Update September 11, 2017
Myanmar accused of laying mines, causing Rohingya injuries
An injured elderly woman and her relatives rush
to a hospital on an autorickshaw, near the border town of Kutupalong,
Bangladesh.(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh (AP) — Myanmar's military has been accused of
planting land mines in the path of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in its
western Rakhine state, with Amnesty International reporting two people
Refugee accounts of the latest spasm of violence in Rakhine have typically
described shootings by soldiers and arson attacks on villages. But there
several cases that point to anti-personnel land mines or other explosives as
the cause of injuries on the border with Bangladesh, where 300,000 Rohingya
have fled in the past two weeks.
AP reporters on the Bangladesh side of the border on Monday saw an elderly
woman with devastating leg wounds: one leg with the calf apparently blown
off and the other also badly injured. Relatives said she had stepped on a
Myanmar has one of the few militaries, along with North Korea and Syria,
which has openly used anti-personnel land mines in recent years, according
to Amnesty. An international treaty in 1997 outlawed the use of the weapons;
Bangladesh signed it but Myanmar has not.
Lt. Col. S.M. Ariful Islam, commanding officer of the Bangladesh border
guard in Teknaf, said on Friday he was aware of at least three Rohingya
injured in explosions.
Bangladeshi officials and Amnesty researchers believe new explosives have
been recently planted, including one that the rights group said blew off a
Bangladeshi farmer's leg and another that wounded a Rohingya man. Both
incidents occurred Sunday. It said at least three people including two
children were injured in the past week.
"It may not be land mines, but I know there have been isolated cases of
Myanmar soldiers planting explosives three to four days ago," Ariful said
Myanmar presidential spokesman Zaw Htay did not answer phone calls seeking
comment Sunday. Military spokesman Myat Min Oo said he couldn't comment
without talking to his superiors. A major at the Border Guard Police
headquarters in northern Maungdaw near the Bangladesh border also refused to
Amnesty said that based on interviews with eyewitnesses and analysis by its
own weapons experts, it believes there is "targeted use of landlines" along
a narrow stretch of the northwestern border of Rakhine state that is a
crossing point for fleeing Rohingya.
"All indications point to the Myanmar security forces deliberately targeting
locations that Rohingya refugees use as crossing points," Amnesty official
Tirana Hassan said in a statement Sunday. She called it "a cruel and callous
way of adding to the misery of people fleeing a systematic campaign of
The violence and exodus began on Aug. 25 when Rohingya insurgents attacked
Myanmar police and paramilitary posts in what they said was an effort to
protect their ethnic minority from persecution by security forces in the
majority Buddhist country.
In response, the military unleashed what it called "clearance operations" to
root out the insurgents. Accounts from refugees show the Myanmar military is
also targeting civilians with shootings and wholesale burning of Rohingya
villages in an apparent attempt to purge Rakhine state of Muslims.
Bloody anti-Muslim rioting that erupted in 2012 in Rakhine state forced more
than 100,000 Rohingya into displacement camps in Bangladesh, where many
still live today.
Rohingya have faced decades of discrimination and persecution in Myanmar and
are denied citizenship despite centuries-olds roots in the Rakhine region.
Myanmar denies Rohingya exist as an ethnic group and says those living in
Rakhine are illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
305 Syrian migrants reach Cyprus; 313 are stopped in Turkey
Ammar Hammasho, migrant
from Edlib in Syria who lives in Cyprus, kisses one of his four
children.(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus police arrested
a 36-year-old man Sunday for allegedly driving one of two boats that
brought 305 Syrian refugees to the Mediterranean island's northwestern
Another 29-year-old man was also taken into custody on suspicion of
Police spokesman Michalis Ioannou said the 202 men, 30 women and 73
children arrived about midnight in what is thought to be the largest
number of migrants to reach Cyprus in a single day. He said they
departed from Mersin, Turkey, on Saturday.
The passengers reported paying up to $2,000 (1,658 euros) each to
smugglers for the trip. Some with relatives in Cyprus have expressed a
desire to remain, while others want to go to Germany or Scandinavia.
Among those waiting for the migrants at a reception center in the
Cypriot capital of Nicosia was Ammar Hammasho. The 35-year-old Syrian
said he felt both joy and relief at seeing his four small children and
wife behind the center's chain-link fence after fearing for their safety
during the trip.
Hammasho came to Cyprus a year ago from the Syrian city of Idlib where
he said his home was destroyed by airstrikes that killed one of his
"It's getting worse," Hammasho told The Associated Press. "Everyone on
either side is telling their own lies."
In Turkey, the coast guard stopped an unnamed fishing boat carrying 93
Syrians and one Afghan migrant Sunday off the coast of Istanbul on the
Black Sea. The authorities also caught an alleged Turkish smuggler.
Turkish authorities also announced late Saturday that coast guard boats
had prevented two separate migrant landings in the Black Sea. In one, 68
Syrians and two Iranians were stopped in a sailboat with an alleged
Turkish smuggler east of Bulgaria.
In the other, Turkish coast guard intercepted 149 Syrian migrants and
two Ukrainians thought to be smugglers in a fishing boat east of
Romania. The migrants and suspects were brought to northwestern
Kirklareli province in Turkey for processing.
Turkey and the European Union signed a deal in March 2016 to curb the
flow of migrants to Greek islands on the Aegean Sea. A million people
crossed the sea in the year before the agreement, with hundreds drowning
along the way.
US calls for Monday vote on new North Korea sanctions
watches a TV news program on a public screen showing an image of North
Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
By Edith M. Lederer, Associated
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States called for a vote Monday on
new U.N. sanctions against North Korea, though exactly what measures would
be in the resolution remained a mystery.
Security Council diplomats, who weren't authorized to speak publicly because
talks have been private, said the U.S. and China were still negotiating the
text late Sunday.
Previous U.N. sanctions resolutions have been negotiated between the United
States and China — North Korea's main trading partner and ally — and have
taken weeks, and in some cases months, to finalize.
But the Trump administration adopted a totally new approach with this
resolution, presenting its draft to China and all other Security Council
members last Tuesday and demanding a vote in six days. Diplomats said
ambassador, Liu Jieyi, who was on a
Security Council trip to Ethiopia, flew back to New York on Thursday to take
part in negotiations.
North Korea's Foreign Ministry issued a statement early Monday saying it was
watching the United States' moves closely and warned that it was "ready and
willing" to respond with measures of its own. It said the U.S. would pay a
heavy price if the sanctions proposed by Washington are adopted.
Ethiopia's U.N. mission, the current Security Council president, said late
Sunday that members would vote on a North Korea resolution following a
meeting Monday afternoon on implementing existing sanctions against the
The draft circulated by the United States called for imposing the
toughest-ever U.N. sanctions on North Korea, including a ban on all oil and
natural gas exports to the country and a freeze of all foreign financial
assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.
The U.S. is also seeking to ban all countries from hiring workers from the
North and from importing textiles from the northeast Asian nation — two key
sources of foreign currency.
In another key measure, the U.S. draft identified nine ships that have
carried out activities prohibited by previous U.N. sanctions resolutions.
The draft would authorize the 192 other U.N. member states to stop these
ships on the high seas to check their cargo without their consent. It would
permit the use of "all necessary measures," which in U.N. language includes
force, to carry out an inspection and direct the vessel to a port.
Whether those provisions would remain in any resolution put to a vote Monday
remained to be seen.
Beijing and Moscow have called for a resolution that focuses on a political
solution and proposed a freeze-for-freeze that would halt North Korean
nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea stopping
their joint military exercises. That initiative was rejected by the Trump
Russia argues that sanctions aren't working and President Vladimir Putin
expressed concern last week that a total oil cutoff could hurt the North
Britain's U.N. ambassador, Matthew Rycroft, backed the tough U.S. measures
and demand for a speedy vote, saying Thursday that "maximum possible
pressure" must be exerted on North Korea to change course and give diplomacy
a chance to end the crisis.
