Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 48 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Yemen president wounded in palace attack but ‘well’

by Jamal al-Jabiri, AFP

44 mins ago

SANAA (AFP) – Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded on Friday when dissidents shelled a mosque in the presidential compound, as Yemen teetered towards civil war and Washington urged a peaceful transition of power.

A leader of the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) party told AFP that Saleh was “lightly wounded in the back of his head.”

In an audio statement broadcast late Friday on state television, Saleh who was being treated at the defence ministry hospital in Sanaa said, “I am well, in good health,” and added that the bombardment had killed seven people.


2 Yemen president, premier wounded in palace shelling

by Jamal al-Jabiri, AFP

2 hrs 46 mins ago

SANAA (AFP) – Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded along with his premier and other officials when shells fired by dissident tribesmen smashed into a mosque on Friday, as Yemen teetered towards civil war.

A leader of the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) party told AFP that Saleh was “lightly wounded in the back of his head,” in an attack that also killed three officers of the elite Republican Guard.

Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar was also wounded, and medics later said he was suffering from burns to his face.

3 34 shot dead in Hama as protests sweep Syria


1 hr 10 mins ago

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Security forces fired on vast crowds of protesters in the central city of Hama Friday killing 34, as the largest anti-regime demonstrations yet swept Syria, rights activists said.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm at the heightened Syrian government crackdown on protests, while a US-based monitoring firm said two-thirds of networks in protest-wracked Syria were cut off from the Internet on Friday.

“At least 34 people were killed in Hama by security forces but the toll could rise as there are people who were gravely wounded,” said Rami Abdel Rahman who heads the London-based Syrian observatory for human rights.

4 Iraq bomb attacks kill 21


1 hr 1 min ago

TIKRIT, Iraq (AFP) – A bomb outside a mosque frequented by provincial officials in central Iraq followed by a suicide attack against a hospital where victims were being treated killed at least 21 people on Friday.

The attacks came a day after a spate of coordinated bombings in west Iraq killed 10 people, raising questions over the capabilities of Iraqi security forces with just months to go before all US forces must pull out.

Friday’s violence in Tikrit, 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of Baghdad, also left 74 people wounded, including two members of Salaheddin provincial council, a senior policeman and a judge.

5 Mladic denounces ‘obnoxious’ charges in UN court

by Mariette le Roux, AFP

2 hrs 23 mins ago

THE HAGUE (AFP) – Former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic Friday faced down war crimes court judges at a first appearance, calling the charges against him “obnoxious” and said he was “simply defending his country”.

“I am General Ratko Mladic,” the markedly thinner, older, yet still defiant former military leader told the Yugoslav war crimes court in The Hague.

Mladic, 69, faces 11 charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

6 Greece wins 11th-hour pledge of fresh aid

by Sophie Estienne, AFP

1 hr 1 min ago

LUXEMBOURG (AFP) – Drowning in debt, Greece won Friday the pledge of a new bailout on top of a July cashflow fix, but only after surrendering some of its financial autonomy.

“There is an agreement,” Prime Minister George Papandreou said as Europe rallied to avoid bankruptcy in Athens and a damaging exit from the euro currency area.

The plan hinged on a positive review by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund of Greek budgetary efforts despite a worse-than-expected national recession since last year’s 110-billion-euro rescue.

7 Killer bug outbreak ‘stabilises’ as death toll hits 19

by Sebastian Bronst, AFP

43 mins ago

HAMBURG, Germany (AFP) – A puzzling outbreak of E. coli poisoning that has now spread to 12 countries appears to be stabilising, a senior German doctor said on Friday, as the death toll rose to 19.

As authorities continued to hunt the elusive source of the killer bug, the latest death was of an 80-year-old woman in the northern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

But while German authorities were still warning consumers off raw vegetables, the EU’s Reference Laboratory for E. coli in Rome said scientific tests had failed to support a link to the outbreak.

