Sep 11 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Nude Blacks’ bare all for rugby fun

By Gael Favennec, AFP

12 hrs ago

Stripping a defence took on a whole new meaning as an enthusiastic crowd gathered to watch the ‘Nude Blacks’ here on Saturday ahead of the World Cup clash between Argentina and England.

The Nude Blacks, a side made up of amateur players from New Zealand, do, as their name suggests, play with no clothes on.

“Our first game was in 2002 in the middle of a dunes on a beach. We were frozen. It started as a joke as part of a backpackers’ festival,” Ralph Davies, founder of the Nude Blacks, told AFP on Saturday.

2 Deadline expires for Kadhafi forces to surrender

By Andrew Beatty, AFP

3 hrs ago

Libya’s interim government was poised on Saturday to launch a final assault on towns still loyal to Moamer Kadhafi after a deadline for surrender expired, with its leader saying it was now in his military commanders’ hands to decide when to act.

The battle for one stronghold, Bani Walid, already got off to a fitful and unscheduled start overnight, but fighters of the National Transitional Council withdrew on Saturday, apparently in anticipation of a NATO air strike.

“Last night the deadline passed,” NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil told local leaders in the long-besieged town of Misrata, as he made his way to the capital for the first time since it fell on August 23.

3 G8 pledges billions for Arab Spring as IMF recognises Libya

By Rory Mulholland, AFP

2 hrs 8 mins ago

Arab states that ousted their dictators got a financial shot in the arm Saturday with promises of tens of billion of dollars to help their rocky transformation into modern democracies.

G8 rich nations and institutions including the World Bank, the IMF, regional banks and the Arab Monetary Fund pledged nearly $80 billion in aid and loans over the next two years, doubling the amount promised earlier this year.

French Finance Minister Francois Baroin announced the massive increase at a Group of Eight finance ministers’ meeting in Marseille, where close by up to 1,000 demonstrators gathered to protest against austerity measures.

4 Japan PM visits tsunami-hit area six months on

By Harumi Ozawa, AFP

5 hrs ago

Japan’s new prime minister Yoshihiko Noda visited the northeastern region devastated by the March 11 quake and tsunami on Saturday on the eve of the six-month anniversary of the tragedy.

Noda travelled to ravaged Miyagi and Iwate prefectures for the first time since taking office a week ago, when he replaced Naoto Kan who stepped down amid criticism over his handling of the aftermath of the disaster.

But in an early embarrassment for the young government, the newly appointed economy, trade and industry minister was forced to resign Saturday over comments about the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear plant.

5 Japan trade minister resigns over Fukushima comments

By Harumi Ozawa, AFP

5 hrs ago

In an early embarrassment for Japan’s eight day-old government, the economy, trade and industry minister resigned Saturday over comments deemed insensitive to evacuees from crisis-hit Fukushima.

Yoshio Hachiro, appointed only eight days ago in the new government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, provoked anger when he called the area around the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant a “shi no machi” or a “town of death”.

On Saturday, he denied media reports that after his visit to the nuclear plant, he also made as if he was rubbing his jacket against a journalist, while making a remark to the effect that “I will infect you with radiation”.

6 Senegal dreams of ‘African Einstein’ with new science hub

By Malick Rokhy BA, AFP

2 hrs 5 mins ago

A mathematics institute which opened in Senegal this week is the first step to creating a west African science centre, which backers hope could produce the continent’s own Albert Einstein.

The institute is the second of its kind on the continent. It is modelled after the African Institute of Mathematics (AIMS) opened in Cape Town in 2003. This new institute sprang out of a larger research and education centre (Cirem).

Built on a site overlooking the sea in Mbour 80 kilometres (50 miles) southeast of Dakar) the centre is aimed at reviving basic and applied research in Africa, said Mamadou Sanghar, the director of AIMS-Senegal, at the launch on Tuesday.

7 NASA launches twin satellites to map inner Moon

By Kerry Sheridan, AFP

4 hrs ago

NASA on Saturday launched a $500 million pair of washing-machine-sized satellites on a mission to map the Moon’s inner core for the first time.

The twin spacecraft took off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 9:08 am (1308 GMT) aboard a Delta II rocket on a three-month journey to the Moon.

“We are on our way, and early indications show everything is looking good,” said David Lehman, NASA project manager for GRAIL, which stands for Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory.

8 NY fashion week: some 9/11 worry but lots of fun

By Brigitte Dusseau, AFP

5 hrs ago

Fashionistas in New York for the spring 2012 shows may be jittery about a possible terror threat in the city, but the designers who unveiled collections displayed nothing but confident joy.

Organisers of fashion week in the Big Apple said Friday they were taking the threat linked to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks seriously, and were in constant contact with city authorities and law enforcement.

Security checks were stepped up at fashion central in Manhattan’s Lincoln Center, as they have been across the city — those without the proper badges were turned away. Several police vehicles were parked nearby.

9 Peerless Vettel emulates Senna pole mark

By Gordon Howard, AFP

6 hrs ago

Sebastian Vettel became the first driver since the late great Ayrton Senna to take pole on 10 occasions in different seasons when he posted the fastest qualifying time for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix here Saturday.

The 24-year-old defending world champion in his Red Bull car overcame a minor error in his first run to grab the 25th pole of his career and his first at Monza – the venue where he celebrated his first race win in 2008.

He also maintained the Red Bull team’s record of taking the pole at all 13 races this year – Mark Webber having taken the other three.

10 Syria, Arab League “agree reforms” as killings go on

By Dominic Evans, Reuters

6 hrs ago

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said he had agreed a series of measures with President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday to help end violence in Syria, as activists said Assad’s forces killed six people in their relentless crackdown on dissent.

After talks in Damascus with Assad, Elaraby said he would present the proposed measures to Arab foreign ministers who are due to discuss Syria’s five-month uprising against the Syrian president and his military assault on protesters.

“I focused on the importance of an open national dialogue that encompasses all personalities on the basis of national reconciliation, in which the Arab League plays a main role,” Elaraby told journalists on his return to Egypt from Syria. He did not give details.

11 Half a trillion dollars of broken Afghan dreams

By Emma Graham-Harrison, Reuters

5 hrs ago

KABUL (Reuters) – In the decade since U.S.-led troops streamed into Afghanistan, girls have gone back to school, elections have been held, clinics have been built and shops and media empires have sprung up. There is even a property boom in Kabul.

To the nations that poured money, lives and hope into rebuilding the country, after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States propelled it back onto the international agenda, progress like this is proof of time and money well spent.

“We just have to continue the process, and recognize again: you don’t build Rome or Kabul in a day, or a decade,” U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said in a recent interview, discussing improvements in education and healthcare.

12 A decade on, rise of BRICs shaped by September 11

By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent, Reuters

11 hrs ago

LONDON (Reuters) – As his global teleconference broke up in disarray on September 11, 2001, a top economist at a U.S. investment bank began to ponder what the attacks on the United States might tell him about the future shape of the world. His conclusions had little to do with Al Qaeda.

Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs had been at a meeting in the World Trade Center only two days before, and flew home to London just hours before airliners slammed into New York’s twin towers. About to become head of the bank’s global economics team, he was looking for a “big idea” to put a stamp on his leadership.

Soon, he had it: the decade after September 11 would be defined not by the world’s sole superpower or the war on terror but by the rise of the four biggest emerging market economies – China, Russia, India and Brazil. O’Neill nicknamed them the “BRICs” after the first letter of their names.

13 Marseille lays bare G7 differences and lack of policy room

By Daniel Flynn and Annika Breidthardt, Reuters

12 hrs ago

MARSEILLE (Reuters) – Vague pledges and a lack of action by G7 countries underscored differences between Europe and the United States and a lack of room to maneuver in the face of the worst loss of confidence since the credit crisis.

After weeks of market turbulence, finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations pledged a coordinated response on Friday to the global slowdown, but offered no specific steps and differed in emphasis on Europe’s debt crisis.

While the United States called on Europe’s biggest economies to provide “unequivocal” support to struggling peripheral states to overcome a debt crisis that is crippling the world recovery, euro zone paymaster Germany said the priority was cutting deficits.

14 French banks braced for credit-rating downgrade: sources

By Lionel Laurent, Reuters

5 hrs ago

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s top banks are bracing themselves for a likely credit rating downgrade from Moody’s, sources close to the situation said on Saturday, further complicating their efforts to assure investors they are riding out the tensions in funding markets.

Several sources said on Saturday that BNP Paribas , Societe Generale and Credit Agricole were expecting an “imminent” decision from the ratings agency, which first put them under review for possible downgrade on June 15.

Moody’s at the time had cited French banks’ exposure to Greece’s debt-stricken economy as the reason behind the review, which was due to last three months. Outside commentators said the ratings were ripe for a downgrade because of rising borrowing costs in the face of sovereign debt turmoil.

15 Papandreou says to save Greece, stay in euro

By Harry Papachristou, Reuters

4 hrs ago

THESSALONIKI, Greece (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said on Saturday he would do whatever it takes to rescue his country from bankruptcy and stay in the euro zone, as doubts in Europe grew over its membership in the bloc.

Sending a message to international lenders increasingly frustrated with delays in reforms and missed fiscal targets, Papandreou said his government was determined to take the difficult decisions and make the sacrifices needed.

“We decided to fight the battle to avoid a disaster for the country and its people and to stay in the euro,” he said in his annual economic speech at a trade fair in the northern city of Thessaloniki. “Any delay and wavering is dangerous for the country.”

16 Rocket lifts off with satellites to probe moon

By Irene Klotz, Reuters

6 hrs ago

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – An unmanned U.S. rocket blasted off on Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to deliver twin robotic probes to the moon in the hope of learning what is inside.

The 124-foot (37.8-meter) booster soared off its seaside launch pad at 9:08 a.m. EDT, arcing over the Atlantic Ocean as it raced into orbit.

Less than two hours later, both probes were flying freely from the rocket’s upper-stage motor and were communicating with NASA’s Deep Space Network.

17 Arkansas museum showcases World War II Japanese American art

By Suzi Parker, Reuters

4 hrs ago

LITTLE ROCK, Ark (Reuters) – For decades, Mable Rose Jamison Vogel hauled trunks of art and documents — bits and pieces of a remarkable chapter in American history — around the country whenever she moved.

Created by Japanese Americans while they were held captive in Arkansas camps during World War II, the paintings, sculptures, carved wooden bird pins and even a belt made from an orange electrical cord told stories of daily life in a dark era in American history.

Vogel was one of their art teachers, encouraging them to decorate their dire surroundings. Her efforts helped preserve the tales of tens of thousands of Americans who were forced into camps by the U.S. government after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

18 UPDATE 2-Motor racing-Vettel on pole for Red Bull in Italy

By Alan Baldwin, Reuters

5 hrs ago

MONZA, Italy, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel chalked up Red Bull’s 13th pole position in 13 races this season with a blistering lap in Italian Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, nearly half a second slower than the German in the final session, will line up alongside the championship leader on the front row, with team mate Jenson Button in third place.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, last year’s winner from pole position at the fastest track on the calendar, qualified in fourth place in his team’s home race.

19 INTERVIEW-Motor racing-Lotus heads are on the block – Fernandes

By Alan Baldwin, Reuters

6 hrs ago

MONZA, Italy, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Heads will roll if Team Lotus fail to take a big step up the Formula One grid next season, owner Tony Fernandes warned on Saturday.

In an interview with Reuters at the Italian Grand Prix, the Malaysian aviation entrepreneur also said the team would move to a new Silverstone base and hinted they could start 2012 under a different name.

Fernandes added that Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen and Italian Jarno Trulli were likely to stay on in an unchanged driver line-up.

20 Chief of Libya’s ex-rebels arrives in capital


4 hrs ago

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) – The chief of Libya’s former rebels arrived in Tripoli on Saturday, greeted by a boisterous red carpet ceremony meant to show he’s taking charge of the interim government replacing the ousted regime of Moammar Gadhafi.

But even as Libya’s new leaders tried to consolidate control over the vast country, Gadhafi loyalists pushed back hard against an assault on the town of Bani Walid, one of Gadhafi’s remaining strongholds, in a sign that the battle is far from over.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, head of the anti-Gadhafi forces’ National Transitional Council, landed Saturday at an air force base on the outskirts of Tripoli. A faded red carpet was rolled out, and hundreds of fighters and officials in suits rushed toward the plane as he walked down the steps. Some flashed victory signs or shouted “God is great.”

21 Taliban truck bomb kills 2 at base in Afghanistan


4 hrs ago

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – A large Taliban truck bomb struck the gate of a NATO combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan Saturday, killing two civilians and injuring others, the coalition said.

No coalition forces were killed in the attack on Combat Outpost Sayed Abad in Wardak province, a statement said. An Afghan official earlier said there was at least one civilian killed.

NATO said none of the injuries was life threatening. It did not say how many people were injured in the explosion, which came on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States.

22 Greek pledges to meet fiscal targets amid protests


7 hrs ago

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) – Greece will meet ambitious savings targets despite a deepening recession this year, the prime minister said Saturday, to secure the continued flow of international rescue loans that are protecting the debt-crippled country from a catastrophic bankruptcy.

As George Papandreou delivered his annual, keynote speech on the economy in Greece’s second-largest city of Thessaloniki, police on the streets outside clashed with violent demonstrators as more than 25,000 people – from taxi-drivers to sports fans – joined a wave of anti-austerity protests.

Two people were arrested and nearly 100 people detained, police said, while at least two demonstrators were injured during the clashes in the northern port city.

23 Vigil protests lack of clergy prayer at 9/11 event

By CHRIS HAWLEY, Associated Press

7 hrs ago

NEW YORK (AP) – Carrying Bibles and singing “Amazing Grace,” a group of pastors knelt on the street outside ground zero on Saturday to protest New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision not to include a clergy-led prayer in the ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

About 50 pastors and supporters prayed outside the chain-link fence around the site as police and National Guard troops carrying shotguns and combat rifles watched from a distance. Protesters said they felt shut out of Sunday’s memorial service.

“Many of us served here after the attacks, and we know the importance of prayer and the presence of clergy,” said Rev. Rob Schenck, an evangelical pastor. “To exclude them from the ceremony was hurtful.”

24 Color, color everywhere on NY Fashion Week, Day 3


1 hr 27 mins ago

NEW YORK (AP) – Bursts of sunny, sultry citrus and sexy violet met up with muted sea tones on runways filled with flowers, both literal and reinvented, at New York Fashion Week’s spring previews as Day 3 kicked in Saturday.

Color is everywhere this time around, combined with plenty of flounce and peekaboo sheers.

“The violet color is very enticing and will be a must-have color for spring,” said Adam Glassman, creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine.

25 Column: NCAA cases could keep others in line

By NANCY ARMOUR, AP National Writer

6 hrs ago

Bruce Pearl may as well have “Damaged Goods” stamped on his forehead for all the luck the former Tennessee coach is going to have finding a new job.

Jim Calhoun won’t be on hand when defending national champion Connecticut opens the Big East season, serving a three-game suspension instead.

For a second straight year, USC is playing for nothing more than pride.

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