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Sep 05 2010

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Police on alert as Pakistan suicide attack victims buried

by Maaz Khan, AFP

2 hrs 58 mins ago

QUETTA, Pakistan (AFP) – Anti-terror police were on high alert in Pakistan on Saturday as mass burials took place for the victims of a suicide bomber who killed at least 59 people at a Shiite Muslim rally.

The bomber was among a 450-strong crowd marching through the southwestern city of Quetta on Friday and blew himself up as the procession reached the main square.

Chaotic scenes followed, with an angry mob starting fires and shooting into the air while others fled or lay on the ground to avoid the gunfire.

2 Nearly a month on, Chile miners face uncertain rescue date

by Pablo Fernandez and Paulina Abramovich, AFP

39 mins ago

COPIAPO, Chile (AFP) – The 33 men trapped deep below ground in a Chilean mine face a grim milestone Sunday — a month since the cave-in that stranded them — as officials warn it could take months more to rescue them.

The men have become national heroes and symbols of survival since rescuers made contact with them. In Chile and abroad, audiences are following their progress in minute detail.

Rescuers and relatives who had held out hope steadily grew to fear the worst, with no word from the men for more than two weeks after the August 5 collapse at the San Jose mine in Chile’s remote Atacama desert.

3 Earl socks Canada’s Nova Scotia, weakens to tropical storm

AFP

1 hr 46 mins ago

MONTREAL (AFP) – A resilient Earl barreled ashore in Nova Scotia as a hurricane on Saturday, Canadian experts said, marking the last gasp of a monster storm that menaced the US East Coast but ultimately failed to do much damage there.

The center of the storm made landfall in southern Nova Scotia shortly after 11:00 am (1400 GMT), buffeting the craggy coastline with winds up to 120 kilometers (74 miles) per hour, according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC).

It then weakened to a tropical storm over land, but pounded communities like Halifax with high winds and rain that left at least 160,000 households without power, Nova Scotia Power said.

4 Powerful quake causes devastation in New Zealand

AFP

Sat Sep 4, 1:03 pm ET

CHRISTCHURCH (AFP) – New Zealand’s most destructive earthquake in nearly 80 years caused two billion dollars’ worth of damage Saturday, felling buildings, tearing up roads and sending terrified residents fleeing into the streets.

Officials said it was “extremely lucky” no one was killed when the 7.0 magnitude quake shook the country’s second-largest city Christchurch just before dawn.

Frightened residents fled from their homes to find streets covered in rubble and glass, but despite the extent of the damage only two people were seriously injured in the city of 340,000 people.

5 Afghans crowd scandal-hit bank to withdraw savings

by Lynne O’Donnell, AFP

Sat Sep 4, 12:07 pm ET

KABUL (AFP) – Afghan officials sought Saturday to head off a run on the country’s biggest bank, reassuring customers of Kabul Bank that their money was safe following corruption allegations in US newspapers.

Branches of Kabul Bank across the country were crowded as anxious depositors joined hundreds of thousands of government employees queuing to collect their salaries, which were being paid through the bank on Saturday.

The privately-owned bank has been the subject of reports alleging large-scale corruption by executives, though the government and central bank have said it is solvent and there is no need for customers to panic.

6 Venice’s ‘couturiers of glass’ stand test of time

by Gina Doggett, AFP

Sat Sep 4, 1:38 am ET

VENICE, Italy (AFP) – With a clientele that includes crowned heads, Archimede Seguso Vetreria, a stalwart of Murano’s storied glassmakers, has no need to change its formula for success.

“We buck the trend. We work traditionally, everything by hand,” said Gino Seguso, son of the late Archimede, the solid glass sculptor famed for his stylised animals, and generations of Segusos before him on the outlying Venetian island of Murano.

“We consider ourselves the ‘couturiers’ of glass,” said Seguso, whose atelier collaborates with top international artists, designers and architects and caters for royalty, heads of state and the likes of Tiffany’s, a loyal client for 60 years.

7 Afridi apologises for ‘fixing’ row

by Julian Guyer, AFP

Sat Sep 4, 12:21 pm ET

CARDIFF (AFP) – Pakistan one-day captain Shahid Afridi apologised Saturday for the scandal engulfing his side’s tour of England after British police questioned three players over an alleged betting scam.

Test captain Salman Butt plus bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif were all released without charge Friday after the interviews at a police station near the ‘home of cricket’, Lord’s in north London.

But the trio — who protest their innocence — are still battling charges under the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption code and have been barred from playing any further matches pending the outcome of their case.

