Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 26 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Kadhafi forces attack Misrata as NATO vows no let-up

by Jean-Pierre Campagne, AFP

Wed Jun 8, 3:30 pm ET

BENGHAZI, Libya (AFP) – Moamer Kadhafi’s forces attacked Libya’s third-largest city Misrata on Wednesday drawing no response from NATO despite a pledge by the alliance to press its air war, a rebel spokesman said.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 Kadhafi troops attacked the Mediterranean port city from the south, west and east, killing 10 rebel fighters and wounding 26, the spokesman Hassan al-Galai, told AFP by telephone from the city.

Despite the deployment of tanks, Grad rocket launchers and heavy artillery, there had been no intervention by NATO led aircraft by 6:00 pm (1600 GMT) when the fighting was still raging, Galai said.


2 NATO vows no let-up in Libya air war, Kadhafi defiant

by Jean-Pierre Campagne, AFP

Wed Jun 8, 12:54 pm ET

BENGHAZI, Libya (AFP) – NATO vowed Wednesday to keep up its relentless bombing campaign in Libya until Moamer Kadhafi steps down, after the veteran leader said he would never surrender, even as bombs rained down on his Tripoli residence.

Spain, meanwhile, joined the growing list of countries which recognise the rebels seeking to topple Kadhafi as the sole representative of Libya’s people, leaving the strongman more isolated than ever.

NATO allies meeting in Brussels pledged to stay in Libya “for as long as necessary” and commit the “necessary means” to the military campaign against Kadhafi’s forces.

3 NATO jets batter Tripoli, Kadhafi defiant

by Imed Lamloum, AFP

Wed Jun 8, 8:21 am ET

TRIPOLI (AFP) – A wave of NATO air strikes battered Tripoli Wednesday, piling pressure on embattled Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi who said he was “near” the bombing but vowed never to surrender.

Loud blasts were heard near Kadhafi’s residential complex Bab al-Aziziya at around 1:45 am (2345 GMT Tuesday), an AFP correspondent said. A little later the city was shaken by more powerful explosions.

On Tuesday, in one of the heaviest bombardments of the air war so far NATO-led warplanes carried out some 60 strikes on Tripoli, killing 31 people, Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said.

4 Residents flee Syria town fearing onslaught


15 mins ago

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Hundreds of residents fled the flashpoint town of Jisr al-Shughur in northern Syria on Wednesday, fearing bloody reprisals for the alleged killing earlier this week of 120 police and troops.

Fears that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad could be about to exact brutal revenge for what it said was a “massacre” on Monday by “armed terrorists” appeared to galvanize efforts at the United Nations.

Western powers pressed the UN Security Council to demand an end to Syria’s brutal protest crackdown, although the draft resolution was said to contain no mention of tougher sanctions against either Assad or his regime.

5 US backs Syria resolution as people flee protest hub


Wed Jun 8, 4:33 pm ET

DAMASCUS (AFP) – The US on Wednesday threw its weight behind a UN resolution condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime over a bloody crackdown on demonstrations, as refugees fled a protest hub fearing reprisals.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters ahead of a Security Council meeting on Syria that Washington was “trying to convince others in the council” to back the measure condemning actions by Assad’s regime.

“We believe that such a resolution will bring added pressure on Assad’s regime and advance the international community’s efforts to end the brutal repression on Syrian people,” Toner said.

6 Germany signals hope in battle against killer bacteria

by Deborah Cole, AFP

Wed Jun 8, 4:28 pm ET

BERLIN (AFP) – Germany was hopeful Wednesday that the “worst” of a killer bacteria outbreak was over as national and European Union health and consumer affairs officials met for urgent talks on the crisis.

The number of new infections from a highly virulent strain of E. coli bacteria which has left at least 25 people dead and more than 2,600 ill was falling, German Health Minister Daniel Bahr said after the meeting.

“We cannot give the all-clear but based on the evaluation of the data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI, the national health centre), there is reason for justified optimism that we have the worst behind us at the national level,” he told reporters.

