Evening Edition is an Open Thread
Now with 40 Top Stories.
|From Yahoo News Top Stories|
1 Saving whales a cold comfort job
by Madeleine Coorey, AFP
Sun Jan 30, 7:25 am ET
|SYDNEY (AFP) – The job description is forbidding: “No pay, Long hours, Hard work, Dangerous conditions, Extreme weather.” So intense is the work environment, officials fear that someone may one day die on duty.
But if Georgie Dicks hadn’t been prepared to brave towering waves, howling winds and Japanese harpoon ships to save whales from slaughter in Antarctic waters, she would never have volunteered to be an activist.
“We’ve always got our lives on the line and if we can’t accept that, we really shouldn’t be here,” the 23-year-old told AFP from onboard the Steve Irwin, a vessel owned by the militant Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
2 South Sudan chooses to secede: official results
by Peter Martell, AFP
2 hrs 12 mins ago
|JUBA, Sudan (AFP) – Almost 99 percent of south Sudanese chose to secede from the north and create a new country in a January 9-15 referendum, according to the first complete preliminary results announced on Sunday.
Earlier partial results had already put the outcome of the vote beyond doubt but official figures were announced publicly for the first time during a ceremony attended by president Salva Kiir in the southern capital Juba.
The discreet leader, who is to steer southern Sudan to statehood in July after overseeing a six-year transition period, said the more than two million victims of the 22-year civil war with the north had not died in vain.
3 ‘Milestone’ WTO ruling due in EU-US Boeing battle
by Agnes Pedrero, AFP
Sun Jan 30, 12:30 am ET
|GENEVA (AFP) – The WTO is expected on Monday to hand over a final but confidential ruling to the United States and EU on their bruising dispute over decades of multi-billion dollar US public aid to aircraft giant Boeing.
“We are about to reach another important milestone in the WTO aircraft dispute,” said Boeing Vice President for trade policy Ted Austell.
The ruling — which marks the second major stage in a seven-year, tit-for-tat subsidies battle along with the separate US challenge to European support for rival Airbus — should remain out of the public eye for a few months under World Trade Organization rules.
4 Leader eyes political role for Tunisian Islamists
by Kaouther Larbi and Dario Thuburn, AFP
2 hrs 10 mins ago
|TUNIS (AFP) – Tunisian Islamist leader Rached Ghannouchi told AFP Sunday his movement wanted to play a political role in Tunisia, upon returning to his homeland from more than 20 years in exile after the fall of the old regime.
He said Ennahda (Awakening) would join the government formed after president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s downfall if asked to do so, although he emphasised that it would not field a candidate in planned presidential elections.
“If we feel that the government satisfies the expectations of those who have led this revolution, then why not,” Ghannouchi said, speaking in a room decorated with a Tunisian flag as his aides offered tea and sweets to visitors.
5 Thousands greet Tunisian Islamist leader’s return
by Kaouther Larbi and Sofia Bouderbala, AFP
Sun Jan 30, 9:22 am ET
|TUNIS (AFP) – Thousands turned out Sunday to welcome Islamist leader Rached Ghannouchi after more than 20 years in exile, as he eyed a political future for his Ennahda movement after the fall of Tunisia’s regime.
“God is great!” Ghannouchi cried out, raising his arms in triumph as he walked into the arrivals hall of Tunis airport, with thousands of cheering supporters crowding around him before driving off to visit his family.
The crowd intoned a religious song in honour of the Prophet Mohammed, as supporters held up olive branches, flowers and copies of the Koran.
6 ElBaradei hails new era on Day Six of Egypt fury
by Samer al-Atrush, AFP
1 hr 5 mins ago
|CAIRO (AFP) – Top dissident Mohamed ElBaradei told a sea of angry protesters in Cairo on Sunday that they were beginning a new era after six days of a deadly revolt against embattled President Hosni Mubarak.
But despite the anticipation of change, Mubarak ordered police back on the streets after they had largely disappeared over the past two days following street battles with protesters. He also extended a curfew in key cities.
