Monday April 29, 2013

FBI investigating whether bombing suspects received any type of training

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Sunday that the FBI is investigating in the United States and overseas to determine whether the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing received training that helped them carry out the attack.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is charged with joining with his older brother, Tamerlan, who’s now dead, in setting off the shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs. The bombs were triggered by a remote detonator of the kind used in remote-control toys, U.S. officials have said.

U.S. officials investigating the bombings have told The Associated Press that so far there is no evidence to date of a wider plot, including training, direction or funding for the attacks.

Fugitive owner of collapsed building arrested trying to escape Bangladesh

SAVAR, Bangladesh (AP) -- The fugitive owner of an illegally constructed building that collapsed and killed at least 377 people was captured Sunday by a commando force as he tried to flee into India. At the disaster site, meanwhile, fire broke out in the wreckage and forced authorities to suspend the search for survivors temporarily.

Mohammed Sohel Rana was arrested in the western Bangladesh border town of Benapole, said Jahangir Kabir Nanak, junior minister for local government.


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Rana was brought back by helicopter to the capital of Dhaka where he faced charges of negligence.

Rana’s capture was announced by loudspeaker at the disaster site, drawing cheers and applause from those awaiting the outcome of a continuing search-and-rescue operation for survivors of Wednesday’s collapse.

Many of those killed were workers at clothing factories in the building, known as the Rana Plaza, and the collapse was the deadliest disaster to hit the garment industry in Bangladesh that is worth $20 billion annually and is a mainstay of the economy.

Iraq suspends licenses for Al-Jazeera, 9 Iraqi TV channels following wave of unrest

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi authorities suspended the operating licenses of pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera and nine Iraqi TV channels on Sunday after accusing them of escalating sectarian tension. The move signaled the Shiite-led government’s mounting worries over deteriorating security amid Sunni unrest and clashes that have left more than 180 people dead in less than a week.

The suspensions, which took effect immediately, appeared to target mainly Sunni channels known for criticizing Prime Minister Nouri al-Malik’s government. Apart from Al-Jazeera, the decision affected eight Sunni and one Shiite channels.

The government’s action comes as Baghdad tries to quell rising unrest in the country that erupted last week after Iraqi security forces launched a deadly crackdown on a Sunni protest site in the central city of Hawija, killing 23 people, including three soldiers.

Since then, more than 180 people have been killed in gunbattles with security forces and other attacks. The recent wave of violence follows more than four months of largely peaceful protests by Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government.

On day new Italy gov’t sworn in, gunman wounds 2 policemen near premier’s office

ROME (AP) -- In the very moments Italy’s new coalition government was being sworn in, ending months of political paralysis in a country hoping to revive a bleak economy, a middle-aged unemployed bricklayer opened fire Sunday in the square outside the premier’s office, seriously wounding two policemen, authorities said.

The alleged gunman from Calabria, a southern region plagued by joblessness and organized crime, told investigators he wanted to shoot politicians. But finding none in the square, he instead shot at Carabinieri paramilitary police.

The newly sworn in interior minister, Angelino Alfano, said a preliminary investigation indicated the shooting, which also slightly injured a pregnant bystander, amounted to a "tragic criminal gesture of a 49-year-old unemployed" man.

But the shooting was also a violent expression of social tensions in Italy, where unemployment is soaring, an increasing number of businesses are shutting their doors permanently and new political corruption scandals make headlines nearly every day.

Rolling Stones rock surprise show at small LA club ahead of tour

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- For one night only, the Rolling Stones were an up-and-coming band again.

The legendary group rocked a small club in Los Angeles on Saturday night for a miniscule crowd compared to the thousands set to see them launch their "50 and Counting" anniversary tour a week later on May 3 at the Staples Center.

The band kicked off Saturday’s hush-hush 90-minute concert at the Echoplex in the hip Echo Park neighborhood with "You Got Me Rocking" before catapulting into a mix of new and old material, as well as their blusey covers of classics from Otis Redding ("That’s How Strong My Love Is"), Chuck Berry ("Little Queenie") and The Temptations ("Just My Imagination").

"Welcome to Echo Park, a neighborhood that’s always coming up -- and I’m glad you’re here to welcome an up-and-coming band," lead singer Mick Jagger joked after the second song of the evening, "Respectable."

Despite clocking in several decades as band, Jagger, drummer Charlie Watts and guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood showed no signs of slowing down Saturday

Organizers cancel dozens of air shows after federal budget cuts cause military to ground jets

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Dozens of air shows that draw tens of thousands of people and generate millions of dollars for local economies have been cancelled this year after the military grounded its jet and demonstration teams because of automatic federal budget cuts.

For years, the biggest draws at air shows have been the military’s two elite jet teams, the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds, and their intricate stunts. The armed services also have provided F-16, F-18 and F-22 fighter jets and the U.S. Army Parachute Team, known as the Golden Knights. All the teams were grounded as of April 1 to save money, and the military also dramatically curtailed its help with ground displays of various aircraft.

Those cutbacks have affected more than 200 of the approximately 300 air shows held in the United States each year, said John Cudahy, president of the International Council of Air Shows. About 60 shows have been cancelled, and he expects more cancellations as the season progresses and hope for restoration of the budget cuts fades. He predicted 15 percent to 20 percent of the shows won’t return next year, even if the military begins participating again.

"The worst case is that they either cancel and go out of business, or they don’t cancel and they have such poor attendance and they go out of business," he said.

Local economies also will feel the sting of the cancellations without the air shows bringing in crucial tourism dollars..