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Jul 31 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Burglars hunt down rhinos in museums

By Laurent Thomet, AFP

14 hrs ago

The natural science museum in Brussels has become the latest victim in a series of burglaries carried out by a gang police belief is profiting from a small, but lucrative, niche market for rhino horns.

The two thieves snuck into the rhino gallery and ripped a stuffed head off the wall. They carried it to a restroom, opened a window, and dropped the 30-kilo (66-pound) trophy two stories down to an accomplice waiting in a van.

“For 80 years we took care of it and from one day to the next it’s no longer there,” said Georges Lenglet, vertebrate exhibit curator at the Brussels museum, who has little hope of seeing the head again.

2 Libya rebels fight rumours about general’s death

By Dominique Soguel, AFP

15 hrs ago

Libyan rebels sought to stamp out rumours by providing details on the assassination of army chief General Abdel Fatah Yunis while tightening security in their eastern stronghold of Benghazi.

National Transitional Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil said on Saturday that Yunis had been summoned from the front by a committee of four judges with the knowledge of the NTC’s executive committee, the rebels’ de facto government.

“The recall of General Fatah Yunis from Ajdabiya was based on a warrant that was issued with the knowledge of the executive committee” of the NTC, he told reporters.

3 Deadly violence hits China’s restive Xinjiang

By Marianne Barriaux, AFP

2 hrs 41 mins ago

Knife-wielding attackers killed 13 people in China’s Xinjiang region and another five were shot dead by police as a wave of violence swept the ethnically-torn area, state media and officials said Sunday.

The unrest occurred in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar in two separate attacks, and local residents said Sunday the city centre was under lockdown, with security forces patrolling the streets.

Xinjiang has seen several outbreaks of ethnic violence in recent years as the mainly Muslim Uighur minority bridles under what it regards as oppression by the government and the unwanted immigration of ethnic Han Chinese.

4 Pope urges end to ‘indifference’ over Somalia famine

By Tiziana Fabi, AFP

1 hr 1 min ago

The pope on Sunday urged the world not to be “indifferent” to the Horn of Africa famine, as the African Union prepares to host a donors conference for victims on August 9.

Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the suffering of millions in the region hit by its worst drought in decades in an address to hundreds of pilgrims at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, just outside Rome.

“We must not be indifferent to the tragedy of the hungry and the thirsty,” the pontiff said following the weekly Angelus prayer.

5 ECB chief to face questions on Greek bail-out

By William Ickes, AFP

15 hrs ago

European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet has a chance this week to weigh in at length on the latest Greek rescue.

Trichet is sure to face questions on the landmark second bailout of Greece in the press conference that will follow the ECB policy-setting meeting that should see interest rates stay on hold.

With eurozone inflation falling, business confidence down and markets uncertain over how effective the Greek bail-out plan will ultimately be, the ECB is tipped to keep its main rate at 1.50 percent following a hike earlier in July.

6 Soaring demand spotlights secret NY gold hoard

By Sebastian Smith, AFP

14 mins ago

If there’s one place a James Bond villain — or even some actual governments — would love raiding today, it’s the basement of a somber building in lower Manhattan: the world’s biggest gold vault.

Gold prices hit a record $1,632.8 an ounce Friday, reflecting a nervous rush by private and national investors from stocks, dollars and euros to the safe-haven commodity.

And the biggest single pile of the stuff on the planet lies deep beneath the New York branch of the US Federal Reserve Bank, a stone’s throw from the Stock Exchange.

7 Lab-on-a-chip may be game-changer in disease detection

By Marlowe Hood, AFP

2 hrs 5 mins ago

A cheap, highly portable blood test has proven as accurate as expensive hospital-based analyses in detecting HIV, syphilis and other infectious diseases, according to a study released Sunday.

Researchers tested prototypes of the creditcard-sized lab-on-a-chip with hundreds of patients in Rwanda, reporting nearly 100 percent accuracy.

The so-called “mChip”, they said, could help knock down three barriers to effective delivery of health care into the world’s poorest regions: difficult access, high costs and long delays for results.

8 England take commanding lead of India Test

By Julian Guyer, AFP

2 hrs 11 mins ago

England century-maker Ian Bell admitted he had been “naive” after a bizarre mix-up still ended with him leading his side into a commanding position against India in the second Test.

England, in their second innings, were 441 for six at the close of the third day at Trent Bridge on Sunday, giving them a lead of 374 runs.

Bell made a superb 159, but only after being run out when on 137 off the last ball before tea.

9 Stirring win for Button in 200th Grand Prix

By Gordon Howard, AFP

3 hrs ago

Jenson Button marked his 200th Grand Prix with a reminder of his class on Sunday when he drove his McLaren to a stirring victory in a chaotic and incident-filled Hungarian Grand Prix.

The 31-year-old Briton, who started third on the grid, made the most of some wretched ill-fortune for his team-mate and compatriot Lewis Hamilton in changing wet-dry-wet-dry conditions to record his second win of the year and the 11th of his career.

“It’s a great moment, all round a major weekend. For some reason I like these conditions,” said Button of the slippery track.

10 Syrian army kills 80 people storming Hama

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Reuters

5 mins ago

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian tanks firing shells and machineguns stormed the city of Hama on Sunday, killing 80 civilians, rights activists said, in one of the bloodiest days in a popular revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The assault on Hama, scene of a 1982 massacre when Assad’s father crushed an Islamist uprising, began at dawn on the eve of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan after security forces laid siege to the city for almost a month.

