AP News in Brief at 10:58 p.m. EDT

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Associated Press

Posted on July 3, 2014 at 10:02 PM

10 Things to See: A gallery of lasting moments chosen by our editors

Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page photography, the odd image you might have missed and lasting moments our editors think you should see.

This week's collection includes a woman crying near her burning house after shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk; a young Muslim girl attending an evening prayer marking the first eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jakarta, Indonesia; prospective plebes learning how to properly wear their hats during Induction Day at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; and a Savannah, Georgia, man checking out the waves on the north beach of Tybee Island as Hurricane Arthur makes its way up the East Coast.

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This gallery contains photos published June 26-July 3, 2014.

See the latest AP photo galleries: http://apne.ws/TXeCBNhttp://apne.ws/TXeCBN

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June jobs report shows recovery is accelerating, US economy coming closer to full health

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surprisingly robust job market is energizing the 5-year-old U.S. recovery and driving the economy closer to full health.

Employers added 288,000 jobs in June and helped cut the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent, the lowest since 2008. It was the fifth straight gain above 200,000 — the best such stretch since the late 1990s tech boom.

The stock market roared with approval. The Dow Jones industrial average surged 92 points to top 17,000 for the first time.

The breadth and consistency of the job growth are striking in part because of how poorly the year began. The economy shrank at a steep 2.9 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter as a harsh winter contributed to the sharpest contraction since the depths of the recession.

Yet employers have shrugged off that setback. They've kept hiring.

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Southern California city becomes latest flashpoint in escalating immigration debate

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When American flag-waving protesters forced busloads of migrants to leave Murrieta earlier this week, the Southern California city became the latest flashpoint in an intensifying immigration debate that could heat up even more as patriotism surges on the Fourth of July.

The city's mayor has become a hero to those seeking stronger immigration policies with his criticism of the federal government's efforts to handle the thousands of immigrants, many of them mothers and children, who have flooded the Texas border.

Some of those immigrants were flown to California and were supposed to be processed at a Border Patrol facility in Murrieta, a fast-growing community in the conservative-leaning Inland Empire region. But protesters blocked the road, forcing federal officials to take the immigrants elsewhere.

A second protest is planned for July 4, when another convoy of buses with immigrants is rumored to arrive.

"We've had it," said Carol Schlaepfer, a retired Pomona resident who protested Tuesday in Murrieta. "We all want a better life. ... You can't come to our country and expect American citizens to dole out what you need, from grade school till death."

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Obama under mounting pressure to visit US-Mexico border as immigration crisis deepens

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is facing mounting calls from Republicans to take a firsthand look at the immigration emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, putting him on the spot concerning what he has called the "humanitarian crisis" of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children flooding in from Central America.

"If he doesn't come to the border, I think it's a real reflection of his lack of concern of what's really going on there," declared Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016.

The White House said Thursday that Obama currently has no plans to visit the border when he travels to Texas next week, primarily to fundraise for Democratic congressional candidates. A trip to the border could result in awkward optics for the president, who would be unlikely to meet with youngsters he's seeking to deport and would risk upsetting immigration advocates who oppose the deportations if he were to meet with border patrol agents or other law enforcement.

Administration officials say that Perry and other Republicans are merely trying to score political points rather than working to resolve a major problem. But the political concerns aren't so easily dismissed for Obama.

The border crisis has put him in the difficult position of asking Congress for more money and authority to send the children back home at the same time he's seeking ways to allow millions of other people already in the U.S. illegally to stay.

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Brazil overpass, unfinished World Cup project, collapses onto vehicles; 2 reported dead

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — An overpass under construction collapsed Thursday in this World Cup host city, killing at least two people and trapping a commuter bus, two construction trucks and a car in an embarrassment for a country that has been basking in praise for what has mostly been a smoothly running soccer tournament.

The city government released a statement late Thursday saying officials had counted two dead and 19 injured. There was no word on whether foreign tourists were among those killed or injured.

Authorities didn't think the casualty numbers would rise too sharply — though they said they had not yet reached a small passenger car that was flattened by the falling overpass. It was not known if anyone inside the car escaped or remained inside. Officials said they would be working through the night trying to the car.

The incident is the biggest black eye yet for Brazil's hosting of the World Cup, which has been carried out with less chaos than many had feared.

In the run-up to the event, there were serious concerns about the ability of Brazil's airports and roads to handle the influx of tourists because of delays or outright cancelations of projects to improve urban transportation.

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Leader of Kurds in northern Iraq tells regional lawmakers to prepare independence referendum

BAGHDAD (AP) — With large parts of Iraq in militant hands, a top Kurdish leader called on regional lawmakers Thursday to lay the groundwork for a referendum on independence, a vote that would likely spell the end of a unified Iraq.

The recent blitz by Sunni militants across much of northern and western Iraq has given the country's 5 million Kurds — who have long agitated for independence — their best chance ever to seize disputed territory and move closer to a decades-old dream of their own state.

