Saturday April 6, 2013

Man with shotgun enters Canada day care, kills other then self; 53 children safe

GATINEAU, Quebec (AP) -- A man shot dead another man at a day care center in Quebec then killed himself, and the 53 children present were evacuated unharmed. Police said some may have watched the killings.

For a moment, Canada feared its own version of last year’s deadly school shooting in the U.S., where 20 young children were killed.

Police on Friday received a call about an armed man with a shotgun threatening people, Gatineau Police Chief Mario Harel said. They arrived to find one man dead with a shotgun beside him and a second man, an unidentified employee of the day care, also dead.

Harel said the shooting seemed to be related to a recent separation between a couple but didn’t elaborate.

The Racines De Vie Montessori daycare is located in two homes, and Sergeant Jean-Paul LeMay said police found a body in each one. LeMay said the children were safe at a nearby house.

Police were investigating the link between the men and the possibility of domestic violence, LeMay said. He wouldn’t say if either was linked to a child at the day care.

Police speculated that some children likely witnessed the killings.

"It’s a small area, it’s a close space," said Harel. "For sure, they should have been witness (to) the event."

Parents sobbed and hugged while they waited for investigators to bring them to their children.


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Omar Eltalawi rushed to the scene from his nearby home as soon as he heard about the shooting, fearful for his 3-year-old daughter, Zain.

"It was horrible," Eltalawi said as he described the fear of not knowing what was going on inside the day care. "You see these things on the news and you don’t expect it to happen to you."

Gatineau city is just across the river from Ottawa, the capital.

Judge rules that morning-after pill can be sold over-the-counter to all ages of women

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The morning-after pill might become as easy to buy as aspirin.

In a scathing rebuke accusing the Obama administration of letting election-year politics trump science, a federal judge ruled Friday that women of any age should be able to buy emergency contraception without a doctor’s prescription.

Today, women can do that only if they prove at the pharmacy that they’re 17 or older; everyone else must see a doctor first. U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York blasted the government’s decision on age limits as "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable," and ordered an end to the restrictions within 30 days.

The Justice Department was evaluating whether to appeal, and spokeswoman Allison Price said there would be a prompt decision.

President Barack Obama had supported the 2011 decision setting age limits, and White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday the president hasn’t changed his position. "He believes it was the right common-sense approach to this issue," Carney said.

Syrian president warns that if his regime falls, instability will spread across the region

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian President Bashar Assad warned in comments broadcast Friday that the fall of his regime or the breakup of his nation will cause a "domino effect" that will fuel Middle East instability for years, in his sharpest warning yet about the potential fallout of his country’s civil war on neighboring states.

In Moscow, Russia’s president said the Syrian conflict has become "a massacre" that must be stopped through peace talks, and repeated the Kremlin’s firm rejection of calls for Assad’s ouster.

The Syrian regime is under growing pressure from an increasingly effective rebel movement that has managed to pry much of northern Syria away from the government and has made significant headway recently in the south in capturing territory and military bases. The rebel advances appear to have given them momentum and put the government on the defensive in the 2-year-old conflict that the U.N. estimates has killed more than 70,000 people.

In an interview with the Turkish TV station Ulusal Kanal broadcast Friday, Assad accused his neighbors of stoking the revolt against his rule, saying "we are surrounded by countries that help terrorists and allow them to enter Syria." But he warned that those same countries may eventually pay a price down the road.

"Everybody knows that if the disturbances in Syria reach the point of country’s breakup, or terrorist forces control Syria, or if the two cases happen, then this will immediately spill over into neighboring countries first, and later there will be a domino effect that will reach countries across the Middle East," he said.

Police: 1 person dead in N. Illinois school bus crash; principal says students all survived

WADSWORTH, Ill. (AP) -- One person died and dozens of elementary school children were taken to hospitals Friday after a school bus crash in northern Illinois left two cars mangled and the bus on its side.

All 35 people aboard the bus survived the crash that happened around 8 a.m. in Wadsworth, 45 miles north of Chicago, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran Jr. said.

The bus driver may have run a red light, Curran said, adding that the bus driver was speaking with authorities as part of their investigation.

Barbara Taylor, who lives nearby, said she heard the collision from her home.

"I heard a thud and the ground shook a little bit and I looked out the bedroom window and saw the bus on its side," Taylor said.

Documents raise new questions for university attended by Colorado theater shooting suspect

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) -- New questions confronted the University of Colorado, Denver on Friday amid disclosures that a psychiatrist who treated theater shooting suspect James Holmes had warned campus police a month before the deadly assault that Holmes was dangerous and had homicidal thoughts.

