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Sep 07 2010

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 US church vows Koran burning will go on despite concerns

AFP

1 hr 39 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A Florida evangelical church vowed Tuesday to go ahead with plans to burn the Koran on the 9/11 anniversary despite fears it may fuel an angry backlash and endanger US and allied troops in Afghanistan.

The White House lent its voice to growing concern from military leaders that the incendiary move could trigger outrage around the Islamic world, as well as stoke a growing anti-Muslim tide of feeling in the United States.

“It puts our troops in harm’s way. Any type of activity like that that puts our troops in harm’s way would be a concern to this administration,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, reiterating comments by top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus.

2 Petraeus warns on Koran burning as Muslim world reacts

by Sardar Ahmad, AFP

Tue Sep 7, 12:19 pm ET

KABUL (AFP) – The US commander of the Afghan war warned Tuesday that a decision by American evangelicals to burn the Koran on 9/11 would endanger his troops as the Muslim world reacted angrily to the plan.

General David Petraeus said the planned torching of Islam’s holy book by a Florida church would be a propaganda coup for the Taliban in Afghanistan and stoke anti-US sentiment across the Muslim world.

Protests have already gone ahead in the capital Kabul and in Indonesia — the world’s largest Muslim-majority country — while Iran has warned that the burning could unleash an uncontrolled Muslim response.

3 Ten million without shelter in Pakistan floods: UN

by Hasan Mansoor, AFP

Tue Sep 7, 12:30 pm ET

KARACHI (AFP) – Pakistan’s devastating floods have left 10 million people without shelter, the United Nations said Tuesday, as authorities rushed to bolster river defences to save two towns from catastrophe.

“According to new estimates following the most recent flooding in Sindh… at least 10 million people are currently without shelter,” said Maurizio Giuliano, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokesman.

He said the floods in Pakistan had become “one of the worst humanitarian disasters in UN history, in terms of number of people that we have to assist and also the area covered.”

4 French workers stage mass protest against pension reform

by Dave Clark, AFP

1 hr 50 mins ago

PARIS (AFP) – More than a million French workers took to the streets on Tuesday to challenge President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to raise the retirement age to 62, the centrepiece of his reform agenda.

The interior ministry reported the turnout at rallies across the country at 1.12 million, while labour leaders estimated it at more than 2.5 million, but either way the movement had grown since a similar protest in June.

Labour unions called the showdown over the pensions bill, which Sarkozy insists he will push through as an “absolute priority” and which was presented to a stormy session in parliament even as the marches continued.

5 Barclays picks American banker Diamond as next chief

by Ben Perry, AFP

Tue Sep 7, 12:39 pm ET

LONDON (AFP) – Barclays on Tuesday chose US national Bob Diamond as its next chief executive, a banker infamous in Britain for pocketing huge bonuses as head of the lender’s highly successful investment banking arm.

Barclays said that British banker John Varley would step down at the end of March 2011 after more than six years at the helm.

“I am honoured by the board’s confidence in me and greatly motivated by the challenge of leading Barclays during the critical period ahead,” Diamond said, in reference to the fragile state of the global financial sector.

6 Beatles bands worldwide play tribute in US

by Patrick Baert, AFP

Tue Sep 7, 11:28 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The resemblance was striking: four young men in suits and skinny black ties, all sporting an early-Beatles bowl haircut, with the same guitars, and of course, the songs that still make crowds go wild.

Except for one difference: instead of John, Paul, George and Ringo, this Fab Four featured Diego, Juan Carlos, Francisco and Heriberto.

And it wasn’t Liverpool’s Cavern Club. This was a festival for Beatles-inspired music lovers on the banks of the Potomac River outside Washington. And these crowd-pleasers were not British but Puerto Rican.

7 EU takes stand to boost growth, financial supervision

AFP

Tue Sep 7, 8:26 am ET

STRASBOURG (AFP) – The European Union laid out ambitious goals on Tuesday to strengthen its economy as the European Commission proposed a joint EU-wide bond and ministers approved tighter financial supervision.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told the EU parliament in Strasbourg that the 27-nation bloc’s economic outlook was better today than one year ago thanks to the “determined action” of member states.