8 BP spill costs hit 8 bln dlrs as crews unearth clues

by Jo Biddle, AFP

Sat Sep 4, 3:25 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – British oil giant BP has spent eight billion dollars to battle the Gulf of Mexico disaster, the company has revealed as its crews retrieved key evidence from the seabed.

Robotic submarines recorded the delicate operation as engineers raised a failed blowout preventer from the ruptured well and began lifting it to the surface in order to hand it over to the US Justice Department.

The US government is conducting what could be a criminal investigation into the April 20 explosion and subsequent oil spill and BP is hoping to shift some of the responsibility to its contractors.

9 Obama says his economic policies halted "bleeding"

By Steve Holland, Reuters

2 hrs 4 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, previewing a big push on the U.S. economy next week, on Saturday defended policies that he said “have stopped the bleeding” and put the middle class on the road to recovery.

Obama, struggling to bring down the 9.6 percent jobless rate, is to spend next week talking up proposals on improving the economy.

He hopes to gain some traction with impatient voters as they ponder whether to toss out his Democrats in the November 2 congressional elections.

10 Taxpayers likely to face initial loss on GM IPO: sources

By Clare Baldwin, Soyoung Kim and Kevin Krolicki, Reuters

Fri Sep 3, 7:33 pm ET

NEW YORK/DETROIT (Reuters) – The U.S. government is likely to take a loss on General Motors Co in the first offering of the automaker’s stock, six people familiar with preparations for the landmark IPO said.

Subsequent offerings of the government’s holdings may be profitable depending on how investors trade the newly listed stock, the sources said.

But the question of whether taxpayers are ultimately made whole on GM’s $50 billion bailout could be left open for years, the people said.

11 Thousands protest at French immigrant clampdown

By Lucien Libert and Nick Vinocur, Reuters

50 mins ago

PARIS (Reuters) – Tens of thousands protested across France on Saturday against a clampdown on immigrants, launching a week of action over policies on which President Nicolas Sarkozy has staked his political reputation.

Demonstrators opposed to measures including repatriation of Roma to eastern Europe waved flags and placards and chanted slogans including “Stop repression” and “No to Sarkozy’s inhumane policies.” Bands and drums made the atmosphere friendly rather than combative.

Critics see expulsions of Roma gypsies as part of a drive by Sarkozy to revive his popularity before 2012 elections and divert attention from painful pension reforms and spending cuts.

12 Minister says Pakistani militants stoking sectarian rift

By Augustine Anthony, Reuters

Sat Sep 4, 1:18 pm ET

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pro-Taliban Pakistani militants are trying to create a sectarian rift, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday, as a new wave of violence piled pressure on a government already struggling with a flood crisis.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for bomb attacks on two Shi’ite rallies that killed 33 people in Lahore on Wednesday and 65 in the city of Quetta on Friday.

The attacks ended a lull after devastating floods which affected 20 million people. Pakistani officials had said before the attacks that any major violence at such a difficult time was likely to cause deep popular resentment against the militants.

13 Bomb kills 54 in Pakistan, Taliban threatens U.S.

By Saud Mehsud, Reuters

Sat Sep 4, 1:03 am ET

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) – A suicide bomber struck a rally in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Friday, killing at least 54 people in the second major attack this week and piling pressure on a U.S.-backed government overwhelmed by a flood crisis.

Pakistan’s Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast and said it would launch attacks in the United States and Europe “very soon” — repeating a threat to strike Western targets in response to drone attacks that have targeted its leadership.

In Washington, the White House condemned the Quetta attack on a Shi’ite rally and expressed solidarity with the Pakistani people, saying it was “even more reprehensible” because it came during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as Pakistan reels from disastrous flooding.

14 Obama to address new economic ideas next Wednesday

By Alister Bull and Jeff Mason, Reuters

Sat Sep 4, 1:07 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday he would outline new measures next week to boost the U.S. economy, but analysts were skeptical he would be able to deliver a big enough package to lift growth significantly.

Obama made his remarks after August data showed that jobs — the central issue in November congressional elections — were being created too slowly.

The White House is under pressure to show tangible results in lifting growth and hiring before the November 2 election, when Obama’s Democrats face punishment from voters anxious about near double-digit unemployment.

15 BP: Crews lifting key device from Gulf face delay

By HARRY R. WEBER, Associated Press Writer

45 mins ago

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO – Icelike crystals had formed Saturday on the 300-ton blowout preventer that failed to stop oil from spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, forcing BP crews to wait before they could safely hoist the device to the surface.