But the Kurds still face considerable opposition from many in the international community, including the United States, which has no desire to see a fragmented Iraq.

A Western-established no-fly zone in 1991 helped the Kurds set up their enclave, which has emerged over the years as a beacon of stability and prosperity, while much of the rest of the country has been mired in violence and political turmoil. The three-province territory was formally recognized as an autonomous region within Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.

Speaking to the regional legislature Thursday, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Massoud Barzani, told lawmakers to set up an electoral commission to "hurry up" and prepare for "a referendum on self-determination."

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Israel rushes reinforcements to southern Gaza border as leaders try to soothe tensions

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military rushed additional forces to its southern border with the Gaza Strip on Thursday, vowing to halt a growing wave of rocket fire from the Palestinian territory, while new clashes erupted in east Jerusalem in response to the death of an Arab boy who Palestinians say was killed by Israeli extremists.

Israel said the show of force on the Gaza border was a defense measure. But persistent rocket fire raised the prospects of a tough Israeli response, with the military saying more than 40 rockets or mortar shells were fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza on Thursday.

Tensions have been high since three Israeli teenagers were abducted in the West Bank on June 12, sparking a massive manhunt that ended with the discovery of their bodies early this week. Israel has blamed Hamas for the abductions and launched a crackdown on the Islamic militant group in the West Bank, drawing rocket attacks out of Gaza and Israeli airstrikes in a near-daily cycle of retaliation.

The situation deteriorated further on Wednesday after the burned body of a Palestinian youth, whose identity was confirmed Thursday as Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was found in a forest after he was seized near his home in east Jerusalem. The Palestinians accused Israeli extremists of killing the teen in a revenge attack over the deaths of the Israeli youths.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried Thursday to calm the situation, condemning Abu Khdeir's killing and vowing to find the attackers.

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Detective: Dad traded nude photos with several women while toddler sat in hot SUV for hours

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia man who police say intentionally killed his toddler son by leaving the boy inside a hot SUV was exchanging nude photos with women the day his son died and had looked at websites that advocated against having children, a detective testified Thursday.

Cobb County Police Detective Phil Stoddard testified at a hearing that evidence showed Justin Ross Harris was practically leading a double life and should not be granted bond. Stoddard described the evidence he said suggests Harris, who is charged with murder, killed his 22-month-old son Cooper intentionally.

Harris and his wife had two life insurance policies for the toddler, one for $2,000 and one for $25,000. Furthermore, Harris' wife had become unhappy with her husband's spending habits, Stoddard said.

At that same hearing, a judge refused to grant bond for Harris, meaning he will remain in jail.

Harris, 33, has told police he was supposed to drive his son to day care the morning of June 18 but drove to work without realizing that the child was strapped into a car seat in the back.

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As Hurricane Arthur nears North Carolina, vacationers head out; rest of East Coast on watch

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) — A strengthening Hurricane Arthur forced thousands of vacationers on the North Carolina coast to abandon their Independence Day plans while cities farther up the East Coast rescheduled fireworks displays threatened by rain from the storm.

Arthur strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane Thursday night, with winds of 100 mph as the storm neared North Carolina. Little change was expected in the storm's strength Thursday night and Friday, and Arthur was expected to weaken as it travels northward and slings rain along the East Coast.

The annual Boston Pops Fourth of July concert and fireworks show was rescheduled for Thursday because of potential heavy rain from Arthur, while fireworks displays in New Jersey, Maine and New Hampshire were postponed until later in the weekend.

Either later Thursday or early Friday, Arthur was expected to pass over or near North Carolina and its Outer Banks — a 200-mile string of narrow barrier islands with about 57,000 permanent residents.

"We don't know for sure if the exact center of Arthur is going to pass over land or not. The chances have been increasing for that to occur with the last couple of forecasts. But even if the exact center doesn't go over you, you will experience impacts tonight. The weather is going downhill in North Carolina, even as we speak," said Rick Knabb, the director of the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

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Journal that published Facebook study of emotions concedes it could have been better handled

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The scientific journal that published a study by Facebook and two U.S. universities examining people's online mood swings regrets how the social experiment was handled.

In a note of contrition, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that the decision to manipulate the content appearing on the Facebook pages of about 700,000 people without their prior consent may have violated some principles of academic research.

The journal also pointed out that, as a for-profit company governed by its own terms of service, Facebook had no obligation to adhere to those scientific principles.

"It is nevertheless a matter of concern that the collection of the data by Facebook may have involved practices that were not fully consistent with the principles of obtaining informed consent and allowing participants to opt out," wrote Inder Verma, the Washington, D.C.-based journal's editor in chief.

The unusual "editorial expression of concern" surfaced Thursday, a day after Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg apologized, acknowledging that the world's largest social network should have done a better job communicating about the experiment.

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