At rally, Hezbollah leader urges more protests against U.S. for anti-Muslim video
BEIRUT (AP) -- In a rare public appearance, the leader of the militant Hezbollah group exhorted hundreds of thousands of supporters Monday to keep up the campaign against an anti-Islam video that has unleashed deadly violence and anger at the United States across the Muslim world.
Although the massive, well-organized rally in Beirut was peaceful, protesters in Afghanistan set fires near a U.S. military base, clashed with police in Pakistan, where one demonstrator was killed, and battled with officers outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country.
The turmoil surrounding the low-budget video that mocks the Prophet Muhammad showed no sign of ebbing in the week after protesters first swarmed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, died amid a demonstration in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
At least 10 protesters have died in the riots, and the targeting of Western diplomatic sites has forced Washington to increase security in several countries. Diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut destroyed classified material as a security precaution, according to a State Department status report.
The appeal for sustained protests by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah group, could stoke more
Witness, video: Libyans found Stevens alive after consulate attack, rushed him to hospital
CAIRO (AP) -- Libyans tried to rescue Ambassador Chris Stevens, cheering "God is great" and rushing him to a hospital after they discovered him still clinging to life inside the U.S. Consulate, according to witnesses and a new video that emerged Monday from last week’s attack in the city of Benghazi.
The group of Libyans had stumbled across Stevens’ seemingly lifeless form inside a dark room and didn’t know who he was, only that he was a foreigner, the man who shot the video and two other witnesses told The Associated Press.
The account underlines the confusion that reigned during the assault by protesters and heavily armed gunmen that overwhelmed the consulate in Benghazi last Tuesday night, killing four Americans, including Stevens, who died from smoke inhalation soon after he was found. U.S. officials are still trying to piece together how the top American diplomat in Libya got separated from others as staffers were evacuated, suffocating in what is believed to be a consulate safe-room.
The Libyans who found him expressed frustration that there was no ambulance and no first aid on hand, leaving him to be slung over a man’s shoulder to be carried to a car.
"There was not a single ambulance to carry him. Maybe he was handled the wrong way," said Fahd al-Bakoush, a freelance videographer who shot the footage. "They took him to a private car."
Chicago teachers to again consider ending strike as mayor seeks order forcing a return to work
CHICAGO (AP) -- An angry Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s appeal to the courts to end a six-day teachers strike in the nation’s third largest city set off a new round of recriminations Monday, but did little to end a walkout that has left parents scrambling and kept 350,000 students out of class.
It might not matter. By the time a Cook County Circuit Court judge considers the issue, the city’s teachers might well have voted to end the strike and recommend they agree to a tentative contract that labor and education experts -- and even some union leaders elsewhere -- called a good deal for the union.
"This was an enormously successful strike (thus far)," said Emily Rosenberg, director of the Labor Education Center at DePaul University in Chicago. "I’ve never seen solidarity like this among teachers."
The dust-up in court may never move past the 700-page brief filed by city attorneys that contends the strike is an illegal act that presents a danger to the health and safety of the district’s students. Judge Peter Flynn set a hearing for Wednesday, a day after the union is set to meet for a second time to discuss an offer than includes pay raises and concessions from the city on the contentious issues of teacher evaluations and job security.
The filing was indicative of how the union has perceived Emanuel’s handling of the negotiations, and that may be the biggest remaining point of contention between the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union. The union immediately condemned Emanuel’s play in court, in which the city said "a vulnerable population has been cast adrift," as an act of vindictiveness by a "bullying" mayor who was attempting to "thwart our democratic process."
50,000 vehicles, 100,000 metal containers: U.S. troops pack up gear to
ship out of Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- It was nearly 2 a.m. when U.S. Army Pfc. Zach Randle jumped out of his bulky armored vehicle in southern Afghanistan for what he hoped would be the last time.
