The blaze at Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in the city of Greeleyville was the latest in a rash of fires at black churches across the U.S. South, at least two of which have been determined by authorities to have been deliberately set. No one was injured, officials told reporters at a news conference, but they said the church building was a total loss. The Greeleyville fire came about two weeks after nine people, all of them black, were shot dead inside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, 65 miles (105 km) away, with police arresting a white man linked to racist views.
The White House lifted a 40-year-old ban on taking photos during public tours of the executive mansion on Wednesday, delighting tourists who immediately began posting pictures on social media. First lady Michelle Obama announced the change in a video on Instagram. "If you've been on a White House tour, you may have seen this sign," she said, holding up a placard reading "No Photos or Social Media allowed." "Well, not anymore," Obama said as she tore up the sign, laughing.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Exotic dancers hired as admissions counselors. Recruiters told to seek out "impatient" individuals who have "few people in their lives who care about them." Military personnel still recovering from brain damage told to sign on the dotted line.
SALEM, Mass. (AP) — Lawyers for a Massachusetts teenager charged with killing his high school math teacher have asked a judge to move his trial, saying it will be difficult to pick an impartial jury given the publicity the case has received.