Nobel peace laureate ElBaradei, mandated by Egyptian opposition groups including the banned Muslim Brotherhood to negotiate with Mubarak’s regime, hailed “a new Egypt in which every Egyptian lives in freedom and dignity.”
7 US, Europe wary of Egypt protest contagion: analysts
by Philippe Rater, AFP
Sun Jan 30, 1:16 pm ET
|PARIS (AFP) – The United States and Europe are raising pressure for democratic reform in Egypt but face a tricky task amid fears that the violent unrest there could spread far beyond its borders, analysts say.
The United States on Sunday raised pressure on Egypt’s long-time President Hosni Mubarak, its closest ally in the Arab world, to make reforms. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for an “orderly transition” to democracy.
Denis Bauchard of the French International Relations Institute (IFRI) said US President “Barack Obama has taken the lead, calling for political reform, without sparing Mubarak, and that’s quite smart.”
8 Mubarak names deputy as protest deaths top 100
by Jailan Zayan, AFP
Sat Jan 29, 6:51 pm ET
|CAIRO (AFP) – Embattled Hosni Mubarak tapped Egypt’s military intelligence chief as his first-ever vice president and named a new premier on Saturday, as a mass revolt against his autocratic rule raged into a fifth day.
Fresh riots left 22 people dead in the town of Beni Sueif, south of Cairo, where protesters tried to burn down a police station, witnesses and a security source said.
Another three protesters died in Cairo and three police were killed in the Sinai town of Rafah, raising to at least 102 the number of people killed since the unrest erupted on Tuesday, including 33 on Saturday, according to medics.
9 Cairo braces for sixth day of anti-Mubarak anger
by Charles Onians, AFP
Sun Jan 30, 5:34 am ET
|CAIRO (AFP) – Crowds of protesters began massing in central Cairo for a sixth day of angry revolt against Hosni Mubarak’s regime Sunday amid increasing lawlessness, a rising death toll and a spate of jail breaks.
Groups of protesters were seen heading steadily towards Tahrir square, epicentre of the biggest demonstrations to sweep the country in more than 30 years, where army tanks guarded key buildings.
Troops manned checkpoints on roads into the square, frisking demonstrators for weapons before allowing them in. Around 2,000 people, many of them sitting down and including families, were inside by midday (1000 GMT).
10 Davos political leaders struggle to advance agenda
by Jean-Louis de la Vaissiere, AFP
Sun Jan 30, 5:35 am ET
|DAVOS, Switzerland (AFP) – Global business leaders headed home from Davos on Sunday after a week in which were courted by politicians seeking plans to deal with debt, food scarcity, climate change and revolt on the Arab street.
The world economy may be steering itself cautiously out of the doldrums, but leaders have struggled to agree remedies to the key threats on the agenda at the annual World Economic Forum’s elite annual networking event.
“Let me highlight the one resource that is scarcest of all: time,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as dozens of senior international figures swung by to lobby some of the richest and most powerful people on the planet.
11 Ivory Coast ballot recount ‘grave injustice’: Ban
Sun Jan 30, 2:01 am ET
|ADDIS ABABA (AFP) – A recount of Ivory Coast’s disputed presidential election would be a “grave injustice,” the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in remarks made public Sunday in Addis Ababa.
“Reopening the results of the election would be a grave injustice and set an unfortunate predecent,” Ban said during a close-door meeting late Saturday in the Ethiopian capital ahead of an African Union summit.
Ivory Coast has been gripped by a political crisis sparked by the disputed November presidential poll run-off which showed incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo defeated by rival Alassane Ouattara to whom he has refused to relinquish power.
12 Fight to finish on US-S.Korea trade pact
by Shaun Tandon, AFP
Sun Jan 30, 12:46 am ET
|WASHINGTON (AFP) – With US President Barack Obama and his main foes both embracing a trade pact with South Korea, opponents are racing against the clock to regain momentum while supporters are leaving nothing to chance.
Obama, delivering his annual State of the Union address, pressed lawmakers to act “as soon as possible” on the trade agreement which would lift 95 percent of tariffs between the United States and the fourth-largest Asian economy.
