BC-AP News Digest 6 pm

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Associated Press

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 5:00 PM

The world at 6 p.m. Times EDT.

At the Nerve Center, news producers Richard Somma, Kellen Henry and Suzanne Boyle McCrory can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Dan Goodman (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP Content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

DEVELOPING

— US-NKOREA-DETAINED AMERICAN — APNewsBreak: US envoy to travel to NKorea this week to seek release of detained American.

— BOSTON MARATHON-PHOTOS — Newly released photos show the night Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tsarnaev surrendered. AP photos.

— CALIFORNIA PRISONS — Calif. governor responds to court with $315M plan to send inmates to private prisons, jails.

— VETERAN BEATEN — Bail set at $3M for 2nd teen charged in fatal beating of 88-year-old WWII veteran in Spokane.

— NEW ELEMENT — Scientists in Sweden say they have confirmed the existence of a new chemical element, but its name may need some work.

TOP STORIES

SYRIA

DAMASCUS, Syria — Momentum appeared to build for Western military action against Syria, with the U.S. and France saying they are in position for a strike, while the government in Damascus vowed to use all possible measures to repel it. The prospect of a dramatic U.S.-led intervention into Syria's civil war stemmed from the West's assertion — still not endorsed by U.N. inspectors — that President Bashar Assad's government was responsible for an alleged chemical attack on civilians outside Damascus on Aug. 21 that the group Doctors Without Borders says killed 355 people. Assad denies the claim. By Albert Aji and Gregory Katz.

AP photos.

SYRIA-US STRATEGY

WASHINGTON — National security experts and some U.S. officials question whether a limited military strike can have any lasting impact on Syrian President Bashar Assad, or whether it will simply harden Assad's resolve without really helping the rebels. A short-term operation may be a compromise between military leaders who oppose intervening in a civil war and a White House determined to show that President Barack Obama meant it when he said use of chemical weapons would cross an unacceptable red line. By Lolita C. Baldor.

AP photos, video, interactive, audio.

— UNITED STATES-SYRIA — U.S. intelligence officials prepare to release intercepted communications tying Assad to a large-scale chemical weapons attack.

EGYPT-CAIRO UNDER CURFEW

CAIRO — It's a teeming, noisy city of 18 million, many of whom stay out long into the night. So how are the people of Cairo coping with an evening military curfew, cooped up in their homes after nightfall? A daring few can't hack it and take quiet back roads to sneak out to clandestine house parties and neighborhood cafes. By Aya Batrawy and Sarah El Deeb.

AP photos.

FORT HOOD SHOOTING

FORT HOOD, Texas — The Army psychiatrist who killed 13 people at Fort Hood decided not to call witnesses or testify during his trial's penalty phase, which is his last chance to plead for his life before the jury begins deliberating whether to sentence him to death. By Michael Graczyk and Nomaan Merchant.

AP photos, video, interactive.

WESTERN WILDFIRES-YOSEMITE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Unnaturally long intervals between wildfires and years of drought primed the Sierra Nevada for the explosive conflagration chewing up the rugged landscape on the edge of Yosemite National Park, forestry experts say. The fire had ravaged 282 square miles, the biggest in the Sierra's recorded history and one of the largest on record in California. By Tracie Cone.

AP photos, video, interactive.

BACK TO SCHOOL-LUNCH DROPOUTS

After just one year, some schools around the nation are dropping out of the healthier new federal lunch program, complaining that so many students refused the meals packed with whole grains, fruits and vegetables that their cafeterias were losing money. Federal officials say they don't have exact numbers but acknowledged they've seen isolated reports of schools cutting ties with the $11 billion National School Lunch Program that reimburses schools for meals served and gives them access to lower-priced food. By Carolyn Thompson.

AP photos.

AIR FORCE ACADEMY FEMALE LEADER

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Air Force Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson takes over as the first female superintendent of a major service academy when she takes the helm at the U.S. Air Force Academy and faces many challenges, including how to tackle the problem of sexual harassment in the military. By Dan Elliott.

AP photos, video.

MORE ON SYRIA

SYRIA-LIFE DURING WARTIME

DAMASCUS, Syria — Even in the capital of a country torn by civil war, Syrians have to find some way to enjoy themselves on a hot summer weekend. So the pool at a Damascus luxury pool was packed. The children playing in the water paid no attention to the frequent thump of artillery and shells from fighting on the city's outskirts. The veneer of normalcy is thin in Damascus, the stronghold of President Bashar Assad's rule, after more than 2 1/2 years of bloodshed. By Lee Keath. AP photos.

— DIGITS — Most Americans oppose US military action in Syria, but Syria's alleged chemical weapons use may shift opinions.

