by 25%

Robert Durst

Durst Lawyers Say FBI Illegally Searched His Hotel Room

Durst, who waived extradition to California on the murder charge, was arrested last month at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in New Orleans. He is set for a Thursday hearing on charges of possession of a firearm by a felon and illegally possessing a firearm along with an illegal drug

Frame grab of a video from the news station Noticias Ciudad del Carmen shows a fire burning at an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico on April 1, 2015

Flames Engulf Mexico Oil Platform in Gulf, Killing 4 Workers

A huge ball of flames engulfed an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, killing four people and sending terrified workers leaping into the sea. State-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said it had averted any significant oil spill following the blast

Meet the World’s New Oldest Person

Following the death on Wednesday of Misao Okawa, a 117-year-old who lived in Japan, the world's new oldest person is an American. The Gerontology Research Group confirms the title now belongs to Gertrude Weaver, 116, who lives at a nursing home in Arkansas


Man’s Iced-Tea Habit Caused Kidney Failure

The 56-year-old man went to the hospital last May with symptoms like weakness, fatigue, nausea and body aches. His doctors said their patient, now on dialysis, said every day he drank 16 8-oz. cups of iced black tea, which includes a chemical called oxalate