Hama residents told Reuters by telephone that tanks and snipers fired into unarmed residential areas where people had set up makeshift roadblocks to try and stop their advance.

11 Analysis: Kurds serve warning as U.S. withdrawal nears

By Jim Loney, Reuters

6 hrs ago

KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) – When Iraq’s northern Kurdish region sent a division of troops to surround Kirkuk in February, it may have been a signal of the delicate balancing act to come when U.S. forces leave the disputed oil city.

Officially, the 10,000 or so peshmerga fighters were there to protect Kirkukis from any violence associated with nationwide protests. But their presence sparked a furious diplomatic offensive by the United States to calm tensions between the central government in Baghdad and Arbil, the Kurdish capital.

The deployment may have been a trial balloon, analysts said, to test Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and to warn Baghdad and Washington that U.S. troops are needed as a buffer in the disputed northern territories claimed by both capitals.

12 Turkey looks to restore order after top generals quit

By Daren Butler, Reuters

7 hrs ago

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s military and political leaders face a battle to restore order in NATO’s second-biggest army Monday at a military council overshadowed by the resignation of its top four generals in protest at the jailing of hundreds of officers.

The long-running strains between the secularist military and Islamist-rooted government boiled over Friday when Chief of General Staff Isik Kosaner stepped down, along with the army, navy and air force commanders, leaving the armed forces in disarray.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who will chair the four-day Supreme Military Council (YAS), has moved quickly to designate a successor to Kosaner and will be keen to smooth over a row which financial markets will be monitoring closely Monday.

13 Rebels clash with Gaddafi loyalists in rebel-held east

By Rania El Gamal, Reuters

5 hrs ago

BENGHAZI (Reuters) – Rebel forces fought gunmen loyal to Muammar Gaddafi in eastern Libya on Sunday in the latest incident to undermine the insurgents’ grip in territory they hold.

The clashes renewed opposition fears that Gaddafi’s agents had infiltrated the area, days after the mysterious killing of the rebel military commander.

The assassination of General Abdel Fattah Younes, apparently by gunmen on his own side, has hurt the opposition just as it was winning broader international recognition and making gains against Gaddafi’s forces in the Western Mountains and elsewhere.

14 Police kill 4 after blasts, attacks in China’s west

By Terril Yue Jones, Reuters

8 hrs ago

BEIJING (Reuters) – Police shot dead four “rioters” in China’s far west on Sunday after at least three people, including a policeman, were killed in the latest in a series attacks in the region this month, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Four suspects were caught and four others were being sought in the latest violence in Kashgar, in a region long beset by anti-Chinese sentiment from the native Uighur population.

Local sources had earlier said three people were killed on Sunday in an explosion, but witnesses reported that the three were hacked to death by the attackers, Xinhua said. Ten people including pedestrians and police were injured, it said.

15 Bomb kills 11 at police HQ in southern Afghanistan

By MIRWAIS KHAN, Associated Press

4 hrs ago

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) – A suicide bomber blew himself up Sunday at the main gate of a provincial police headquarters in southern Afghanistan, killing at least 11 people in a city where Afghans have recently taken control of security.

Separately, five international service members were killed Sunday.

The suicide bombing in Lashkar Gah was the latest in a string of attacks in the south in recent weeks that have included assassinations of high-level government officials in neighboring Kandahar and a coordinated attack against government buildings in Uruzgan province that killed 19 people last week.

16 AP Exclusive: Insanity ruling not likely in Norway

By IAN MacDOUGALL, Associated Press

6 hrs ago

OSLO, Norway (AP) – It’s unlikely that the right-wing extremist who admitted killing dozens in Norway last week will be declared legally insane because he appears to have been in control of his actions, the head of the panel that will review his psychiatric evaluation told The Associated Press.

The decision on Anders Behring Breivik’s mental state will determine whether he can be held criminally liable and punished with a prison sentence or sent to a psychiatric ward for treatment.

The July 22 attacks were so carefully planned and executed that it would be difficult to argue they were the work of a delusional madman, said Dr. Tarjei Rygnestad, who heads the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine.

17 Arab unrest, high food prices cast pall on Ramadan

By TAREK EL-TABLAWY, AP Business Writer

56 mins ago

CAIRO (AP) – From Syria to Libya and Egypt, the uprisings and unrest gripping the Arab world have cast a pall on the start of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month when the traditional focus on piety will likely be eclipsed by more unrest.

Food prices – part of the economic hardships that catalyzed the ouster of the Egyptian and Tunisian leaders – are still climbing. And protesters have shown little patience for conciliatory gestures by governments after decades of empty promises.

With momentum strong to drive out authoritarian regimes, there is no sign that opposition forces will ease up on protests – even with the difficulties of the month of dawn-to-dusk fasting that begins Monday.

18 Scores die as Syrian forces attack defiant cities

By ZEINA KARAM, Associated Press

49 mins ago

BEIRUT (AP) – Syrian security forces backed by tanks and snipers launched a ferocious assault Sunday on defiant cities and towns, killing at least 70 people and possibly many more as the regime raced to crush dissent ahead of Ramadan. Corpses littered the streets after a surge in violence that drew widespread international condemnation.

Estimates of the death toll, which were impossible to verify, ranged from around 75 people to nearly 140 on a day when the attacks began before dawn and witnesses said they were too frightened to collect corpses from the streets.

The worst carnage was in Hama, the scene of a 1982 massacre by President Bashar Assad’s late father and predecessor and a city with a history of defiance against 40 years of Assad family rule. Hospitals there were overwhelmed with bloodied casualties, suggesting the death toll could rise sharply, witnesses said.

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