The hydrates – which caused the oil giant problems when the company was trying to contain the oil spilling into the Gulf – need to melt because they are combustible. Crews must take care not to damage the device, which is considered a key piece of evidence in the spill investigation.

“We don’t want to lift it and risk an uncontrolled release of gas because that’s inherently dangerous,” Darin Hilton, the captain of the Helix Q4000 vessel that’s raising the device with a giant crane, told The Associated Press.

16 Nation’s economic woes jeopardize Dems’ prospects

By LIZ “Sprinkles” SIDOTI, AP National Political Writer

1 hr 26 mins ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Frustrated, discouraged and just plain mad, a lot of people who have lost jobs – or know someone who has – now want to see the names of Democrats on pink slips. And that’s jeopardizing the party’s chances in Ohio and all across the country in November’s elections.

In this big swing-voting state alone, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland is in a dogfight for re-election. Senate candidate Lee Fisher may be even worse off. As many as six House Democrats could lose their jobs this fall. Recession-fueled animosity is dominating every race, giving Republicans hope of huge victories.

In Ohio, like almost everywhere else, voters don’t much care for Washington, Wall Street or anything resembling the establishment. They grouse about every politician, including President Barack Obama, whom Ohioans played a critical role in electing. They fume over the nation’s teetering finances.

17 For US Muslims, a 9/11 anniversary like no other

By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

Sat Sep 4, 1:36 pm ET

NEW YORK – American Muslims are boosting security at mosques, seeking help from leaders of other faiths and airing ads underscoring their loyalty to the United States – all ahead of a 9/11 anniversary they fear could bring more trouble for their communities.

Their goal is not only to protect Muslims, but also to prevent them from retaliating if provoked. One Sept. 11 protest in New York against the proposed mosque near ground zero is expected to feature Geert Wilders, the aggressively anti-Islam Dutch lawmaker. The same day in Gainesville, Fla., the Dove World Outreach Center plans to burn copies of the Quran.

“We can expect crazy people out there will do things, but we don’t want to create a hysteria,” among Muslims, said Victor Begg of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan. “Americans, in general, they support pluralism. It’s just that there’s a lot of misinformation out there that has created confusion.”

18 Shoes, eggs hurled at ex-Brit PM Blair in Dublin

By JOHN HEANEY, Associated Press Writer

Sat Sep 4, 12:09 pm ET

DUBLIN – Protesters hurled shoes and eggs Saturday at Tony Blair who held the first public signing of his memoir amid high security in Ireland’s capital. Hundreds more people lined up to have their books autographed – evidence that the divisions left by Blair’s decade as British leader have yet to heal.

Blair’s new book, “A Journey,” is a best-seller, but it has angered opponents of his policies, especially the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

About 200 demonstrators chanted that Blair had “blood on his hands” as the former prime minister arrived at a Dublin bookstore. Shoes, eggs and other projectiles were thrown toward Blair as he emerged from a car, but did not hit him. A flip-flop could be seen lying on the roof of a BMW in Blair’s motorcade.

19 Many Pakistanis still waiting for flood aid

By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press

Sat Sep 4, 11:17 am ET

DAIRA DINPANAH, Pakistan – Abdul Rehman and his family live under a tree next to a pile of rubble on a newly created island where his house used to be.

In the month since his home was destroyed in the raging floodwaters that inundated Pakistan, he has gotten no aid of any kind from the government or private aid groups to help him survive, he said.

Frustrated and desperate, he joined a protest with dozens of other villagers that blocked the main road in this area 10 days ago. In response, police opened a criminal investigation against him, he said. And he still hasn’t gotten any food or even a tarp to shield his family of six from the blazing summer sun, he said.

20 Earl’s biggest damage in Northeast: business

By RUSSELL CONTRERAS, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 2 mins ago

YARMOUTH, Mass. – Earl’s worst damage in New England was to seasonal businesses hoping to end their summer on a high note.

The tropical storm, far less intense than feared, brushed past the Northeast and dumped heavy, wind-driven rain on Cape Cod cottages and fishing villages, but caused little damage.

It left clear, blue skies in its wake. It was the perfect start to a Labor Day weekend that Cape Cod’s restaurants and hotels hoped to salvage after business was decimated ahead of the storm.

21 Kinect’s Israeli partner sees a remoteless world

By TIA GOLDENBERG, Associated Press Writer

Sat Sep 4, 10:48 am ET

TEL AVIV, Israel – Inon Beracha envisions a world where your movements control the gadgets and devices around you. There’s no remote control to lose, no buttons to push. The air conditioner senses your presence and changes the temperature to your liking.

