Resending to change slug of SHOOTING SPREE-THREE DEAD to TRUCKING COMPANY SHOOTINGS
The world at 6:10 p.m. Times EDT.
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NEW & DEVELOPING
—MARCH-THEN AND NOW-PHOTO GALLERY
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— TRUCKING COMPANY SHOOTINGS — Police say three people are dead and two are injured after a gunman went on a shooting spree in North Florida.
— MISSING TEACHER — A California hiker has recovered a pair of eyeglasses that might belong to a Pennsylvania teacher who's been missing in the Eastern Sierra for more than a month. AP photo.
EGYPT — Egypt's government shortens a widely imposed evening curfew by two hours, responding to citizens' demands as unrest in the country wanes. The Cabinet says in a statement that an exception to the shorter hours will be in effect on Fridays, the first day of the weekend in Egypt and when recent protests have been particularly fierce. By Tony G. Gabriel. AP photos.
BURNED BODIES — Memorial service held in California for Hannah Anderson's mother and brother.
RUNNING OF THE BULLS-AMERICAN STYLE — A bull-running event inspired by the traditional Spanish spectacle draws thousands to a drag strip in Virginia for the first of several planned runs.
SUPER BOWL-AIRSPACE_Already congested airspace over northern NJ a focus of Super Bowl XLVIII planning.
PENN STATE-ABUSE_Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Victim 2 among 7 who settle lawsuits against Penn State.
DAMASCUS, Syria — The Syrian government accuses rebels of using chemical weapons and warns the United States not to launch any military action against Damascus over an alleged chemical attack last week, saying such a move would set the Middle East ablaze. The accusations come as an international aid group said it has tallied 355 deaths from a purported chemical weapons attack on Wednesday in a suburb of the Syrian capital known as Ghouta. By Bassem Mroue and Albert Aji. With AP photos.
DAMASCUS, Syria — The signs would seem bad for President Bashar Assad. Blasts echo all day long over the Syrian capital as troops battle rebels entrenched on its eastern doorstep. The government admits the economy is devastated. Allegations of a horrific chemical attack have given new life to calls for international action against his regime. Yet the regime appears more confident than ever that it weathered the worst and has gained the upper hand in the country's civil war, even if it takes years for victory. By Lee Keath.
— UNITED STATES-SYRIA — U.S. naval forces are moving closer to Syria as President Barack Obama considers military options for responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad government,. By Bradley Klapper and Robert Burns. AP photos, video.
MARCH ON WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of people marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and down the National Mall, commemorating the 50th anniversary of King's famous speech and pledging that his dream includes equality for gays, Latinos, the poor and the disabled. By Suzanne Gamboa.
NEW YORK — They took responsibility for keeping New York City safe in the aftermath of Sept. 11. And for years, their approach was seen as nearly beyond question, as the threat of terror attacks was kept at bay and the crime rate fell to record lows. Now, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly near the end of Bloomberg's tenure, a backlash against the street stops and surveillance programs they call cornerstones of building "America's safest big city" has added a tone-changing last chapter to the narrative of policing New York in the last 12 years. By Jennifer Peltz and Colleen Long.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With growing support for gay marriage among the public and in the courts, some churches fear they may soon be forced to provide services for same sex couples. To protect themselves, some are changing their bylaws, statements of faith and facility rental policies to clarify their views on marriage. "I thought marriage was always between one man and one woman, but the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision said no," said Gregory S. Erwin, an attorney for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, an association of Baptist churches and one several groups advising churches to change their bylaws. While there is no indication that congregations are starting to face lawsuits over refusals to provide services to gay couples, many religious leaders believe it could become an issue in the future. By Travis Loller.
GROVELAND, Calif._As a wildfire rages along the remote northwest edge of Yosemite National Park, officials cleared brush and set sprinklers to protect two groves of giant sequoias. The iconic trees can resist fire, but dry conditions and heavy brush are forcing park officials to take extra precautions in the Tuolumne and Merced groves. By Brian Skoloff and Tracie Cone.
AP photos, video.
MORE ON MLK ANNIVERSARY
MEASURING MLK'S DREAM
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A half century ago, this city was a battleground in the Rev. Martin Luther King's campaign for racial equality. It was here where civil rights protesters, some just children, were attacked by police dogs and battered by high-pressure hoses. As we mark the 50th anniversary of King's speech articulating a dream of change, much has changed in Birmingham. There are black judges and professors, lawyers and doctors. Black mayors have occupied City Hall for more than 30 years. So has King's dream come true here? In some ways, yes; in others, no. As a judge whose lawyer-father fought some of the biggest civil rights cases of that era says: "King would say there's a lot more work to be done." By National Writer Sharon Cohen.
AP photos, video.
—MARCH-THEN AND NOW-PHOTO GALLERY
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— MARCH ON WASHINGTON-STAMP — Rep. John Lewis remembers the moment well: More than 250,000 people marching toward the Lincoln Memorial, rallying for jobs and justice, as he prepared to deliver a passionate speech at the March on Washington. The moment is captured on the newest postage stamp to commemorate the civil rights movement. By Shaquille Brewster.