Professor Joseph DeThomas of Pennsylvania State University, a former U.S.
ambassador and State Department official who dealt with North Korea, told
The Associated Press on Friday that the U.S. demand for quick council action
was "an indicator of how the administration thinks time has run out."
"My sense is they believe that they don't have time for a delicate
diplomatic dance," he said. "The other possibility ... is they want to see
the color of China's money. They're putting down the marker here and saying,
'OK, are you prepared to do what is necessary to put pressure on North Korea
at a moment when we're simply out of time?'"
Miss North Dakota Cara Mund is new Miss America
New Miss America Cara Mund poses for a photo
with contestants during Miss America 2018 pageant, Sunday, Sept.10, 2017, in
Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/ Noah K. Murray)
By Wayne Parry, Associated Press
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Miss North Dakota, a 23-year-old who said
President Donald Trump was wrong to pull the United States out of the Paris
climate accord, was named Miss America 2018 Sunday night in Atlantic City.
Cara Mund topped a field of 51 contestants to win the crowd in the New
Jersey seaside resort, where most of the 97 Miss Americas have been
In one of her onstage interviews, Mund said Trump, a Republican, was wrong
to withdraw the U.S. from the climate accord aimed at reducing greenhouse
gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
"It's a bad decision," she said. "There is evidence that climate change is
existing and we need to be at that table."
In an interview with The Associated Press before preliminary competition
began, Mund, who lives in Bismarck, North Dakota, said her goal is to be the
first woman elected governor of her state.
She said she wants to see more women elected to all levels of government.
"It's important to have a woman's perspective," Mund, who had an internship
in the U.S. Senate, told the AP. "In health care and on reproductive rights,
it's predominantly men making those decisions."
The first runner up was Miss Missouri Jennifer Davis; second runner up was
Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel; third runner up was Miss District of
Columbia Briana Kinsey, and fourth runner up was Miss Texas Margana Wood.
Earlier Sunday, as a deadly hurricane was slamming her home state, Miss
Florida Sara Zeng sent a message of support to those in harm's way — and was
then eliminated from the competition.
As judges were narrowing the field of 51 contestants (each state plus the
District of Columbia), they interviewed Zeng, a 22-year-old from Palm Coast,
Florida, who noted that her family is safe.
But she expressed concern and support for friends and strangers endangered
by Hurricane Irma, which was tearing its way up the Florida gulf coast on
"I'm thinking about everyone in Florida every single day, but I know that
regardless what happens, we'll all get through this together," Zeng said.
Shortly after her speech, judges read the names of the remaining Top 15
finalists, which did not include her.
Earlier in the week, Miss Texas Margana Wood gave a shout-out to her flooded
hometown, Houston; she won Wednesday night's swimsuit preliminary.
Zeng won Friday's swimsuit prelim, and promised she'd be part of the
post-Irma cleanup and recovery effort, whether as Miss America or not.
The competition took place at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, where it
originated as a way to extend summer tourism to the weekend after Labor Day.
They were vying to succeed the outgoing Miss America Savvy Shields, who won
the title last September as Miss Arkansas.
Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC
Today in History - Monday, Sept. 11, 2017
Today is Monday, Sept. 11, the 254th day of 2017. There are 111 days left in
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed as 19 al-Qaida
hijackers seized control of four jetliners, sending two of the planes into
New York's World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and the fourth into a
field in western Pennsylvania.
On this date:
In 1297, Scottish rebels led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeated
English troops in the Battle of Stirling Bridge during the First War of
In 1714, the forces of King Philip V of Spain overcame Catalan defenders to
end the 13-month-long Siege of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish
In 1789, Alexander Hamilton was appointed the first U.S. Secretary of the
In 1814, an American fleet scored a decisive victory over the British in the
Battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812.
In 1857, the Mountain Meadows Massacre took place in present-day southern
Utah as a 120-member Arkansas immigrant party was slaughtered by Mormon
militiamen aided by Paiute Indians.
In 1936, Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) began operation as President Franklin
D. Roosevelt pressed a key in Washington to signal the startup of the dam's
first hydroelectric generator.
In 1941, groundbreaking took place for the Pentagon. In a speech that drew
accusations of anti-Semitism, Charles A. Lindbergh told an America First
rally in Des Moines, Iowa, that "the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt
administration" were pushing the United States toward war.
In 1954, the Miss America pageant made its network TV debut on ABC; Miss
California, Lee Meriwether, was crowned the winner.
In 1967, the comedy-variety program "The Carol Burnett Show" premiered on
In 1974, Eastern Airlines Flight 212, a DC-9, crashed while attempting to
land in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing 72 of the 82 people on board.
In 1985, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds cracked career hit number 4,192
off Eric Show (rhymes with "how") of the San Diego Padres, eclipsing the
record held by Ty Cobb. (The Reds won the game, 2-0).
In 1997, Scots voted to create their own Parliament after 290 years of union
Ten years ago: A new Osama bin Laden videotape was released on the sixth
anniversary of 9/11; in it, the al-Qaida leader's voice is heard
commemorating one of the suicide hijackers and calling on young Muslims to
follow his example by martyring themselves in attacks. China signed an
agreement to prohibit the use of lead paint on toys exported to the United
Five years ago: A mob armed with guns and grenades launched a fiery
nightlong attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost and a CIA annex in Benghazi,
Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney toned down the
campaign rhetoric and pulled negative ads amid commemorations of the 9/11
attacks, saying it was not a day for politics.
One year ago: The U.S. marked the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with the solemn
roll call of the dead at ground zero. Hillary Clinton abruptly left after
feeling "overheated," according to her campaign, and hours later her doctor
disclosed that the Democratic presidential nominee had pneumonia. Stan
Wawrinka wore Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) down and beat the
defending champion 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 for his first U.S. Open title and
third Grand Slam trophy overall. Savvy Shields of Arkansas was crowned Miss
America 2017 at the pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, is 93. Actor Earl
Holliman is 89. Comedian Tom Dreesen is 78. Movie director Brian De Palma is
77. Singer-actress-dancer Lola Falana is 75. Rock musician Mickey Hart (The
Dead) is 74. Singer-musician Leo Kottke is 72. Actor Phillip Alford is 69.
Actress Amy Madigan is 67. Rock singer-musician Tommy Shaw (Styx) is 64.
Sports reporter Lesley Visser is 64. Actor Reed Birney is 63.
Singer-songwriter Diane Warren is 61. Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh
(jay) Johnson is 60. Musician Jon Moss (Culture Club) is 60. Actor Scott
Patterson is 59. Rock musician Mick Talbot (The Style Council) is 59.
Actress Roxann Dawson is 59. Actor John Hawkes is 58. Actress Anne Ramsay is
57. Actress Virginia Madsen is 56. Actress Kristy McNichol is 55.
Musician-composer Moby is 52. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is 52.
Business reporter Maria Bartiromo is 50. Singer Harry Connick Jr. is 50.
Rock musician Bart Van Der Zeeuw is 49. Actress Taraji P. Henson is 47.
Actress Laura Wright is 47. Rock musician Jeremy Popoff (Lit) is 46. Blogger
Markos Moulitsas is 46. Singer Brad Fischetti (LFO) is 42. Rapper Mr. Black
is 40. Rock musician Jon Buckland (Coldplay) is 40. Rapper Ludacris is 40.
Rock singer Ben Lee is 39. Actor Ryan Slattery is 39. Actress Ariana
Richards is 38. Country singer Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum) is 36.
Actress Elizabeth Henstridge is 30. Actor Tyler Hoechlin (HEK'-lihn) is 30.
Actress Mackenzie Aladjem is 16.