His stance marked a rare point of agreement with the rival Republican Party which swept November elections and have pressed Obama to go further by moving ahead as well on pending trade deals with Colombia and Panama.
13 Tunisian Islamists show strength at chief’s return
By Lin Noueihed and Tom Perry, Reuters
Sun Jan 30, 11:36 am ET
|TUNIS (Reuters) – Thousands of Tunisians turned out on Sunday to welcome home an Islamist leader whose return from 22 years of exile indicated that his party would emerge as a major force in Tunisia after the ousting of its president.
The reception for Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda party, at Tunis airport was the biggest showing by the Islamists in two decades, during which thousands of them were jailed or exiled by president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
Ghannouchi was exiled in 1989 by Ben Ali, who was toppled on January 14 by popular protests that have sent tremors through an Arab world where similarly autocratic leaders have long sought to suppress Islamist groups.
14 Egyptians face lawlessness, Mubarak hangs on
By Samia Nakhoul and Sherine El Madany, Reuters
Sun Jan 30, 6:15 am ET
|CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptians faced lawlessness on their streets on Sunday with security forces and ordinary people trying to stop looters after days of popular protest demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian 30-year rule.
Throughout the night, Cairo residents armed with clubs, chains and knives formed vigilante groups to guard neighborhoods from marauders after the unpopular police force withdrew following clashes with protesters that left more than 100 dead.
By morning, the capital’s streets were mostly deserted, with the army guarding the Interior Ministry, and citizens putting their trust in the military, hoping they would restore order but not open fire to keep key U.S. ally Mubarak, 82, in power.
15 U.S. presses Mubarak for transition to democracy
By Matt Spetalnick and Phil Stewart, Reuters
Sun Jan 30, 1:30 pm ET
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday urged an orderly transition to democracy in Egypt to avoid creating a power vacuum but stopped short of calling on embattled President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
Appearing on a slew of news programs, Clinton pressed Mubarak to ensure that the coming elections are free and fair and to live up to his promises of reform but insisted Egypt must avoid a result like that of Iran, which she called a “faux democracy.”
Clinton kept up the Obama administration’s cautious balancing act. Washington is trying to avoid abandoning Mubarak — a strategic ally of 30 years — while supporting protesters who seek broader rights and demand his ouster.
16 Europe’s Arabs view Middle East chaos in awe, fear
By Mohammed Abbas, Reuters
1 hr 28 mins ago
|LONDON (Reuters) – Arabs living in Europe say they have watched events unfold in Tunisia and Egypt with a mixture of awe and fear as governments crumble and a breakdown of order threatens their friends and relations.
Egyptians in London spoke of frantic calls from their family in which they were told of armed criminal gangs roaming the streets after massive protests erupted against the government of President Hosni Mubarak.
“My cousin is calling me, shouting SOS. Criminals, gangs are everywhere, breaking into homes. I’m beside myself with worry. I haven’t slept,” said student Raouf Ghali, 41.
17 U.S., Turkey offer to fly citizens out of Egypt
Sun Jan 30, 6:09 am ET
|CAIRO (Reuters) – The United States and Turkey said on Sunday they were offering to evacuate citizens wanting to leave Egypt, which has been rocked by violent protests against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak.
Other governments advised their citizens to leave the country or to avoid traveling there if possible, although the Russian tourist agency said 40,000 Russians at Red Sea resorts had no intention of cutting short their holidays.
“The U.S. embassy in Cairo informs U.S. citizens in Egypt who wish to depart that the Department of State is making arrangements to provide transportation to safe haven locations in Europe,” the U.S. statement said.
“Flights to evacuation points will begin departing Egypt on Monday, January 31,” it said, describing the evacuation as voluntary.
18 Alpha agrees to buy Massey Energy for about $7.1 billion
By Michael Erman and Ann Saphir, Reuters
Sat Jan 29, 9:15 pm ET
|NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Alpha Natural Resources said on Saturday it agreed to a $7.1 billion deal to buy Massey Energy Co, which was rocked by a deadly coal mining accident last year.
