Nev. school shooting leaves gunman, teacher dead and 2 boys wounded
SPARKS, Nev. (AP) -- A student at a Nevada middle school opened fire on campus just before the starting bell Monday, wounding two boys and killing a teacher who was trying to protect other children, Sparks police and the victim’s family said.
Twenty to thirty students witnessed the tragedy at Sparks Middle School that also left the lone suspected gunman dead, police said.
It’s unclear whether the student committed suicide, but authorities say no shots were fired by law enforcement. Police said between 150 and 200 officers, including some from as far as 60 miles away, responded to the shooting.
"In my estimation, he is a hero. ... We do know he was trying to intervene," Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson said of the teacher who was killed, who initially was identified only as a staff member.
Family members identified him as math teacher Michael Landsberry, a 45-year-old military veteran who leaves behind a wife and two stepdaughters
France summons U.S. ambassador to answer questions about U.S. spying on close ally
WASHINGTON (AP) -- France joined a growing list of angry allies Monday who are demanding answers from the United States over aggressive surveillance tactics by the National Security Agency, this time, that it swept up -- and in some cases recorded -- 70.3 million French telephone calls and emails in one 30 day period.
Keeping tabs on allies is classic spy craft but the sweep and scope of the National Security Agency program have irritated Germany, Britain, Brazil, and most recently Mexico and France.
Calling the practice "totally unacceptable,"’ an indignant French government demanded an explanation and summoned U.S. Ambassador Charles Rivkin for answers.
Visiting Paris on an unrelated and previously scheduled trip for talks on the Middle East, Secretary of State John Kerry was unapologetic, but told reporters that the U.S. would discuss the matters privately with officials from France and other concerned countries.
"Protecting the security of our citizens in today’s world is a very complicated, very challenging task and it is an everyday 24/7/365 task unfortunately because there are lots of people out there seeking to do harm to other people," he said a news conference with Qatar’s foreign minister.
Greenspan, discussing new book, ponders the roots of financial crisis he failed to foresee
WASHINGTON (AP) -- For 18 1/2 years as Federal Reserve chairman, he was celebrated for helping drive a robust U.S. economy. Yet in the years after he stepped down in 2006, he was engulfed by accusations that he helped cause the 2008 financial crisis -- the worst since the 1930’s.
Now, Alan Greenspan has struck back at any notion that he -- or anyone -- could have known how or when to defuse the threats that triggered the crisis. He argues in a new book, "The Map and the Territory," that traditional economic forecasting is no match for the irrational risk-taking that can inflate catastrophic price bubbles in assets like homes or tech stocks.
In an interview Sunday, Greenspan reflected on his book, his Fed tenure and the risks that still endanger the financial system. Relaxed and looking fit at 87, he spoke for an hour in the sunroom of his house overlooking a wooded hillside of Northwest Washington.
Surrounded by books of presidential and financial history, Greenspan acknowledged some errors of judgment as Fed chair. But he said he saw no reason to downgrade his own assessment of his tenure.
"Our record was fairly good," he said.
N.J. Gov. Christie drops challenge to
gay marriage; conservatives angry
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Gov. Chris Christie dropped his fight against gay marriage in New Jersey on Monday, framing the decision in a pragmatic way: No point in fighting a losing battle.
Just hours after gay couples began exchanging vows with the blessing of New Jersey’s Supreme Court, Christie announced he was withdrawing his appeal to the high court.
New Jersey is the 14th state to legalize gay marriage.
As the Republican governor seeks re-election two weeks from now and ponders a run for president in 2016, Christie’s decision holds both risks and benefits for him.
It delighted gay rights activists and could enhance Christie’s appeal to independents and moderates of both parties. But it angered members of the GOP’s conservative wing, which already distrusts Christie and wields outsized influence in some state primaries.
