MATT HINSHAW/THE DAILY COURIER VIA AP

The wife of a senior Islamic State leader who was killed in a U.S. raid last year has been charged in federal court with holding American Kayla Mueller hostage and with contributing to the aid worker's death, the Justice Department said Monday.

ABC News

A researcher at Northern Arizona University hypothesized Americans respond with more anger and sadness when they read about women terrorists compared to men. The ongoing study suggests that isn’t true.


Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a preliminary report about the fate of metals contained in the waste spilled last summer from Colorado’s Gold King Mine. The agency says most of metals came to rest in the bed of the Animas River. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


A House panel is set to debate the merits of a tax credit for concealed carry permit holders.

Rep. Steve Montenegro of Litchfield Park sponsored the bill to create a dollar for dollar tax credit up to $80 for people who get a concealed weapons permit. The measure states its purpose is to promote public safety.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says this is the first they've heard of a state offering a tax credit for gun permits.

Politco

The full Arizona Senate has approved a proposal overhauling the state's badly underfunded public safety worker pension plan.

Thursday's rapid-fire action came without debate and a series of three unanimous votes on the package of bills enacting the overhaul. Voters will be asked to approve the deal in May.

Voter approval is required because current retiree cost-of-living adjustments would be lowered.

David Wallace/The Arizona Republic

A new study of global weather patterns over the past 35 years supports earlier scientific predictions the southwestern United States will become drier as atmospheric conditions that typically bring the most rain and snow to the region continue to become more rare.

The research supported by the National Science Foundation concludes that what's now considered a normal year of precipitation in the Southwest is drier than it used to be.

The scientists emphasize the new data doesn't prove climate change is responsible for increasing frequency and duration of drought.

Sonoran Desert NPS

A leech occupies the top spot in the food chain at Montezuma Well near Camp Verde. Surprisingly, its body contains the highest level of arsenic ever recorded in a living organism.


Rick Johnson Photography

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye wants referees who officiate high school sporting events in northern Arizona to take cultural sensitivity training. That’s because this week Navajo female basketball players on the Flagstaff High School team were told to change a traditional hairstyle before a game. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Conservation CATalyst

The first publicly released video of the only known wild jaguar in the United States shows the giant cat roaming around a creek and other parts of a mountain range in southern Arizona.

El Jefe — Spanish for "the boss" — has been living in the Santa Rita Mountains, about 25 miles south of downtown Tucson, for over three years.

Conservationists tracking the jaguar released a short video Wednesday showing him walking around mountain terrain.

Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services

Arizona schools chief Diane Douglas is set to testify before a Senate committee as she tries to derail legislation designed to settle ongoing fights between her and the state Board of Education.

Douglas is set to appear Thursday before the Senate's education committee. She said Wednesday that she was "shocked" at the "repulsive nature" of Republican Sen. Jeff Dial's proposal. Senate Bill 1416 would by detail specific duties for each body in an effort to end a pair of lawsuits and other problems between the board and Douglas.

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