Apr 11 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 42 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 British, Dutch announce litigation after Icesave ‘no’ vote

by Agnes Valdimarsdottir, AFP

1 hr 15 mins ago

REYKJAVIK (AFP) – Britain and The Netherlands said Sunday they would return to the courts to get Iceland to refund them billions of euros after voters there said “no” in a referendum to the reimbursement plan.

Iceland’s government insisted it could pay back more than 90 percent of the money lost, despite most voters having rejected a deal to refund 3.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion) to the two countries, according to partial results.

“The Icelandic state has absolutely no problem in repaying its debts” resulting from the collapse of the Icesave bank, Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson told reporters.


2 Iceland has ‘no problem’ repaying debt

by Agnes Valdimarsdottir, AFP

Sun Apr 10, 11:04 am ET

REYKJAVIK (AFP) – Iceland insisted on Sunday it has “no problem” repaying its debts as litigation loomed over voters’ rejection of a deal to reimburse The Netherlands and Britain for the collapse of Icesave bank.

“The Icelandic state has absolutely no problem in repaying its debts,” Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson told a news conference the day after voters gave a resounding “no” to a proposed deal for repaying 3.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion) to the two countries.

“Iceland’s reserves are more than enough to cover all the payments in the coming years,” he added.

3 African mediators in Libya as NATO hits tanks

by Imed Lamloum, AFP

1 hr 1 min ago

TRIPOLI (AFP) – A high-ranking African Union delegation arrived in Libya on Sunday to try to broker a truce between Moamer Kadhafi and rebels seeking to oust him, and as air strikes took out 26 loyalist tanks.

The peace mission came as NATO warplanes were in action against Kadhafi’s forces in the stricken port city of Misrata and Ajdabiya in the east.

The African mediators were welcomed to Tripoli by Kadhafi supporters holding the veteran Libyan leader’s picture and waving the green flags of his regime.

4 Dozens shot in Yemen as Gulf urges transition

by Hammoud Mounassar, AFP

1 hr 42 mins ago

SANAA (AFP) – Dozens of anti-regime demonstrators were shot in clashes with security forces, sparking charges of “massacre”, as Yemen’s Gulf neighbours appealed to President Ali Abdullah Saleh to cede power.

Tens of thousands of people took part in demonstrations in Sanaa as well as Taez and Ibb, both south of the capital, and in the Red Sea city of Hudaydah to condemn Saturday’s bloodshed, witnesses said.

The protesters shouted slogans condemning the “massacre” and carried the flags of several other Arab countries, including Qatar which has come out vocally in support of the departure of Saleh.

5 Mubarak faces questioning over protest crackdown

by Samer al-Atrush, AFP

1 hr 41 mins ago

CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt’s public prosecutor on Sunday ordered ousted president Hosni Mubarak and his sons to be questioned over violence against protesters and alleged corruption, MENA state news agency reported.

The announcement came after the broadcast of an audio tape in which the former president defended his reputation and after weeks of mounting protests calling for him to be put on trial.

“The public prosecutor Abdel Magid Mahmud decided today to ask for the questioning of former president Hosni Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa,” the official news agency reported.

6 Cairo protesters defy military after deadly crackdown

by Samer al-Atrush, AFP

Sat Apr 9, 4:38 pm ET

CAIRO (AFP) – More than 1,000 protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square vowed on Saturday to stay overnight in defiance of the military after a protester was killed the night before when soldiers dispersed a similar sit-in.

At least one person was killed earlier in the morning when troops and police stormed the iconic square to break up an overnight protest demanding the trial of former regime officials.

The health ministry said one person died, a figure later echoed by the army, and 71 people were hurt — some from bullet wounds and others suffering breathing difficulties or having been struck during clashes.

7 Mubarak says he’s victim of defamation

by Samer al-Atrush, AFP

Sun Apr 10, 10:50 am ET

CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt’s former leader Hosni Mubarak complained he has been the victim of a smear campaign, in his first comments aired Sunday since he was ousted in February by a popular uprising.

The former strongman’s statement was broadcast on the pan-Arab news network Al-Arabiya as pressure mounted on the ruling military to put him on trial for alleged corruption and other crimes.