Thought for Today: "I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of
tolerance." — Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet and author (1772-1834).
Update September 9 - 10, 2017
Today in History - Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017
Today is Sunday, Sept. 10, the 253rd day of 2017. There are 112 days left in
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 10, 1813, an American naval force commanded by Oliver H. Perry
defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.
(Afterward, Perry sent the message, "We have met the enemy and they are
On this date:
In 1608, John Smith was elected president of the Jamestown colony council in
In 1846, Elias Howe received a patent for his sewing machine.
In 1919, New York City welcomed home Gen. John J. Pershing and 25,000
soldiers who'd served in the U.S. First Division during World War I.
In 1935, Sen. Huey P. Long died in Baton Rouge two days after being shot in
the Louisiana state Capitol, allegedly by Dr. Carl Weiss.
In 1939, Canada declared war on Germany.
In 1945, Vidkun Quisling was sentenced to death in Norway for collaborating
with the Nazis (he was executed by firing squad in October 1945).
In 1955, the Western series "Gunsmoke," starring James Arness as Marshal
Matt Dillon, began a 20-season run on CBS-TV.
In 1963, 20 black students entered Alabama public schools following a
standoff between federal authorities and Gov. George C. Wallace.
In 1977, convicted murderer Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian immigrant, became
the last person to date to be executed by the guillotine in France.
In 1979, four Puerto Rican nationalists imprisoned for a 1954 attack on the
U.S. House of Representatives and a 1950 attempt on the life of President
Harry S. Truman were freed from prison after being granted clemency by
President Jimmy Carter.
In 1987, Pope John Paul II arrived in Miami, where he was welcomed by
President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan as he began a 10-day
tour of the United States.
In 1991, the Senate Judiciary Committee opened hearings on the nomination of
Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ten years ago: Gen. David Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, told
Congress he envisioned the withdrawal of roughly 30,000 U.S. troops by the
summer of 2008, saying the surge in U.S. troops had met its military
objectives "in large measure." Academy Award-winning actress Jane Wyman, 90,
died in Palm Springs, California.
Five years ago: An airstrike killed al-Qaida's No. 2 leader in Yemen along
with six others traveling with him in a breakthrough for U.S.-backed efforts
to cripple the terror network's operations in the impoverished Arab nation.
Chicago teachers began a seven-day strike, idling nearly 400,000 students in
the nation's third-largest school district. Andy Murray became the first
British man since 1936 to capture a Grand Slam title, beating defending
champion Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich), 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6,
6-2 to win the U.S. Open in five grueling sets.
One year ago: John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate President
Ronald Reagan in 1981, was released from a Washington mental hospital for
good. Angelique Kerber won her first U.S. Open title and the second Grand
Slam trophy of her breakthrough season, beating Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 4-6,
Today's Birthdays: Actor Philip Baker Hall is 86. Actor Greg Mullavey is 84.
Jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers is 77. Actor Tom Ligon is 77. Singer Danny
Hutton (Three Dog Night) is 75. Singer Jose Feliciano is 72. Actress Judy
Geeson is 69. Former Canadian first lady Margaret Trudeau is 69. Political
commentator Bill O'Reilly is 68. Rock musician Joe Perry (Aerosmith) is 67.
Actress Amy Irving is 64. Actor-director Clark Johnson is 63. Country singer
Rosie Flores is 61. Actress Kate Burton is 60. Movie director Chris Columbus
is 59. Actor Colin Firth is 57. Rock singer-musician David Lowery (Cracker)
is 57. Actor Sean O'Bryan is 54. Actor Raymond Cruz is 53. Baseball Hall of
Famer Randy Johnson is 54. Rock musician Robin Goodridge (Bush) is 52. Rock
musician Stevie D. (Buckcherry) is 51. Rock singer-musician Miles Zuniga
(Fastball) is 51. Actress Nina Repeta is 50. Rapper Big Daddy Kane is 49.
Movie director Guy Ritchie is 49. Actor Johnathan Schaech is 48.
Contemporary Christian singer Sara Groves is 45. Actor Ryan Phillippe is 43.
Actor Kyle Bornheimer is 42. Actor Jacob Young is 38. Rock musician Mikey
Way (My Chemical Romance) is 37. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Timothy
Goebel is 37. Ballerina Misty Copeland is 35. Rock musician Matthew
Followill (Kings of Leon) is 33. Singer Ashley Monroe (Pistol Annies) is 31.
Singer Sanjaya Malakar ("American Idol") is 28. Actor Chandler Massey is 27.
Actress Hannah Hodson is 26. Actor Gabriel Bateman is 13.
Thought for Today: "History is the great dust-heap ... a pageant and not a
philosophy." — Augustine Birrell, English author and statesman (1850-1933).
UN: 'Alarming number' of 270,000 Rohingya in Myanmar exodus
Rohingya scuffle to get clothes from local
volunteers Kutupalong, Bangladesh, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Bernat
By Muneeza Naqvi
COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh (AP) — The U.N. said that an "alarming
number" of 270,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled violence in Myanmar by
crossing into Bangladesh in the last two weeks.
The new figure confirmed Friday by U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman Vivian
Tan is much higher than the 164,000 the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
had previously estimated had arrived since Aug. 25.
"This is an alarming number," Tan said. "The existing camps are full to the
capacity. There is a lot of pressure on relief agencies to accommodate the
She said the new number was still a "rough estimate," and based on an
assessment that involved a host of aid agencies operating in the area. Some
aid groups also had identified "new pockets of people that we did not know
about before, mainly in villages" where Bangladeshi communities had taken
them in, but also some new settlements and clusters in difficult-to-access
Makeshift camps were quickly appearing and expanding along roadsides, Tan
She said it was possible some people who received help from multiple
agencies could have been counted twice.
The exodus from Myanmar's northern Rakhine state began Aug. 25 after
Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts. The military responded with what
it called "clearance operations" to root out any fighters it said might be
hiding in villages of Rakhine state.
The Myanmar government says nearly 400 people have been killed in fighting
it blames on insurgents, though Rohingya say they Myanmar troops and
Buddhist mobs attacked them and destroyed their villages.
It's not known how many Rohingya remain in Rakhine state. Previously the
population had been thought to be roughly 1 million.
Journalists in northern Rakhine state saw active fires in areas Rohingya had
abandoned, adding to doubts over government claims that Rohingya themselves
were responsible for setting them.
Associated Press reporters who have been in Rohingya camps all week saw a
surge in the number of people entering Bangladesh on Thursday and Friday.
An increasing number of Rohingya were also arriving by boat, with 300 boats
reaching the Bangladesh town of Cox's Bazar from Myanmar on Wednesday alone,
according to the International Organization for Migration.
"Sea routes are particularly dangerous this time of year, when boats are
known to frequently capsize in rough seas," the IOM said in a statement.
Dozens of Rohingya have died in capsizings since the exodus began, and there
are other dangers as well. On Monday, the AP saw an elderly woman whose leg
had been blown off when she set off a land mine.
Land mines were planted years ago along parts of the border. Bangladeshi
officials say Myanmar soldiers have planted new explosives since the latest
wave of violence began, though the Myanmar military denies it.
"It may not be land mines, but I know there have been isolated cases of
Myanmar soldiers planting explosives three to four days ago," Lt. Col. S.M.
Ariful Islam, commanding officer of the Bangladesh border guard in Teknaf,
said Friday. He added that he was aware of at least three Rohingya injured
There are now massive crowds of Rohingya in the streets of towns including
Cox's Bazar and Teknaf, with relatively few soldiers or police and even
fewer signs of aid agencies.
At a small makeshift mosque made of bamboo sticks and plastic sheets, a
small group of new arrivals offered prayers Friday, the holiest day of the
week in Islam.