Court documents made public Thursday revealed Dr. Lynne Fenton also told a campus police officer in June that the shooting suspect had threatened and intimidated her.

Fenton’s blunt warning came more than a month before the July 20 attack at a movie theater that killed 12 and injured 70. Holmes had been a student in the university’s Ph.D. neuroscience program but withdrew about six weeks before the shootings after failing a key examination.

Campus police officer Lynn Whitten told investigators after the shooting that Fenton had contacted her. Whitten said Fenton was following her legal requirement to report threats to authorities, according one of the documents, a search warrant affidavit.

"Dr. Fenton advised that through her contact with James Holmes she was reporting, per her requirement, his danger to the public due to homicidal statements he had made," the affidavit said.

Tax haven data leak names names, raises questions about future of offshore bank accounts

PARIS (AP) -- It’s a data leak involving tens of thousands of offshore bank accounts, naming dozens of prominent figures around the world. And new details are being released by the day -- raising the prospect that accounts based on promises of secrecy and tax shelter could someday offer neither.

Among those named include a top campaign official in France, the ex-wife of pardoned oil trader Marc Rich, Azerbaijan’s ruling family, the daughter of Imelda Marcos and the late Baron Elie de Rothschild. The widespread use of offshore accounts among the wealthy is widely known -- even Mitt Romney acknowledged stashing some of his millions in investments in the Cayman Islands. But this week’s leak, orchestrated by a Washington, D.C.-based group called the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, appeared to be the broadest in what has been a steady stream of information emerging about hidden money in recent years amid a wave of anger targeting the super-rich in an age of austerity.

The leak allegedly involved records from 10 tax havens, where the world’s wealthy have long stashed funds. It uncovered a shadow network of empty holding companies and names essentially rented out to fill out boards of non-existent corporations, including a British couple listed as active in more than 2,000 entities, according to The Guardian newspaper, which participated in the global undertaking.

The project started with the receipt of a hard drive by an Australian journalist, Gerard Ryle, who took the data with him when he joined the consortium, according to the project’s website. The group, a project of the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity, has said the hard drive arrived in the mail, but did not specify its possible source or how it was authenticated. The consortium did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Rudolf Elmer, who once ran the Caribbean operations of the Swiss bank Julius Baer and turned whistleblower after he was dismissed in 2002, told The Associated Press that he considers the data to be authentic.

Egypt’s top satirist undeterred after questioning

CAIRO (AP) -- Undeterred at being interrogated by prosecutors, a popular Egyptian TV satirist is poking new fun at the Egyptian president.

Bassem Youssef -- known as Egypt’s Jon Stewart -- was interrogated this week for allegedly insulting Islam and the country’s leader, questioning that drew criticism from Washington and rights advocates.

In his weekly Friday TV show, Youssef says he "overdid it." He said all his segments wouldn’t focus on the country’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Youssef said that after his visit to the attorney general, he had decided not to talk on the show about Morsi -- just the attorney general.

The television audience erupted in applause and laughter, and then he spent a good part of his show ridiculing both. Judge deals blow
to high-tech
workers’ lawsuit

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- A federal judge has dealt a setback to a group of people who allege that Apple, Google and five other technology companies formed an illegal cartel to hold down wages and reduce the chances of losing their best engineers.

In a ruling released Friday, Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., denied a request to certify their lawsuit as a class action seeking damages on behalf of tens of thousands of employees. She concludes the employers’ alleged collusion may have affected workers in too many different ways to justify lumping the individual claims together.

The allegations will be more difficult to pursue if they can’t be united in a single lawsuit.

The employees’ lawyers say they plan to address Koh’s concerns in a new filing.

Feds retain control
of Calif. prison
mental health

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A judge has rejected Gov. Jerry Brown’s bid to regain state control of inmates’ mental health care after 18 years of federal oversight and billions of dollars spent to improve treatment.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton in Sacramento ruled Friday that the state failed to prove that it is providing the level of care required by the U.S. Constitution for the state’s more than 32,000 mentally ill inmates.

The decision is a blow to the Democratic governor’s attempts to end nearly two decades of expensive federal lawsuits that influence nearly every aspect of California’s prison system.

It also undermines Brown’s efforts to lift a separate court order that otherwise will force the state to reduce its prison population by nearly 10,000 by year’s end.

Brown has promised to appeal.