Good morning. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Paul Ryan Says He'll Run for House Speaker on His Terms
The Wisconsin Congressman told fellow Republicans that he would run only if the caucus unifies around a positive message of big ideas. "We need to move from an opposition party to a proposition party," Ryan told reporters. "If I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve." Read more in POLITICS.
2. Assad Goes to Russia to Thank Vladimir Putin
President Bashar Assad has traveled to Moscow in his first known trip abroad since the war broke out in Syria in 2011 to meet his strongest ally, Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Assad thanked Putin for his military support, according to a transcript of their meeting published on the Kremlin website. Read more in NEWS.
3. Ex-Escort’s Claims Rock Louisville Basketball Program
Pressure is mounting on Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino and his University of Louisville basketball program amid claims that a former athletic staff member at the university paid for strippers to attend parties with high school basketball recruits. Read more in NEWS.
4. How Drug Firms Are Reaping Billions by Paying Rivals
While sharp increases in the cost of prescription drugs have recently dominated headlines, critics say another pharmaceutical industry practice that has added billions of dollars to the price of drugs continues unabated. Read more in HEALTH.
5. Toddler Fatally Shot in Head in Road Rage Incident
Police are hunting for a driver suspected of killing a 4-year-old girl during a road rage incident in Albuquerque on Tuesday. Police said the fatal shooting involved cars cutting each other off on an interstate, and that witnesses have given different information as to a description of the vehicle involved. Read more in NEWS.
6. Singapore Megachurch Leaders Diverted $37M to Boost Pop Career
Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church, and five other leaders were convicted of multimillion-dollar fraud on Wednesday for diverting money to support his wife's pop singing career. Meanwhile, a video featuring Kong's wife, Ho Yeow Sun, dancing intimately with rapper Wyclef Jean sparked criticism that she also had betrayed her calling as a Christian pastor. Read more in NEWS.
7. 'Back to the Future' Arrives, Spawns More Future Predictions
In "Back to the Future Part II," Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel from 1985 to Oct. 21, 2015, to find a world filled with flying cars, hoverboards and self-drying jackets. While those predictions didn't exactly pan out, people are working on each of those concepts — and others. Read more in TECH.
A scary incident of a Qantas flight traveling during a fierce storm over Sydney, Australia, was caught on camera: Watch what looks like the plane taking a direct hit from a huge bolt of lightning.