8 Greece wins 11th-hour pledge of fresh aid

by Sophie Estienne, AFP

1 hr 4 mins ago

LUXEMBOURG (AFP) – Drowning in debt, Greece won Friday the pledge of a new bailout on top of a July cashflow fix, but only after surrendering some of its financial autonomy.

“There is an agreement,” Prime Minister George Papandreou said as Europe rallied to avoid bankruptcy in Athens and a damaging exit from the euro currency area.

The plan hinged on a positive review by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund of Greek budgetary efforts despite a worse-than-expected national recession since last year’s 110-billion-euro rescue.

9 Bid to save Greece from bankruptcy enters last stretch

by Sophie Estienne, AFP

Fri Jun 3, 11:07 am ET

LUXEMBOURG (AFP) – Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou headed into crunch eurozone talks Friday hoping to clinch a new bailout deal to save his nation from default after a positive EU-IMF review of its public finances.

As Papandreou met Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg premier who heads the eurozone finance ministers, Athens announced that a four-week audit of its finances by EU and IMF experts had concluded satisfactorily.

“Today the Greek government’s talks with the representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund concluded in a positive manner,” the Greek finance ministry said.

10 Poor May jobs data sets challenge for White House

by Paul Handley, AFP

2 hrs 16 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The number of jobs generated by the US economy plunged in May, data showed Friday, deepening President Barack Obama’s challenge of tackling high-unemployment and of winning re-election.

The economy added a paltry 54,000 new jobs last month, one-quarter of the February-April pace, while the unemployment rate edged up to 9.1 percent, figures from the Labor Department showed.

While the White House and economists cautioned that the poor data was likely a monthly blip, it fueled allegations that Obama’s economic policies are failing, 18 months ahead of the next presidential election.

11 No ton for Cook as England fight back

by Julian Guyer, AFP

2 hrs 49 mins ago

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) – Alastair Cook fell short of a third Test hundred in as many innings but still helped England recover from an early collapse on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s.

Cook’s 96 was the centrepiece of England’s 342 for six at stumps here on Friday after Sri Lanka won the toss.

The left-handed opener had had to watch from the other end as England slumped to 22 for three.

12 Bahrain Grand Prix back on 2011 calendar


Fri Jun 3, 10:46 am ET

PARIS (AFP) – The Bahrain Grand Prix, postponed from its original season-opening date in March due to political turmoil and civil unrest in the Gulf state, will be staged later this year, organisers announced on Friday.

The decision to hold the race in Manama on October 30 was taken by Formula One’s ruling body the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council at a meeting in Barcelona.

The green light was given after a visit by an FIA delegation to assess conditions in Bahrain this week.


13 Cooling employment casts shadow on recovery

By Lucia Mutikani, Reuters

15 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The economy may be in for a long period of soft growth after employers hired the fewest number of workers in eight months in May and the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 54,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, just over a third of what economists had expected.

However, analysts saw little chance the economy would slide back into recession, given that temporary factors like high gasoline prices and supply chain disruptions from the earthquake in Japan were constraining growth.

“The recovery has not been aborted. The economy is not falling into a double-dip,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University in the Channel Islands. “This weakness, however, is a warning shot across the bow of the economy.”

14 Republicans say Obama must "step up" on deficit talks

By Deborah Charles, Reuters

1 hr 55 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top Republicans on Friday said an increase in the jobless rate underscored the need for President Barack Obama to get personally involved in talks to cut government spending to help stimulate economic growth.

“One look at the jobs report should show the White House it’s time to get serious about cutting spending and dealing with our ailing economy,” House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said after data showed jobs growth slowed sharply in May and the jobless rate rose to 9.1 percent.

Boehner said Obama needed to take a more active role in deficit-reduction talks if the president hopes for agreement between Republicans and Democrats by the end of June.

15 Greece likely to get aid tranche

By Ingrid Melander and Ben Deighton, Reuters

2 hrs 59 mins ago

ATHENS/LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Greece is likely to get a vital slice of aid in July to avoid default, international lenders said on Friday, while the European Union raised the prospect of expanding the bailout of the euro zone state.