Mubarak, who has been under house arrest since resigning on February 11, said he was prepared to assist any investigations into his family’s alleged assets abroad.

8 French, UN forces in I. Coast fire on Gbagbo positions

by Thomas Morfin, AFP

1 hr 50 mins ago

ABIDJAN (AFP) – UN and French forces in Ivory Coast attacked positions of troops loyal to strongman Laurent Gbagbo on Sunday, a day after an attack on the base of his rival, UN-recognised president Alassane Ouattara.

A spokesman for the UN mission in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) said its peacekeepers and France’s Licorne force had fired on the positions in the main city Abidjan in a bid to destroy heavy weapons that were being used against civilians.

“We have resumed the operation aimed at neutralising heavy weapons wherever they are found,” UN mission spokesman Hamadoun Toure said.

9 Pro-Gbagbo forces launch attack on rival’s HQ

by Thomas Morfin, AFP

Sat Apr 9, 4:20 pm ET

ABIDJAN (AFP) – Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo’s forces attacked the headquarters of his rival, UN-recognised president Alassane Ouattara, on Saturday in a major escalation of the battle for control of the country.

A UN spokesman and witnesses told AFP the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, where Ouattara has been holed up since disputed November elections, came under attack from about 5:00 pm local time (1700 GMT).

It was the first time since the start of the west African nation’s political crisis that the hotel had come under direct attack.

10 Ouattara lawyers wants Gbagbo "neutralised"

by Thomas Morfin, AFP

Sun Apr 10, 10:57 am ET

ABIDJAN (AFP) – Lawyers for Ivorian president-in-waiting Alassane Ouattara demanded on Sunday that the UN and France “neutralise” forces loyal to his rival Laurent Gbagbo and bring the strongman to justice.

“We call upon the impartial forces from UNOCI, with the support of the French Licorne troops, to eliminate with no further delay the heavy weapons, neutralise the militiamen on Gbagbo’s payroll … and to bring to justice the defeated (presidential) candidate,” the French lawyers said.

The statement, issued in Paris, described Gbagbo loyalists as “an illegal occupation force” as fighters backing the two rival claimants to the presidency battle it out in Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan.

11 Bomb blasts hit Nigerian bid for credible elections

by M.J. Smith, AFP

Sat Apr 9, 5:21 pm ET

LAGOS (AFP) – Nigerians voted in large numbers Saturday in the first of a series of key elections in Africa’s most populous nation, but deadly bomb blasts cast a shadow over the country’s bid to hold credible polls.

Blasts hit an electoral office in central Nigeria on Friday night, a polling place as parliamentary voting was under way in the northeastern city of Maiduguri on Saturday and a vote collating centre in the same city Saturday evening.

At least 13 people were killed in the explosions and dozens of others were wounded, but the toll was likely to rise because details remained unclear from the blasts on Saturday.

12 Japan will ‘never abandon’ tsunami victims: PM

by Yasuyoshi Chiba, AFP

Sun Apr 10, 1:09 pm ET

ISHINOMAKI, Japan (AFP) – Prime Minister Naoto Kan promised Sunday he would “never abandon” survivors of Japan’s tsunami as he tried to focus attention on the future, despite a high-stakes battle at a nuclear plant.

Kan, on only his second trip to the disaster zone in the month since the March 11 tragedy, said the government would “work as fast as possible” to house 150,000 people living in emergency shelters since the disaster struck.

Speaking to survivors in Ishinomaki city, a major fishing hub in the worst-hit northeast of the country, the prime minister said the government would do all it could to ensure fishing “can be resumed as soon as possible”.

13 Scientists settle centuries-old debate on perception

by Marlowe Hood, AFP

2 hrs 1 min ago

PARIS (AFP) – Researchers said Sunday they had solved a conundrum about human perception that has stumped philosophers and scientists alike since it was first articulated 323 years ago by an Irish politician in a letter to John Locke.

Imagine, William Molyneux wrote to the great British thinker, that a man blind from birth who has learned to identify objects — a sphere and a cube, for example — only through his sense of touch is suddenly able to see.

