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Alaska volcano ash cloud covers 400 miles, cancels flights

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Strong winds Monday pushed an ash cloud from an Alaska volcano into the heart of the state, grounding flights and limiting travel to western and northern communities off the road system.

But hours later, officials downgraded the volcano alert level, saying the intensity of the eruption had “declined significantly.”

US Coast Guard crew seizes cocaine off Panama

ALAMEDA, Calif. — A Northern California U.S. Coast Guard crew seized more than 6 tons of cocaine from a semi-submersible vessel off Panama’s Pacific coast, officials said.

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday released a video of the March 3 bust, which included the arrest of four suspected drug smugglers seen sitting atop the blow-laden submersible with their hands up in the air.

Scientists say Shakespeare’s skull may be missing from grave

LONDON — Archeologists who scanned the grave of William Shakespeare say they have made a startling discovery: His skull appears to be missing.

The researchers used ground-penetrating radar to explore beneath the playwright’s tomb in Stratford-upon-Avon’s Holy Trinity Church. Kevin Colls, who led the study, said the team found “an odd disturbance at the head end.”

Brussels attacks expose vulnerability of Europe’s cities

JERUSALEM — Despite the high death toll and dramatic scenes of destruction, this week’s attacks in Brussels appear to have been surprisingly easy to carry out, requiring little more than some careful preparation, a handful of motivated militants and ingredients that are readily available on store shelves.