Jodi Arias could face the death penalty, nearly five years after she stabbed, shot and almost decapitated her ex-boyfriend.
A jury Wednesday found that Arias was "exceptionally cruel" when she murdered Travis Alexander in 2008. That verdict is a key step that makes Arias, 32, eligible for the death penalty in the next phase of her trial.
The hurricane season opened Wednesday with a flourish, and more specifically, with the debut of its first named storm, Tropical Storm Alvin.
Tropical Depression 1-E was upgraded and named a tropical storm on Wednesday, which happens to be the first day of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, according to the National Hurricane Center. The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on June 1, and both seasons end November 30.
"Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours," the Miami-based hurricane center said, "and Alvin could become a hurricane in a couple of days."
An Alaska volcano exhibiting "elevated seismic activity" has spewed ash clouds skyward - as high as 20,000 feet above sea level - an observatory reported Wednesday.
As was the case a day earlier, the Pavlof Volcano was on "watch" status on Wednesday because of heightened activity, and it was also under an orange code that relates to how its rumblings might affect planes flying over its summit. Both these alert levels are the second most serious out of four options, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.
The same alert levels also continue to apply Wednesday to the Cleveland Volcano, which like Pavlof is in the Aleutian Island range southwest of mainland Alaska. Lava was reported flowing Tuesday at Pavlof and Cleveland.
President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday to hold accountable those at the Internal Revenue Service involved in the targeting of conservative groups applying for federal tax-exempt status, beginning with the resignation of the agency's acting commissioner who was aware of the practice.
In a brief statement delivered to reporters in the East Room of the White House, the president announced that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had requested - and accepted - the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller.
The president said the "misconduct" detailed in the IRS Inspector General's report released Tuesday over the singling out of conservative groups is "inexcusable."
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