The puzzle, he continued, is “Whether he Could, by his Sight, and before he touch them, know which is the Globe and which the Cube?”

14 Top British paper prints phone-hacking apology

by Sam Reeves, AFP

2 hrs 21 mins ago

LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper publicly apologised Sunday for hacking into the voicemail of numerous top celebrities, in a scandal that has engulfed top politicians, royals and stars.

As it sought to draw a line under the furore, the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World weekly tabloid begged pardon from its victims, saying its actions had been “unacceptable”.

The Sunday paper said it had admitted liability in some cases and planned to pay compensation from a fund being set up, reportedly worth around £20 million ($33 million, 23 million euros).

15 Russia releases Gagarin’s secret last words

by Dmitry Zaks, AFP

Sun Apr 10, 11:07 am ET

MOSCOW (AFP) – One of the last things Yuri Gagarin did before making his pioneering voyage into space 50 years ago was make sure he had enough sausage to last him on the trip back home to Moscow.

This tidbit was among more than 700 pages of once-secret material linked to the life and times of the world’s first spaceman that were released by Russia ahead of the April 12 anniversary.

The historic space shot turned Gagarin into an instant celebrity whose boyish charms became a powerful propaganda weapon for the Soviet Union as it scrambled to win its ideological battle against the United States during the Cold War.

16 Brilliant Vettel wins Malaysian Grand Prix

by Gordon Howard, AFP

Sun Apr 10, 9:18 am ET

SEPANG, Malaysia (AFP) – World champion Sebastien Vettel dominated the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday with a brilliant drive which maintained his perfect start to the season.

The 23-year-old German steered his Red Bull car from pole position to the chequered flag to win ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button, the 2009 champion, and Nick Heidfeld who finished third for Renault.

“In the heat, we kept our heads cool,” the jubilant Vettel told the Red Bull crew on his victory lap.


17 NYSE snubs Nasdaq-ICE bid, sticks with Deutsche Boerse

By Jonathan Spicer and Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

56 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – NYSE Euronext chose its deal with Deutsche Boerse AG over a higher, rival takeover offer from Nasdaq OMX Group and IntercontinentalExchange Inc, dealing the latest blow in what could be a drawn-out bidding process.

NYSE Euronext’s directors found the $11.3 billion (6.8 billion pounds) bid from Nasdaq and ICE “strategically unattractive, with unacceptable execution risk”, the exchange operator said in a statement on Sunday.

The parent of the New York Stock Exchange said the friendly, $10.2 billion deal with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse announced in February is in shareholders’ long-term interest, and “significantly more likely” to be completed. A merger would create the world’s biggest exchange operator.

18 NATO air strikes help break attack on east Libya town

By Michael Georgy, Reuters

2 hrs 57 mins ago

AJDABIYAH, Libya (Reuters) – NATO aircraft destroyed Libyan tanks on the outskirts of Ajdabiyah on Sunday, helping to break a major assault by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi on the strategic rebel town.

NATO said it had hit 11 tanks outside Ajdabiyah, which Gaddafi’s troops had earlier threatened to overrun, and 14 more on the outskirts of Misrata, a lone rebel bastion in western Libya which has been under siege for six weeks.

A Reuters reporter saw six burning hulks surrounded by 15 charred and dismembered bodies in two sites 300 meters (1,000 feet) apart on Ajdabiyah’s western approaches.

19 Gulf states call for Yemen’s Saleh to transfer power

By Mohamed Sudam and Jason Benham, Reuters

2 hrs 23 mins ago

SANAA/RIYADH (Reuters) – Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh should hand over power to his vice president and allow the opposition to lead a transition government that would prepare new elections, Gulf Arab countries said on Sunday.

Saleh’s government and the opposition will meet in Saudi Arabia to discuss Yemen’s “unity, security and stability,” foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council said in a statement after talks in the Saudi capital.

“The formation of a national unity government under the leadership of the opposition which has the right to form committees…to draw up a constitution and hold elections,” was a key principle of the Gulf-sponsored meeting between the two sides, they said.