But he warned that not all EU states were benefiting from the recovery — a view shared by economists who have pointed to the struggles of countries battling big deficits and debt such as Greece.

8 Barroso urges ambitious Europe in first State of the Union

AFP

Tue Sep 7, 6:43 am ET

STRASBOURG (AFP) – European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called on Europe Tuesday to match economic might with diplomatic muscle in his first ever State of the Union address.

In an event seeking to emulate the annual speech delivered by US presidents before the US Congress, Barroso expressed optimism about the economic outlook but urged a deepening of the single market in order to boost growth and jobs.

The head of the European Union’s executive arm, standing before a blue lectern while holding his glasses, told the EU parliament that the 27-nation bloc needed to band together to speak with one voice on the world stage.

9 Australia PM Gillard handed power by independents

by Torsten Blackwood, AFP

Tue Sep 7, 6:37 am ET

CANBERRA (AFP) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard retained power by a tiny, one-seat majority Tuesday after winning the backing of two key independent MPs in the first hung parliament in decades.

The country’s first woman leader, who came to office in a party revolt just 10 weeks ago, scraped over the line to form a government with support from the “kingmakers” after 17 days of frantic post-election negotiations.

“Labor is prepared to govern,” a tired-looking Gillard told reporters in Canberra. “I believe the Australian people, given the closeness of this vote, want us to find more common ground in the national interest,” she added.

10 Pressure mounts in U.S. against Koran-burning plan

By Pascal Fletcher, Reuters

Tue Sep 7, 1:38 pm ET

MIAMI (Reuters) – Civil and military leaders stepped up calls on Tuesday for an obscure U.S. pastor to drop his plans to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, as fears grew it would fan religious hatred.

Pastor Terry Jones of the small Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center church, which has announced the Koran-burning for Saturday, said he was praying about the event but showed no immediate signs of backing down from his plan.

The planned public torching of the Muslim holy book on U.S. soil already has triggered angry protests in Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are fighting Taliban militants, and U.S. military commanders said the event could endanger Americans’ lives.

11 U.S. says not considering NATO Afghan troop request

By Phil Stewart, Reuters

1 hr 17 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States does not plan to contribute to a NATO request for 2,000 troops for the Afghan war, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, even as the head of the alliance held out the possibility of U.S. participation.

The NATO commander in Afghanistan submitted a request last week that alliance officials said called for another 2,000 soldiers, including 750 trainers.

Colonel Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said the request referred to a long-standing NATO requirement focusing on training Afghan forces.

12 Car bomb kills 20 in Pakistan after Taliban threat

By Muhammad Hashim, Reuters

2 hrs 29 mins ago

KOHAT, Pakistan (Reuters) – A suicide bomber rammed his car into a police residential complex in Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 20 people, officials said, in another blow for a country grappling with devastating floods.

The blast in the northwestern garrison town of Kohat came hours after the Taliban threatened more suicide attacks on a government and security forces already overwhelmed by the worst flooding in Pakistani history.

A number of houses collapsed from the force of the blast and rescuers sought to dig out their occupants.

13 Congress Republicans wary of Obama economy plan

By Thomas Ferraro and Steve Holland, Reuters

1 hr 48 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the Congress showed little willingness to help President Barack Obama approve $350 billion worth of measures to boost the economy with midterm elections less than two months away.

Obama’s plans for billions of dollars in tax breaks for businesses are policies that Republicans typically embrace, but the party has little motivation to give the Democratic White House a win with polls showing them gaining seats in Congress — possibly winning both houses.

Obama will announce his plans to stimulate the sagging U.S. economy — including the tax breaks and new spending on transportation projects — in a speech on Wednesday in Cleveland.

14 Call for Sept 11 truce over New York Muslim center

By Michelle Nichols, Reuters

2 hrs 9 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Families of September 11 victims are arguing whether to call a truce on the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the United States as debate rages over plans for a Muslim center near the World Trade Center site.

