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World's oldest person dies at 116

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Besse Cooper, the world's oldest person, died Tuesday in Monroe, Ga. She was 116.

Her son, Sidney Cooper, said his mother "had a long, good life," reported CNN News. "She went very easy." Cooper had recently had a stomach virus, but felt better on Monday. On Tuesday her son said she had her hair set and watched a Christmas video, reported New York Daily News. She died at 2 p.m.

Cooper was born on August 26, 1896 in Tennessee, reported New York Daily News. She moved to Georgia during World War I.

Cooper gained the title of oldest living person in January, 2011, reported CNN News.

The oldest person to have ever lived a french woman, Jeanne Louise Calment, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. She died in southern France in 1997 at the age of 122.

Ice sheets melting faster than expected

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The massive ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica are melting at an accelerated rate in recent years, according to a recent study.

The study, released Thursday, was backed by the European Union, NASA, the National Science Foundation and research councils in Britain and the Netherlands, reported CNN News. It confirmed that major ice sheets around the world are loosing extreme amounts of water into the oceans, an estimated 237 billion metric tons, raising sea levels.

According to the study, the melting of ice sheets accounted for 10% of sea level rise in the 1990s, reported the Washington Street Journal. Now it represents 30%.

Rising sea levels have recently gained more attention, especially after the flooding caused by hurricane Sandy, reported the Washington Street Journal. Heavily populated coastal areas will be more at risk of destructive flooding if sea levels continue to rise even by small numbers.

Syrian death toll climbs to 37,000

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After 20 months of armed conflict, the Syrian death toll has climbed to over 37,000.

The cities of Homs and Damascus are the deadliest in Syria, according to an opposition group that keeps records of the war's casualties, reported CNN News. Homs narrowly beats Damascus in deaths, with Homs having 6,992 and Damascus having 6,750, according to the Violations Documentation Center.

The total number of 37,387 deaths recorded by the Violations Documentation Center now includes government soldiers' deaths, reported CNN News.

Osama Suleiman, a Syrian immigrant to Britain, heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and has the difficult task of counting the deaths, reported Time Magazine. Suleiman claims that more than 26,596 civilians have been killed, including 4,000 to 5,000 rebel fighters. He has also reported 9,445 deaths in Syrian forces and 498 unidentifiable people. His numbers do not include thousands of Syrians who have disappeared after being arrested.

Justin Welby set to be named archbishop of Canterbury

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The 56-year-old former oil industry worker turned bishop Justin Welby is likely to be named as the successor of Rowan William later this week.

Welby became bishop of Durham only a year ago, reported BBC News. He worked for 11 years in the oil industry before changing professions and being ordained in 1992.

Both Lambeth Palace and the church have remained completely silent on the matter of succession since work began in October of last year, reported the Guardian. A spokesperson of the Crown Nominations Commission refused to comment on reports that Welby had officially accepted the position.

Bishop Welby is regarded as being evangelical and practicing traditional Biblical interpretations, reported BBC News. Observers have said he also focuses on making the church more outward-looking.

Airlines around the world have cancelled flights to and from the east coast of the United States due to a growing threat from Hurricane Sandy.

British Airways has cancelled flights to and from New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Baltimore while Britain's Virgin Atlantic has cancelled all flights to the east coast, reported CNN News. London's Heathrow Airport has urged U.S.-bound passengers to check their flight statuses before going to the airport.

Flights have been cancelled from airlines in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong and Turkey, reported CNN News.

Nearly 10,000 flights have been cancelled in the United States for Monday and Tuesday, according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, reported Yahoo News. American Airlines, United and Delta have cancelled all flights in and out of New York, the nation's busiest airspace, stranding more passengers than during last year's Hurricane Irene, reported Yahoo News.

Monday afternoon, Hurricane Sandy was 110 miles southeast of Atlantic City, N.J., reported Yahoo News, and had turned west toward the Eastern Seaboard. Landfall is expected for late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

Nine people arrested in Pakistani schoolgirl shooting

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Nine people have been arrested in connection with the shooting of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, a teenager who spoke out against the Taliban, according to police.