MIAMI — In a Fort Lauderdale suburb, students returning to school are being greeted not only by their teachers and principal this year, they're also meeting the armed school resource officer who will be permanently stationed on campus. Crime in this middle class community has been on a steady decline, but city officials decided to place school police officers at every school after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., last year. Many districts across the nation are increasing the number of school resource officers on campus, and some are permitting teachers to carry concealed weapons themselves. That armed security presence is now standard in many of the nation's middle and high schools, but has been a rarity at elementary schools. By Christine Armario.
BEIRUT — Lebanese security forces have arrested a suspect in connection with the devastating double bombing the day before that killed at least 47 people in the northern city of Tripoli, the state news agency says. The National News Agency has identified the suspect as Sheik Ahmad al-Ghareeb, and said police took him into custody at his home in the Miniyeh region outside Tripoli. By Ryan Lucas.
AP photos, video.
GOMA, Congo — Congolese soldiers supported by U.N. forces fought rebels in the country's volatile east for hours, officials said, while a rocket landed inside the town of Goma and killed three people as border tensions escalated between Rwanda and Congo. Scores of angry residents took to the streets of Goma in protest following several days of violence that has left at least seven dead and dozens wounded in this city of nearly a million people near the Congo-Rwanda border. By Nick Long and Saleh Mwanamilongo.
— AP PHOTO CGO107 — Residents march in protest over recent violence, in Goma, Congo.
VENEZUELA-ANTI CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN
CARACAS — There is little question Venezuela is in desperate need of an anti-corruption crusade. Machine-gun toting police in the chaotic capital are widely perceived to be in cahoots with criminals, black marketeers get rich circumventing widely flouted currency controls and many politicians who rose to power under the late President Hugo Chavez flaunt lifestyles that appear far too luxurious for their government salaries. But a months-long campaign by President Nicolas Maduro that began with the arrests of dozens of officials and cronies suspected of pilfering millions from state coffers has evolved into what critics say is a witch hunt against the already-beleaguered political opposition. By Fabiola Sanchez.
FORT HOOD SHOOTING-DEATH PENALTY
Maj. Nidal Hasan and many of his victims seem to want the same thing — his death. But while the wounded and left behind view lethal injection as justice, the Army psychiatrist appears to see it as something else: martyrdom. Victims and their relatives say a possible death sentence would be bittersweet: On one hand, he gets this nation's ultimate punishment. But on the other, it may be exactly what he hopes for. By Ramit Plushnick-Masti.
NEW SPACE RACE
SAN FRANCISCO — California has jumped into a new space race, joining other states in wooing private companies that want to send people into the stratosphere for a price. The state enacted a law last year that would shield space tourism companies from lawsuits should travelers get injured or killed on a voyage. Now a bill being debated in Sacramento would insulate manufacturers and suppliers of spaceships from liability in the event of mishaps. By Mihir Zaveri.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A comprehensive encyclopedia of one of the world's major religions — an 11-volume work covering Hindu spiritual beliefs, practices and philosophy — is set to be unveiled next week in South Carolina, the culmination of a 25-year academic effort. The encyclopedia is written in English and includes about 7,000 articles on Hinduism and its practices. The work also deals with Indian history, languages, art, music, dance, architecture, medicine, and women's issues. "The goal was to have something pretty definitive — not just about Hinduism, but about the whole South Asian tradition," said University of South Carolina professor Hal French, associate editor of the work. By Susanne M. Schafer.
ALSO GETTING ATTENTION
— NATIONAL ZOO-PANDA — A team of caretakers at Washington's National Zoo will have to wait at least one more day to examine a new panda cub after panda mom Mei Xiang wouldn't let them close on two attempts. AP photos.
—DOG HOARDER-FIRE_68 dogs are rescued from a blaze in a New York City home, whose owner was a hoarder who collected small-breed dogs as well as trash, officials say.
—WEINER-CAR CRASH_New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner involved in minor car crash.
—A-ROD-BODEGA OWNER_NYC bodega named after baseball's Alex Rodriguez to get name change after complaints.
—POWERBALL JACKPOT_NJ man claims share of $448M Powerball jackpot.
—LEONARD-FUNERAL_Funeral held in Michigan for crime novelist Elmore Leonard.
—TUNISIA-PROTESTS_Opposition starts week of protests calling for resignation of Islamist-led government.
—GRIFFIN-SHIPWRECK_Wooden beam that could be part of Griffin shipwreck gets CT scan in hope of determining age
— OBAMA-ON THE ROAD — President Barack Obama leaves the bubble and hits the road, setting the college towns he visited abuzz on his two-day bus tour. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace.
— NSA SURVEILLANCE — SNOWDEN — The U.S. government's efforts to determine which highly classified materials leaker Edward Snowden took from the National Security Agency have been frustrated by Snowden's sophisticated efforts to cover his digital trail, government officials told The Associated Press. By Adam Goldman and Kimberly Dozier.
— AFGHANISTAN MASSACRE — The villagers traveled nearly 7,000 miles to learn the fate of the American soldier who gunned down their children, siblings and parents, who set their lifeless bodies afire with a kerosene lantern. And when the news came, it came in a simple gesture: a thumbs up from their interpreter.
— SAN DIEGO MAYOR — The resignation speech given by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner reflected the same fiery, defiant tone that launched the political career of the former congressman and 1960s civil rights activist. But Friday, Filner was giving his response after agreeing to step down as leader of the nation's eighth-largest city amid a flurry of sexual harassment allegations. AP photos.