Rallies for and against the Islamic cultural center and mosque are set for Saturday in New York after a memorial ceremony at the site known as Ground Zero for the 2,752 people killed when al Qaeda militants flew hijacked planes into the twin towers nine years ago.

Critics say the planned location two blocks from Ground Zero in downtown Manhattan is insensitive, while supporters say politicians have wrongly commandeered the emotionally charged debate ahead of U.S. congressional elections on November 2.

15 Iran says it is self-sufficient in gasoline: state TV

By Hashem Kalantari, Reuters

Tue Sep 7, 1:15 pm ET

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran has raised its gasoline output to attain self-sufficiency in the strategic product and foil sanctions targeting its energy needs, the state television’s website reported its oil minister as saying.

Massoud Mirkazemi’s comments on Tuesday appeared to contradict previous remarks by other energy officials who had said major refinery capacity increases were required before self-sufficiency could be achieved.

“We attained a production of 66.5 million litres a day in the country’s refineries,” Mirkazemi said, according to the IRIB website.

16 French unions test Sarkozy in pensions strike

By Brian Love, Reuters

1 hr 16 mins ago

PARIS (Reuters) – French trade unions said 2.5 million people took to the streets Tuesday to protest over pension reforms that President Nicolas Sarkozy says he is determined to implement on the way to elections in 2012.

Tapping into growing unease over austerity as Europe emerges deeply indebted from recession, French union leaders demanded the center-right government heed their call to backtrack or run the risk of an escalation.

“If they don’t respond and they don’t pay heed, there’ll be a follow-up and nothing is ruled out at this stage,” Bernard Thibault, leader of the large CGT union, told a Paris rally.

17 NATO aims to oust Taliban from Kandahar by November

By David Brunnstrom, Reuters

Tue Sep 7, 11:53 am ET

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Afghan and NATO forces are planning an offensive to clear Taliban insurgents from areas around the city of Kandahar by late November, the NATO commander for southern Afghanistan said on Tuesday.

Some 10,000-12,000 Afghan soldiers and 5,000 police backed by thousands of international troops will focus operations against an estimated 1,000 insurgents in districts west of the strategic city, British Major-General Nick Carter said.

“It will happen in the next two to three months, but our expectation is that by mid- to the end of November that we will have rid those areas very much of the Taliban,” he told reporters in Brussels by video conference from Afghanistan.

18 Australia’s Gillard scrapes back to power

By Rob Taylor, Reuters

Tue Sep 7, 1:17 pm ET

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard secured a wafer thin parliamentary majority on Tuesday, ending a political impasse but hardly cheering investors worried about the fragility of her government and its plans to tax mining profits.

Gillard’s Labor Party, which was punished by voters in August 21’s inconclusive elections despite a robust economy, secured enough support from three independents and one Green lawmaker to form a one-seat majority in the lower house of parliament.

Her narrow victory means Labor can implement its proposed 30 percent mining tax, a prospect that dented resources stocks and the dollar, as well as pursue a $38 billion telecoms project, which supported shares in phone company Telstra.

19 Australia’s Gillard scrapes back to power

By Rob Taylor, Reuters

Tue Sep 7, 1:17 pm ET

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard secured a wafer thin parliamentary majority on Tuesday, ending a political impasse but hardly cheering investors worried about the fragility of her government and its plans to tax mining profits.

Gillard’s Labor Party, which was punished by voters in August 21’s inconclusive elections despite a robust economy, secured enough support from three independents and one Green lawmaker to form a one-seat majority in the lower house of parliament.

Her narrow victory means Labor can implement its proposed 30 percent mining tax, a prospect that dented resources stocks and the dollar, as well as pursue a $38 billion telecoms project, which supported shares in phone company Telstra.

20 China seeks to avoid shouting matches with U.S.

By Chris Buckley, Reuters

Tue Sep 7, 10:19 am ET

BEIJING (Reuters) – China wants to quell tensions with the United States through quiet talk, not shouting matches, a top diplomat told White House advisers on Tuesday, aiming to pave the way for a visit by President Hu Jintao early next year.

Chinese officials made the conciliatory public comments in meetings with the U.S. National Economic Council Director, Larry Summers, and Deputy National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon. Both were in Beijing for talks.