20 Assad loyalists fire at Sunni Muslims in Syria city

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Reuters

Sun Apr 10, 1:25 pm ET

AMMAN (Reuters) – Irregular forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fired at a group of people guarding a mosque in Banias on Sunday, two witnesses said, after pro-democracy unrest flared in the conservative coastal city.

Once-unthinkable mass protests challenging Assad’s 11-year authoritarian rule have spread across Syria despite his attempts to defuse resentment by making gestures toward reforms and reaching out to minority Kurds and conservative Sunni Muslims.

Intensifying a crackdown on popular dissent now in its fourth week, security forces fanned out in tanks overnight near the Banias oil refinery — one of two in Syria — near the Alawite district of Qusour, where its main hospital is located.

21 Bahrain human rights activist "arrested, beaten up"

By Frederik Richter, Reuters

Sat Apr 9, 4:12 pm ET

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain has arrested and beaten a prominent human rights activist and members of his family, a rights group said on Saturday, after the kingdom launched a sweeping crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Bahrain saw the worst sectarian clashes since the 1990s last month after protesters, emboldened by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, took to the streets, prompting the government to impose martial law and invite in troops from Sunni-ruled neighbneighborsours.

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja was arrested with two sons-in-law, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights said in a statement.

22 Nigerian ruling party loses ground in poll

By Matthew Tostevin and Camillus Eboh, Reuters

1 hr 37 mins ago

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s ruling party looked set to see its strong grip on parliament weakened as votes emerged on Sunday from an election that observers said was the fairest for decades in Africa’s most populous nation.

Election officials and party agents tallied results from 120,000 polling units stretching from the oil-producing mangrove swamps and teeming cities near the southern coast to the dustblown fringes of the Sahara desert in the north.

There were isolated reports of ballot box snatching, clashes between rival supporters in parts of the Niger Delta and two bombs in the remote northeast during the vote but observers said it appeared to have been a vast improvement on previous polls.

23 Japanese voters may further weaken PM over nuclear crisis


Sun Apr 10, 9:26 am ET

TOKYO (Reuters) – An outspoken incumbent looked certain to win a fourth term as Tokyo governor despite a gaffe in which he said a deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan’s northeast last month was “divine punishment,” media exit polls showed on Sunday.

In the first round of results for nationwide local elections, a pro-nuclear governor was also set to keep his post in Japan’s west despite a crisis at a nuclear power plant hit by the tsunami and leaking radiation into the air and sea.

Both are independents but other election results, to be finalized later on Sunday or Monday, could be bad news for Prime Minister Naoto Kan, under fire for his handling of the nuclear crisis, and a boost for rivals who want to seek his resignation once the crisis ends.

24 Japan ready to stop pumping radioactive water into sea

By Shinichi Saoshiro and Chikako Mogi, Reuters

Sun Apr 10, 9:48 am ET

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan hopes to stop pumping radioactive water into the sea on Sunday, which should help ease concerns in neighboring China and South Korea over the spread of radiation from the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

But problems in restoring cooling systems at Japan’s crippled nuclear plant, hit by a tsunami on March 11, mean more contaminated water may eventually be pumped into the sea if the complex again runs out of storage capacity.

Japan is struggling to regain control of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated its northeast on March 11, and is facing a major humanitarian and economic crisis.

25 Portuguese wary of bailout pain

By Shrikesh Laxmidas and Axel Bugge, Reuters

Sun Apr 10, 9:43 am ET

ALENQUER, Portugal (Reuters) – Portugal’s need for foreign aid has surprised few in a country where the signs of economic stagnation have been visible for years and politicians are widely regarded as part of the problem.

Alenquer, nestling between vineyard-covered hills 40 km (24 miles) north of Lisbon, is the perfect example: the skeleton of a shuttered textile factory stands at one end of the village and unfinished apartment blocks at the other.

The factory, closed down 15 years ago, is a reminder of how Portugal’s traditional industries were forced out of markets as cheaper goods flowed in from elsewhere, especially China.


