AP News in Brief at 4:58 a.m. EST

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Associated Press

Posted on February 4, 2013 at 6:02 AM

Ravens edge 49ers 34-31, win Super Bowl after game delayed by power problem in 2nd half

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — For a Super Bowl with so many story lines, this game came up with quite a twist.

Try a blackout that turned a blowout into a shootout — capped by a brilliant defensive stand.

The Baltimore Ravens survived a frenzied comeback by the San Francisco 49ers following a 34-minute delay in the third quarter for a power outage Sunday night, winning their second championship 34-31. Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco threw three first-half touchdown passes, Jacoby Jones ran back the second-half kickoff a record 108 yards for a score, and star linebacker Ray Lewis' last play fittingly was part of a defensive effort that saved the victory.

"To me, that was one of the most amazing goal-line stands I've ever been a part of in my career," said Lewis, who announced a month ago he would retire when the Ravens were done playing.

They are done now, with another Vince Lombardi Trophy headed for the display case.

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The power goes out on the Super Bowl, a major glitch after a smooth week for New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Super Bowl week that had gone so smoothly for the Big Easy suddenly turned bizarre when everyone was watching.

The lights went out on the biggest game of the year.

Just imagine the uproar if Baltimore had lost.

The outage, blamed on an unspecified "abnormality" in the Superdome's power system, was an embarrassment for New Orleans, which was hosting its first Super Bowl since 2002 and was eager to show off how it has been rebuilt since Hurricane Katrina.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu called Sunday night's outage "an unfortunate moment in what has been an otherwise shining Super Bowl week for the city of New Orleans."

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Bus carrying Mexican tour group crashes in Calif. mountains, at least 8 dead, 38 injured

YUCAIPA, Calif. (AP) — At least eight people were killed and 38 injured Sunday when a tour bus careened out of control while traveling down a Southern California mountain road, struck a car, flipped and plowed into a pickup truck, authorities said.

The accident occurred around 6:30 p.m. about 80 miles east of Los Angeles and left State Route 38 littered with debris, the bus sideways across the two lanes and its front end crushed. Emergency crews worked to free passengers who were trapped in the bus, which was returning to Tijuana, Mexico, California Highway Patrol spokesman Mario Lopez said.

The violence of the crash and severity of the injuries made for a chaotic scene, and authorities had a difficult time determining how many people were injured or killed. Lopez said at least eight and perhaps 10 were dead, and 38 transported to hospitals.

California Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Profant said the scene was shocking.

"It's really a mess up there with body parts," she said.

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Obama launches campaign for gun proposals with meetings with Minn. law enforcement officials

WASHINGTON (AP) — The fate of his gun proposals on Capitol Hill uncertain, President Barack Obama is seeking to rally support from the public and law enforcement community for his calls to ban assault weapons and install universal background checks for gun buyers.

Obama will pitch his proposals to stem gun violence Monday in Minnesota, a Democratic-leaning state where officials have been studying ways to reduce gun-related attacks and accidents for several years. His visit to the Minneapolis Police Department's Special Operations Center will mark the first time Obama has campaigned on his controversial proposals outside of Washington.

Ahead of the trip, the White House released a photo of the president skeet shooting at Camp David, the presidential retreat. Obama cited skeet shooting when asked in a recent interview whether he had ever shot a gun.

The president unveiled his sweeping package of proposals for curbing gun violence last month in response to the horrific mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. He vowed to use the full weight of his office to fight for the proposals, many of which face tough opposition from congressional lawmakers and the powerful National Rifle Association.

The reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, is expected to be the steepest climb for Obama. Universal background checks for gun purchasers may have an easier time passing Congress, though the NRA also opposes that measure.

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Civil rights lawyers: NYPD surveillance of Muslim communities violates federal guidelines

WASHINGTON (AP) — The New York Police Department's focus on Muslims has renewed the political surveillance of the 1960s and '70s that was banned under a landmark legal ruling, according to a new court filing by civil rights lawyers. They are seeking an injunction against further surveillance of Muslims without evidence of crimes and a new court-appointed auditor to oversee police activities.

Describing continuing surveillance of Muslims as "widespread and intense," the civil rights lawyers complained that the NYPD has monitored public places where Muslims eat, shop and worship and has kept records and notes about police observations despite any evidence of unlawful or terror-related activities. The lawyers said the NYPD's actions violate rules, known as the Handschu guidelines, that a court had imposed as part of a 1985 landmark settlement with the NYPD to a lawsuit they filed.

"There is substantial persuasive evidence that the defendants are conducting investigations into organizations and individuals associated with the Muslim faith and the Muslim community in New York, and have been doing so for years, using intrusive methods, without a reasonable indication of unlawful activity, or a criminal predicate of any sort," the lawyers wrote in a motion to be filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. They said the NYPD's actions were so "flagrant and persistent" that an auditor should be appointed.

A spokesman for the NYPD did not respond to a phone message and email request for comment from The Associated Press.

The NYPD and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have said the department follows the Handschu guidelines and did not break any laws over the course of its surveillance of Muslim communities. NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said the department has plenty of oversight, including five district attorneys, a committee that investigates police corruption, the NYPD's own internal affairs office and the court-imposed Handschu guidelines.