Washington and Beijing are drawn together by economic and diplomatic interests, but this year has brought bouts of friction over Internet policy, Tibet, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, China’s currency and Chinese territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea.

21 Six months on, little progress in Iraq govt talks

By Suadad al-Salhy and Serena Chaudhry, Reuters

Tue Sep 7, 8:57 am ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -Six months after Iraq held an election that many hoped would usher in greater stability and peace, voters like Naseer Challoub are running out of patience with politicians, and also out of faith in democracy.

The March 7 vote produced no clear winner as Iraqis divided their ballots between two main Shi’ite-led blocs, Kurdish parties and a cross-sectarian, secular alliance that promised to look after the interests of minority Sunnis.

Since then, the politicians say they have failed to make clear progress in talks on a coalition government while persistent attacks by insurgents as U.S. troops end combat operations has spread fears of a return to broader violence.

22 US church to go ahead with Sept. 11 Quran burning

By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer

21 mins ago

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A Christian minister vowed Tuesday to go ahead with plans to burn copies of the Quran to protest the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks despite warnings from the White House and the top U.S. general in Afghanistan that doing so would endanger American troops overseas.

Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center said he understands the government’s concerns, but plans to go forward with the burning this Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the attacks.

He left the door open to change his mind, saying he is still praying about his decision, which was condemned Tuesday by an interfaith coalition that met in Washington to respond to a spike in anti-Muslim bigotry.

23 Top US commander: Burning Quran endangers troops

By KIMBERLY DOZIER, Associated Press Writer

Tue Sep 7, 11:32 am ET

KABUL, Afghanistan – The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warned Tuesday an American church’s threat to burn copies of the Muslim holy book could endanger U.S. troops in the country and Americans worldwide.

Meanwhile, NATO reported the death of an American service member in an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday.

The comments from Gen. David Petraeus followed a protest Monday by hundreds of Afghans over the plans by Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center – a small, evangelical Christian church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy – to burn copies of the Quran on church grounds to mark the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States that provoked the Afghan war.

24 Grim outlook for Democrats puts House up for grabs

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer

23 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Their control of the House in peril, Democrats are playing defense all across the country. Disgruntled voters, a sluggish economy and vanishing enthusiasm for President Barack Obama have put 75 seats or more – the vast majority held by Democrats – at risk of changing hands.

The party could become a victim of its own successes during the past two elections, when candidates were swept into power by antipathy for President George W. Bush and ardor for Obama. Now, eight weeks from Election Day, the Democrats are bracing for the virtual certainty of lost House seats and scrambling to hold back a wave that could hand the GOP the 40 it needs to command a majority

Obama, grasping for a way to turn the tide, on Wednesday plans to propose $30 billion in new investment tax breaks for businesses to go along with tens of billions in spending he called for on Labor Day to invigorate the slow recovery. But even if Congress acts on the requests – a long shot in a highly charged political season – there’s little time left for Democrats to salvage their election chances.

25 AP sources: Former FBI man implicated in CIA abuse

By ADAM GOLDMAN, Associated Press Writer

24 mins ago

WASHINGTON – A former CIA officer accused of revving an electric drill near the head of an imprisoned terror suspect has returned to U.S. intelligence as a contractor, training CIA operatives after leaving the agency, The Associated Press has learned.

The CIA officer wielded the bitless drill and an unloaded handgun – unauthorized interrogation techniques – to menace suspected USS Cole bombing plotter Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri inside a secret CIA prison in Poland in late 2002 and early 2003, according to several former intelligence officials and a review by the CIA’s inspector general.

Adding details to the public portions of the review, the former officials identified the officer as Albert, 60, a former FBI agent of Egyptian descent who worked as a bureau translator in New York before joining the CIA. The former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because many details of the incident remain classified.

26 EU decries ‘barbaric’ plans to stone Iranian woman

By BRIAN MURPHY and NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writers

26 mins ago

TEHRAN, Iran – The international crossfire over Iran’s stoning sentence for a woman convicted of adultery intensified Tuesday with a top European Union official calling it “barbaric” and an Iranian spokesman saying it’s about punishing a criminal and not a human rights issue.