26 Egypt’s ex-President Mubarak denies abuse of power

By SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press

3 mins ago

CAIRO – In the first remarks since his dramatic ouster, former President Hosni Mubarak denied that he used his position to amass wealth and property during three decades in power, and issued an emotional defense of his legacy.

The statement, broadcast Sunday at the end of a turbulent weekend that saw a deadly military crackdown on protesters, only stoked more public anger.

In the prerecorded audiotape, the 82-year-old Mubarak spoke with a tone of authority more in keeping with his past power than his current situation. He said he had agreed to “authorize” an investigation of his finances, and promised to sue all those who smeared his reputation.

27 Witnesses: 4 protesters killed in key Syrian city

By BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press

1 hr 17 mins ago

BEIRUT – Syrian security forces and pro-government gunmen killed four protesters Sunday in the port city of Banias after the army sealed off the city as hundreds of protesters gathered, undaunted by the regime’s use of deadly force to quell more than three weeks of unrest, witnesses said. State TV reported that nine soldiers were killed in an ambush near the city.

Details were sketchy because telephone lines, Internet access and electricity apparently were cut to most parts of the city. Army tanks and soldiers circled the city, preventing people from entering.

But one witness, reached by telephone, said hundreds of protesters had gathered near the al-Rahman mosque when security forces and armed men in civilian clothes opened fire on them. The names of the dead were read out on mosque loudspeakers.

28 African Union says Libya accepts cease-fire plan


12 mins ago

TRIPOLI, Libya – A delegation of African leaders said Sunday that their Libyan counterpart, Moammar Gadhafi, accepted their “road map” for a cease-fire with rebels, whom they will meet Monday. They met hours after NATO airstrikes battered Gadhafi’s tanks, helping Libyan rebels push back government troops who had been advancing quickly toward the opposition’s eastern stronghold.

The terms of the African Union’s road map were unclear – such as whether it would require Gadhafi to pull his troops out of cities as rebels have demanded.

“We have completed our mission with the brother leader, and the brother leader’s delegation has accepted the road map as presented by us,” said South African President Jacob Zuma. He traveled to Tripoli with the heads of Mali and Mauritania to meet with Gadhafi, whose more than 40-year rule has been threatened by the uprising that began nearly two months ago.

29 Gulf bloc calls on Yemen’s ruler to step down

By AHMED AL-HAJ, Associated Press

1 hr 7 mins ago

SANAA, Yemen – A regional bloc of oil-rich Arab nations along the Gulf, including powerful Saudi Arabia, called on Yemen’s president Sunday to step down as part of a deal with the protest movement demanding for his ouster after 32 years.

Keeping up the pressure, tens of thousands of protesters complaining of poverty and corruption marched in the capital, Sanaa, on Sunday, a day after renewed clashes between demonstrators and security forces there. Witnesses said police fired a barrage of tear gas late Saturday and that many demonstrators suffered breathing problems.

The statement, by foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in the Saudi capital, called on President Ali Abdullah Saleh transfer his powers to his vice president in return for promises that neither he nor his family would be prosecuted for any crimes committed under his leadership.

30 UN, French fire on Gbagbo residence in Ivory Coast

By MARCO CHOWN OVED, Associated Press

1 hr 36 mins ago

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – United Nations and French helicopters fired rockets on strongman Laurent Gbagbo’s residence on Sunday in an assault the U.N. said was to retaliate for attacks by his forces on U.N. headquarters and civilians.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he had authorized the strikes, accusing Gbagbo of using heavy weapons against Ivory Coast civilians and the U.N. forces trying to protect them.

Residents from nearby neighborhoods reported seeing two U.N. Mi-24 attack helicopters and a French helicopter open fire on the residence, where Gbagbo is holed up in a bunker. The residents couldn’t be named for fear of reprisal.

31 Month after quake, Japan homeless move into houses

By KOJI UEDA and SHINO YUASA, Associated Press

Sun Apr 10, 3:15 pm ET

RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan – One month after a devastating tsunami flattened their homes, some families took a step toward normalcy and moved into temporary housing, while Japan’s prime minister promised Sunday to help fishermen along the devastated coast get back to their boats.