Later, members of a local organization were seen distributing aid, throwing
packets of puffed rice and old clothes into huge crowds of Rohingya. There
are no clearly organized points of distribution.
Tan, of the refugee agency, said it was distributing aid through a local
organization that preferred to keep a low profile.
U.N. agencies have released $8 million in emergency aid in the area, but
were pleading for millions more.
Associated Press writers Ashok Sharma in New Delhi and Katy Daigle in
Bangkok contributed to this report.
Death toll rises to 60 in powerful Mexico earthquake
A man sits in his
wheelchair backdropped by a building damaged in a massive earthquake, in
Juchitan, Oaxaca state, Mexico Friday, Sept. 8, 2017.(AP Photo/Luis
By Mark Stevenson, Associated Press
MEXICO CITY (AP) — One of the most powerful earthquakes ever
recorded in Mexico struck off the country's southern coast, toppling
hundreds of buildings and sending panicked people fleeing into the
streets in the middle of the night. At least 60 people were reported
The quake that hit minutes before midnight Thursday was strong enough to
cause buildings to sway violently in the capital city more than 650
miles (1,000 kilometers) away. As beds banged against walls, people
still wearing pajamas ran out of their homes and gathered in frightened
Rodrigo Soberanes, who lives near San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas,
the state nearest the epicenter, said his house "moved like chewing
The furious shaking created a second national emergency for Mexican
agencies already bracing for Hurricane Katia on the other side of the
country. The system was expected to strike the Gulf coast in the state
of Veracruz late Friday or early Saturday as a Category 2 storm that
could bring life-threatening floods.
The head of Mexico's civil defense agency confirmed the deaths of 45
people in the southern state of Oaxaca. Another 12 people died in
Chiapas and three more in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.
The worst-hit city appeared to be Juchitan, on the narrow waist of
Oaxaca known as the Isthmus. About half of the city hall collapsed in a
pile of rubble, and streets were littered with the debris of ruined
President Enrique Pena Nieto toured the area, where he met with
residents amid the debris of crumbled buildings.
"The priority in Juchitan is re-establishing supply of water and food,
as well as medical attention for those affected," Pena Nieto said via
Mexico City escaped major damage, but the quake terrified sleeping
residents, many of whom still remember the catastrophic 1985 earthquake
that killed thousands and devastated large parts of the city.
Families were jerked awake by the grating howl of the capital's seismic
alarm. Some shouted as they dashed out of rocking apartment buildings.
Even the iconic Angel of Independence Monument swayed as the quake's
waves rolled through the city's soft soil.
Elsewhere, the extent of destruction was still emerging. Hundreds of
buildings collapsed or were damaged, power was cut at least briefly to
more than 1.8 million people and authorities closed schools Friday in at
least 11 states to check them for safety.
The Interior Department reported that 428 homes were destroyed and 1,700
were damaged in various cities and towns in Chiapas.
"Homes made of clay tiles and wood collapsed," said Nataniel Hernandez,
a human rights worker living in Tonala, Chiapas, who warned that
inclement weather threatened to bring more down.
"Right now it is raining very hard in Tonala, and with the rains it gets
much more complicated because the homes were left very weak, with
cracks," Hernandez said by phone.
The earthquake's impact was blunted somewhat by the fact that it was
centered 100 miles offshore. It hit off Chiapas' Pacific coast, near the
Guatemalan border, with a magnitude of 8.1 — equal to Mexico's strongest
quake of the past century. It was slightly stronger than the 1985 quake,
the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The epicenter was in a seismic hotspot in the Pacific where one tectonic
plate dives under another. These subduction zones are responsible for
producing some of the biggest quakes in history, including the 2011
Fukushima disaster and the 2004 Sumatra quake that spawned a deadly
The quake struck at 11:49 p.m. Thursday (12:49 a.m. EDT; 4:49 a.m. GMT
Friday). Its epicenter was 102 miles (165 kilometers) west of Tapachula
in Chiapas, with a depth of 43.3 miles (69.7 kilometers), the USGS said.
Dozens of strong aftershocks rattled the region in
the following hours.
Three people were killed in San Cristobal, including two women who died
when a house and a wall collapsed, Chiapas Gov. Manuel Velasco said.
"There is damage to hospitals that have lost energy," he said. "Homes,
schools and hospitals have been damaged."
In Tabasco, one child died when a wall collapsed, and an infant died in
a children's hospital when the facility lost electricity, cutting off
the ventilator, Gov. Arturo Nunez said.
The quake triggered tsunami warnings and some tall waves, but there was
no major damage from the sea. Authorities briefly evacuated a few
residents of coastal Tonala and Puerto Madero because of the warning.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported waves of 3.3 feet (1 meter)
above the tide level off Salina Cruz, Mexico. Smaller tsunami waves were
observed on the coast or measured by ocean gauges elsewhere.
In neighboring Guatemala, President Jimmy Morales appeared on national
television to call for calm while emergency crews surveyed damage.
Officials later said only four people had been injured and several dozen
The quake occurred near the point of collision between three tectonic
plates, the Cocos, the Caribbean and the North American.
The area has seen at least six other quakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater
since 1900. Three of those occurred within a nerve-wracking nine-month
span in 1902-1903, according to Mexico's National Seismological Service.
Scientists were still reviewing data, but a preliminary analysis
indicated the quake was triggered by the sudden breaking or bending of
the Cocos plate, which dives beneath Mexico. That type of process does
not happen often in subduction zones. Usually, big quakes in subduction
zones occur along the boundary between the sinking slab and the
"It's unusual, but it's not unheard of," said seismologist Susan Hough
of the USGS, describing how stresses on the seafloor can produce big
The new quake matched the force of a magnitude 8.1 quake that hit the
country June 3, 1932, roughly 300 miles (500 kilometers) west of Mexico
A study by the seismological service concluded that that quake killed
about 400 people and caused severe damage around the port of Manzanillo.
A powerful aftershock that hit 19 days later caused a tsunami that
devastated 15 miles (25 kilometers) of coastline, killing 75 people.
In Veracruz, tourists abandoned coastal hotels as winds and rains picked
up ahead of Hurricane Katia's expected landfall. Workers set up
emergency shelters and cleared storm drains, and forecasters warned that
the storm threatened to bring torrential rainfall, high winds and a
dangerous storm surge off the Gulf of Mexico.
Katia had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (165 kph) and was located
about 130 miles (210 kilometers) southeast of the city of Tampico in the
evening, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
"The arrival of Katia may be particularly dangerous for slopes affected
by the earthquake. Avoid these areas," Pena Nieto tweeted.
Associated Press Writer Frank Griffiths in London contributed to this
2 US students accuse Italian police of rape in Florence
By Frances D'Emilio, Associated Press
ROME (AP) — Florence prosecutors on Friday were investigating
allegations by two U.S. students that they were raped by Carabinieri
policemen who escorted them home in a patrol car from a nightclub,
allegations the U.S. State Department said it was taking very seriously.
Italian authorities said the 21-year-old students were questioned by
prosecutors for several hours Thursday about their allegations. The women
accused the officers of raping them early Thursday morning in their
Italy has two main police forces that patrol its streets — the paramilitary
Carabinieri, which are under the defense ministry, and the state police, who
report to the interior ministry.
Italy's defense minister said the two policemen will be immediately
suspended if rape charges are lodged against them.
"Investigation is still underway, but there is some basis in respect to the
allegations," Minister Roberta Pinotti said Friday evening at a forum about
women's issues in Milan. "Rape is always something grave. But it's of
unprecedented gravity if it is committed by Carabinieri in uniform, because
citizens turns to them and to their uniform to have assurances and
Italian media say three patrol cars went to a nightclub to investigate a
fight. Two cars left after calm was restored, but the third remained. The
women, who reportedly spent the evening in the nightclub, told authorities
that the officers drove them to their apartment building and raped them.