The deal — the latest in a wave of consolidation sweeping the industry — creates the second largest U.S. coal miner by market value, holding 110 mines and combined coal reserves of 5 billion tons. The deal is expected to be completed in mid-2011.
Massey shareholders will receive 1.025 Alpha share for each Massey share in addition to $10 a share in cash, for a value of about $69.33 a share, the companies said. That represents a 21 percent premium over Massey’s closing share price of $57.23 on Friday.
19 House Speaker Boehner warns against debt default
By Richard Cowan, Reuters
Sun Jan 30, 1:26 pm ET
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Sunday said that the United States must continue meeting its obligations to fund government debt or risk a global financial disaster.
With the Treasury Department rapidly coming closer to bumping up against its statutory borrowing limit of $14.3 trillion, some of Boehner’s fellow Republicans in Congress have suggested that no further borrowing should be authorized until deep cuts are made in federal spending.
Boehner, interviewed on “Fox News Sunday,” was asked about the impact of a government default if the limit on its borrowing authority was not raised in a timely way.
20 Clinton: US has no plans to suspend aid to Haiti
By BRADLEY KLAPPER and JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press
1 hr 43 mins ago
|PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The United States has no plans to halt aid to earthquake-ravaged Haiti in spite of a crisis over who will be the nation’s next leader but does insist that the president’s chosen successor be dropped from the race, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday.
Clinton arrived Sunday in the impoverished Caribbean nation for a brief visit. She is scheduled to meet with President Rene Preval and each of the three candidates jockeying to replace him.
Only two candidates can go on to the delayed second round, now scheduled for March 20. The U.S. is backing an Organization of American States recommendation that the candidate from Preval’s party, government construction official Jude Celestin, should be left out.
21 AP Interview: Islamist leader returns to Tunisia
By BOUAZZA BEN BOUAZZA and JEFFREY SCHAEFFER, Associated Press
1 hr 4 mins ago
|TUNIS, Tunisia – The leader of a long-outlawed Tunisian Islamist party returned home Sunday after two decades in exile, telling The Associated Press in his first interview on arrival that his views are moderate and that his Westward-looking country has nothing to fear.
Rachid Ghanouchi and about 70 other exiled members of Ennahdha, or Renaissance, flew home from Britain two weeks after autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced from power by violent protests. At the airport, thousands of people welcomed him, cheering, shouting “God is great!” and drowning out his attempt to address the crowd with a megaphone.
Ghanouchi rejected any comparison to more radical figures, including the hardline father of the Iranian Revolution.
22 Egyptian reform leader calls for Mubarak to resign
By HAMZA HENDAWI and MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press
35 mins ago
|CAIRO – Egypt’s most prominent democracy advocate took up a bullhorn Sunday and called for President Hosni Mubarak to resign, speaking to thousands of protesters who defied a curfew for a third night. Fighter jets streaked low overhead and police returned to the capital’s streets – high-profile displays of authority over a situation spiraling out of control.
Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei’s appearance in Tahrir, or Liberation, Square underscored the jockeying for leadership of the mass protest movement that erupted seemingly out of nowhere in the past week to shake the Arab world’s most populous nation.
Now in their sixth day, the protests have come to be centered in the square, where demonstrators have camped since Friday. Up to 10,000 protesters gathered there Sunday, and even after the 4 p.m. curfew, they numbered in the thousands, including families with young children, addressing Mubarak with their chants of “Leave, leave, leave.”
23 As chaos reigns, foreigners advised to leave Egypt
By TAREK EL-TABLAWY, AP Business Writer
1 hr 3 mins ago
|CAIRO – Foreign governments stepped up their warnings about travel to Egypt, with several urging their nationals to evacuate as soon as possible, further fueling uncertainty over where the Arab nation is headed after nearly a week of mass protests.
The fears of foreign tourists mirrored those of many Egyptians. Dozens with the means to do so rented jets or hopped aboard their own planes in a mad dash that did little to boost confidence in the future of a country that, until a week ago, had been viewed as a pillar of stability in a restive region. Those leaving included businessmen and celebrities.
