Masked gunman kills 2, commits suicide at Oregon mall


A masked gunman killed two people and wounded another at a crowded mall outside Portland, Oregon, before turning the gun on himself, authorities said.

The shooting at around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday sparked panic at the Clackamas Town Center shopping mall.

In a press conference, Sgt. Adam Phillips of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said police had tentatively identified the suspect, although they refused to provide a name until the information had been fully confirmed.

Several witnesses told CNN about the chaos inside the mall, in which employees and customers flooded outside the two-story building while others hid inside the stores.




Guatemala deports McAfee to U.S.


U.S. software guru John McAfee, who fled here last week from neighboring Belize, where authorities want to question him about a murder, was deported to the United States, a Guatemalan official told Efe.

The millionaire creator of the anti-virus software program that bears his name left Guatemala City's La Aurora International Airport at 3:35 p.m. on a commercial flight bound for Miami, immigration spokesman Fernando Lucero confirmed.

McAfee slipped into Guatemala last week and requested asylum, alleging persecution by the "very corrupt" Belize government.




Venezuela: Chavez doing well after "difficult" cancer surgery


President Hugo Chavez emerged in good condition from a long and "difficult" operation to treat a recurrence of cancer in his pelvic area, the Venezuelan government said.

The surgery, which went on for more than six hours, concluded "correctly and in a successful manner," Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday night in a nationally broadcast address.

The 58-year-old socialist president was first diagnosed with cancer during a June 2011 visit to Cuba and Tuesday's operation was the fourth he has undergone since then.




Hillary Clinton wants to explore academia when she leaves post in 2013


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested that, after she leaves her post in 2013, she wants to explore possibilities in the academic realm, although she feels that "all doors are open" in the future, according to an interview broadcast Wednesday by ABC.

Clinton told ABC's Barbara Walters that she will resign as secretary of state once President Barack Obama, who will be inaugurated for his second term in January, selects a new person for the post and they are sworn in.

"It sounds so simple, but I've been, as you know, at the highest levels of American and now international activities for 20 years, and I just thought it was time to take a step off, maybe do some reading and writing and speaking and teaching," said Clinton.

When pressed about rumors that she might run for president in 2016, Clinton said that she does not plan to do so. "I've said I really don't believe that that's something I will do again," she said. "I am so grateful I had the experience of doing it before."




U.S. projected to become majority-minority nation in 2043


The white population will no longer be the majority in the United States by 2043, two years after the general population is forecast to exceed 400 million, according to demographic projections published by the Census Bureau.

That change is a result of two key trends: on the one hand, the increase in the Hispanic population, which will rise from 53.3 million at present to 128.8 million by 2060 and, on the other, the decrease in the white population both in total numbers as well as in percentage.

If the current trends remain in place, in 2060 about one in every three U.S. residents will be of Hispanic origin, compared with around one in six now.




Nearly 6 mn flock to Guadalupe Basilica in Mexican capital


Around 5.8 million Christian faithful visited the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the Mexican capital with the aim of celebrating the 481st anniversary of the Virgin Mary's last appearance before Indian peasant Juan Diego, who was canonized in 2002.

The celebration began at 12:01 a.m., when thousands of people, among them artists such as Pedro Fernandez and Daniela Romo, sang the Mexican version of "Happy Birthday" to the country's patron saint during a Mass.

Coming from across Mexico and other countries as well, the pilgrims during the morning enjoyed a light and sound show in the vicinity of the Basilica.




Pakistani woman facing death for blasphemy to seek asylum in Spain


The family of a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death under the country's controversial blasphemy law told Efe they plan to ask Spain to offer Asia Bibi asylum and to pressure Islamabad to allow her and her kin to leave.

Bibi's husband, Asiq Mashi, is in Madrid with the couple's 19-year-old daughter, Sidra, to accept an award on Asia's behalf.

"Through international pressure, (Bibi) can be liberated," Mashi said, while adding that his wife would no longer be safe in Pakistan even if she leaves jail.

Bibi's plight has inspired a global campaign and figures such as Pope Benedict XVI have urged Pakistan's government to pardon the 47-year-old mother of five.

Asia Bibi was sentenced in November 2010 to death by hanging after a conviction for blasphemy based on accusations by Muslim neighbors that she had contaminated their drinking water by touching the vessel with her "impure" Christian hands.

The sentence remains on appeal and no date has been set for her execution.




Euro Parliament honors Iranian dissidents with rights prize


The European Parliament presented the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Conscience to a pair of Iranian opposition figures who are under detention in their homeland and could not attend the ceremony.

Accepting the award on behalf of attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh and internationally acclaimed filmmaker Jafar Panahi was Iranian women's rights activist Shirin Ebadi, recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.

"These two empty seats symbolize the repression of the Iranian regime with its citizens," Ebadi said, referring to the two spots that would have been occupied by the honorees.

Ebadi read a thank-you letter written by Sotoudeh, who dedicated the prize "to all the political prisoners of Iran and the world."

Filmmaker Costa Gavras read the thank-you text sent by Panahi, who dedicated the prize to "all the anonymous fighters for freedom, to all those who are fighting for peace in the whole world."




Indian musician Ravi Shankar dies


Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, credited with popularizing India's traditional music in the West, has died at a hospital in Southern California after heart-valve replacement surgery, his foundation and record label said. He was 92.

Shankar, father of Grammy-winning artist Norah Jones and sitar musician Anoushka Shankar, had suffered from respiratory and heart ailments over the past year and, though his last operation was a success, the recovery was too difficult for a patient his age, the press release said.

The artist, who died Tuesday, gained fame in the West in the late 1960s thanks to his friendship with Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison, who studied the sitar - a plucked stringed instrument used in traditional Indian music - under Shankar.