The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, ending a month-long review of their 110 billion euro ($160 billion) bailout program, said Athens had made considerable progress toward repairing its finances but must step up fiscal and economic reforms.

“Once this process is concluded and following approval of the IMF’s Executive Board and the Eurogroup, the next tranche will become available, most likely, in early July,” they said.

16 U.S., Afghanistan push ahead on long-term deal

By Missy Ryan, Reuters

Fri Jun 3, 1:24 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and Afghan officials are pushing ahead with talks on a deal to define the long-term American role in Afghanistan, possibly easing worries among some Afghans that Washington will walk away when foreign forces go home.

This week, the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai submitted a counterproposal to a U.S. draft of the “strategic partnership” agreement, Afghan officials said.

The agreement, expected to be concluded in coming months, would outline the U.S. role in Afghanistan as President Barack Obama gradually withdraws the 100,000 U.S. soldiers now locked in a fierce battle with the Taliban and other militants.

17 Yemen’s Saleh wounded as 7 die in attack on palace

By Mohamed Sudam and Mohammed Ghobari, Reuters

1 hr 14 mins ago

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was slightly injured in a shelling attack on his palace on Friday as fighting intensified in the capital of the impoverished country.

Saleh, who is facing an unprecedented challenge to nearly 33 years of rule, said seven people were killed when a mosque in the presidential palace was shelled by his tribal foes.

“I salute our armed forces and the security forces for standing up firmly to confront this challenge by an outlaw gang that has nothing to do with the so-called youth revolution,” said Saleh, speaking only via audio in a televised speech.

18 Germany steps up hunt for deadly E.coli source

By Eric Kelsey and Kate Kelland, Reuters

Fri Jun 3, 1:57 pm ET

BERLIN/LONDON (Reuters) – Racing to curb the spread of a killer food bug, Germany set up a task force on Friday to hunt down the source of a highly toxic strain of E.coli that has killed 19 people and sounded alarms around the world.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, locked in a trade row with the European Union after banning imports of its raw fruit and vegetables, struck a dramatic note by saying he would not “poison” Russians by lifting the embargo.

Health authorities repeated warnings to avoid some raw vegetables in northern Germany — rattling farmers and stores in the high season for salad — and said 199 new cases of the rare strain of the bacteria had been reported in the past two days.

19 Putin warns of poison, wants word on E.coli source

By Darya Korsunskaya, Reuters

Fri Jun 3, 10:47 am ET

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Warning starkly of ‘poison’, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia would not consider lifting a ban on EU vegetable imports until it gets word on the source of a deadly E.coli outbreak.

A week before Russia hosts EU leaders at a summit, Putin used his trademark earthy language to seek the upper hand in a dispute that erupted when Moscow slapped a blanket ban on imports of raw vegetables from the 27-nation union on Thursday.

The EU envoy to Russia urged Moscow to lift the embargo, saying it lacked sufficient scientific grounds and contradicted rules of the World Trade Organization, which Russia is seeking to join soon after 18 years of trying.

20 Analysis: Fighting E.coli war with smart machines and soap

By Ben Hirschler and Kate Kelland, Reuters

Fri Jun 3, 10:36 am ET

LONDON (Reuters) – Superfast machines helped Chinese and German scientists decode the genes of Europe’s deadly E.coli strain with astonishing speed — but on the front line in the war with bacteria, old-fashioned detective work is what counts.

Finding the source of the infection that has killed 17 people will require laborious on-the-ground investigations by food safety and public health officials.

Armed only with fear, soap and water, consumers must watch and wait. And in the end, the answer may never be found.

21 China helps unravel new E.coli for embattled Europe

By Tan Ee Lyn, Reuters

Fri Jun 3, 9:23 am ET

HONG KONG, Jun (Reuters) – For three long weeks Europe was gripped with fear battling a mysterious E. coli epidemic, and it wasn’t until late this week that China’s genomics institute nearly 7,000 km away finally put its finger on the culprit.