The American, Swiss, Turkish and Dutch governments issued advisories encouraging nationals already in the country to leave and telling those who planned trips to Egypt to reconsider. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo said it was making arrangements to transport Americans who want to leave to “safehaven locations in Europe.” Flights would begin on Monday.
24 Civilians watch over neighborhoods in Egypt chaos
By MARJORIE OLSTER, Associated Press
Sun Jan 30, 12:09 pm ET
|CAIRO – When Egypt’s police melted from the streets of Cairo this weekend, the people stepped in.
Civilians armed with knives, axes, golf clubs, firebombs, metal bars and makeshift spears watched over many neighborhoods in the sprawling capital of 18 million this weekend, defending their families and homes against widespread looting and lawlessness.
The thugs had exploited the chaos created by the largest anti-government protests in decades and the military failed to fill the vacuum left by police.
25 Egypt turmoil rattles Middle East stock markets
By ADAM SCHRECK, AP Business Writer
1 hr 12 mins ago
|DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Investors nervous about instability gripping Egypt drove Middle Eastern stocks down sharply Sunday as markets reopened following a weekend of violent protests.
The losses, led by a drop of more than 4 percent in the regional business hub Dubai, reflect concerns the unrest that has roiled the Arab world’s most populous country and nearby Tunisia could spread, jeopardizing an economic recovery across the region.
“There’s this contagion effect, where investors are thinking: ‘Well, is this going to spread out across the Arab world?'” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive of Gulfmena Alternative Investments, a fund management firm in Dubai.
26 Clinton: Egypt must transition to democracy
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press
1 hr 1 min ago
|WASHINGTON – The U.S. appealed for an orderly transition to lasting democracy in Egypt even as escalating violence in the American ally threatened Mideast stability and put President Barack Obama in a diplomatic bind.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton refused to speculate on the future of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak or his teetering government. But U.S. officials, she said, “obviously want to see people who are truly committed to democracy, not to imposing any ideology on Egyptians.”
She warned against a takeover resembling the one in Iran, with a “small group that doesn’t represent the full diversity of Egyptian society” seizing control and imposing its ideological beliefs.
27 Analysis: For US, Egypt crisis recalls 1979 Iran
By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press
2 hrs 1 min ago
|WASHINGTON – The mounting popular demand that Egypt’s all-powerful ruler step aside has suddenly forced the United States to contemplate a Mideast without the guarantee of a bedrock Arab ally – and raised the specter of the anti-American revolution in Iran a generation ago.
The spiraling turmoil in Egypt is confronting the Obama administration with its most acute foreign policy crisis to date, and officials are toeing a delicate line.
There are appeals to 82-year-old Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for restraint and reform alongside signals to the protesters that the United States understands their frustration and supports at least some of their goals. In equal measure, the Obama administration is trying to avoid unintentionally aiding a militant Islamic takeover if Mubarak falls.
28 Face of Mideast unrest: young and hungry for jobs
By BRIAN MURPHY, Associated Press
Sun Jan 30, 3:04 pm ET
|DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Just days before fleeing Tunisia, the embattled leader went on national television to promise 300,000 new jobs over two years.
Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak did much the same Saturday as riots gripped Cairo and other cities: offering more economic opportunities in a country where half the people live on less than $2 a day.
The pledges-under-siege have something else in common: an acknowledgment that the unprecedented anger on Arab streets is at its core a long-brewing rage against decades of economic imbalances that have rewarded the political elite and left many others on the margins.
29 Over 99 pct in Southern Sudan vote for secession
By MAGGIE FICK, Associated Press
Sun Jan 30, 10:09 am ET
|JUBA, Sudan – Southern Sudan’s referendum commission said Sunday that more than 99 percent of voters in the south opted to secede from the country’s north in a vote held earlier this month.
The announcement drew cheers from a crowd of thousands that gathered in Juba, the dusty capital of what may become the world’s newest country.
The weeklong vote, held in early January and widely praised for being peaceful and for meeting international standards, was a condition of a 2005 peace agreement that ended a north-south civil war that lasted two decades and killed 2 million people.
