Open season. Sen. Max Baucus will not seek reelection in 2014, Democratic strategists announced today, fueling speculation Republicans might have a chance to pick up his seat in the midterm elections. Baucus, a moderate Democrat, has served conservative Montana in the U.S. Senate since 1978. Although President Barack Obama lost Montana by double digits last year, Democrats are hopeful they might be able to hold on to Baucus’ seat. Former Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who remains popular in the state, is a likely contender. Baucus is the sixth Democrat to announce retirement in 2014. The vacancies give Republicans hope for regaining the Senate majority.
Chemical confusion. Israeli officials claim Syria has used chemical weapons multiple times during the attempt to quell a rebel uprising determined to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Rebel forces claimed the government used chemical weapons during an attack in March. Although France and England agreed with the accusation, American intelligence officials said they found no evidence to support the claims. The Obama administration has said such a move by the Syrian government would be a “game changer” and could change U.S. policy toward the conflict. So far, most Western countries have been reluctant to offer much more than moral support to the rebels, who have long asked for arms and other military aid.
Captured. A tourist on holiday in Nicaragua helped bring down one of the FBI’s most wanted men Saturday after spotting him at a “social engagement” several days earlier. Nicaraguan police helped arrest Eric Justin Toth, who is accused of possessing child pornography. Toth was a former third-grade teacher at the Washington National Cathedral’s Beauvoir elementary school. He was charged with possessing child pornography after a fellow teacher discovered photographs on a school camera Toth had been using. School officials escorted him off campus and he’s been on the run since 2008. Toth is the 469th fugitive on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list to be captured since the list’s inception in 1950.
Injuries rise. Boston health officials say the number of people injured in last week’s Boston Marathon bombing has risen sharply as victims who thought their injuries weren’t that serious ended up seeking medical attention. Initial estimates listed about 170 injuries. The new estimate puts the number at 282.
Still not allowed. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has rescinded its plan to allow passengers to carry small knives on commercial flights. Knives and other sharp objects, including nail clippers, were banned from carry-on luggage after the 9/11 attacks, when hijackers were thought to have used box cutters to gain control of the airline crews. TSA Administrator John Pistole initially said allowing small knives onboard would improve screening efficiency and allow officers to focus on items that posed a more serious threat. But under pressure from lawmakers, flight crews, and airlines, Pistole announced today he would consider additional input before finalizing the rule.