By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - Convicted Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was once a bright, hardworking child who won the adoration of his teachers and classmates alike, his former instructors testified on Wednesday for defense attorneys trying to spare him the death penalty. During the sentencing phase of Tsarnaev's trial in federal court in Boston, his lawyers have been trying to paint him as a mostly normal American kid who fell under the spell of his now-deceased older brother, ultimately joining him in the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon. Tracey Gordon, who taught Tsarnaev in fifth and sixth grade at a Cambridge school, described him as an exceptionally intelligent child who easily mastered English after arriving in the United States from Russia and "was eager to learn whatever school had to offer." "He was a person who you enjoyed being around,” Gordon testified, adding that he would "befriend anybody and help anybody in need." Jurors were also shown photos of a young Tsarnaev smiling as he learned how to dance, did classroom chores and cradled a teacher’s newborn.
NEW YORK (AP) — Iran's foreign minister says his country and world powers will meet Thursday to start bringing together the elements of a draft on a comprehensive nuclear deal, with meetings starting Monday in Europe to finalize all its elements.
By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate majority leader on Wednesday urged countries to go slowly on committing to cut carbon emissions in any global agreement later this year, in his latest effort to cripple President Barack Obama's clean power plan. Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, a Republican from coal-producing Kentucky, told a congressional panel that as long he is in charge of the Senate, "this body is not going to be signing off on any back door energy tax." "The failure of Congress to sign off should signal to other countries they should proceed with caution into the December 2015 climate talks in Paris," he added. Last month, the Obama administration submitted plans to the United Nations to cut emission up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, seeking to take a leadership role ahead of the talks in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.