Chinese scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute, the world’s largest DNA sequencing center, announced late on Thursday that the E. coli spreading through Europe was “a new strain of bacteria that is highly infectious and toxic.”

The researchers, who obtained DNA samples of the bacteria from collaborating scientists in Germany, managed to fully sequence its genome in three days — becoming the first in the world to do so and lodge its full sequence on the Internet.

22 Mladic wary then defiant in dramatic Hague debut

By Douglas Hamilton and Aaron Gray-Block, Reuters

Fri Jun 3, 1:25 pm ET

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic faced the U.N. war crimes tribunal on Friday as a defiant general who never lost a battle, denying the charges against him as “obnoxious” and “monstrous.”

Formally charged by a U.N. tribunal which has waited 16 years to see him in the dock, he began with a wary appeal from a “very sick man” but ended with a defiant flourish of his old bravado, predicting he would be acquitted.

“The whole world knows who I am. I am General Ratko Mladic,” he said at the end of his first appearance, a tense 100 minutes.

23 Hackers attack another Sony network and post data

By Jim Finkle and Liana B. Baker, Reuters

Fri Jun 3, 3:17 am ET

BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hackers broke into Sony Corp’s computer networks and accessed the information of more than 1 million customers to show the vulnerability of the electronic giant’s systems, the latest of several security breaches undermining confidence in the company.

LulzSec, a group that claims attacks on U.S. PBS television and Fox.com, said it broke into servers that run Sony Pictures Entertainment websites. It published the names, birth dates, addresses, emails, phone numbers and passwords of thousands of people who had entered contests promoted by Sony.

“From a single injection, we accessed EVERYTHING,” the hacking group said in a statement. “Why do you put such faith in a company that allows itself to become open to these simple attacks?”

24 Goldman Sachs subpoenaed for financial crisis role

By Lauren Tara LaCapra, Reuters

Thu Jun 2, 5:38 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York prosecutors have asked Goldman Sachs to explain its behavior in the run-up to the financial crisis, the latest investigation that has cast a pall over the reputation of the largest U.S. investment bank.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc now faces probes by several government authorities into derivatives trades it executed in late 2006 and 2007. On Thursday, sources close to the matter said Goldman received a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney, who joins the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission in examining Goldman’s actions.

Separately, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating Goldman as part of a broader probe into the mortgage operations and securitization practices of seven banks. A source familiar with the situation said Schneiderman’s office met Goldman executives and attorneys in the past two weeks.

25 Treasury to sell remaining Chrysler stake to Fiat

By Glenn Somerville, Reuters

Thu Jun 2, 11:28 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Treasury said on Thursday it reached an agreement to sell its remaining 6 percent equity stake in Chrysler to Italy’s Fiat in a deal that will net Washington $560 million.

The proceeds of the deal include the sale of the government’s interest in a United Auto Workers healthcare trust fund, Treasury said in a mid-evening statement.

The Obama administration invested $12.5 billion in Chrysler under the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2009 as part of an auto industry bailout that eventually brought both Chrysler and General Motors Corp through bankruptcy court.

26 Washington weighs security after "serious" Google allegation

By Andrew Quinn, Reuters

Thu Jun 2, 10:20 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington scrambled on Thursday to assess whether security had been compromised after Google Inc revealed a major hacker attack targeting U.S. officials that the Internet giant pegged to China.

“These allegations are very serious,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

“We take them seriously; we’re looking into them,” Clinton told reporters a day after the Internet giant said it had disrupted a campaign aimed at stealing passwords of hundreds of Google email account holders, including senior U.S. government officials, Chinese activists and journalists.


27 Bleak jobs report dampens hopes of steady growth


21 mins ago

WASHINGTON – A bleak jobs report suggests the recovery from the Great Recession will be longer and bumpier than many economists had envisioned.

