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home : news : world news February 5, 2016

8/13/2012
World Briefs

Bring on Rio! Britain Brings Curtain Down On Glorious Games With Rocking Pop Extravaganza

LONDON (AP) -- With a little British pomp and a lot of British pop, London brought the curtain down on a glorious Olympic Games on Sunday in a spectacular, technicolor pageant of landmarks, lightshows and lots of fun.

The closing ceremony offered a sensory blast including rock 'n' roll rickshaws, dustbin percussionists, an exploding yellow car and a marching band in red tunics and bearskin hats.

It was all delivered in a psychedelic mashup that had 80,000 fans at Olympic Stadium stomping, cheering and singing along. Organizers estimated 300 million or more were watching around the world.

The fun, festive and fast-moving show opened with pop bands Madness, Pet Shop Boys and One Direction, not to mention a shout-out to Winston Churchill and the Union Jack.

There were also monochrome recreations of London landmarks covered in newsprint, from Big Ben's clocktower and Tower Bridge to the London Eye ferris wheel and the chubby highrise known as the Gherkin.

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Romney Re-Energized By Ryan, But Seeks Distance From New Running Mate's Budget Plans

HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) -- In Paul Ryan's high-energy debut as Republican vice presidential candidate, Mitt Romney's campaign made one thing clear: Romney's ideas rule, not his running mate's.

Romney put gentle but unmistakable distance between his agenda and Ryan's hot-potato budget proposals on Sunday as the new team soaked up excitement from partisans in North Carolina and Ryan's home state of Wisconsin. But Democrats weren't about to let them off that hook.

President Barack Obama, attending campaign fundraisers Sunday in Chicago, tagged Ryan as the "ideological leader" of the Republican Party.

"He is a decent man, he is a family man, he is an articulate spokesman for Gov. Romney's vision but it is a vision that I fundamentally disagree with," Obama said in his first public comments about Ryan's selection.

Earlier, Obama's senior campaign adviser David Axelrod deemed Ryan's budget "the Ryan-Romney plan" and cast the new addition to the Republican ticket as a choice "meant to thrill the most strident voices in the Republican Party, but it's one that should trouble everybody else -- the middle class, seniors, students."

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Egypt's Islamist President Strikes Boldly To Seize Back Powers From Military

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's Islamist president ordered the retirement of the defense minister and chief of staff on Sunday and made the boldest move so far to seize back powers that the military stripped from his office right before he took over.

Mohammed Morsi has been locked in a power struggle with the military since he took office on June 30. But after militants killed 16 Egyptian soldiers a week ago at a border post with Israel in Sinai, he has sought more aggressively to assert his authority over the top generals.

He fired the nation's intelligence chief a few days ago and made two highly publicized visits to Sinai in the company of top commanders. He also chaired several meetings with the military brass and made a point of calling himself the supreme commander of the armed forces in televised speeches.

It was not immediately clear whether Morsi's surprise decisions had the military's blessing. But the appointment of outgoing Defense Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Chief of Staff Gen. Sami Annan as presidential advisers and awarding them some of the nation's highest honors suggested they may have agreed, perhaps grudgingly, in advance.

Egypt's official Middle East News Agency, quoting an unnamed military official in a brief report, said late Sunday that Morsi's moves were "deliberated and coordinated" in advance. It said there were no "negative reactions" from within the military.

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Leading Syrian Opposition Figure Calls For No-Fly Zone To Protect Civilians

BEIRUT (AP) -- The head of Syria's main opposition group in exile called Sunday for international powers to impose a no-fly zone in border areas to protect civilians who are coming under increasingly intense attacks by regime warplanes and helicopters.

The president of the Syrian National Council, Abdelbaset Sieda, told The Associated Press that such a move by the international community would show President Bashar Assad's regime that his opponents around the world are serious.

The Syrian opposition has been calling for a no-fly zone over Syria for months. But Sieda renewed the plea a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Washington and Turkey were discussing a range of steps including a no-fly zone over some parts of Syria as the regime increasingly uses its air force to attack rebels.

"There must be special protection," Sieda said by telephone. "The numbers of martyrs are increasing and destruction too. If the country keeps going this way, then we are heading to a catastrophe."