"I don’t want to see it again. It’s been through a lot," Randle said of the 19-ton vehicle that was his ride -- and sometimes his bed -- during a six-month deployment to volatile Kandahar province.
"It protected us, but I’m just in a hurry to turn it in to be closer to going home," said Randle, who has now left Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama’s drawdown of 33,000 U.S. troops by Sept. 30. The pullout -- 10,000 last year and 23,000 more this year -- will be finished within days. That will leave 68,000 American troops in this country to fight militants and help prepare Afghan forces to take over security nationwide.
While some service members go home, others are busy preparing thousands of vehicles and other equipment for shipment. It’s a laborious task that’s more difficult than it was in Iraq because of landlocked Afghanistan’s tough mountainous terrain, lack of roads and its mountain passes that will soon be covered with snow.
Between now and the end of 2014, when most U.S. troops will have left, the Americans will move an estimated 50,000 vehicles, including tens of thousands of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles like the one Randle drove into the equipment yard. They’ll also ship an estimated 100,000 metal containers -- each about 20 feet long. End-to-end, the containers would stretch nearly 400 miles.
Mitt Romney: Nearly half of Americans don’t pay income tax, ‘believe they are victims’
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Already scrambling to steady a struggling campaign, Republican Mitt Romney confronted a new headache Monday after a video surfaced showing him telling wealthy donors that almost half of all Americans "believe they are victims" entitled to extensive government support. He added that as a candidate for the White House, "my job is not to worry about those people."
President Barack Obama’s campaign quickly seized on the video, obtained by the magazine Mother Jones and made public on a day that Romney’s campaign conceded it needed a change in campaign strategy to gain momentum in the presidential race.
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney is shown saying in a video posted online by the magazine. "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."
"Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax," Romney said.
Romney said his role "is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Nobel laureate Suu Kyi arrives in U.S., milestone
in her journey from prisoner to stateswoman
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, renowned for her peaceful struggle against military rule, began a marathon tour of the U.S. Monday, the latest milestone in her remarkable journey from political prisoner to globe-trotting stateswoman.
The Nobel Peace laureate will be presented with Congress’ highest award during a 17-day visit that comes as the Obama administration considers easing remaining sanctions on the country, also known as Burma. In the latest step toward political opening, Myanmar announced a new round of prisoner releases, hours before Suu Kyi touched down in Washington.
Suu Kyi meets Tuesday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and is likely to visit the White House. She then goes to New York, the American Midwest and California in a whirlwind of speaking engagements and award ceremonies, as if making up for lost time for the years of confinement that prevented her from traveling overseas since the late 1980s.
Since her release from house arrest in late 2010, Suu Kyi has transitioned from dissident to parliamentarian. Myanmar has shifted from five decades of repressive military rule, gaining international acceptance for a former pariah regime.
Now confident of her position inside Myanmar, Suu Kyi has in the past four months started to spread her wings. She has traveled to Thailand and five nations in Europe, where she was accorded honors usually reserved for heads of state.
Bear cub nicknamed ‘Boo Boo’ that was burned in wildfire recovering in central Idaho sanctuary
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A bear cub rescued from a fire in the Idaho backcountry after suffering second-degree burns on all four of its paws has been moved to a wildlife sanctuary and is expected to make a full recovery, officials said Monday.
The bear nicknamed "Boo Boo" is being housed in a 2-acre enclosure with another cub and is doing very well, said Linda DeEulis, director of the Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary. The bear was brought to the rehabilitation area, located outside the mountain resort town of McCall, on Friday.
He first spent two weeks recuperating at the Idaho Humane Society shelter in Boise after he was discovered in late August, clinging to a tree, in a region recently scorched by a massive wildfire. Efforts to find the cub’s mother were unsuccessful.
DeEulis was worried at first about the bear’s claws and his ability to climb, she said, but those concerns were quickly put to rest after he arrived at the sanctuary.
"He’s doing fine, the first thing he did was run up a tree," she told The Associated Press.