Harvard buildings evacuated for threat

Four buildings on Harvard University’s campus were evacuated Monday after police received an e-mail claiming that explosive devices may have been hidden inside, but after hours of searches and disruptions to final exams, no suspicious devices were found.

The buildings were evacuated and access to Harvard Yard was restricted after the e-mail was received about 8:40 a.m. Monday, shortly before students were set to begin final exams.

A classroom building was also briefly evacuated Monday at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, after university police got a call from someone who said they had seen a person with a gun in the building.

— Associated Press

U.S. scholars back boycott of Israel

The American Studies Association on Monday endorsed a boycott of Israeli universities, the largest group of U.S. scholars to do so.

About one-third of the group’s more than 3,800 members voted, approving the boycott by 66 percent. Last April, the smaller Association for Asian American Studies, which has about 800 members, became the first scholarly group in the United States to support an academic boycott of Israel.

The vote, which is largely symbolic, is a sign of the increasing momentum of the international boycott movement against Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians. While the movement — which presses for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel — has scored some successes in Europe and elsewhere, it has had far less influence in the United States, Israel’s closest and most important ally.

— Associated Press

Calif. judge orders companies to pay for lead-paint removal: A judge in California on Monday ­ordered paint companies to pay 10 California cities and counties $1.1 billion to remove lead from millions of older homes. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg found that Conagra Grocery Products, NL Industries and Sherwin-
Williams marketed paint they knew was harmful to children. ­Atlantic Richfield and DuPont were found not liable. Lead-based paints were barred from the U.S. market in 1978.

Abortion doctor sentenced in drug case: A Philadelphia doctor serving life in prison for performing rogue abortions has been sentenced to a concurrent 30 years for illegally distributing painkillers. Kermit Gosnell, 72, is serving life without parole for killing three babies born alive during ­illegal abortions.

Illinois judge allows immediate gay marriage: Gay couples who want to wed immediately in Illinois because one partner has a life-threatening illness could do so starting Monday rather than waiting until the state’s same-sex law takes effect in June, a U.S. judge in Chicago ruled Monday, broadening statewide the medical exception allowed earlier by another judge.

— From news services