The giant floating hulk opened to the public with some real animals: rabbits and parakeets. The bison and tigers are life-sized sculptures. There are modern creature comforts such as two cinemas and a restaurant.
The United States has added one of Syria's main rebel groups to its list of terrorist organizations. Jabhat al-Nusra has claimed responsibility for several bombings that killed and wounded Syrian civilians since the uprising against the Assad government began in March of 2011. The U.S. describes the group as an outgrowth of al-Qaida in Iraq.
Syrian officials deny having a chemical stockpile and insist they would never use it if they did. But a Syrian general, who defected earlier this year, confirms the chemical stockpile. He knows where the chemicals are stored, and he says rebel groups have been close to the stockpiles in and around Aleppo.
The Justice Department is expected to announce Tuesday that it has settled a money laundering case against HSBC. The British bank announced early Tuesday it has agreed to pay $1.9 billion to settle allegations of money laundering.
President Vladimir Putin's decision to sack his defense minister has created widespread speculation about his motives. The defense minister was embroiled in a scandal, but analysts say Putin's decision may point to a larger battle over the future of Russia's military.
The decision to add Jabhat al-Nusra to the list of foreign terrorist organizations is meant to marginalize extremists who are among the groups working to oust President Bashar Assad. A State Department spokeswoman said the group was an al-Qaida front.
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