Most economists say job growth should strengthen later this year as gasoline prices drop further and the economy recovers from the effects of natural disasters in the U.S. and abroad. But the recovery is starting to weaken 17 months before the 2012 election, which could hurt President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects.

The unemployment rate in May inched up to 9.1 percent from 9 percent, the Labor Department said Friday; when Obama took office, it was 7.8 percent.

28 Romney points to job numbers as proof Obama fails

By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press

33 mins ago

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Casting President Barack Obama as a failure who has tanked the United States’ economy, Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney seized on Friday’s jobs report as he pitched himself as an alternative with the experience to turn around the struggling economy.

“Three years into his term, we have more news that unemployment has ticked up again,” Romney said at a town hall-style meeting, a day after he formally joined the GOP presidential contest.

Employers hired 54,000 new workers in May, the fewest in eight months, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent. The Labor Department report offered startling evidence that the U.S. economy is slowing, hampered by high gas prices and natural disasters in Japan that have hurt U.S. manufacturers.

29 Obama: US economy still facing challenges

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press

1 hr 6 mins ago

TOLEDO, Ohio – Faced with a dismal new jobs report, President Barack Obama said Friday that the economy “is taking a while to mend” and faces “bumps on the road to recovery.” But at an event to celebrate the resurgence of the auto industry he made no mention of the dour economic news that threatened to obscure his optimistic message.

Obama’s visit to a Chrysler plant in politically important Ohio came after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employers in May added the fewest jobs in eight months – a meager 54,000 – and the unemployment rate inched up to 9.1 percent.

Normally Obama talks about the monthly jobs numbers the day they’re released, but he never mentioned them directly Friday – an omission immediately noted by Republicans who see the economy as Obama’s greatest weakness heading into the 2012 campaign.

30 GOP tries to bridge social-fiscal divide

By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press

7 mins ago

WASHINGTON – In an election season driven by economic worries, Republican leaders are trying to keep Christian conservatives excited and involved by blurring the line between religious/social issues and low-tax crusades – a divide that has helped shape past GOP primaries.

Failure to do so could potentially depress turnout by an important part of the Republican base. Not only are fiscal issues dominating the debate, but social and Christian conservatives have no obvious candidate to turn to, as they did in 2008 when Baptist minister Mike Huckabee ran.

Facing this vacuum, a host of presidential hopefuls are emphasizing their religious faith and opposition to abortion and gay marriage, even though they are better known as business-like managers of state governments and private companies.

31 Defiant Mladic calls genocide charges ‘obnoxious’

By ARTHUR MAX, Associated Press

26 mins ago

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Last seen as a swaggering general in the Bosnia war, Ratko Mladic needed help rising from his chair for war-crimes judges Friday, his limp right hand too weak to put on earphones without assistance.

But as his arraignment proceeded, his old bluster returned as he called his indictment “obnoxious” and told judges he doesn’t want help walking “as if I were a blind man.”

The capture and trial of the Bosnian Serb wartime commander on charges of genocide and war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war closes the bloodiest chapter in European history since World War II and is nearly the final act of the Yugoslav tribunal, a court that launched a renewed era of international justice after the Nuremberg trials of Nazis war criminals.

32 AP Exclusive: Surviving Bosnia’s killing fields

By AIDA CERKEZ, Associated Press

Fri Jun 3, 8:32 am ET

SREBRENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina – The hardest part was the ants. They crawled over his arms and legs, over his face and into his mouth, hour by hour as he pretended to be dead in a pile of corpses slowly turning stiff.

Mevludin Oric lay for nine hours in one of the Srebrenica killing fields where Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic’s troops executed 8,000 Muslim men and boys in July 1995. He escaped in the dead of night, after the soldiers had satisfied themselves that everyone in the sea of bodies was dead.

On Thursday, Oric returned for the first time to the execution ground – a pretty V-shaped meadow surrounded by a forest – with Associated Press journalists to share his feelings about the capture of the man who orchestrated Europe’s worst carnage since World War II.