The sharp words from both sides provide a snapshot of the dispute: Western leaders are ramping up pressure to call off the sentence for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and Iran is framing it as a matter for its own courts and society.

The case of the 43-year-old mother of two also spills over into larger and even more complex issues for Iran’s Islamic leaders of national sovereignty and defense of their system of justice.

27 Chicago Mayor Daley won’t run for re-election

By TAMMY WEBBER, Associated Press Writer

18 mins ago

CHICAGO – Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who has presided over the nation’s third-largest city for 21 years, like his father did before him, announced Tuesday that he will not run for a seventh term, saying the time “just feels right.”

Daley, 68, said he had been thinking about not running for several months and became comfortable with his decision over the last several weeks.

“It just feels right,” Daley said at a news conference, his smiling wife Maggie standing by his side. “I’ve always believed that every person, especially public officials, must understand when it’s time to move on. For me, that time is now.”

28 Boise State gains ground in AP Top 25

By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer

28 mins ago

More AP Top 25 voters are buying into Boise State as the No. 1 team in the country.

Boise State gained seven first-place votes and closed in on No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Ohio State as the top three teams in the first regular season Associated Press football poll held their spots from the preseason.

The Broncos remained third after a thrilling 33-30 victory against Virginia Tech on Monday night, receiving eight first-place votes and 1,399 points from the media panel, 13 points behind the Buckeyes.

29 Mozambique government reverses bread price hike

By EMANUEL CAMILLO, Associated Press Writer

Tue Sep 7, 10:41 am ET

MAPUTO, Mozambique – Mozambique’s government is reversing bread and water price increases that had touched off deadly riots, the planning minister said Tuesday.

Protests last week in the capital, Maputo, over hikes in the costs of bread, water and electricity turned violent, with demonstrators clashing with police. The health department put the death toll at 13.

Planning Minister Aiuba Cuereneia told reporters after a Cabinet meeting that the 20 percent increase in the government-set price of bread – which had followed a year of steady increases on the staple in this impoverished country – that went into effect Monday would be reversed. A loaf will cost five meticais, or about 14 cents. The reverses are immediate, he said.

30 Indonesian volcano erupts again; strongest yet

By BINSAR BAKKARA, Associated Press Writer

Tue Sep 7, 8:26 am ET

TANAH KARO, Indonesia – An Indonesian volcano shot a towering cloud of black ash high into the air Tuesday, dusting villages 15 miles (25 kilometers) away in its most powerful eruption since awakening last week from four centuries of dormancy.

Some witnesses at the foot of Mount Sinabung reported seeing an orange glow – presumably magma – in cracks along the volcano’s slopes for the first time. Vast swaths of trees and plants were caked with a thick layer of ash.

“There was a huge, thunderous sound. It sounded like hundreds of bombs going off at one,” said Ita Sitepu, 29, who was among thousands of people staying in crowded emergency shelters well away from the base. “Then everything starting shaking. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

31 Study: Aid after 2005 quake won trust in Pakistan

By CHRIS BRUMMITT, Associated Press Writer

Tue Sep 7, 6:23 am ET

ISLAMABAD – The influx of foreign aid after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake significantly increased survivors’ trust in the West, according to new research that also suggests hard-line Islamist charities did little to help despite the publicity they generated.

The research is one of the first empirical studies of the effect of foreign emergency relief in Pakistan. It also raises questions about whether the ongoing U.S. relief mission for the victims of this summer’s devastating floods in the country could also alter Pakistani perceptions about America.

In short: Does helping out people in a crisis make them like you?

32 Australian Labor Party wins enough support to rule

By ROD McGUIRK, Associated Press Writer

Tue Sep 7, 12:34 pm ET

CANBERRA, Australia – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard barely retained power on Tuesday when the last two independent legislators made kingmakers by deadlocked elections ended a tense 17-day standoff and agreed to join her government. Her next challenge? Keeping the unlikely bedfellows of her coalition together.