— WALL STREET — Fear of US military intervention in Syria sends stocks sharply lower.

WASHINGTON

MARCH ON WASHINGTON-OBAMA

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama was 2 years old and growing up in Hawaii when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Fifty years later, the nation's first black president will stand as the most high-profile example of the racial progress King espoused, delivering remarks at a nationwide commemoration of the 1963 demonstration for jobs, economic justice and racial equality. By Darlene Superville.

AP photos.

— MARCH ON WASHINGTON-LATINOS — Latinos were scarce among the 250,000 people who turned out on Aug. 28, 1963, but learned some lessons from the show of political force by mostly black Americans. AP photos.

A WASHINGTON SUMMER

WASHINGTON — There's an old saying that if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. It may be a sign of the times, then, that President Barack Obama this month got a second pooch. The long Washington summer seems to have hardened the partisan divisions and rancor that permeate Washington. By Nancy Benac.

AP photos.

INTERNATIONAL

CUBA-AFRICAN DUST CLOUDS

HAVANA — Each summer, dust kicked up by African sandstorms blows thousands of miles across the Atlantic to arrive in the Caribbean, occasionally interrupting air traffic and leaving asthma sufferers gasping for breath. Scientists are increasingly calling for more research into its little-understood impact on public health. By Andrea Rodriguez.

AP photos.

NATIONAL

TAX CUT BATTLE

Millions of dollars spent broadcasting ads. Alarming fliers and phone calls targeting homes. Politicians barnstorming from one press conference to the next. By most measures, Missouri appears in the midst of another high-stakes election — except there is nothing on the ballot this year. The campaign is meant to persuade — or dissuade — a few wavering Missouri lawmakers who will decide in September whether to override the governor's veto of the state's first income tax cut in nearly a century — and it's the most intense of a nationwide offensive by conservatives to slice the tax base. By David A. Lieb.

AP photos.

TECH & BUSINESS

DIGITAL LIFE-GOOGLE GLASS-EARLY USERS

SAN FRANCISCO —Geeks aren't the only people wearing Google Glass. Among the people testing Google Inc.'s wearable computer are teachers, dentists, radio DJs, hair stylists, architects, athletes and even a zookeeper. Glass is designed to work like a smartphone that's worn like a pair of glasses, and although it looks like a prop from a science fiction movie, the device is capturing imaginations beyond the realm of nerds. As part of a contest, Google selected 8,000 U.S. residents who paid $1,500 apiece to buy an early version of Glass known as "Explorer." To get a sense of the advantages and drawbacks of the device, The Associated Press spoke to three Glass owners who have been using the device since late spring. By Mike Liedtke.

AP photos.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

WASHINGTON — Americans' confidence in the economy inched closer to a 5 ½-year high on growing optimism that hiring and wages could pick up in coming months. The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 81.5 in August. That's up from a revised reading of 81 in July. And it's just below the 82.1 reading in June, which was the highest since January 2008. By Paul Wiseman.

AP photo.

SPORTS

US OPEN

NEW YORK — The last time Roger Federer was at a Grand Slam tournament, he lost in the second round to a guy ranked outside the top 100. It's been that sort of season for the 17-time major champion, who plays his first-round match at the U.S. Open. Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka highlight the night matches. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich.

AP photos.

ENTERTAINMENT

TV-FALL PREVIEW

NEW YORK — There's something antiquated about the custom long known as the Fall TV Season. It was born of a bygone era when fall signaled the much-anticipated return to school, the resumption of football and the grand unveiling of next year's car models. It was an era of the Big Three — ABC, CBS and NBC — which each autumn launched their new shows with the stated intention of airing these dramas and comedies through much of the season to come. A half-century later, the Fall Season persists. By Television Writer Frazier Moore.

AP photos.

GETTING ATTENTION

— HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY — Janet Napolitano, who is leaving as Homeland Security secretary, expresses disappointment that Congress failed to pass a law providing a path to citizenship for many young immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

— FACEBOOK-LAW ENFORCEMENT — Facebook says government agents in 74 countries demanded information on some 38,000 Facebook users in first half of year. AP photo.

— GOVERNMENT VS GOVERNMENT— Inside Washington: Safety or enforcement? Government agencies fight over investigative goal.

— BRAIN EATING AMOEBA — The family of a 12-year-old southwest Florida boy who was infected by a rare and deadly brain eating amoeba says his organs are being donated.

— BRITAIN-OBIT-GILBERT TAYLOR — Gilbert Taylor, the influential "Star Wars" cinematographer who worked on a number of stellar films, had died at the age of 99.

—NJ SHIPWRECK IDENTIFIED_NOAA says a shipwreck off southern NJ coast is steamer that sank in 1860, killing 20 sailors.

___

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