Grief, anger mix as Christians mourn shooting at a church in Egypt’s capital
CAIRO (AP) -- The elderly, silver-haired Christian could hardly speak Monday, sitting stunned in a church where the evening before, suspected Islamic militants on a motorcycle sprayed his family’s wedding party with automatic weapons fire, killing his son, his wife’s sister and two granddaughters aged 8 and 12.
"It’s God’s will. They are always beating us down. Every other day now, they do this," the 75-year-old Fahmy Azer Abboud said as he waited for their funeral to start.
He spoke haltingly of his dead granddaughters, both named Mariam.
"They were pure angels. They had the world’s kindness inside them. They helped me and shared with me everything they had," Abboud said.
The girls were waiting to enter the Church of the Virgin Mary in Cairo’s Warraq district for the wedding of another of Abboud’s granddaughters when the gunmen struck about 9 p.m. Sunday. The wounded included seven relatives, with his other son, Nabil, among them, he said.
Thieves pose as commercial truckers to steal huge loads of food, beverages
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- To steal huge shipments of valuable cargo, thieves are turning to a deceptively simple tactic: They pose as truckers, load the freight onto their own tractor-trailers and drive away with it.
It’s an increasingly common form of commercial identity theft that has allowed con men to make off each year with millions of dollars in merchandise, often food and beverages. And experts say the practice is growing so rapidly that it will soon become the most common way to steal freight.
A generation ago, thieves simply stole loaded trucks out of parking lots. But the industry’s widening use of GPS devices, high-tech locks and other advanced security measures have pushed criminals to adopt new hoaxes.
Helping to drive the scams, experts say, is the Internet, which offers thieves easy access to vast amounts of information about the trucking industry. Online databases allow con men to assume the identities of legitimate freight haulers and to trawl for specific commodities they want to steal.
Already drenched stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast braces for Hurricane Raymond
ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) -- Hurricane Raymond gained more strength as it remained nearly stationary off Mexico’s southern Pacific coast Monday, though it threatened to hurl heavy rains onto a sodden region already devastated by last month’s Tropical Storm Manuel.
Guerrero state authorities said it was raining in places in the afternoon but so far no torrential rains had hit the area. More than 100 people were evacuated as a precaution from a mountain town east of Acapulco, authorities said.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the Category 3 hurricane was nearly stalled offshore, with maximum sustained winds of about 125 mph. Raymond was centered about 105 miles south of the beach resort of Zihuatanejo late Monday afternoon, and it was expected to move only a little closer to the coast by Tuesday before veering back out to sea Wednesday.
In the beach resort of Zihuatanejo, officials went door-to-door in hillside communities warning residents about the risk of flash floods and mudslides, but nobody had voluntarily evacuated to the three shelters set up in schools and athletic facilities, municipal firefighter Jesus Guatemala said.
Amid light, intermittent rains, tourists continued to stroll through town.
Argentines blame birth defects, cancer, on agrochemicals for biotech crops
BASAVILBASO, Argentina (AP) -- Argentine farmworker Fabian Tomasi was never trained to handle pesticides. His job was to keep the crop-dusters flying by filling their tanks as quickly as possible, although it often meant getting drenched in poison.
Now, at 47, he’s a living skeleton, so weak he can hardly swallow or go to the bathroom on his own.
Schoolteacher Andrea Druetta lives in Santa Fe Province, the heart of Argentina’s soy country, where agrochemical spraying is banned within 500 meters (550 yards) of populated areas. But soy is planted just 30 meters (33 yards) from her back door. Her boys were showered in chemicals recently while swimming in the backyard pool.
After Sofia Gatica lost her newborn to kidney failure, she filed a complaint that led to Argentina’s first criminal convictions for illegal spraying. But last year’s verdict came too late for many of her 5,300 neighbors in Ituzaingo Annex. A government study there found alarming levels of agrochemical contamination in the soil and drinking water, and 80 percent of the children surveyed carried traces of pesticide in their blood.
American biotechnology has turned Argentina into the world’s third-largest soybean producer, but the chemicals powering the boom aren’t confined to soy and cotton and corn fields.