33 Rocket wounds Yemen president, escalating fight

By AHMED AL-HAJ and LEE KEATH, Associated Press

32 mins ago

SANAA, Yemen – President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded when rebellious tribesmen struck his palace with rockets Friday, targeting him for the first time in a dramatic escalation of fighting that has turned parts of the capital into a battleground and pushed Yemen toward civil war.

One of the rockets smashed into a mosque on the palace grounds where the president was praying along with his top leadership. It was a stunning hit on the regime’s most senior figures: Among the nine wounded were the prime minister, Saleh’s powerful top security adviser and the two heads of parliament, as well as the cleric leading prayers. Seven guards were killed.

Officials said Saleh had only slight injuries – Deputy Information Minister Abdu al-Janadi spoke only of “scratches to his face.” But there were indications the injuries may have been more severe. Saleh, in his late 60s, was taken to a Defense Ministry hospital, while officials promised repeatedly that he would soon appear in public. But by late Friday, state TV had aired only an audio message from the president, with an old still photo.

34 US urges calm in Yemen amid reports of attack

Associated Press

Fri Jun 3, 3:44 pm ET

WASHINGTON – The White House on Friday called for restraint in Yemen and a peaceful transfer of power, amid reports that the country’s president was wounded in a rocket attack.

“Violence cannot resolve the issues that confront Yemen, and today’s events cannot be a justification for a new round of fighting,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded when opposition tribesmen determined to topple him hammered his palace with rockets Friday in a major escalation of nearly two weeks of fighting with government forces. At least six guards were killed and eight top officials were also wounded, an official said.

35 House scolds Obama on Libya; dozens of Dems join

By DONNA CASSATA, Associated Press

1 hr 38 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The House harshly scolded President Barack Obama on Friday for launching U.S. military forces against Libya without congressional approval, fiercely disputing constitutional powers and flashing bipartisan frustration over a nearly three-month-old conflict with no end in sight.

However, lawmakers stopped short of a more draconian resolution to order an outright end to U.S. involvement in Libya. They rejected that measure, 265-148, with anti-war Democrat Dennis Kucinich of Ohio winning the votes of 87 Republicans and 61 Democrats.

Over White House objections, the House did adopt a resolution chastising Obama for failing to provide a “compelling rationale” for the Libyan mission and demanding answers in the next 14 days on the operation’s objective, its costs and its impact on the nation’s two other wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The resolution, though non-binding, says U.S. ground forces must not be used in the conflict except to rescue an American service member.

36 Libyan rebels broke despite pile of gold

By MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press

Fri Jun 3, 6:18 am ET

BENGHAZI, Libya – Abdalgader Albagrmi’s office sits above a vault piled high with gold. It’s the dwindling pile of cash next to the bullion, however, that keeps the Libyan rebels’ deputy Central Bank chief up at night.

As that pile shrinks, so too does the chance of funding and sustaining a revolution to oust one of the world’s longest-serving dictators.

If the cash-flow problem “isn’t solved in the next few days, there’s going to be a problem here,” Albagrmi said, speaking from his office in Benghazi, the northeast Mediterranean port that has become the rebels’ de facto capital.

37 Suicide bombers in Iraq hit mosque, then hospital


2 hrs 41 mins ago

BAGHDAD – A suicide bomber attacked a mosque filled with Iraqi politicians and policemen Friday and another blew himself up inside the hospital where the wounded were taken, killing a total of 21 people in Saddam Hussein’s hometown.

The twin attacks – as well as the fact that the bombers were able to infiltrate areas that were supposed to be secure – left people in Tikrit feeling under siege.

It was the third major attack in Tikrit this year, reflecting the difficulties Iraqi security forces face in protecting their own people from Sunni insurgents still intent on undermining the country’s post-Saddam leaders, many of whom are Shiite. Such violence is all the more troubling because of the approaching year-end deadline for American forces to leave.

