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Feb. 14, 2013 at 8:06 AM
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Oscar Pistorius charged with murder

PRETORIA, South Africa, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Police said they charged South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend, whom he may have thought was a burglar.

Pistorius, 26, appeared severely shocked when questioned by police at his home in Pretoria, the Afrikaans daily Beeld reported.

Model Reeva Steenkamp, 30, was shot in the head and arm around 3 a.m. and was declared dead at the scene, a police spokeswoman said.

"He is being charged with murder and he will appear in the Pretoria regional court later this afternoon," a police spokesman told NBC News.

Police said they were "surprised" to hear Pistorius may have thought Steenkamp was an intruder, the BBC reported. They said there had been previous "allegations of a domestic nature" reported at the address of the couple's home.

Police said they found a 9-mm pistol in the house, Beeld said.

12 Carnival Triumph cruises canceled

DORAL, Fla., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- As the Carnival Triumph limped towards Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Carnival Cruises announced the cancellation of all Triumph cruises for the next two months.

The company said people who have booked cruises through April 13 will get full refunds and discounts on a future cruise with Carnival. They will also be reimbursed for non-refundable travel to and from port and fees for shore excursions and other extras.

The Carnival Triumph was disabled Sunday by a fire in the engine room. The ship was left without electricity and passengers have endured squalid conditions, including no running water.

The vessel, assisted by tugboats, was expected to arrive in Mobile on Thursday.

Teen dies in Bahrain protests

MANAMA, Bahrain, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A 16-year-old died Thursday protesting on the second-anniversary of a failed uprising in Bahrain, authorities said.

Protesters demonstrated throughout the capital of Manama to mark the failed Arab Spring demanding political reforms on the Sunni-ruled, Shiite-majority island nation, CNN reported.

Bahrain's main Shiite opposition party, al-Wefaq, said the teen died when he was hit by birdshot fired by Bahraini security forces.

Authorities said they are investigating the death.

Suspects confess to raping tourists

ACAPULCO, Mexico, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Six suspects who allegedly raped a group of Spanish tourists in Acapulco, Mexico, have confessed to the crime, officials said.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said Wednesday one of the suspects remains at large.

CNN said the six suspects stormed a beach and attacked the tourists, tying up the men and raping the women.

Investigators have not determined whether the suspects are part of a gang, CNN said.

Murillo Karam said one suspect was arrested Tuesday and five others were arrested early Wednesday.

CNN said one of the suspects is just 16 years old.

Obama to offer preschool cost-sharing plan

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama's call to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America includes a cost-sharing program, the White House said Thursday.

The federal-state funding "partnership" would "provide all low- and moderate-income 4-year-old children with high-quality preschool," the White House said ahead of Obama's visit Thursday to a suburban Atlanta preschool to tout his proposal, first outlined in the State of the Union address Tuesday.

Obama was to visit a pre-K classroom at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur at 12:10 p.m. and deliver remarks about his preschool plan at 1:20 p.m., the White House said.

The 350-student center, about 7 miles east of Atlanta near Emory University, also offers early learning child care for 6-week-old infants to 3-year-olds, a federal Head Start Program for 3-year-olds, preschool special education for 3- and 4-year-olds, and an after-school program for 4-year-olds, the center's website says.

Obama's proposal also would expand preschool programs for middle-class children and give incentives to full-day kindergarten policies, the White House said.

American-US Airways merger moves forward

DALLAS, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The boards controlling American Airlines and US Airways announced an $11 billion merger Thursday, creating the world's largest airline.

The announcement creates a combined airline with 94,000 employees, 950 planes, 6,500 daily flights, eight major hubs and total sales of nearly $39 billion.

The carrier, to be called American Airlines, would be based in Fort Worth, where current bankrupt American parent AMR Corp. has its headquarters.

Its hub airports, used as transfer points, were expected to combine American's hubs in Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York and US Airways' in Phoenix, Philadelphia, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport outside the District of Columbia, and Charlotte, N.C.

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