Gillard managed to persuade sufficient independent lawmakers to support her center-left Labor Party to form the first minority government in the House of Representatives in 67 years.

Australia’s first female prime minister promised the government will be stable over the next three years, although the defection of a single lawmaker would bring down her administration. While Labor expels lawmakers for failing to vote along party lines, Gillard must get three disparate independent lawmakers plus one from the Greens party to support her legislative agenda.

33 No recession here: Election spending sets records

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer

Tue Sep 7, 11:12 am ET

WASHINGTON – Turns out politics, for all its focus on the gloomy economy, is a recession-proof industry.

This year’s volatile election is bursting with money, setting fundraising and spending records in a high-stakes struggle for control of Congress amid looser but still fuzzy campaign finance rules.

Based on the latest financial reports, House and Senate candidates in this election cycle raised nearly $1.2 billion, well ahead of the pace for contests in 2008, 2006 and 2004.

34 US expects to spend big in Afghanistan for years

By DESMOND BUTLER, Associated Press Writer

Tue Sep 7, 6:47 am ET

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government’s financial commitment to Afghanistan is likely to linger and reach into the billions long after it pulls combat troops from the country, newly disclosed spending estimates show.

The United States expects to spend about $6 billion a year training and supporting Afghan troops and police after it begins withdrawing its own combat troops in 2011.

The estimates of U.S. spending through 2015, detailed in a NATO training mission document, are an acknowledgment that Afghanistan will remain largely dependent on the United States for its security.

35 Group: Iraqi reporter’s killing highlights dangers

By MICHAEL ASTOR, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 5 mins ago

NEW YORK – The killing of an Iraqi journalist, shot dead by unidentified gunmen Tuesday, highlights the dangers facing reporters in a conflict that has claimed more media workers’ lives than any since World War II, a watchdog group said.

Riyad Assariyeh’s killing coincides with the release of a Reporters Without Borders report entitled, “The Iraq War: A Heavy Death Toll for the Media,” documenting the deaths of 230 media workers since 2003.

The report’s author, Soazig Dollet, said the killing of Assariyeh, who worked for state-run Al Iraqiya TV, was not surprising in a country where 99 percent of the killings of media workers go unpunished.

36 LAPD chief defends deadly shooting

Associated Press

1 hr 36 mins ago

LOS ANGELES – Police Chief Charlie Beck on Tuesday defended an officer’s shooting of a knife-wielding man whose death sparked a violent protest in which demonstrators pelted police with rocks and bottles.

Beck told the Police Commission that witness and officer accounts indicate that the officer who killed Guatemalan immigrant Manuel Jamines on Sunday acted “in immediate defense of life” and that he was warned in English and Spanish to drop the knife, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The shooting prompted demonstrations Monday afternoon near MacArthur Park in an inner-city area west of downtown with a large population of Spanish-speaking immigrants from Central America.

37 Pharmacy heists are up amid popularity of Rx drugs

By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer

2 hrs 23 mins ago

GLENPOOL, Okla. – Less than a couple months after Nick Curtin opened a pharmacy in suburban Tulsa in 2008, the store was burglarized twice in one week. And just last year a masked man robbed him at gunpoint, making off with 1,800 pills.

Curtin admits it could easily happen again and there’s not much he can do to stop it.

“It’s one of those things; there’s only so many things you can do,” he said.

38 UNICEF refocuses on poorest of poor children

By ANITA SNOW, Associated Press Writer

Mon Sep 6, 8:31 pm ET

UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. children’s agency says it has failed to reach millions of the world’s neediest boys and girls in slums and remote countryside and is shifting to a strategy of getting critical health care services to the poorest of the poor.

UNICEF’s new approach would likely concentrate more on such initiatives as training rural health workers and building schools in remote areas, and less on building big modern hospitals and universities in cities, said Charlie MacCormack of the non-governmental Save the Children, which UNICEF consulted. It would cost less but also demand more planning and effort, he said.

“This is a refocus for UNICEF, ensuring that equity reaches into the most deprived areas,” the agency’s new executive director, veteran American diplomat Anthony Lake, told The Associated Press.

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