38 30 years after first AIDS cases, hope for a cure


2 hrs 25 mins ago

Sunday marks 30 years since the first AIDS cases were reported in the United States. And this anniversary brings fresh hope for something many had come to think was impossible: finding a cure.

The example is Timothy Ray Brown of San Francisco, the first person in the world apparently cured of AIDS. His treatment isn’t practical for wide use, but there are encouraging signs that other approaches might someday lead to a cure, or at least allow some people to control HIV without needing medication every day.

“I want to pull out all the stops to go for it,” though cure is still a very difficult goal, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

39 NFL players urge appeals court to lift lockout

By JIM SUHR, Associated Press

1 hr 22 mins ago

ST. LOUIS – NFL players urged a federal appeals court Friday to declare the lockout illegal, saying the league had no right to impose a work stoppage that is now approaching three months with no sign of a deal that will save the 2011 season.

In a courtroom packed with some 200 people, including out-of-work players and retirees on folding chairs brought in to handle the crowd, attorneys on both sides of the bitter labor fight got roughly 30 minutes each to make their cases.

The appeal centers on the lockout that began hours after months of labor talks fell apart March 11, the players’ union dissolved and the fight ended up in federal court. The NFL contends the union decertification was a sham meant to gain leverage in the talks and the conflict remains subject to labor law.

40 Pa. girl survives 5-speller standoff to win bee

By JOSEPH WHITE, Associated Press

Fri Jun 3, 6:18 am ET

OXON HILL, Md. – It’s what makes the spelling bee such gripping drama. Five competitors were left, and it appeared none of them would ever miss again.

They correctly rolled off 21 words in a row. Hard ones, like “abhinaya” and “capoeira” and “cheongsam” and “opodeldoc.” One of the spellers kept checking another one’s watch. It was past bedtime, and long past the time slot that had been allotted by ESPN.

“I was, like, what if they could declare five-way, co-champions?” said Joanna Ye. “I just didn’t want to be the first one to break the streak.”

41 Nowitzki rallies Mavs to win that ties NBA finals

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer

Fri Jun 3, 6:18 am ET

MIAMI – Any pain in Dirk Nowitzki’s left hand wouldn’t have hurt nearly as much as a 2-0 deficit.

So he put the ball there – torn-up finger and all – and hoisted the shot that gave the Dallas Mavericks new life in the NBA finals.

Nowitzki shook off an injury to his non-shooting hand and made the tie-breaking layup with 3.6 seconds left, and the Mavericks roared back from 15 points down in the fourth quarter to stun the Miami Heat 95-93 on Thursday night and tie the series at one game apiece.

42 Complaint: Iowa principal hid camera in restroom

By RYAN J. FOLEY, Associated Press

2 mins ago

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The principal of an Iowa elementary school admitted that he downloaded child pornography over the course of several months and hid a video camera in the school to get images of young boys using the bathroom, according to court documents filed Friday.

Robert Burke, 43, the principal at Sageville Elementary School just north of Dubuque, was charged with one count of receiving child pornography. A criminal complaint says an FBI agent downloaded eight images child of pornography in April from a computer with an IP address that was traced to Burke’s residence in Dubuque.

At least three of the images involved boys who appeared to be between the ages of 8 and 10 performing oral sex, according to a court affidavit filed by Robert Larsen, a special agent for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

43 NY leaders propose sweeping ethics law changes

By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press

22 mins ago

ALBANY, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders on Friday announced a proposed overhaul of ethics enforcement in New York government forced by an unprecedented string of corruption cases.

The Clean Up Albany Act of 2011 would create what lawmakers call an independent commission with power to enforce ethics and other laws governing lawmakers, the executive branch and lobbying, the governor and lawmakers said in a press release. The governor would appoint six members to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics; eight others would be appointed by legislative leaders.

Any sanctions against a lawmaker, however, would be decided by the Legislative Ethics Commission, which has been criticized for lack of action during the years of scandal.

