Lou Reed, leader of Velvet Underground and iconic punk poet, dead at age 71
NEW YORK (AP) -- Lou Reed was a pioneer for countless bands who didn’t worry about their next hit single.
Reed, who died Sunday at age 71, radically challenged rock’s founding promise of good times and public celebration. As leader of the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist, he was the father of indie rock, and an ancestor of punk, New Wave and the alternative rock movements of the 1970s, ‘80s and beyond.
He influenced generations of musicians from David Bowie and R.E.M. to the Talking Heads and Sonic Youth.
"The first Velvet Underground record sold 30,000 copies in the first five years," Brian Eno, who produced albums by Roxy Music and Talking Heads among others, once said. "I think everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band!"
Reed and the Velvet Underground opened rock music to the avant-garde -- to experimental theater, art, literature and film, from William Burroughs to Kurt Weill to Andy Warhol, Reed’s early patron. Raised on doo-wop and Carl Perkins, Delmore Schwartz and the Beats, Reed helped shape the punk ethos of raw power, the alternative rock ethos of irony and droning music and the art-rock embrace of experimentation, whether the dual readings of Beat-influenced verse for "Murder Mystery," or, like a passage out of Burroughs’ "Naked Lunch," the orgy of guns, drugs and oral sex on the Velvet Underground’s 15-minute "Sister Ray."
Experts say hackers hit major Israeli roadway, a sign cyber warfare now reality
HADERA, Israel (AP) -- When Israel’s military chief delivered a high-profile speech this month outlining the greatest threats his country might face in the future, he listed computer sabotage as a top concern, warning a sophisticated cyberattack could one day bring the nation to a standstill.
Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz was not speaking empty words. Exactly one month before his address, a major artery in Israel’s national road network in the northern city of Haifa was shut down because of a cyberattack, cybersecurity experts tell The Associated Press, knocking key operations out of commission two days in a row and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
One expert, speaking on condition of anonymity because the breach of security was a classified matter, said a Trojan horse attack targeted the security camera system in the Carmel Tunnels toll road on Sept. 8. A Trojan horse is a malicious computer program that users unknowingly install that can give hackers complete control over their systems.
The attack caused an immediate 20-minute lockdown of the roadway. The next day, the expert said, it shut down the roadway again during morning rush hour. It remained shut for eight hours, causing massive congestion.
The expert said investigators believe the attack was the work of unknown, sophisticated hackers, similar to the Anonymous hacking group that led attacks on Israeli websites in April. He said investigators determined it was not sophisticated enough to be the work of an enemy government like Iran.
Wave of attacks hits Baghdad and northern Iraq, killing at least 66 in series of assaults
BAGHDAD (AP) -- A series of attacks including car bombings in Baghdad, an explosion at a market and a suicide assault in a northern city killed at least 66 people Sunday across Iraq, officials said, the latest in a wave of violence washing over the country.
Coordinated bombings hit Iraq multiple times each month, feeding a spike in bloodshed that has killed more than 5,000 people since April. The local branch of al-Qaida often takes responsibility for the assaults, although there was no immediate claim for Sunday’s blasts.
Sunday’s attacks were the deadliest single-day series of assaults since Oct. 5, when 75 people were killed in violence.
Police officers said that the bombs in the capital, placed in parked cars and detonated over a half-hour period, targeted commercial areas and parking lots, killing 42 people.
The deadliest blasts struck in the southeastern Nahrwan district, where two car bombs exploded simultaneously, killing seven and wounding 15, authorities said. Two other explosions hit the northern Shaab and southern Abu Dashir neighborhoods, each killing six people, officials said.
Phoenix police: there’s speculation 4 slayings tied to barking dogs; gunman killed self
PHOENIX (AP) -- Authorities released details Sunday from a weekend shooting attack that left four family members and two dogs dead at a central Phoenix townhouse before the gunman turned the weapon on himself.
Michael Guzzo, 56, killed his next door neighbors in a deadly confrontation Saturday that may have been touched off by loud barking, police said.
The victims have been identified as Bruce Moore, 66; his daughter, Renee Moore, 36; her husband, who took his wife’s name, Michael Moore, 42; and Renee’s son, Shannon Moore, 17.
After the killings, Guzzo shot at another townhouse before returning to his unit and killing himself, police said.
Cousin arrested on 5 counts of murder in deaths of mom, 4 kids stabbed in NYC home
NEW YORK (AP) -- A Chinese immigrant has been arrested on five counts of murder in the deaths of his cousin’s wife and her four children in a late-night stabbing rampage in their Brooklyn home.
The New York Police Department said Sunday that 25-year-old Mingdong Chen has implicated himself in the deaths.
Two girls, 9-year-old Linda Zhuo and 7-year-old Amy Zhuo, were pronounced dead at the scene, along with the youngest child, 1-year-old William Zhuo. Their brother, 5-year-old Kevin Zhuo, and 37-year-old mother, Qiao Zhen Li, were taken to hospitals, where they also were pronounced dead.
Chief of Department Phil Banks says the victims "were cut and butchered with a kitchen knife."
Banks says Chen is a cousin of the children’s father and had been staying at the home for the past week or so.
Banners across Tehran reflect hard-line backlash over Iranian president’s outreach to U.S.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Banners that suddenly cropped up around Tehran in the past week depict an American diplomat dressed in a jacket and tie, while under the negotiating table he is wearing military pants and pointing a shotgun at an Iranian envoy.
The anti-American images were ordered taken down Saturday by Tehran authorities. But they made their point.
It was another salvo by hard-liners who are opposed to President Hassan Rouhani’s pursuit of better ties with Washington and worried that Iran could make unnecessary concessions in its nuclear program in exchange for relief from Western sanctions.
The banners and posters were something of a warm-up to the main event: Rouhani’s critics are planning major anti-U.S. rallies -- and amped-up "Death to America" chants -- on the Nov. 4 anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover in 1979 following the Islamic Revolution.
Anti-American murals have long been part of the urban landscape in Iran, and include images of the Statue of Liberty transformed into a creepy skeleton and bombs raining down from the Stars and Stripes. The storming of the U.S. Embassy is marked every year with protests outside the compound’s brick walls.
Christian evangelical adoption movement perseveres amid criticism, drop in foreign adoptions
To many Christian evangelicals, their commitment to finding homes for the world’s orphans is something to celebrate -- and they will, gathering at hundreds of churches across America to direct their thoughts and prayers to these children.
But the fifth annual Orphan Sunday, this coming weekend, arrives at a challenging time, and not just because the number of international adoptions is dwindling. The adoption movement faces criticisms so forceful that some of its own leaders are paying heed.
The gist: Some evangelicals are so enamored of international adoption as a mission of spiritual salvation -- for the child and the adoptive parents -- that they have closed their eyes to adoption-related fraud and trafficking, and have not fully embraced alternatives that would help orphans find loving families in their home countries.
Some adoption advocates in evangelical circles have angrily rejected the criticisms. But the president of the coalition that organizes Orphan Sunday, Jedd Medefind of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, has urged his allies and supporters to take the critiques to heart even though he disputes some aspects of them. Alliance partners, he says, should be eager to support a broad range of orphan-care programs and to avoid the temptation of viewing adoptive parents as saviors.
"When the dominant feature of our thinking becomes ‘us as rescuers,’ we’re in grave danger," Medefind wrote on the alliance website. "What often follows is the pride, self-focus and I-know-better outlook that has been at the root of countless misguided efforts to help others."