7 Divided OPEC unable to agree on output hike

by Roland Jackson, AFP

1 hr 18 mins ago

VIENNA (AFP) – A divided OPEC failed Wednesday to agree to boost output to cool high oil prices, which jolted markets and sparked criticism from the West.

The Vienna meeting broke up without agreement even as traders had speculated that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would boost production quotas to help calm markets and in help revive flagging economic growth.

“Unfortunately we are unable to reach a consensus this time to reduce or raise our production,” OPEC Secretary General Abdullah El-Badri said after the meeting.

8 Clinical India ease to victory over West Indies

by Paul Mitchell, AFP

1 hr 23 mins ago

PORT OF SPAIN (AFP) – Half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel followed up Amit Mishra’s career-best bowling to lead India to a seven-wicket victory over West Indies in the rain-affected second One-day International on Wednesday.

Kohli struck six fours and one six in 81 from 103 balls to earn the Man-of-the-Match award, and Patel made 56 from 64 deliveries, as the Indians, chasing a revised target of 183 from 37 overs due to rain, reached their target with 20 balls remaining.

India captain Suresh Raina clinched victory, when he steered a delivery from Ravi Rampaul wide of point for two runs.

9 ‘Dramatic’ solar flare could disrupt Earth communications

by Kerry Sheridan, AFP

Tue Jun 7, 5:38 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – An unusual solar flare observed by a NASA space observatory on Tuesday could cause some disruptions to satellite communications and power on Earth over the next day or so, officials said.

The potent blast from the Sun unleashed a firestorm of radiation on a level not witnessed since 2006, and will likely lead to moderate geomagnetic storm activity by Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

“This one was rather dramatic,” said Bill Murtagh, program coordinator at the NWS’s Space Weather Prediction Center, describing the M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare that peaked at 1:41 am Eastern time in the United States, or 0541 GMT.

10 Indian guru threatens to form yoga militia

by Rupam Jain Nair, AFP

Wed Jun 8, 12:31 pm ET

NEW DELHI (AFP) – A television yoga guru who has led protests against corruption in India threatened to form a militia on Wednesday as a new demonstration against the government drew thousands in New Delhi.

Yoga star Swami Ramdev, who was evicted from the capital along with thousands of followers at the weekend in a police crackdown, warned of violence if he was targeted again.

The activist, who is watched by millions of Indians every day on a religious television channel, called for men and women to join his “army”.

11 Ecclestone performs u-turn on Bahrain Grand Prix


Wed Jun 8, 7:40 am ET

LONDON (AFP) – Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone has said that he believes the Bahrain Grand Prix will not go ahead as planned on October 30 as the teams and drivers involved did not want to take part.

Ecclestone had been in favour of moving the race to October 30 after the season opener had originally been postponed because of unrest in the country.

But he agrees that the race cannot be held after 11 of the 12 Formula One teams voiced objections because the civil unrest was continuing in the Gulf country.

12 Mavericks claw way back to level NBA finals

by Greg Heakes, AFP

Wed Jun 8, 4:17 am ET

DALLAS, Texas (AFP) – Dirk Nowitzki finished with 21 points and the Dallas reserves provided plenty of scoring support as the Mavericks rallied to beat the Miami Heat 86-83 to level the NBA finals at 2-2.

Forward Shawn Marion scored 16 points and Tyson Chandler finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds for the Mavericks, who came back from a nine-point deficit in the fourth in another tight-scoring contest in which the lead changed hands 12 times on Tuesday.

Nowitzki, who also had 11 rebounds, had been carrying the load for the Mavericks in the series and for a change he got some help from his teammates down the stretch in front of a crowd of 20,430 at the American Airlines Center.


13 Fed: Default would be dangerous; Fitch may cut rating

By Walter Brandimarte, Reuters

Wed Jun 8, 4:20 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A default would have severe reverberations in global markets, a top Federal Reserve official said just hours after Fitch Ratings warned it could slash credit ratings if the government misses bond payments.

St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard told Reuters on Wednesday “the U.S. fiscal situation, if not handled correctly, could turn into a global macro shock.

“The idea that the U.S. could threaten to default is a dangerous one,” he said in an interview.