Controlling your surroundings with the wave of a hand sounds like magic, but Beracha’s company, PrimeSense, is already making headway, thanks to a little help from video games.

PrimeSense’s 3-D camera is a key component of Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect motion- and voice-control technology for the Xbox 360 game system. Coming this fall, Kinect will let people play games and watch movies on the Xbox with no wand, controller, mat or remote. It recognizes users’ gestures and voices, so you can control on-screen characters in racing, action and sports games simply by speaking or moving your body. If it’s a hit, it could pave the way for a remoteless future.

22 Buildings collapse, 2 injured in powerful NZ quake

By ROB GRIFFITH, Associated Press Writer

Sat Sep 4, 10:12 am ET

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – Chimneys and walls crumbled to the ground, roads cracked in half and residents were knocked off their feet as a powerful magnitude-7.1 earthquake rocked New Zealand’s South Island early Saturday. The prime minister said it was a miracle no one was killed.

Only two serious injuries were reported from the quake, which shook thousands of people awake when it struck at 4:35 a.m. near the southern city of Christchurch. There were reports of some people trapped inside damaged buildings – though none appeared to be crushed by rubble – and a few looters broke into some damaged shops in the city of 400,000.

Power was cut across the region, roads were blocked by debris, and gas and water supplies were disrupted, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said. Chimneys and walls of older buildings were reduced to rubble, and Parker warned continuing aftershocks could cause masonry to fall from damaged buildings.

23 Possible talks with Afghan insurgents draw closer

By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer

2 hrs 43 mins ago

KABUL, Afghanistan – In a further step toward reconciling with insurgents, President Hamid Karzai said Saturday he will soon name the members of a council tasked with pursuing peace talks with rebels willing to break with al-Qaida and recognize the government in Kabul.

Karzai’s announcement was given added poignancy by comments from the outgoing deputy commander of NATO forces in the country that commanders promised too much when they predicted quick success taking the key Taliban-held town of Marjah last winter.

While British Lt. Gen. Nick Parker now sees signs of a turnaround in the turbulent area, he said the military will be more restrained in forecasting success in the future.

24 Muslims take to Minn. State Fair to repair image

By PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press Writer

Sat Sep 4, 10:11 am ET

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. – Despite the smells of fried dough and roasted meat wafting from the Minnesota State Fair, Salim and Zuleyha Ozonder were focused on the people who were leaving, not the food or festivities beckoning from across the street.

Each time a new wave of people exited, the young Minneapolis residents – who hadn’t eaten all day – tried to press into their hands a small, glossy card that read “Islam Explained” on one side. On the other, it had about 180 words of background on a religion whose adherents fear is being misunderstood by too many Americans as violent and depraved.

“You just want people to take the card, spend a minute reading it and say, ‘Oh. They’re not terrorists,'” said 27-year-old Zuleyha. She and her husband, like other Muslims, were fasting during daylight hours for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

25 Death toll rises to 65 in attack on Pakistanis

By ABDUL SATTAR, Associated Press Writer

2 hrs 57 mins ago

QUETTA, Pakistan – The death toll from a Pakistani Taliban suicide attack on a Shiite Muslim procession rose to 65 Saturday as critically wounded people died in hospitals, while a suspected U.S. missile strike killed seven insurgents in a restive tribal area.

About 150 people were wounded and some remained in critical condition after the bombing Friday in the southwestern city of Quetta, police official Mohammed Sultan said.

The attack was the second in a week against Shiites for which the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility. A triple suicide bombing Wednesday killed 35 people at a Shiite ceremony in the eastern city of Lahore.

26 Ariz. governor says she was wrong about beheadings

By PAUL DAVENPORT and AMANDA LEE MYERS, Associated Press Writers

Sat Sep 4, 4:11 am ET

PHOENIX – A claim by Arizona’s governor that rising violence along the U.S.-Mexico border has led to headless bodies turning up in the desert came back to haunt her during a stammering debate performance in which she failed to back it up.

Gov. Jan Brewer, who gained national attention defending the state’s tough new immigration law and warning of increasing border bloodshed, has spent the time since the gubernatorial candidates’ debate earlier this week trying to repair the damage done from her cringe-worthy contest against underdog challenger Terry Goddard.

“That was an error, if I said that,” the Republican told The Associated Press on Friday. “I misspoke, but you know, let me be clear, I am concerned about the border region because it continues to be reported in Mexico that there’s a lot of violence going on and we don’t want that going into Arizona.”