30 Iraqis watch Egypt unrest with sense of irony
By BUSHRA JUHI and KIM GAMEL, Associated Press
Sun Jan 30, 11:38 am ET
|BAGHDAD – Iraqis who have long suffered from high unemployment, poverty and endemic corruption – the catalysts of unrest spreading in the Arab world – called on their own government to take notice.
Many watched footage of riots and looting on the streets of Egypt, the region’s traditional powerhouse, with a sense of irony. The scenes brought back disturbing memories of similar mayhem in Iraq, but also admiration for an uprising that came from the streets rather than in the wake of a foreign invasion.
The demonstrations come as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki grapples with complaints that he has failed to provide basic services and security as he begins a new four-year term with a fragile coalition.
31 Ivy League case tests Rockefeller drug law change
By JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press
Sun Jan 30, 1:44 pm ET
|NEW YORK – They were students who juggled an elite education with criminal extracurriculars, dealing an array of drugs from Ivy League dorm rooms and frat houses, prosecutors say.
But beneath the surface of academic success, some of the Columbia University students charged in a campus drug takedown struggled with substance abuse, their lawyers say. Attorneys for two of the five students plan to ask a court to prescribe treatment instead of prison – one of the most high-profile tests so far of a recent overhaul of New York’s once-notoriously stringent drug laws.
The outcome will be watched closely by opponents and proponents of 2009 changes to mitigate what were known as the Rockefeller drug laws. Backers called the lesser punishments a more effective and humane approach to drug crime; critics said they gave drug peddlers a pass.
32 Alpha Natural reaches $7.1B deal for Massey Energy
By ANDREW VANACORE and TIM HUBER, AP Business Writers
Sun Jan 30, 3:33 am ET
|NEW YORK – Massey Energy Co., struggling with losses after an explosion that killed 29 workers at a West Virginia coal mine last spring, agreed Saturday to be taken over by Alpha Natural Resources Inc.
Alpha is paying $7.1 billion in cash and stock for Massey, the nation’s fourth-largest coal producer by revenue. Massey operates 19 mining complexes in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky including the Upper Big Branch mine where the April 5 disaster occurred.
Alpha is offering 1.025 share of its stock for each share of Massey, plus $10 per share in cash. Together, that represents a bid of $69.33 per share, a 21 percent premium over Massey’s closing share price Friday.
33 Myanmar parliament to open, but army in control
By AYE AYE WIN, Associated Press
Sun Jan 30, 6:01 am ET
|NAYPYITAW, Myanmar – Myanmar is preparing to open its first session of parliament in more than two decades, a major step in the ruling military’s self-styled transition to democracy but one being carried out with little fanfare or public enthusiasm.
There is muted hope that Monday’s convening of the new legislature will be a step, however small, in the right direction for a country that has seen the army rule with impunity since a 1962 coup ended the last legitimate parliamentary democracy. Still, with a quarter of the seats in the upper and lower houses reserved for the military and the remainder dominated by political parties loyal to the outgoing junta, there is little chance for an actual return of power to the people.
The junta for years has been touting the convening of parliament as the penultimate step in its so-called roadmap to democracy, leaving only the task of having it elect a president. Current junta chief Senior Gen. Than Shwe, however, is expected to remain the country’s guiding force, no matter what position he holds in the new regime.
34 In turnabout, Dems say GOP has dropped job focus
By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press
Sun Jan 30, 3:32 am ET
|WASHINGTON – Republicans won dozens of elections last fall after claiming Democrats had focused too little on creating jobs. Now GOP lawmakers stand accused of the same charge, using their new House majority to push to repeal the president’s health care law, restrict abortions and highlight other social issues important to their most conservative supporters.
Republican leaders say they have a jobs agenda, kicked off by their attempt to unravel what they call the Democrats’ “jobs-killing” health overhaul.
Democrats scoff at this notion, and they’re hounding Republicans to show how they can put more people to work.