Asked who will impose the no-fly zone, Sieda said: "We leave it to the international community."

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YouTube Web Series Focuses On Difficulties Military Women Face In Reporting Rapes

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The enormous obstacles and emotional torment that a female solider confronts in reporting a sexual assault in the military are the focus of the three-part Web series "Lauren" debuting Monday on YouTube's new channel WIGS, which focuses on drama for women.

Featuring "Flashdance" star Jennifer Beals and Troian Bellisario, "Lauren" gives a close-up look at the challenges women service members face in trying to find justice after being raped. It's a problem that military leaders have given unprecedented attention to this year.

The Defense Department has estimated that 86 percent of sexual assaults go unreported, an indication that some women are worried about the effect reporting an assault may have on their career and that they mistrust the military prosecution system. Nearly 3,200 sexual assaults were reported in the military last year.

Military leaders say sexual assault is not only dehumanizing to the victims but threatens operational readiness. The Pentagon has set up hotlines and has been trying to encourage service members to help victims. High-ranking Navy leaders have likened their campaign to the crusade years ago to stop rampant drug abuse, although activists say sweeping institutional changes are needed for victims to find justice.

Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, "Lauren" sets out to show viewers how unfair and unsympathetic the military can be toward the abuse of female service members. At the same time, it depicts the turmoil of many of the victims -- who have a deep love and respect for the military but often feel betrayed after coming forward.

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Ohio Hospital Shooting Raises Specter Of Rise In mercy Killings As Boomer Generation Ages

CLEVELAND (AP) -- John Wise watched a tear roll down his wife's face as he stood alongside her bed in the intensive care unit. She'd been unable to speak after suffering a stroke and seemed to be blinking to acknowledge him, Wise confided to a friend who had driven him to the hospital.

The couple had been married 45 years and Wise told his friend that they had agreed long ago they didn't want to live out their years bedridden and disabled.

So a week after Barbara Wise's stroke, investigators say, her husband fired a single round into her head. She died the next day, leading prosecutors to charge the 66-year-old man with aggravated murder Wednesday in what police suspect was a mercy killing.

The shooting leaves authorities in a dilemma some experts say will happen with greater frequency as the baby boom generation ages -- what is the appropriate punishment when a relative kills a loved one to end their suffering?

More often than not, a husband who kills an ailing wife never goes to trial and lands a plea deal with a sentence that carries no more than a few years in prison, research has shown. In some instances, there are no charges.

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World-Renowned Evangelist Billy Graham Admitted To NC Hospital With Bronchitis

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- A spokesman for Billy Graham says the 93-year-old evangelist is being treated at a North Carolina hospital for bronchitis.

A joint statement Sunday from Graham's spokesman and Mission Hospital says Graham was admitted overnight for an infection in his lungs. The hospital is in Asheville, near his home in Montreat.

He is resting comfortably in stable condition.

Graham spokesman Larry Ross says the evangelist watched a television feed of his grandson, Will Graham, preaching Sunday morning in Spartanburg, S.C. He ate lunch with his daughter, Gigi, and one of his grandchildren.

Graham was hospitalized for pneumonia last November. His staff says the evangelist's health has been good since his release, though he remains at home due to age-related conditions. He is working on a manuscript for an upcoming book.

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US Navy Ship Collides With Oil Tanker In Persian Gulf, No Injuries Reported On Either Ship

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- A U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer was left with a gaping hole on one side after it collided with an oil tanker early Sunday just outside the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The collision left a breach about 10 feet by 10 feet (three by three meters) in the starboard side of USS Porter. No one was injured on either vessel, the U.S. Navy said in a statement.

The collision with the Panamanian-flagged and Japanese-owned bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan happened about 1 a.m. local time. Photos released by the Navy showed workers standing amid twisted metal and other debris hanging down from the hole.

The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Navy said, though the collision was not "combat related." There were no reports of spills or leakages from either the USS Porter or the Otowasan, the Navy said.

Navy spokesman Greg Raelson said the destroyer now is in port in Jebel Ali, Dubai. "We're just happy there were no injuries," he said. "An investigation is under way."







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