DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Saudi Arabia beheads

37 in mass execution

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shiites, in a mass execution across the country for alleged terrorism-related crimes. It also publicly pinned the executed body and severed head of a convicted Sunni extremist to a pole as a warning to others.

The executions were likely to stoke further regional and sectarian tensions between rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saudi dissident Ali Al-Ahmed, who runs the Gulf Institute in Washington, identified 34 of those executed as Shiites based on the names announced by the Interior Ministry.

 

CHICAGO

Brothers sue Smollett's

lawyers, claim defamation 

Two brothers who say they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack against himself sued the "Empire" actor's attorneys on Tuesday, accusing them of defamation by continuing to insist publicly that the brothers carried out a real, bigoted attack on Smollett despite knowing that was untrue.

Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo and Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo said in a joint statement issued after their lawsuit was filed in federal court in Chicago that Smollett's legal team has spread false accusations that have hurt their reputations and undermined their career prospects.

 

CAIRO

Voters OK referendum

extending leader's rule

Voters in Egypt approved constitutional amendments allowing President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to remain in power until 2030, election officials said Tuesday, a move that critics fear will cement his authoritarian rule eight years after a pro-democracy uprising.

El-Sissi led the military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president amid mass protests against his rule in 2013 and has since presided over an unprecedented crackdown on dissent. Thousands of people, including many pro-democracy activists, have been arrested by authorities.

 

 

TOPEKA, KAN.

Zoo says human error

likely led to tiger attack

A Kansas zoo is investigating its animal-handling protocols after a Sumatran tiger seriously injured a veteran zookeeper, and its director acknowledged Tuesday that human error probably led to the attack.

The Topeka Zoo has "100 percent confidence" that no problem with the tiger's enclosure caused the attack Saturday on 40-year-old Kristyn Hayden-Ortega, Director Brendan Wiley said. She suffered puncture wounds and lacerations to her head, neck and back and remains hospitalized, though Wiley said her condition appears to be improving after she was moved Sunday out of intensive care.

The tiger, named Sanjiv, went to the Topeka Zoo in August 2017 from the Akron Zoo as part of a species survival plan.

 

BOSTON

Two more to plead guilty

in admissions scandal

A former University of Southern California soccer coach and a California insurance executive became the latest people to agree to plead guilty in a college admissions cheating scandal that has netted prominent parents and Hollywood stars, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Laura Janke, who was an assistant women's soccer coach at USC, will admit to creating bogus athletic profiles that portrayed wealthy parents' children as star athletes to help them get into highly selective schools, prosecutors said.

Toby MacFarlane, a former senior executive at a title insurance company, will also plead guilty to allegations that he paid $450,000 to get his children admitted to USC as fake athletic recruits.

 

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA.

NASA lander picks up

likely quake on Mars

NASA's InSight lander has picked up a gentle rumble at Mars, believed to be the first marsquake ever detected.

InSight's quake monitor recorded and measured the faint signal April 6, and scientists announced the finding Tuesday.

While the rumble sounds like soft wind, scientists believe it came from within the red planet.

 

HOUSTON

High school implements 

dress code for parents 

A Houston high school principal has implemented a dress code for parents because she says it is necessary to establish high standards for students, despite criticism that the move could be discriminatory.

James Madison High School will turn away parents who show up to school wearing pajamas, hair rollers, leggings or certain other items of clothing, including bonnets.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires