AP News in Brief at 8:58 p.m. EDT

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Associated Press

Posted on May 12, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Woman rescued from collapsed Bangladesh factory recovering, as death toll surpasses 1,100

SAVAR, Bangladesh (AP) — A seamstress who survived 17 days before being rescued from a collapsed garment factory building outside of Bangladesh's capital was panicked, dehydrated and suffering from insomnia as she recovered in a hospital Saturday, but was in generally good condition, according to her doctors.

The rescue Friday of 19-year-old Reshma Begum brought a boost to the workers who had spent more than two weeks pulling decaying bodies from the rubble. By Saturday, they had resumed their grim recovery task, as the death toll surpassed 1,100 in the world's worst garment industry disaster.

"We will not leave the operation until the last dead body and living person is found," said Maj. Gen. Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy, the head of the local military units in charge of rescue operations.

Lt. Col. Azizur Rahman, a doctor at the military hospital where Begum is being treated, said she was exhausted and badly stressed when she was brought in an ambulance Friday afternoon. She suffered scratches, but no major injuries, he said. Her kidneys were functioning at less than 45 percent and she suffered insomnia.

"She is panicked, sometimes she holds nurses' hands tight," he said.

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AP Exclusive: Watchdog report says senior IRS officials knew tea party groups targeted in 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general's report obtained by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner.

The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

But on June 29, 2011, Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog's report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with "Tea Party," ''Patriot" or "9/12 Project" in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report says.

The 9-12 Project is a group started by conservative TV personality Glenn Beck.

Lerner instructed agents to change the criteria for flagging groups "immediately," the report says.

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The future: For 3 rescued Cleveland women, a confusing ordeal of recovery begins now

Year after year, the clock ticked by and the calendar marched forward, carrying the three women further from the real world and pulling them deeper into an isolated nightmare.

Now, for the women freed from captivity inside a Cleveland house, the ordeal is not over. Next comes recovery - from sexual abuse and their sudden, jarring re-entry into a world much different from the one they were snatched from a decade ago.

Therapists say that with extensive treatment and support, healing is likely for the women, who were 14, 16 and 21 when they were abducted. But it is often a long and difficult process.

"It's sort of like coming out of a coma," says Dr. Barbara Greenberg, a psychologist who specializes in treating abused teenagers. "It's a very isolating and bewildering experience."

In the world the women left behind, a gallon of gas cost about $1.80. Barack Obama was a state senator. Phones were barely taking pictures. Things did not "go viral." There was no YouTube, no Facebook, no iPhone.

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Pakistani ex-Prime Minister Sharif declares victory in historic election marred by violence

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared victory following a historic election marred by violence Saturday, a remarkable comeback for a leader once toppled in a military coup and sent into exile.

The 63-year-old Sharif, who has twice served as premier, touted his success after unofficial, partial vote counts showed his Pakistan Muslim League-N party with an overwhelming lead. The party weathered a strong campaign by former cricket star Imran Khan that energized Pakistan's young people.

Sharif expressed a desire to work with all parties to solve the country's problems in a victory speech given to his supporters in the eastern city of Lahore as his lead in the national election became apparent based on vote counts announced by Pakistan state TV.

The results, which need to be officially confirmed, indicated Sharif's party has an overwhelming lead but would fall short of winning a majority of the 272 directly elected national assembly seats. That means he would have to put together a ruling coalition.

"I appeal to all to come sit with me at the table so that this nation can get rid of this curse of power cuts, inflation and unemployment," Sharif said, as his supporters clapped, cheered and danced in the streets.

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World passes carbon dioxide level milestone; Experts say 'we're stuck' with global warming

WASHINGTON (AP) — The old saying that "what goes up must come down" doesn't apply to carbon dioxide pollution in the air, which just hit an unnerving milestone.

The chief greenhouse gas was measured Thursday at 400 parts per million in Hawaii, a monitoring site that sets the world's benchmark. It's a symbolic mark that scientists and environmentalists have been anticipating for years.

While this week's number has garnered all sorts of attention, it is just a daily reading in the month when the chief greenhouse gas peaks in the Northern Hemisphere. It will be lower the rest of the year. This year will probably average around 396 ppm. But not for long — the trend is going up and at faster and faster rates.

Within a decade the world will never see days — even in the cleanest of places on days in the fall when greenhouse gases are at their lowest — when the carbon measurement falls below 400 ppm, said James Butler, director of global monitoring at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth Science Research Lab in Boulder, Colo.

"The 400 is a reminder that our emissions are not only continuing, but they're accelerating; that's a scary thing," Butler said Saturday. "We're stuck. We're going to keep going up."

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Prosecuting drowsy driving remains an elusive highway dilemma for prosecutors, safety experts

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — It probably happens to most drivers.

Heading home after an overtime shift and the eyelids flutter. Up all night with a sick baby and you rest your eyes for just a moment on the way to dropping off the kids at school. Drowsy drivers often make it safely to their destination, but for some, the consequences are devastating.

"To this day I still hear my boys crying out, yelling for Daddy, when they were told the news," says Jackie Califano, the widow of a New York police officer killed when a suspected drowsy driver plowed into his parked cruiser in 2011. "The pain we experienced is beyond description and continues to be."

More than 11,000 deaths were attributed to drowsy driving from 2000 to 2010, according to federal statistics. And experts say it's a problem that can't easily be solved by new laws because proving sleepiness behind the wheel is difficult, if not impossible.

Authorities can easily determine how much alcohol is in a driver's blood, or whether someone has used illegal drugs, or even if someone has been texting while driving.

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Turkey blames group linked to Syria for car bombings that kill 43, wound 140 others

REYHANLI, Turkey (AP) — In one of the deadliest attacks in Turkey in recent years, two car bombs exploded near the border with Syria on Saturday, killing 43 and wounding 140 others. Turkish officials blamed the attack on a group linked to Syria, and a deputy prime minister called the neighboring country's intelligence service and military "the usual suspects."

The blasts, which were 15 minutes apart and hit the town of Reyhanli's busiest street, raised fears that Turkey could increasingly be drawn into Syria's brutal civil war.

Turkey already hosts Syria's political opposition and rebel commanders, has given shelter to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and in the past retaliated against Syrian shells that landed in Turkey.

Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said the assailants were from Turkey, but were linked to Syria's intelligence service.

"We have to a great extent completed our work toward identifying the assailants," he told reporters. "We have established that the organization and assailants have links to the pro-regime mukhabarat (intelligence) organization."

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Five decades after JFK's assassination, the lucrative conspiracy theory industry hums along

On the very day John F. Kennedy died, a cottage industry was born. Fifty years and hundreds of millions of dollars later, it's still thriving.

Its product? The "truth" about the president's assassination.

"By the evening of November 22, 1963, I found myself being drawn into the case," Los Angeles businessman Ray Marcus wrote in "Addendum B," one of several self-published monographs he produced on the assassination. For him, authorities were just too quick and too pat with their conclusion.

"The government was saying there was only one assassin; that there was no conspiracy. It was obvious that even if this subsequently turned out to be true, it could not have been known to be true at that time."

Most skeptics, including Marcus, didn't get rich by publishing their doubts and theories — and some have even bankrupted themselves chasing theirs. But for a select few, there's been good money in keeping the controversy alive.

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America's Cup death latest patch of rough waters for planners of sailing's biggest race

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Olympic gold medal-winning sailor Andrew "Bart" Simpson's death during an America's Cup training run on San Francisco Bay last week was the latest and most glaring setback to befall an event that had already encountered its share of rough waters.

Now, questions are being raised about the safety of the $10 million high-tech boats that can obtain speeds of 45 mph and how Simpson's death will affect his team, Artemis Racing, and the America's Cup itself. It's unclear if Artemis will compete, as planned, now that one of its two boats has been destroyed.

From the moment billionaire Larry Ellison proposed holding the event in San Francisco after winning the trophy in 2010, America's Cup organizers ran into vocal political opposition, lawsuits and community protests over the public cost of the event to the city's treasury and environment.

"This is not the first time a bunch of starry eyed politicians have been bamboozled by a tycoon," said former city supervisor Aaron Peskin, who settled his lawsuit last year that sought to stop the event. "Usually when things get hyped that much they turn out to be too good to be true. This was too good to be true."

Up to a dozen sailing teams were expected to set up operations for months around the bay, injecting a significant boost to the local economy, but only three competitors showed up to take on the defending cup champions Oracle racing.

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Spacewalking repair at station halts serious leak - for now; NASA hopeful new pump the answer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronauts making a rare, hastily planned spacewalk replaced a pump outside the International Space Station on Saturday in hopes of plugging a serious ammonia leak.

The prospects of success grew as the minutes, then hours passed and no frozen flecks of ammonia appeared. Mission Control said it appeared as though the leak may have been plugged, although additional monitoring over the coming weeks will be needed before declaring a victory.

"I will tell you that we're happy. We're very happy," said Joel Montalbano, NASA's deputy space station program manager. "We didn't see any obvious signs of a leak, but it's going to take some time ... for us to look at the system, evaluate the system and make sure we did, indeed, stop the leak."

Montalbano expects it will take "a good four weeks, five weeks, maybe even a few weeks longer."

"Obviously, the longer you go, the more confidence you get," he told reporters.

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