14 China warns U.S. debt-default idea is "playing with fire"

By Emily Kaiser, Reuters

Wed Jun 8, 7:55 am ET

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers are “playing with fire” by contemplating even a brief debt default as a means to force deeper government spending cuts, an adviser to China’s central bank said on Wednesday.

The idea of a technical default — essentially delaying interest payments for a few days — has gained backing from a growing number of mainstream Republicans who see it as a price worth paying if it forces the White House to slash spending, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

But any form of default could destabilize the global economy and sour already tense relations with big U.S. creditors such as China, government officials and investors warn.

15 Healthcare battle unfolds in Atlanta court

By Matthew Bigg and Karen Jacobs, Reuters

2 hrs 6 mins ago

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Lawyers for President Barack Obama on Wednesday sought to stave off the biggest legal challenge yet to his landmark healthcare reform, telling a court that its key provision is grounded in Congress’ right to regulate commerce.

Senior administration lawyer Neal Katyal argued that the Affordable Care Act does not violate the constitution, as 26 states seeking repeal of the law have argued. They contend that individuals cannot be required to buy health insurance as the law requires.

Katyal defended the 2010 law before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta and said it is grounded in three separate constit

16 OPEC oil talks collapse, no output deal

By Amena Bakr and Emma Farge, AFP

Wed Jun 8, 4:38 pm ET

VIENNA (Reuters) – OPEC talks broke down in acrimony Wednesday without an agreement to raise output after Saudi Arabia failed to convince the oil cartel to lift production.

“We were unable to reach an agreement — this is one of the worst meetings we have ever had,” said Ali al-Naimi, oil minister for Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer.

The failure to do a deal is a blow for consumer nations hoping the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would take action to stem fuel inflation.

17 Turkey offers Syrians refuge, West pushes U.N. vote

By Yara Bayoumy, Reuters

2 hrs 5 mins ago

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Turkey threw open its borders to anxious Syrian refugees on Wednesday and urged their government to curb violence against civilians after thousands abandoned a town near the Turkish frontier in fear of a military assault.

With Western public opinion startled by the bloodshed that has met Syrians’ efforts to emulate other Arabs in casting off autocratic rule, Britain and France asked the U.N. Security Council to condemn President Bashar al-Assad — though there seemed to be no appetite for Libya-style military intervention.

Assad’s government has accused armed bands of killing scores of its security men in the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour and vowed to send in the army to carry out their “national duty to restore security” there. Troops with tanks have deployed near the town, prompting many of its 50,000 people to flee.

18 Western, Arab talks to focus on Libya "end-game"

By Khaled al-Ramahi, Reuters

2 hrs 15 mins ago

MISRATA (Reuters) – Western and Arab nations meet in Abu Dhabi on Thursday to focus on what one U.S. official called the “end-game” for Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi as NATO once again stepped up the intensity of its air raids on Tripoli.

NATO air strikes resumed in Tripoli on Wednesday night after a lull that followed the heaviest day of bombings since March. Thousands of Gaddafi troops advanced on Misrata on Wednesday, shelling it from three sides and killing at least 12 rebels.

Ministers from the so-called Libya contact group, including the United States, France and Britain, as well as Arab allies Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan, agreed in May to set up a fund to help the rebels in the civil war.

19 Slow going on West’s plan for post-Gaddafi Libya

By Andrew Quinn, Reuters

Tue Jun 7, 4:25 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The West’s ferocious bombing campaign could spell doom for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, but what happens when he goes, Europe and America do not know.

Europe and the United States have been reluctant to develop a robust post-Gaddafi plan for Libya, wary of nation building after costly and unpopular efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the West’s apparent lack of a concrete plan unsettles development experts, who want to see quicker action to help Libyan rebels prepare a security and governing strategy.

20 Hacking crisis costs EMC reputation in security

By Jim Finkle, Reuters

Wed Jun 8, 4:56 pm ET

BOSTON (Reuters) – A recent cyber breach at EMC Corp’s RSA security division and a related attack at defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp have damaged RSA’s once-stellar reputation, according to industry experts.