News reports described witnesses as confirming that they saw the women enter
the patrol car.
The U.S. consul general in Florence met for about an hour with Florence's
state police chief Friday morning about the case, the Italian news agency
The U.S. Embassy in Rome refused to comment "due to the sensitive nature of
this case and to protect the privacy of those involved."
The women reportedly arrived in Florence several months ago to study Italian
at a language institute.
Florence, with its many museums and churches full with Renaissance
masterpieces, is a popular destination for many Americans, especially
One heavily followed crime case involved the murder of American Ashley Olsen
in her apartment in January 2016. Later that year, a court in Florence
convicted a Senegalese man of killing the 35-year-old and sentenced him to
30 years in prison. An autopsy had determined that she had been strangled
and suffered skull fractures.
Witnesses said Olsen and her attacker had met at a Florence nightclub a few
hours before she was killed.
Lady Gaga says she's taking a 'rest' from music
Lady Gaga speaks during a press conference for
"Gaga: Five Foot Two" on day 2 of the Toronto International Film Festival at
the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, in Toronto. (Photo by Evan
TORONTO (AP) — Lady Gaga says that she's planning to take a "rest"
from music and "slow down for a moment for some healing."
The pop star was at in Toronto on Friday for a pair of concerts and to
premiere a Netflix documentary about herself, "Gaga: Five Foot Two." The
film, playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, chronicles her
life, February's Super Bowl performance and her struggle with chronic pain.
Gaga teared up speaking to reporters about her health issues. "It's hard,"
she said, "but it's liberating too."
The singer said that she'll still be creating during a break from music. "It
doesn't mean I don't have some things up my sleeve," said Gaga.
Gaga recently shot a remake of "A Star is Born," co-starring Bradley Cooper.
Today in History - Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017
Today is Saturday, Sept. 9, the 252nd day of 2017. There are 113 days left
in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 9, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the first civil
rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction, a measure primarily
concerned with protecting voting rights and which also established a Civil
Rights Division in the U.S. Department of Justice.
On this date:
In 1776, the second Continental Congress made the term "United States"
official, replacing "United Colonies."
In 1850, California became the 31st state of the union.
In 1893, Frances Cleveland, wife of President Grover Cleveland, gave birth
to a daughter, Esther, in the White House; it was the first (and, to date,
only) time a president's child was born in the executive mansion.
In 1919, some 1,100 members of Boston's 1,500-man police force went on
strike. (The strike was broken by Massachusetts Gov. Calvin Coolidge with
In 1926, the National Broadcasting Co. (NBC) was incorporated by the Radio
Corp. of America.
In 1942, during World War II, a Japanese plane launched from a submarine off
the Oregon coast dropped a pair of incendiary bombs in a failed attempt at
igniting a massive forest fire; it was the first aerial bombing of the U.S.
mainland by a foreign power.
In 1956, Elvis Presley made the first of three appearances on "The Ed
In 1967, the comedy show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" aired as a onetime
special on NBC; its success led to a regular series beginning in January
In 1971, prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica
Correctional Facility near Buffalo, New York, beginning a siege that ended
up claiming 43 lives.
In 1976, Communist Chinese leader Mao Zedong died in Beijing at age 82. JVC
unveiled its new VHS videocassette recorder during a presentation in Tokyo.
In 1986, Frank Reed, director of a private school in Lebanon, was taken
hostage; he was released 44 months later.
In 1997, Sinn Fein (shin fayn), the IRA's political ally, formally renounced
violence as it took its place in talks on Northern Ireland's future. Actor
Burgess Meredith died in Malibu, California, at age 89.
Ten years ago: Seemingly taunting Osama bin Laden, President George W.
Bush's homeland security adviser, Frances Fragos Townsend, said in Sunday
talk-show appearances that the fugitive al-Qaida leader was "virtually
impotent" beyond his ability to hide away and spread anti-American
propaganda. Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), 6-4 to win
his fourth straight U.S. Open championship. Britney Spears performed her new
single "Gimme More" in a much-criticized comeback attempt at the MTV Video
Music Awards in Las Vegas.
Five years ago: Iraq sentenced fugitive Sunni Vice President Tariq
al-Hashemi to death on charges he masterminded death squads against rivals
in a trial that fueled sectarian tensions in the country. Two points from
defeat, Serena Williams regained her composure and her game to come back to
beat Victoria Azarenka, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, for her fourth U.S. Open
championship. Shannon Eastin became the first woman to officiate an NFL
regular-season game, serving as a line judge in the St. Louis Rams-Detroit
Lions game. (Detroit beat St. Louis 27-23.)
One year ago: Defying the White House, Congress sent President Barack Obama
legislation giving the families of victims of the September 11 attacks the
right to sue Saudi Arabia. (Obama vetoed the bill, but Congress overrode his
veto.) Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, speaking at an LGBT
fundraiser in New York City, described half of Republican Donald Trump's
supporters as "a basket of deplorables," a characterization she ended up
expressing regret over. Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson were inducted
into the Basketball Hall of Fame, along with international star Yao Ming,
WNBA great Sheryl Swoopes, coach Tom Izzo, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf, an
architect in the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls championship teams of the
Today's Birthdays: Actress Sylvia Miles is 83. Actor Topol is 82.
Rhythm-and-blues singer Luther Simmons is 75. Singer Inez Foxx is 75. Singer
Dee Dee Sharp is 72. Rock singer-musician Doug Ingle is 71. College Football
Hall of Famer and former NFL player Joe Theismann is 68. Rock musician John
McFee (The Doobie Brothers) is 67. Actor Tom Wopat is 66. Actress Angela
Cartwright is 65. Musician-producer Dave Stewart is 65. Actor Hugh Grant is
57. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., is 54. Actor-comedian Charles Esten (formerly
Chip) is 52. Actress Constance Marie is 52. Actor David Bennent is 51. Actor
Adam Sandler is 51. Rock singer Paul Durham (Black Lab) is 49. Actress Julia
Sawalha is 49. Model Rachel Hunter is 48.
Actor Eric Stonestreet is 46. Actor Henry Thomas is 46. Actor Goran Visnjic
(VEEZ'-nihch) is 45. Pop-jazz singer Michael Buble' (boo-BLAY') is 42. Latin
singer Maria Rita is 40. Actress Michelle Williams is 37. Actress Julie
Gonzalo is 36. Neo-soul singer Paul Janeway (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is
34. Actress Zoe Kazan is 34. Author-motivational speaker-businessman Farrah
Gray is 33. Contemporary Christian singer Lauren Daigle is 26. Country
singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes is 26.
Thought for Today: "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you
take your eyes off the goal." — Hannah More, English author and social
Nations rush to help islands devastated by Hurricane Irma
6, 2017 photo provided by the Dutch Defense Ministry shows a few of the
homes that remained intact.(Gerben Van Es/Dutch Defense Ministry via AP)
By Evens Sanon and Danica
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — French, British and Dutch military
authorities rushed aid to a devastated string of Caribbean islands Thursday
after Hurricane Irma left at least 11 people dead and thousands homeless as
it spun toward Florida for what could be a catastrophic blow this weekend.
Warships and planes were dispatched with food, water and troops after the
fearsome Category 5 storm smashed homes, schools and roads, laying waste to
some of the world's most beautiful and exclusive tourist destinations.
Hundreds of miles to the west, Florida braced for the onslaught, with
forecasters warning that Irma could slam headlong into the Miami
metropolitan area of 6 million people, punish the entire length of the
state's Atlantic coast and move into Georgia and South Carolina.
More than a half-million people in Miami-Dade County were ordered to leave
as Irma closed in with winds of 165 mph (270 kph).
"Take it seriously, because this is the real deal," said Maj. Jeremy DeHart,
a U.S. Air Force Reserve weather officer who flew through the eye of Irma at
10,000 feet (3,048 meters).
