Monday March 4, 2013

Biden joins original marcher, John Lewis, in
re-enactment of landmark voting rights march

SELMA, Ala. (AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden led civil rights leaders and national political figures in a ceremonial crossing of a Selma bridge where voting rights marchers were beaten in 1965.

Biden put his arm around U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who was one of the original marchers attacked by state troopers at the start of the march to Montgomery 48 years ago. Biden said Lewis and the other marchers showed courage and determination in the name of justice always prevails.

More than 20 U.S. senators and representatives, Attorney General Eric Holders and civil rights leaders, including Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, joined the re-enactment Sunday afternoon,

About 5,000 people joined the re-enactment. That’s 10 times the number of original marchers at what’s now known as "Bloody Sunday."

Officials: Queen Elizabeth II hospitalized due to apparent stomach infection

LONDON (AP) -- Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was hospitalized Sunday over an apparent stomach infection that has ailed her for days, a rare instance of ill health sidelining the long-reigning monarch. Elizabeth will have to cancel a visit to Rome and other engagements as she recovers, and outside experts said she may have to be rehydrated intravenously.

Buckingham Palace said the 86-year-old queen had experienced symptoms of gastroenteritis and was being examined at London’s King Edward VII Hospital -- the first time in a decade that Elizabeth has been hospitalized.

"As a precaution, all official engagements for this week will regrettably be either postponed or cancelled," the palace said in a statement. Elizabeth’s two-day trip to Rome had been planned to start Wednesday. A spokeswoman said the trip may be "reinstated" at a later date.

The symptoms of gastroenteritis -- vomiting and diarrhea -- usually pass after one or two days, although they can be more severe in older or otherwise vulnerable people. Dehydration is a common complication.

The illness was first announced Friday, and Elizabeth had to cancel a visit Swansea, Wales, on Saturday to present leeks -- a national symbol -- to soldiers of the Royal Welsh Regiment in honor of Wales’ national day, St. David’s Day.

Young expectant couple headed to hospital die in NYC car crash; infant delivered alive

NEW YORK (AP) -- A pregnant young woman who was feeling ill was headed to the hospital with her husband early Sunday when the car they were riding in was hit, killing them both, but their baby boy was born prematurely and survived, authorities and a relative said.

The driver of a BMW slammed into the car carrying Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21, at an intersection in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, said Isaac Abraham, a neighbor of Raizy Glauber’s parents who lives two blocks from the scene of the crash.

Raizy Glauber was thrown from the car and her body landed under a parked tractor-trailer, said witnesses who came to the scene after the crash. Nachman Glauber was pinned in the car, and emergency workers had to cut off the roof to get him out, witnesses said.

Both of the Glaubers were pronounced dead at hospitals, police said, and both died of blunt-force trauma, the medical examiner said.

Their infant son was in serious condition, said Abraham. The hospital did not return calls about the child. The Glaubers’ driver was in stable condition, police said. Both the driver of the BMW and a passenger fled and were being sought, police said.

Egypt’s army intervenes to try to stop clashes between police and protesters

PORT SAID, Egypt (AP) -- The military intervened in clashes between thousands of protesters and police in a restive Egyptian canal city on Sunday, the latest in a cycle of violence that continues to rock Egypt two years after the uprising that ousted longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Also on Sunday, a court ruled that Mubarak will face a new trial next month on charges related to the killings of hundreds of protesters during the revolution that forced him from power.

Around 5,000 protesters threw rocks and firebombs at police in Port Said late Sunday, the scene of a civil strike now in its second week. Riot police responded with tear gas and bird shot.

Egyptian soldiers intervened by forming a line between the two sides, as protesters climbed the tanks chanting support for the country’s armed forces that, unlike the police, have not cracked down on rioters in the city. "The people and the army are one hand!" the demonstrators shouted.

Health official Helmy el-Afani said 325 people were injured in the clashes. Most suffered tear gas inhalation while others were wounded by bird shot. The Interior Ministry said one policeman was killed by gunfire, one soldier was shot and at least 10 members of the security forces were among those wounded.

Syrian opposition chief visits rebel-held areas as fighters make advances

BEIRUT (AP) -- Following rebel gains, the leader of the Syrian opposition made his first visit Sunday to areas near the embattled northern city of Aleppo as fighters trying to oust President Bashar Assad captured a police academy and a border crossing along the frontier with Iraq.

Assad, meanwhile, lashed out at the West for helping his opponents in the civil war, delivering a blistering rebuke to Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement that the U.S. will for the first time provide medical supplies and other non-lethal aid directly to the rebels in addition to $60 million in assistance to Syria’s political opposition.

Aleppo, the nation’s largest city, has been a major front in the nearly 2-year-old uprising. Government forces and rebels have been locked in a stalemate there since July.

Mouaz al-Khatib met Sunday with Syrians in the two rebel-held Aleppo suburbs of Manbah and Jarablus, a statement said. The stated goal of his trip was to inspect living conditions.

But his foray to the edge of Aleppo also could be an attempt to boost his group’s standing among civilians and fighters on the ground, many of whom see the Western-backed political leadership in exile as irrelevant and out of touch.

Most of house over sinkhole that swallowed man in Fla. demolished; man is presumed dead

SEFFNER, Fla. (AP) -- Crews on Sunday razed more than half of the Tampa-area home perched over a huge sinkhole that swallowed a man three days ago, managing to salvage some keepsakes for family members who lived there.

Jeremy Bush, 35, tried to save his brother, Jeff, when the earth opened up and swallowed him Thursday night. On Sunday morning, Bush and relatives prayed with a pastor as the home -- where he lived with his girlfriend, Rachel Wicker; their daughter, Hannah, 2; and others -- was demolished and waited for firefighters to salvage anything possible from inside.

Early Sunday morning, just before the demolition began, Bush and an unidentified woman knelt and prayed at the mailbox in front of the home, owned by Leland Wicker, Rachel’s grandfather, since the 1970s.

After praying, Bush and the woman walked across the street to a neighbor’s lawn to watch the demolition.

The operator of the heavy equipment worked gingerly, first taking off a front wall. Family belongings were scooped onto the lawn gently in hopes of salvaging parts of the family’s 40-year history in the home.

With freeze-dried pets, Mo. taxidermist makes sure animal lovers never have to say goodbye

SLATER, Mo. (AP) -- Growing up on the family farm, Anthony Eddy learned early on not to get too attached to animals, including household pets.

His devoted customers are a different story. Pet lovers across the country count on the Saline County taxidermist to faithfully preserve Brutus, Fluffy and other beloved companions for posterity. Even if it means shelling out thousands of dollars and waiting more than a year for the pets’ return.

"They’re very distraught, because their child has died. For most people, this animal is their life," said Lessie "Les" Thurman Calvert, Eddy’s office manager. "Some are kind of eccentric. But most of them are just like you and me. They don’t want to bury or create them. They can’t stand the thought ... It helps them feel better about the loss."

The front showroom of Eddy’s Wildlife Studio in downtown Slater is a testament to pet owners’ perseverance. Lifelike dogs and cats of all sizes are scattered along the floor, from a perky-looking Brittany spaniel to a regal Persian cat, a lone iguana and the stray cockatiel or two. Departed pets of all persuasions spend up to one year in hulking, freeze-dry metal drums before they are painstakingly preserved and returned to their owners.

Eddy said his business is one of the few in the country to specialize in pet taxidermy and has a two-month waiting list.