Refugee exodus from Syria exceeds 1 million mark

Syria’s humanitarian crisis hit a grim milestone Wednesday: The number of U.N.-registered refugees topped 1 million — half of them children — described by an aid worker as a “human river” spilling out of the war-ravaged country every day.

Nearly 4 million of Syria’s 22 million people have been driven from their homes by the civil war. Of the displaced, 2 million have sought cover in makeshift shelters in Syria, 1 million have registered as refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt, and several hundred thousand have fled the country but haven’t signed up with the U.N. refugee agency.


Snowstorm spares capital, but offices close just in case

A winter storm marched into the Mid-Atlantic region Wednesday, dumping nearly two feet of snow in some places and knocking out power to about 250,000 homes and businesses. It largely spared the nation’s capital, which had all but shut down because of dire forecasts.

Officials didn’t want a repeat of 2011, when a snowstorm stranded commuters for hours, so they told people to stay off the roads and gave workers the day off. Dubbed the “snowquester,” the storm closed government offices, just as the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester were expected to do.


Suspension of elections likely to worsen tensions

An Egyptian court on Wednesday ordered the suspension of parliamentary elections scheduled to begin in April, opening a legal battle likely to delay the vote and deepening the political crisis between the Islamist president and his opponents.

The new confusion surrounding the election underlined the paralysis gripping Egypt, between political deadlock, infighting among state institutions, a faltering economy and a wave of strikes and protests against Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.

DUNLAP, Calif.

Woman killed by lion at private animal park

A female volunteer was killed Wednesday by a lion at a private wild animal park, and authorities were trying to determine what caused the attack.

Cat Haven executive director Dale Anderson was crying as he read a statement about the mauling at the zoo he has operated since 1993.

The 26-year-old intern was attacked when she entered the lion’s enclosure, Anderson said, but he refused to provide more details.

Deputies shot and killed the lion so they could reach the woman, who died at the scene, police said.