Rows of 36 boxy, gray houses line a junior high school parking lot in this port city pulverized by the March 11 wave, and, after a lottery, the first lucky few families moved in this weekend. Each unit is just 320 square feet (30 square meters), but replete with modern comforts like a television, refrigerator, microwave and washing machine – a welcome upgrade for the homeless, many of whom have slept on the floors of school gyms for a month.

That’s just one house for every 50 applicants.

32 Fervor of Wis. debate shifts to recall elections

By JASON SMATHERS, Associated Press

Sun Apr 10, 2:02 pm ET

MADISON, Wis. – Nearly a month after the Wisconsin standoff over union rights ended, some of the fervor from that debate has shifted to recall efforts targeting lawmakers in both parties – Republicans who voted to cut back collective bargaining and Democrats who fled the state to try to stop them.

Now that the law has passed, organizers are focusing on signature-gathering efforts. But of the 16 state senators who were originally targeted, only six appear likely to face an election threatening removal. And before recall elections can be held, supporters need to find candidates to run against the incumbents.

Still, voter outrage remains high in many places, helping to stir interest in the recalls.

33 Debate stirred over 1st major US tar sands mine

By CHI-CHI ZHANG, Associated Press

2 hrs 32 mins ago

SALT LAKE CITY – Beneath the lush, green hills of eastern Utah’s Uinta Basin, where elk, bear and bison outnumber people, the soil is saturated with a sticky tar that may soon provide a new domestic source of petroleum for the United States. It would be a first-of-its kind project in the country that some fear could be a slippery slope toward widespread wilderness destruction.

With crude prices surging beyond $100 a barrel, and politicians preaching the need to reduce America’s reliance on foreign supplies, companies are now looking for more local sources. One Canadian firm says it’s found it in the tar sands of Utah’s Book Cliffs.

Alberta-based Earth Energy Resources Inc. aims to start with a roughly 62-acre mine here to produce bitumen, a tar-like form of petroleum, from oil-soaked sands. For decades, other Utah operators have used oil sands as a poor-man’s asphalt, and Canada has been wringing oil from the ground for years, but nobody has yet tried to produce petroleum from U.S. soil on such a scale.

34 GOP presidential field sees budget wars from afar

By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press

Sun Apr 10, 12:18 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Republicans are pressing ahead with one of the most ambitious and risky long-term spending agendas in memory, yet the dozen or so potential White House hopefuls are nearly invisible on the issue.

They can’t stay on the sidelines for long, however. The contentious debate will rope them in on terms they might find hard to control.

The triumph of tea party candidates in 2010 pumped new urgency into a long-brewing Republican Party push for major cuts in domestic and benefit programs, including Medicare and Social Security.

35 US gay-marriage ban under assault but still potent

By DAVID CRARY, AP National Writer

Sun Apr 10, 11:22 am ET

NEW YORK – These are frustrating, tantalizing days for many of the same-sex couples who seized the chance to marry in recent years.

The law that prohibits federal recognition of their unions in under assault in the courts. The Obama administration has repudiated it and taken piecemeal steps to weaken its effects.

Yet for now, the Defense of Marriage Act remains very much in force – provoking anger, impatience and confusion among gay couples.

36 Judge blocks deal on protections for wolves

By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press

Sun Apr 10, 6:55 am ET

BOISE, Idaho – A federal judge has blocked a proposal to lift the endangered species protections for wolves in Montana and Idaho that had been hammered out by U.S. wildlife officials and conservation groups.

The plan could have led to public hunting of some 1,300 wolves in the two states.

In the 24-page decision, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula, Mont., cited the court’s lack of authority to put part of an endangered species population under state management and expose that population to hunting, noting “Congress has clearly determined that animals on the ESA (Endangered Species Act) must be protected as such,” and the court couldn’t “exercise its discretion to allow what Congress forbids.”

37 Beijing police halt unapproved church service

By ALEXA OLESEN, Associated Press

Sun Apr 10, 9:45 am ET

BEIJING – Beijing police on Sunday detained dozens of worshippers from an unapproved Christian church who were trying to hold services in a public space after they were evicted from their usual place of worship, a parishioner said.