The first islands hit by the storm were scenes of terrible destruction.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said four people were confirmed dead
and about 50 injured on the French side of St. Martin, an island split
between Dutch and French control, where homes were splintered and road signs
scattered by the fierce winds. The cafes and clothing shops of the
picturesque seaside village of Marigot were submerged in brown floodwaters.
The toll could rise because rescue teams had yet to get a complete look at
The U.S. Consulate General in Curaçao said it believes about 6,000 Americans
are stranded on St. Martin and is collecting their names and locations. It
said it was working with the U.S. and other governments to try to figure out
how to get the Americans off the island either by air or boat. Frantic
Americans were calling home to relatives to try to get them off the island,
especially because Hurricane Jose threatened a second blow to the tourist
At least four people were killed in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and officials
said they expected to find more bodies.
Authorities described the damage as catastrophic and said crews were
struggling to reopen roads and restore power.
Three more deaths were reported on the British island of Anguilla, as well
as Barbuda and the Dutch side of St. Martin.
Irma also slammed the French island of St. Barts, tearing off roofs and
knocking out electricity in the high-end tourist destination.
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said 100,000 food rations were sent
to St. Barts and St. Martin, the equivalent of four days of supplies.
"It's a tragedy. We'll need to rebuild both islands," he said. "Most of the
schools have been destroyed."
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said
the storm "caused wide-scale destruction of infrastructure, houses and
"There is no power, no gasoline, no running water. Houses are under water,
cars are floating through the streets, inhabitants are sitting in the dark
in ruined houses and are cut off from the outside world," he said.
The hurricane was still north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti on
Thursday evening, sweeping the neighboring nations on Hispaniola island with
high winds and rain while battering the Turks and Caicos islands on its
Big waves smashed a dozen homes into rubble in the Dominican fishing
community of Nagua, but work crews said all the residents had left before
the storm. Officials said 11,200 people in all had evacuated vulnerable
areas, while 55,000 soldiers had been deployed to help the cleanup.
In Haiti, two people were injured by a falling tree, a national roadway was
blocked by debris and roofs were torn from houses along the northern coast
but there were no immediate reports of deaths. Officials warned that could
change as Irma continued to lash Haiti, where deforested hillsides are prone
to devastating mudslides that have wiped out entire neighborhoods of
precariously built homes in flood zones.
"We are vulnerable. We don't have any equipment to help the population,"
Josue Alusma, mayor of the northern city of Port de Paix, said on Radio
6, 2017 photo shows storm damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, in St.
Martin.(Jonathan Falwell via AP)
About a million people were without
power in Puerto Rico after Irma sideswiped the island overnight, and nearly
half the territory's hospitals were relying on generators. No injuries were
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Gov. Kenneth Mapp said the U.S. military was
sending troops to aid relief efforts.
The primary focus for now is "making sure people have meals, water and
shelter," Mapp said. "An event of this magnitude is very chilling."
The territory's two islands were battered by 150 mph (241 kph) winds for
four hours. Two fire stations, two fire police stations and the hospital on
St. Thomas were destroyed. A curfew was ordered for St. John and St. Thomas
that also covered about 5,000 tourists who were unable to leave before the
Farther out in the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose strengthened into a Category 3
storm with 120 mph (195 kph) winds and posed a potential threat for Saturday
to some of the same islands ravaged by Irma.
Irma, the most potent Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever recorded, appeared
increasingly likely to rip into heavily populated South Florida on Sunday
afternoon after threatening parts of the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas on
Thursday night and Friday and sweeping along Cuba's northern coast on
People in Florida rushed to board up their homes, take their boats out of
the water and gas up their cars. With gasoline running out and tensions
rising, the Florida Highway Patrol escorted tanker trucks sent to replenish
"It is wider than our entire state and could cause major and
life-threatening impacts from coast to coast. Regardless of which coast you
live on, be prepared to evacuate," Gov. Rick Scott said.
6, 2017 photo provided by the Dutch Defense Ministry shows storm damage in
the aftermath. (Gerben Van Es/Dutch Defense Ministry via AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron's
office said he would go to the islands as soon as the weather permits it.
Saying he was "grief-stricken," Macron called for concerted efforts to
tackle global warming to prevent similar natural disasters.
Two Dutch navy ships were in St. Martin with vital supplies. And two Dutch
military aircraft were being sent to the island of Curacao and on to St.
Martin to deliver food and water intended to last the population of 40,000
five days. The aircraft were carrying 100 extra troops to deliver aid,
repair infrastructure and restore order.
Britain was sending hundreds of troops and the Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean
to Anguilla, Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands.
In Anguilla, officials reported extensive damage to the airport, hospitals,
shelters and schools and said 90 percent of roads were impassable.
On Barbuda, nearly every building was damaged when the hurricane's core
crossed almost directly over the island early Wednesday. About 60 percent of
its roughly 1,400 residents were left homeless, Antigua and Barbuda Prime
Minister Gaston Browne said.
He said roads and telecommunications systems were wrecked and recovery will
take months, if not years.
"It is just really a horrendous
situation," Browne said.
Associated Press writer Evens Sanon reported this story in Port-au-Prince,
Haiti, and AP writer Danica Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. AP
writers Ezequiel Lopez Abiu in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Anika
Kentish in St.
John's, Antigua; Seth Borenstein in Washington; Michael Weissenstein in
Havana; Samuel Petrequin in Paris and Ben Fox in Miami contributed to this
New fires in empty Rohingya village challenge Myanmar claims
from a burned house in Gawdu Zara village, northern Rakhine state, Myanmar
Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. (AP Photo)
BANGKOK (AP) — Journalists saw
new fires burning Thursday in a Myanmar village that had been abandoned by
Rohingya Muslims, and pages ripped from Islamic texts that were left on the
ground. That intensifies doubts about government claims that members of the
persecuted minority have been destroying their own homes.
About two dozen journalists saw the fires in Gawdu Zara village in northern
Rakhine state on a government-controlled trip.
About 164,000 Rohingya from the area have fled across the border into
Bangladesh in less than two weeks since Aug. 25, when Rohingya insurgents
attacked police outposts in Gawdu Zara and several other villages, the U.N.
refugee agency said Thursday.
The military has said nearly 400 people, mostly Rohingya, have died in
clashes and that troops were conducting "clearance operations." It blames
insurgents for setting the villages on fire, without offering proof.
Rohingya who have fled Myanmar, however, have described large-scale violence
perpetrated by Myanmar troops and Buddhist mobs — setting fire to their
homes, spraying bullets indiscriminately, stabbing civilians and ordering
them to abandon their homes or be killed.
On the Myanmar side of the border, reporters saw no Rohingya in any of the
five destroyed villages they were allowed to tour Thursday, making it
unlikely they could have been responsible for the new fires.
An ethnic Rakhine villager who emerged from the smoke said police and
Rakhine Buddhists had set the fires. The villager ran off before he could be
asked anything else.
No police were seen in the village beyond those who were accompanying the
journalists. But about 10 Rakhine men with machetes were seen there. They
looked nervous and the only one who spoke said he had just arrived and did
not know how the fires started.
Among the buildings on fire was a madrassa, an Islamic school. Copies of
books with texts from the Quran, Islam's holy book, were torn up and thrown
outside. A nearby mosque was not burned.
Another village the journalists visited, Ah Lel Than Kyaw, was blackened,
obliterated and deserted. Cattle and dogs wandered through the
Local police officer Aung Kyaw Moe said 18 people were killed in the village
when the violence began last month.
"From our side, there was one
immigration officer dead, and we found 17 dead bodies from the enemy side,"
He said the fires were set Aug. 25,
though some continued to burn Thursday. Virtually all buildings in the
village seen by journalists had been burned, along with cars, motorbikes and
bicycles that fleeing villagers left behind. A mosque was also damaged.
