Russia vetoes Security Council proposal on MH17 tribunal

UNITED NATIONS — Russia on Wednesday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would set up an international criminal court to prosecute those responsible for shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine a year ago.

The foreign ministers of the Netherlands, Australia and Ukraine attended a meeting over the downing that killed all 298 people on board Flight MH17. The countries are among the five nations investigating the incident, along with Malaysia and Belgium.

Carter: Successful Iran nuclear deal better than strike

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday that the U.S. armed forces stand ready to confront Iran, but told lawmakers that a successful implementation of the nuclear agreement with Tehran is preferable to a military strike.

Carter, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and three members of President Barack Obama's Cabinet testified at a committee hearing as part of the White House's aggressive campaign to convince Congress to back the Iranian nuclear deal, which calls on Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

Boehner calls challenge by Republican 'no big deal'

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner brushed aside a challenge to his tenure on Wednesday as the work of a lone dissident Republican amounting to "no big deal."

He said the effort by Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina to strip him of his powerful post "isn't even deserving of a vote."

5 college institutions removed from negative credit watch

BATON ROUGE — With deep budget cuts dodged by Louisiana's public colleges, national credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has removed five higher education institutions from a negative credit watch.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration announced the credit decision Wednesday. The move by S&P indicates the institutions aren't facing the short-term possibility of a rating downgrade.

Ohio cop indicted on murder charge in traffic-stop shooting

CINCINNATI — A University of Cincinnati officer who shot a motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate has been indicted on murder charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday, adding that the officer "purposely killed him" and "should never have been a police officer."

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the grand jury indictment at a news conference to discuss developments in the investigation into the July 19 shooting of 43-year-old motorist Samuel DuBose by Officer Ray Tensing.

Authorities have said Tensing spotted a car driven by DuBose and missing the front license plate, which is required by Ohio law. They say Tensing stopped the car and a struggle ensued after DuBose refused to provide a driver's license and get out of the car.

Pennsylvania US Rep. Fattah indicted in racketeering case

PHILADELPHIA — A longtime Philadelphia congressman who was indicted Wednesday paid off a campaign loan with charitable donations and federal grants, funneled campaign money to pay down his son's student loan debt and disguised a lobbyist's bribe as payment for a car he never sold, federal prosecutors said.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and four associates were charged with racketeering conspiracy. They also were charged with bribery, conspiracy to commit wire, honest services, bank and mail fraud, and money laundering, among other things.

Prosecutors say the charges covered several schemes. They allege Fattah used federal grants and donations to his educational foundation to pay back part of a wealthy campaign supporter's $1 million loan and that he helped arrange a $15 million federal grant for a nonexistent nonprofit in lieu of a $130,000 payment to a political consultant after his failed 2007 mayoral run.