35 Leaders’ power struggle roils ‘most livable’ Tulsa
By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press
2 hrs 31 mins ago
|TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa was built by oil barons in the early 1900s, and their stone, columned mansions still adorn the old historic districts. Lately, the city’s image has been less ostentatious – as a middle-American family town, with a modest cost of living, comfortable neighborhoods spread across a rolling landscape, and a regular place on the most-livable-cities lists.
But the city’s normally placid civic life has fallen into turmoil. At City Hall, where council meetings once played out in quiet tones, the mayor and council members have been accusing each other of ethics violations and slapping each other with lawsuits. The police have been in court – but as defendants rather than witnesses. Veteran officers have been indicted for felonies and the department is enduring its worst corruption scandal in recent history.
The chaos has clouded the city’s effort to pull off a major urban revitalization, already lagging well behind other cities in the region.
36 Elephant refuge starts anew after founder’s firing
By KRISTIN M. HALL, Associated Press
Sun Jan 30, 1:17 pm ET
|HOHENWALD, Tenn. – Nestled on a secluded tract in the wooded hills of rural Tennessee is a sight that would likely startle an outsider, if outsiders were permitted to see it: the nation’s largest sanctuary for old, sick and rescued elephants.
For the past 15 years, elephants who had spent lifetimes in zoos and circuses have found a place to retire, rest and roam, far from noisy audiences and free from cramped quarters.
Now, after an unexpected management change and a lawsuit filed by one of the original founders last year, their place of refuge is undergoing changes that may allow the world a better glimpse of their lives.
37 Obama to honor 28 victims of 1961 tower collapse
By JAY LINDSAY, Associated Press
Sun Jan 30, 1:17 pm ET
|BOSTON – He fused its steel with his welder’s torch in a Maine shipyard. He was there when this Cold War radar station, known as “Texas Tower No. 4,” first stood 80 miles offshore.
And when the tower collapsed, David Abbott went down with it, one of 28 men killed when the hurricane-weakened structure finally buckled under the North Atlantic’s pounding.
Fifty years later, President Barack Obama is recognizing the sacrifice of Abbott and those killed in the Jan. 15, 1961, collapse. Within the next week, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s office, which lobbied for the honor, expects to deliver a letter from Obama to Abbott’s son, Donald, in a gesture intended to honor all of the victims and their families.
38 Father, son help each other after brain injuries
By JULIE WATSON, Associated Press
Sun Jan 30, 1:00 pm ET
|MOORPARK, Calif. – The crisply ironed uniforms of the father and son hang side by side in what they have dubbed the “Marine Corps closet,” a dark space filled with vestiges of their tours of duty.
Two Purple Hearts. A backpack full of medical records.
The father is David R. Franco; the son is David W. Aside from the name, they share so much: proud service in Iraq, and a haunting, painful aftermath.
39 Chaplains try a new path to deal with PTSD
By DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press
Sun Jan 30, 12:59 am ET
|DENVER – A Colorado theology school is teaching Air Force chaplains to consider the religious beliefs of servicemen and women to better help them cope with post-traumatic stress.
The goal is to build trust so a chaplain can encourage service members to draw on their individual concepts of God and spirituality, said Carrie Doehring, an associate professor of pastoral care at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver.
Doehring helped develop the one-year program for the Air Force, which wanted another way for its chaplains to respond to the stress of deployments amid two protracted wars.
40 A final judgment in notorious police abuse scandal
By SHARON COHEN, AP National Writer
Sun Jan 30, 12:02 am ET
|CHICAGO – The anonymous letters to attorney G. Flint Taylor arrived in police department envelopes, and so the mysterious author was dubbed “Deep Badge.”
It was 1989 and Taylor was representing a notorious killer – Andrew Wilson, who had shot two police officers and was behind bars for life. He’d originally been sentenced to death but won a new trial after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled his confession had been coerced.
Wilson was now in federal court, claiming that during questioning in the police killings he’d been beaten, tortured with electric shocks, forced onto a hot radiator and smothered with a plastic bag. Among those he was suing: Chicago police commander Jon Burge, a decorated Vietnam veteran.