Columns of smoke could be seen rising in the distance, and distant gunshots
could be heard.
"They burned their own houses and ran away," Aung Kyaw Moe said. "We didn't
see who actually burned them because we had to take care of the security for
our outpost. ... But when the houses were burned, Bengalis were the only
ones in the village."
Buddhist-majority Myanmar refers to Rohingya as Bengalis, contending they
migrated illegally from Bangladesh, though many Rohingya families have lived
in Myanmar for generations.
Burning the homes of Rohingya can make
it less likely they will return. Tens of thousands of Rohingya were driven
from their homes in another wave of violence in 2012. Many are now confined
to camps, while the land they once held is either vacant or occupied by
boy, an ethnic minority from Myanmar, carries a sack of belongings on his
head and walks through rice fields after crossing over to the Bangladesh
side of the border near Cox's Bazar's Teknaf area.(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Nay San Lwin, a Rohingya activist and
blogger based in Europe with contacts in northern Rakhine, said that
according to witnesses, the Myanmar military, border guard police and
Rakhine villagers came to Ah Lel Than Kyaw and burned the houses from Monday
On Aug. 25, he said, young men with swords and knives tried to attack the
border guard outpost in Aley Than Kyaw but failed. The authorities took away
all Buddhist villagers, and many Rohingya villagers fled on their own.
Nay San Lwin said the remaining villagers left after the military warned
them they would be shot if they did not leave.
Myanmar's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has dismissed the Rohingya crisis as a
According to her office, she said such misinformation helps promote the
interests of "terrorists," a reference to the Rohingya insurgents who
attacked security posts on Aug. 25.
The crisis response director for Amnesty International called Suu Kyi's
On Thursday, Suu Kyi told reporters her government was working to improve
security and livelihoods for Rohingya, but that "it's a little unreasonable
to expect us to resolve everything in 18 months" since her administration
With Rohingya fleeing by the thousands daily across the border, pushing
existing camps in Bangladesh to the brink, the government in Dhaka pledged
to build at least one more.
The International Organization for Migration has pleaded for $18 million in
foreign aid to help feed and shelter tens of thousands now packed into
makeshift settlements or stranded in a no man's land between the two
U.N. agencies said they were
distributing food to new arrivals, about 80 percent of whom were women and
children, joining about 100,000 who had already been sheltering in
Bangladesh after fleeing earlier convulsions of violence in Myanmar.
Aid workers said many were arriving with violence-related injuries, severe
infections or childbirth complications.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Thursday that her country
offered refuge to Rohingya on humanitarian grounds, but called it a "big
burden for us".
The "international community must take the responsibility," she said.
Hasina's government has taken an initiative to identify the refugees to
prevent terrorists from entering Bangladesh under disguise, the local
Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency reported, quoting the prime
minister's Press secretary Ihsanul Karim.
With so many Rohingya fleeing, it is unclear how many remain in Myanmar amid
reports of soldiers burning villages and killing civilians.
Before the recent violence, aid experts estimated about 1 million Rohingya
were living in northern Rakhine state. But aid agencies have been unable to
access the area since.
Turkish First Lady Emine Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
visited a Rohingya camp in Bangladesh and then met with Hasina.
They said Myanmar agreed to allow its aid officials to enter Rakhine state
with a ton of food and goods for Rohingya. They also pledged continuing
support for the Rohingya.
Associated Press writers Muneeza Naqvi in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, Grant
Peck in Bangkok, Ashok Sharma in New Delhi and Edith M. Lederer at the
United Nations contributed to this report.
Dry Jordan launches project to grow crops from seawater
King Abdaullah II and Norway's Crown Prince Haakon (to the right of and
right behind Abdullah) listened to a briefing.(AP Photo/Omar Akour)
By Fares Akram, Associated Press
AQABA, Jordan (AP) — Water-poor Jordan on Thursday launched a project
using seawater to produce crops with clean energy.
Jordan's King Abdullah II and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, which
contributed most of the $3.7 million cost, inaugurated the facility in the
kingdom's Red Sea port city of Aqaba.
Haakon told reporters he was "impressed by the way innovative ideas have
been translated into a plant the size of four football fields."
The facility, part of the Sahara Forest Project (SFP), produces "energy,
freshwater and food and all this in an arid desert," he said.
The facility, surrounded by rocky desert, uses seawater to cool greenhouses.
A solar-powered plant then desalinates the water for irrigation.
Inside the greenhouses, pesticide-free cucumbers flourish.
The project is set to produce 130 tons of vegetables a year and 10,000
liters of freshwater a day.
"This is just the start," said Joakim Hauge, head of SFP. He said the
organization selected Jordan because it has the required abundance of
sunlight and seawater.
Last month, a report by Stanford University suggested that Jordan, one of
the world's driest countries, could face more severe droughts unless new
technologies are applied in farming and other sectors.
"Future adaptation to extreme droughts in Jordan will be an immense
challenge," said the report by the university's School of Earth Science.
"The projected negative impacts of more severe droughts of greater duration
calls for essential alternatives."
Christ statue mutilated by war to receive papal blessing
In this file frame grab made from video taken on
May 8, 2002, a broken statue of Christ lays on the floor of a church in
Bojaya, Colombia.(AP Photo/APTN, File)
By Alba Tobella, Associated Press
VILLAVICENCIO, Colombia (AP) — A mutilated Christ statue rescued from
a bombed-out church will take center stage Friday when it will be blessed by
Pope Francis at a symbol-filled ceremony meant to heal wounds fresh from a
conflict that is winding down but still bitterly dividing Colombians.
The modest plaster statue, without legs or arms, traveled several days by
boat, plane and bus from its altar in the impoverished western town of
Bojaya to reach Villavicencio, a city chosen by Francis to deliver a message
of reconciliation because of its proximity to some of the heaviest fighting
during the half-century armed conflict.
The Friday meeting and prayer of reconciliation are perhaps the highlights
of Francis' five-day visit to Colombia, bringing together some 6,000 victims
of the conflict as well as a former guerrillas and members of state security
forces. The pope is to beatify two Colombian priests killed during guerrilla
warfare, declaring them martyrs who were killed out of hatred for the
Presiding over the event will be Bojaya's Christ statue — perhaps the most
powerful reminder of the senseless political violence that left an estimated
220,000 people dead.
Some 300 Afro-Colombian residents were sheltering in the church — the town'
only concrete building — when it was hit by a mortar launched by the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia during a three-way firefight in 2002
with right-wing militias and the army. At least 79 people died and 100 were
"This is the Christ of peace," said Rosa Mosquera, a 52-year-old Bojaya
resident who still has wounds from the day.
"It's an image that says 'look at me,' despondent, without arms or legs, and
shedding blood like its people," Mosquera told The Associated Press during a
brief stop in Bogota while on her own personal pilgrimage to Villavicencio
for the meeting with Francis. "But we've got to keep going, not remain on
our knees crying."
Father Antun Ramos, then the priest at the church built by local farmers in
the 1960s, pulled the Christ from the rubble a day after the bombing and
with combat still raging all around.
"The floor was really humid. I grabbed the Christ and gave it a cleaning. It
was the only thing I took and from that moment I felt it would become a
symbol for posterity," said Ramos, who himself exemplifies the prominent
role the Roman Catholic clergy has played in Colombia's conflict, especially
in far-flung areas neglected by the state, such as Bojaya. "The way it was
left is the way people felt."
Today, Bojaya's church has been rebuilt, and as in many towns hardest hit by
the conflict, residents seem to have let go of any bitterness. In a
referendum last year, 96 percent of the town's residents voted in favor of
the peace deal — a far cry from national results, where Colombians, many of
them far removed from the conflict, voted by a narrow margin to defeat the
original deal. Later, the accord was modified and approved by congress.