Leaders of the unregistered Shouwang church had told members to gather at an open-air venue in Beijing for Sunday morning services, but police, apparently alerted to their plans, taped off the area and took away people who showed up to take part.

China’s Communist government allows worship only in state-approved churches, but many Christians belong to unregistered congregations. Such “house churches” are subjected to varying degrees of harassment by authorities.

38 Leftist leads in Peru election but runoff likely

By FRANK BAJAK, Associated Press

Sun Apr 10, 5:47 am ET

LIMA, Peru – A leftist former military officer who promises to favor the poor by redistributing Peru’s mineral wealth was expected to win the most votes in Sunday’s presidential elections but fall far short of the outright majority needed to avoid a runoff.

That made the tight battle for second crucial as no other candidate has expressed any intention of seriously shaking up the economic status quo.

Technically tied for second in an election-eve poll were Keiko Fujimori, 35-year-old daughter of the imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori whom Peruvians alternately adore and vilify, and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a 72-year-old former World Bank economist and investment banker. Trailing them was Alejandro Toledo, Peru’s president from 2001-2006.

39 Long meetings, dashed hopes – but finally a deal

By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press

Sun Apr 10, 4:37 am ET

WASHINGTON – There was barely an hour left before the midnight padlocking of government doors. In a Capitol basement meeting room, House Speaker John Boehner was telling exhausted fellow Republicans that a deal to avert a shutdown was nearly finished when an aide alerted him that staff had completed the final details and the agreement was complete.

“He said we don’t have the Senate and we don’t have the White House, and it’s a good day’s work,” said Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., who was in the closed-door session and later described the scene.

And with that, Republicans clapped: “Not euphoria,” Kingston said, reflecting fatigue and the realization of a long year of intense budget battling lay ahead. But for now, a week of top-level White House meetings, round-the-clock bargaining by staff and lots of emotional hills and valleys had produced a bipartisan accord to trim $38.5 billion in spending over this fiscal year’s remaining six months and head off a federal shutdown that both parties feared could hurt their standing with voters.

40 Analysis: GOP won first round of budget battle

By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press

Sun Apr 10, 12:57 am ET

WASHINGTON – Republican conservatives were the chief winners in the budget deal that forced Democrats to accept historic spending cuts they strongly opposed.

Emboldened by last fall’s election victories, fiscal conservatives have changed the debate in Washington. The question no longer is whether to cut spending, but how deeply. Rarely mentioned is the idea of higher taxes to lower the deficit.

Their success is all the more notable because Democrats control the Senate and White House.

41 Conn., RI marine industry say taxes will sink them

By SUSAN HAIGH and DAVID KLEPPER, Associated Press

Sun Apr 10, 1:07 pm ET

STONINGTON, Conn. – Boating season hasn’t begun yet and Mason’s Island Marina owner Eileen Morehouse has already felt the ill effects of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed increases to marine-related taxes – a move that industry veterans claim will repeat mistakes that proved economically devastating.

A customer recently told Morehouse she was moving her sailboat and Boston Whaler from the Mystic marina to neighboring Rhode Island, about 15 minutes away.

“She’s afraid that so many people are going to be running to Rhode Island,” said Morehouse, who has customers from as far away as Pennsylvania. “If you’re going to travel all the way from Philadelphia, what’s another 6 miles to Rhode Island? We will lose. Connecticut will lose.”

42 Maine Woods National Park idea faces challenges

By DAVID SHARP, Associated Press

Sun Apr 10, 11:02 am ET

PORTLAND, Maine – Judging by the reaction of Maine’s congressional delegation, a wealthy conservationist has some convincing to do if she’s to sell her idea of another national park in Maine.

While no one rejected Roxanne Quimby’s idea outright, all four members of Maine’s delegation expressed some level of concern about the proposal by the founder of Burt’s Bees personal care products to turn over more than 70,000 remote acres to the National Park Service.

The Park Service finds the idea intriguing, especially since it thinks people in the Northeast have fewer parks than other areas of the country. The park’s acreage would be roughly double the size of Maine’s Acadia National Park, which draws more 2 million visitors a year.

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