WASHINGTON

Officials probe hacking into Romney’s email account

Authorities are investigating whether Mitt Romney’s private email account was hacked, his presidential campaign said Tuesday.

The website Gawker reported Tuesday that an anonymous hacker had signed into Romney’s personal Hotmail account. Gawker reported that the hacker guessed the answer to a security question about Romney’s favorite pet in order to gain access to the account and change the password. The anonymous hacker told the website that Romney’s account on DropBox, a file sharing service, also was compromised.

Romney’s campaign said that “proper authorities are investigating this crime.” Campaign spokeswoman Gail Gitcho refused to comment further and would not say who was investigating. She also would not say whether Romney still uses the Hotmail account.

GENEVA

Syria to allow aid workers, supplies into four provinces

Syria has agreed to allow humanitarian workers and supplies into four of its provinces hit hardest by violence, a promise of some relief in a nation where 1 million people need aid urgently due to the fighting, officials said Tuesday.

At the same time, however, Damascus plunged itself into further international isolation by labeling U.S. and European envoys as unwelcome in retaliation for earlier Western expulsions of Syrian diplomats.

The humanitarian deal requires Syria to provide visas for an unspecified number of aid workers from nine U.N. agencies and seven other non-governmental organizations, and to cut through the red tape that has blocked convoys from delivering food, medicine and other supplies, said John Ging, operations director for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

KABUL, Afghanistan

‘Sesame Street’ funding cut amid corruption charges

The U.S. has terminated funding for a $20 million project to develop a Pakistani version of “Sesame Street” in response to alleged corruption by the local puppet theater working on the initiative, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

The organization in question is the Rafi Peer Theater Workshop, a group based in the city of Lahore that jointly developed the show with Sesame Workshop, the creator of the American series.

The show, which includes Elmo and a host of new Pakistani characters, first aired at the end of last year and was supposed to run for at least three seasons. The U.S. hoped it would improve education in a country where one-third of primary school-age children are not in class. It was also meant to increase tolerance at a time when the influence of radical views is growing.

The U.S. cut off funding for the project and launched an investigation after receiving what it deemed to be credible allegations of fraud and abuse on a telephone hotline set up by the U.S. Agency for International Development in Pakistan, said U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

MONTREAL

Foot, hand sent to schools could be linked to porn actor

Packages containing a human foot and hand were discovered at two schools in Vancouver on Tuesday, in what could be the latest gruesome twist in the case of a Canadian porn actor suspected of dismembering and eating his former lover.

Police said they could not immediately confirm if the body parts in question were the missing extremities of Chinese student Jun Lin, whose hand and foot were discovered last week when they were mailed to Canada’s top political parties.

The suspect, Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, was caught Monday in Berlin, after evading police for days while he partied in Paris. He told German authorities he would not fight extradition to Canada.

Vancouver Deputy Police Chief Warren Lemcke said a package containing what appeared to be a human hand was opened by staff at False Creek Elementary School after 1 p.m. Tuesday. Another package containing what appeared to be a human foot was found by staff at St. George’s private school for boys later in the day.