27 What now for Gulf? Fire complicates drill debate

By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press Writer

Fri Sep 3, 11:24 pm ET

WASHINGTON – What now for the Gulf? News of another oil rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico, so soon after the BP oil spill, has set off a wave of anxiety along the Gulf Coast and prompted calls for the government to extend its six-month ban on deepwater drilling.

Just when it seemed the Obama administration might be ready to lift the unpopular ban, the fire raises new questions about the dangers of offshore drilling, leaving the industry wondering when it can get back to work.

“Anything that casts any kind of shadow on the industry right now certainly complicates lifting the moratorium,” said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University in Texas. “It makes it difficult to continue to say that (the BP spill) is an aberration.”

28 LA artists fight to save city’s legacy of murals

By CHRISTINA HOAG, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 24 mins ago

LOS ANGELES – Every so often, Ernesto de la Loza drives around the city to check on the state of his murals. It’s a short tour these days. Out of 42 swirling, vivid pieces he’s painted, only seven remain, the rest lost to graffiti, whitewash and withering sun.

“It’s really painful,” said the 61-year-old artist whose works depict Angeleno life from Mexican heritage to the dangers of drugs. “People say ‘don’t take it personal,’ but it’s totally personal. They’re my babies.”

At one time hosting an estimated 1,500 pieces of wall art, Los Angeles is the nation’s mural capital, but that’s a fading distinction thanks to prolific graffiti taggers, a legal morass over classifying the artworks as illegal signs, and neglect.

29 AP Interview: Author leaving home next to Palins

By DAN JOLING, Associated Press Writer

2 hrs 32 mins ago

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Sarah Palin can take down the fence.

Palin’s neighbor of three months on Wasilla’s Lake Lucille, author Joe McGinniss, is packing his bags and notebooks and leaving Sunday for his home in Massachusetts to write the book he has been researching on the former governor and GOP vice presidential candidate.

His arrival in May made headlines and drew an indignant reaction from Palin and a visit from her husband, Todd. The Palins even tacked an extension onto an 8-foot board fence between the homes, leaving only a part of their second-story home visible from McGinniss’ driveway.

30 Who’s often dreading college sendoff more? Parents

By MARTHA IRVINE, AP National Writer

2 hrs 46 mins ago

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The hour when Ariana Kramer will begin her college career is fast approaching – and her parents are in an office supply store, disagreeing about hanging files, of all things.

“She’ll need them,” her mother says.

“I don’t think so,” her dad counters.

31 Fired, rehired teachers back at troubled RI school

By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press Writer

Sat Sep 4, 12:39 pm ET

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. – Teachers who were fired and ultimately rehired in a dispute that focused national debate over education reform have returned to their Rhode Island classrooms amid hopes that changes they agreed to will help improve student performance at their persistently troubled high school.

The changes at Central Falls High School – where just 7 percent of 11th graders tested last year were proficient in math – include a longer school day, more rigorous teacher evaluations and flexible schedules to provide more classes for struggling students. Teachers were also required to participate in more days of professional development.

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist acknowledged the obstacles facing students in Rhode Island’s smallest and poorest city.

32 Authorities: Fire at Tenn. mosque site was arson

By TRAVIS LOLLER, Associated Press Writer

Fri Sep 3, 8:37 pm ET

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Federal investigators said Friday that a suspicious fire that damaged construction equipment at the site of a future mosque in Tennessee was arson and offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The future mosque in Tennessee, like other houses of worship for Muslims across the country, has been drawn into a fierce debate surrounding a proposed Islamic community center two blocks from Manhattan’s ground zero, and opponents are becoming even more hostile and aggressive.

The construction site arson frightened members of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. Firefighters had said there was a strong smell of diesel from the fire that engulfed the cab of a dump truck last weekend, and authorities found fresh fuel pooled under a second dump truck, according to an incident report from the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department.

33 Colo. gubernatorial candidate refuses to back down

By STEVEN K. PAULSON, Associated Press Writer

Fri Sep 3, 8:16 pm ET

DENVER – Dan Maes likes to brag about taking down the political machine in becoming Colorado’s Republican gubernatorial nominee. The way he’s going, it may be the only victory in a short-lived political career.

Republicans spent the week desperately trying to get the tea party favorite to quit the race amid a series of embarrassing missteps that culminated with bizarre claims about his shadowy undercover law enforcement career in Kansas in the 1980s.

But Maes vowed to stay, and Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher certified Maes’ place on the November ballot Friday.

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