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Ex-Navy SEAL allegedly killed by Iraq War vet died pursuing his passion of helping veterans

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (AP) — The former top Navy SEAL sniper who authorities say was killed at a Texas shooting range was devoted to maintaining camaraderie and helping his fellow veterans find their way after leaving active duty.

Chris Kyle, author of the best-selling book "American Sniper," and his friend Chad Littlefield apparently were doing just that Saturday when, officials say, they were shot and killed by former Marine Eddie Ray Routh.

Kyle, 38, had left the Navy in 2009 after four tours of duty in Iraq, where he earned a reputation as one of the military's most lethal snipers. But he quickly found a way to maintain contact with his fellow veterans and pass on what had helped him work through his own struggles. By late 2011, he filed the paperwork to establish the nonprofit FITCO Cares, which received its nonprofit status the following spring, said FITCO director Travis Cox.

"Chris struggled with some things," Cox said. "He'd been through a lot and he handled it with grace, but yeah he did struggle with some things. And he found a healthy outlet and was proactive in his approach to deal with those issues and wanted to help spread his healing, what worked for him, to others. And that's what he died doing."

For Kyle that healthy outlet was exercise. At the heart of FITCO was giving in-home fitness equipment to physically and emotionally wounded veterans, as well as families who had lost a veteran, Cox said.

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Bullying study shows it does get better for gay teens yet young men fare worse than lesbians

CHICAGO (AP) — It really does get better for gay and bisexual teens when it comes to being bullied, although young gay men have it worse than their lesbian peers, according to the first long-term scientific evidence on how the problem changes over time.

The seven-year study involved more than 4,000 teens in England who were questioned yearly through 2010, until they were 19 and 20 years old. At the start, just over half of the 187 gay, lesbian and bisexual teens said they had been bullied; by 2010 that dropped to 9 percent of gay and bisexual boys and 6 percent of lesbian and bisexual girls.

The researchers said the same results likely would be found in the United States.

In both countries, a "sea change" in cultural acceptance of gays and growing intolerance for bullying occurred during the study years, which partly explains the results, said study co-author Ian Rivers, a psychologist and professor of human development at Brunel University in London.

That includes a government mandate in England that schools work to prevent bullying, and changes in the United States permitting same-sex marriage in several states.

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Textbook study finds Israelis, Palestinians ignoring the other side

JERUSALEM (AP) — Both Israeli and Palestinian schoolbooks largely present one-sided narratives of the conflict between the two peoples and tend to ignore the existence of the other side, but rarely resort to demonization, a study released Monday said.

The study by Israeli, Palestinian and American researchers, billed as setting a new scientific standard for textbook analysis, tackled a particularly fraught issue — longstanding Israeli claims that the Palestinians teach hatred of Israel and glorify violence in their schools.

The research, funded by the U.S. State Department, appeared to undermine these allegations, though it was unlikely to resolve the debate.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues that the conflict with the Palestinians is not over land, but over Israel's acceptance in the region, and that peace is not possible until the alleged incitement stops.

Palestinians say Netanyahu is hiding behind such claims to divert attention from settlement building on occupied lands and from what they believe is his unwillingness to reach a peace deal on internationally backed terms.

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Former King Sihanouk, modern Cambodia's dominant figure, to be cremated amid mass mourning

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of mourners gathered in Cambodia's capital Monday awaiting the cremation of former King Norodom Sihanouk, the revered "King-Father," who survived wars and the murderous Khmer Rouge regime to hold center stage in the southeast Asian nation for more than half a century.

Cambodians from across the country flocked to Phnom Penh to pay their last respects as Sihanouk was given elaborate funeral rites — mingling Hindu, Buddhist and animist traditions — last seen 53 years ago with the death of Sihanouk's father, King Norodom Suramarit. And they may never be seen again in a rapidly modernizing country where monarchy has lost much of its power and glamor.

"I don't have any words to express the sorrow and suffering I feel when knowing his body will soon disappear," said a weeping, 79-year-old woman, Hin Mal, from the southern province of Takeo. "I love and respect King Sihanouk like my own father."

His body had been lying in state since he died of a heart attack in Beijing on Oct. 15 at the age of 89.

Following a procession through the streets of Phnom Penh Friday, his body was placed inside a temple-like, 15-story-high crematorium where his son King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath will light the funeral pyre.

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Super Bowl advertising goes epic- with mini-movies from Chrysler, Samsung, Anheuser-Busch

NEW YORK (AP) — Super Bowl ads this year morphed into mini soap operas.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson shrugged off aliens so he could get more milk for his kids in a Super Bowl spot for the Milk Processor Education Program. Anheuser-Busch's commercial told the story of a baby Clydesdale growing up and returning to his owner for a heartfelt hug years later. And a Jeep ad portrayed the trials and triumphs of families waiting for their return of family members.

The reason for all the drama off the field? With 30-second spots going for as much as $4 million and more than 111 million viewers expected to tune in, marketers are constantly looking for ways to make their ads stand out. And it's increasingly difficult to captivate viewers with short-form plots involving babies, celebrities, sex and humor — unless there's a compelling story attached.

"A lot of advertisers are running long commercials to tell these stories that engage people often in a very emotional way," said Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. "These spots that tell stories really stand out in the clutter."

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