That has given companies that sell alternatives to RSA’s SecurIDs, such as Symantec Corp and Vasco Data Security International, more room to try to win customers from EMC.

SecurIDs are widely used electronic keys to computer systems, designed to thwart hackers by requiring two passcodes: one that is fixed and another that is automatically generated every few seconds by the security system.

21 Germany defends E.coli response as death toll rises

By Eric Kelsey and Brian Rohan, Reuters

Wed Jun 8, 3:12 pm ET

BERLIN/HAMBURG (Reuters) – German ministers on Wednesday defended their response to the E.coli outbreak that has killed 27 people and signaled possible changes in the way the country handles health crises in the future.

The German government has been criticized at home and around Europe for failing so far to pin down the cause of the outbreak that has stricken more than 2,700 people in 12 countries. All cases have been traced back to near Hamburg in northern Germany.

About a quarter of E.coli patients in the latest outbreak have developed a severe complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome affecting the blood, kidneys and nervous system.

22 Special Report: Inside Germany’s E.coli hunt

By Hans-Edzard Busemann and Brian Rohan, Reuters

Tue Jun 7, 5:11 pm ET

HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) – Even if Germany finds the source of the E.coli outbreak that has infected thousands of people since early May, it may be too late for Erika.

The 66-year-old chain smokes in the grounds of a Hamburg hospital as she waits to learn if an apparently healthy salad has given her a rare and deadly disease.

“I had prepared a salad with cucumbers and tomatoes,” recalls Erika, whose husband died late last year and who asked not to be identified by her full name because the symptoms she has developed are embarrassing. “I peeled the cucumbers but I did not wash them first.”

23 Inquiry threat may linger for IMF hopeful Lagarde

By Catherine Bremer, Reuters

Wed Jun 8, 8:35 am ET

PARIS (Reuters) – French judges may seek more time to decide on opening an inquiry into Finance Minister Christine Lagarde’s role in a 2008 arbitration payout, meaning allegations of misconduct could hang over her bid to head the IMF.

Three judges will meet on Friday to discuss whether the case brought against her by opposition deputies merits a formal probe, and a judicial source said they will likely seek extra time before deciding.

“It’s likely there won’t be a decision on Friday,” the source at the Court of Justice of the Republic, a special tribunal qualified to judge ministers, told Reuters.

24 UK, France offer U.N. resolution condemning Syria

By Louis Charbonneau and Patrick Worsnip, Reuters

1 hr 53 mins ago

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Britain, France, Germany and Portugal handed the U.N. Security Council a draft resolution on Wednesday condemning Syria’s crackdown on protesters, despite the risk of a Russian veto.

The U.N. ambassadors of the four European Union countries told reporters they presented the draft at a council meeting at which the 15-nation body was briefed by a senior U.N. official on the unrest in Syria.

There was no vote on the latest draft resolution, which may be amended further. British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the text had been revised to respond to developments in Syria and concerns raised by some council members.

25 Obama presses Europe, pledges help for Greek crisis

By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland, Reuters

Tue Jun 7, 10:51 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged European countries and bondholders to prevent a “disastrous” default by Greece and pledged U.S. support to help tackle the country’s debt crisis.

Obama, whose political prospects have suffered from persistently high unemployment and ballooning U.S. debt, has pinpointed the euro zone crisis as one foreign “headwind” hitting the U.S. economy.

After a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he stressed the importance of German “leadership” on the issue — a hint that he expects Berlin to help — while expressing sympathy for the political difficulties European Union countries face in helping a struggling member state.

26 NBC wins TV rights for Games until 2020

By Karolos Grohmann, Reuters

Tue Jun 7, 5:21 pm ET

BERLIN (Reuters) – NBC Universal beat rivals FOX and ESPN to secure U.S. broadcasting rights to four Olympic Games from 2014 until 2020 in a deal worth $4.38 billion on Tuesday.

“It was very strategically important to have a long relationship and have four more Games and not just two. It was a big part of our strategy,” Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast told a conference call.

“The depth of coverage and accessibility to U.S. consumers will never be greater,” he said.


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