Six men have been arrested in connection to the shooting of Malala, Pakistani police said Wednesday.

Atta Ullah Khan, a 23-year-old man of Swat district, has been identified as the main suspect in the shooting, Pakistani police told CNN News. Police are searching for Khan in the Swat Valley in the northwestern part of Pakistan. Khan's fiancee, mother, and brother have been arrested, but they are not accused of involvement in the shooting, police said.

Malala was shot last Tuesday in the Swat district of Pakistan, an area heavy with Taliban influence, reported Sky News. She was targeted for speaking out against the Taliban for the education of women and was attacked on her way home from school. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack and has said they will kill Malala if she recovers from her injuries, reported Sky News.

Malala is currently receiving care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, reported Sky News, and she was able to stand with assistance, according to an official.

Canadian border guard shot by U.S. motorist

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A female Canadian border guard was shot Tuesday by a U.S. motorist who then turned the gun on himself, said Canadian authorities.

The U.S. man shot himself shortly after firing on the border guard, reported the Toronto Star. The man drew his gun on the border guard while she was attempting to inspect his vehicle at the Peace Arch crossing, according to police. The popular crossing near Blaine, Wash., was immediately closed.

The boarder guard was breathing before she was airlifted to a hospital, reported CNN News, but her current condition is still unknown, said Surrey Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Bert Paquet.

The shooter was pronounced dead at the scene, reported CNN News, but his identity has not been released. He was driving from Washington state across the Canadian border, authorities said.

2 US scientists win Nobel Prize in chemistry

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Two American scientists received this year's Nobel Prize In Chemistry for their research on the communication system used by body cells to sense outside signals. This research is key in developing new drugs.

Dr. Robert J. Lefkowitz and Dr. Brian K. Kobilka were awarded $1.2 million by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for their discoveries into a group of receptors known as G-protein-coupled receptors, reported WDAM News. These receptors function with roughly half of all medications.

Dr. Lefkowitz received the news Wednesday via telephone call from the Academy, the New York Times reported. Dr. Kobilka received his call at 2:30 in the morning. "When you have a number of people with credible Swedish accents congratulating you," he said, "You feel it's probably not a joke someone is playing on you."

Woman raped by police, then charged with indecency

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A Tunisian woman was allegedly raped by police officers and then charged with public indecency when she filed a complaint against her attackers.

The case, which began Sept. 3, initially started when three police officers approached the woman and her fiance, who were sitting in their car in the capitol Tunis, CNN News reported. Two officers then raped the woman inside the car while the other officer took the fiance to an ATM to extort money from him.

In an interview with France 24, the fiance said that one of the officers handcuffed him and demanded 300 dinars, the equivalent to roughly $194. When the fiance said he did not have the money, he said the officers "took everything I had" - about $25 dollars.

It wasn't until after the woman filed the complaint that the officers claimed to have discovered the couple in an "immoral position" in the car, CNN News reported. Now the woman and her fiance face charges of indecency which, if the two are found guilty, could result in six months in prison.

"In the end, this woman was raped three times," said Zeyneb Farhat, member of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, to France 24, "When she was taken from the car - a private space - when the policemen assaulted her, and when the justice system turned her into the accused."

6.2-magnitude quake hits near Mexican Baja Peninsula

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A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the southern part of Mexico's Baja California peninsula Tuesday, with shakes felt in the nearby city of La Pez, Mexico, the Washington Post reported.

There were no immediate reports of injury or damage in La Pez, said state civil defense director Carlos Rincon. He said that the public is to stay calm in case of aftershocks.

The quake's epicenter was in the Gulf of California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A 6-magnitude earthquake has the potential to cause severe damage, Yahoo News reported, but the area surrounding La Pez has little population outside the nearby city of Los Cabos.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake happened at 4:45 p.m. with several lower-magnitude quakes following, the Washington Post reported.

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