44 Critics worry mob will follow Chicago gambling

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press

42 mins ago

CHICAGO – The way Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sees it, thousands of craps players and slot machine pullers would flock to his cash-strapped city if it gets into the gambling business. It’s a safe bet a seedier element will be right behind them.

This is Chicago, after all, where the shadow of Al Capone still looms, federal corruption trials appear like television reruns, and the remnants of the mob are sure to try for a piece of the action.

Illinois lawmakers voted this week to allow legal gambling for the first time in Chicago. Backers envision a new casino and video poker machines across the nation’s third-largest city, from its two international airports to corner bars. It’s part of an ambitious statewide expansion of gambling lawmakers have sent to Gov. Pat Quinn.

45 NJ’s top cop asked to explain gov’s helicopter use


1 hr 3 mins ago

TRENTON, N.J. – Writing a check to cover the cost of two helicopter flights to his son’s baseball games seemed to do little to quiet criticism over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s use of the gubernatorial perk.

Now, a legislator has requested that the head of the New Jersey State Police testify before a legislative committee examining Christie’s use of state police helicopters for transportation.

A letter was sent Friday from Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, D-Union, chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee, to state police Superintendent Rick Fuentes.

46 Wis. budget panel targets police, fire benefits

By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press

39 mins ago

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin’s Republican lawmakers re-opened the fight over collective bargaining rights Friday, proposing new police and firefighters pay more for their health insurance and pension benefits.

The change, approved by the Republican-controlled budget committee on an 11-4 party line vote, would force some police and firefighters to make the same contributions toward their benefits as other public workers under a bill pushed by Gov. Scott Walker and passed by the Legislature in March.

Police and firefighters were exempt from that bill, which is now tied up in the courts.

47 Colombian lawsuits against Chiquita to continue

By CURT ANDERSON, AP Legal Affairs Writer

2 hrs 43 mins ago

MIAMI – A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss lawsuits filed by thousands of Colombians against produce seller Chiquita Brands International over its payments to a right-wing paramilitary group responsible for killing and terrorizing civilians during Colombia’s lengthy civil conflict.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra’s 95-page ruling permits at least 4,000 Colombians to pursue claims for damages against Chiquita for torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the AUC, a Spanish acronym for the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia formed in 1997 to combat leftist anti-government guerrillas.

Chiquita paid the group $1.7 million over a seven-year period, even after it was designated by the U.S. as a foreign terrorist organization in 2001. Chiquita pleaded guilty in 2007 to U.S. criminal charges stemming from the payments and paid a $25 million fine, but attorneys for the Colombians suing the company say civil damages could reach many times that amount.

48 New England looks to expand local beef industry

By STEPHEN SINGER, Associated Press

Fri Jun 3, 3:33 pm ET

HARTFORD, Conn. – With few slaughterhouses in New England equipped to process beef on a large scale, Paul Miller ships cattle from his dairy farm in eastern Connecticut about 300 miles to a meatpacker in Pennsylvania.

Miller said he’d prefer to send the cattle – about 150 to 250 head a year – to a local slaughterhouse so he could sell locally produced beef, save on transportation costs and avoid long rides for calves that lose weight during shipping. New England agriculture officials prefer that too, as they aim to increase food production to make the region more self-sufficient should disasters ranging from massive snow storms to terrorist attacks make impossible to bring in food.

But the stumbling blocks for farmers and meat processors are many: Setting up a slaughterhouse is a big investment, and local zoning rules bar such businesses. Meatpackers in New England say it’s hard to compete price-wise with slaughterhouses in other states, and they have trouble keeping skilled meat cutters and other workers. As a result, New England has only 28 slaughterhouses, said Chelsea Lewis, agriculture development coordinator for the Vermont Agency for Agriculture. In contrast, Wisconsin alone has about 285 small meat processors.


  1. that makes it unlikely I’ll be posting Evening Edition.

    I hope this does not disappoint anyone.

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