President Juan Manuel Santos visited Bojaya shortly after winning the Nobel
Peace Prize last year, attending a Mass where he said he would donate his
almost $1 million prize to assist victims of the conflict. In a show of
appreciation for his pursuit of peace, residents gave him a replica of the
Christ statue. FARC leaders also visited the town twice, seeking forgiveness
and discussing projects to help the community.
Many of the victims present at Friday's ceremony come from battle-weary
towns near Villavicencio — a jungle-covered area still marred by unexploded
land mines, unmarked mass graves and abandoned semi-destroyed hamlets.
Flor Sosa said her two children, ages 11 and 12, were taken from her by the
FARC in 1998 as peace talks were taking place nearby her hometown of La
Macarena. When she pleaded for their safe return, local commanders
threatened to kill her and hit her in the stomach even though she was
several months pregnant.
A year later she fled to Villavicencio, adding to the ranks of the estimated
7 million Colombians displaced by the conflict. She never saw her children
again, but believes they died because the rebels sometimes took children and
trained them for war, though it's not clear that happened to Sosa's.
Like many victims, she's grateful for the pope's support and thinks his
presence can help Colombia heal. But she also has serious doubts about the
FARC's commitment to abiding by the accord's requirements that they confess
their crimes and compensate victims. She also fears for threats from other
armed groups still lurking.
"Reconciliation is very difficult. I first want them to turn over the bodies
of my children and tell me the truth," said Sosa, holding back tears. "You
can pray for reconciliation, but if the other person doesn't admit what they
did, take responsibility for their many mistakes, then it's hard to believe
them and forgive."
Follow Tobella on Twitter: https://twitter.com/albatobella
Today in History - Friday, Sept. 8, 2017
Today is Friday, Sept. 8, the 251st day of 2017. There are 114 days left in
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 8, 1892, an early version of "The Pledge of Allegiance,"
written by Francis Bellamy, appeared in "The Youth's Companion." It went: "I
pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one
nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
On this date:
In 1504, Michelangelo's towering marble statue of David was unveiled to the
public in Florence, Italy.
In 1761, Britain's King George III married Princess Charlotte of
Mecklenburg-Strelitz a few hours after meeting her for the first time.
In 1900, Galveston, Texas, was struck by a hurricane that killed an
estimated 8,000 people.
In 1921, Margaret Gorman, 16, of Washington, D.C., was crowned the first
"Miss America" in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In 1935, Sen. Huey P. Long, D-La., was shot and mortally wounded inside the
Louisiana State Capitol; he died two days later. (The assailant was
identified as Dr. Carl Weiss, who was gunned down by Long's bodyguards.)
In 1941, the 900-day Siege of Leningrad by German forces began during World
In 1951, a peace treaty with Japan was signed by 49 nations in San
In 1966, the science-fiction series "Star Trek" premiered on NBC; the
situation comedy "That Girl," starring Marlo Thomas, debuted on ABC.
In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford granted a "full, free, and absolute
pardon" to former President Richard Nixon covering his entire term in
In 1985, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds tied Ty Cobb's career record for
hits, singling for hit number 4,191 during a game against the Cubs in
In 1987, former Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart admitted during
an interview on ABC's "Nightline" that he had committed adultery, and said
he had no plans to resume his White House bid.
In 1994, USAir Flight 427, a Boeing 737, crashed into a ravine as it was
approaching Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 people on
Ten years ago: Sheriff's deputies in Logan County, West Virginia, removed
Megan Williams, a 20-year-old black woman, from a house in Big Creek, where
she'd endured what authorities described as days of torture. (Seven white
men and women pleaded guilty in connection with the case. In a strange
twist, Williams recanted her accusations in 2009; however, one of the
defendants, Frankie Brewster, said, "It did happen.") Top-ranked Justine
Henin (EH'-nen) overwhelmed Svetlana Kuznetsova (svet-LAH'-nah
kooz-NET'-so-vah) 6-1, 6-3 to win her second U.S. Open women's title and
seventh Grand Slam championship.
Five years ago: Strong storms pummeled the East Coast, spawning a pair of
tornadoes in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, while
temperatures at Washington Dulles International Airport plunged 25 degrees
in one hour, falling from 89 degrees to 64. A suicide bomber struck near
NATO headquarters in Kabul, killing at least six Afghan civilians in an
attack that officials blamed on the Haqqani network.
One year ago: California and federal regulators fined Wells Fargo a combined
$185 million, alleging the bank's employees illegally opened millions of
unauthorized accounts for their customers in order to meet aggressive sales
goals. U.S. aviation safety officials took the extraordinary step of warning
airline passengers not to turn on or charge a new-model Samsung smartphone,
the Galaxy Note 7, during flights following numerous reports of the devices
catching fire. Serena Williams was upset in the U.S. Open semifinals for the
second year in a row, beaten 6-2, 7-6 (5) by 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova
of the Czech Republic. Greta Zimmer Friedman, identified as the woman in an
iconic photo seen kissing an ecstatic sailor in Times Square celebrating the
end of World War II, died in Richmond, Virginia, at age 92.
Today's Birthdays: Ventriloquist Willie Tyler is 77. Sen. Bernie Sanders,
I-Vt., is 76. Actor Alan Feinstein is 76. Pop singer Sal Valentino (The Beau
Brummels) is 75. Author Ann Beattie is 70. Secretary of Defense James Mattis
is 67. Cajun singer Zachary Richard (ree-SHARD') is 67. Musician Will Lee is
65. Actress Heather Thomas is 60. Singer Aimee Mann is 57. Pop musician
David Steele (Fine Young Cannibals) is 57. Actor Thomas Kretschmann is 55.
Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gordon (Levert) is 53. Gospel singer Darlene
Zschech (chehk) is 52. Alternative country singer Neko (NEE'-koh) Case is
47. TV personality Brooke Burke-Charvet is 46. Actor Martin Freeman is 46.
Actor David Arquette is 46. TV-radio personality Kennedy is 45. Rock
musician Richard Hughes (Keane) is 42. Actor Larenz Tate is 42. Actor Nathan
Corddry is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Pink is 38. Singer-songwriter Eric
Hutchinson is 37. Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 36. Rapper Wiz Khalifa is
Dance music artist AVICII is 28. Actor
Gaten Matarazzo (TV: "Stranger Things") is 15.
Thought for Today: "Censorship is the height of vanity." — Martha Graham,
American modern dance pioneer (1893-1991).
How can US stop North Korea nukes? 3 experts have ideas
file photo distributed on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, by the North Korean
government, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from right, at an
undisclosed location. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
By Eric Talmadge, Associated
TOKYO (AP) — If the U.S. attacks North Korea, the world could see
another nuclear war. Yet negotiations won't work — leader Kim Jong Un won't
live up to his promises even if he were to make any. And China — if only it
would help more!
Those sentiments have produced a
collective shrug from many as they watch the North make rapid strides toward
developing nuclear missiles capable of striking anywhere in the United
But Washington hasn't tried everything yet.
Below, three experts offer ideas on how the U.S. might get out of its policy
box on North Korea.
And none of them require firing a shot.
DETERRENCE: A FAMILIAR GAME FOR U.S.
Deterrence is about making sure your opponent has no good military moves.
Kim Jong Un has proven to be pretty good at it.
Vipin Narang, a nuclear strategy and nonproliferation expert at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes U.S. policymakers need to
let that sink in.
"Saying that this nuclear program has not augmented or improved North
Korea's ability to deter particular actions, especially regime change or
invasion or disarmament, is simply denying reality and putting our head in
the sand," he said.
The good news is deterrence is a game the United States has played before.
"We know how to do this," he said. "We did it with China and the Soviet
Union and managed to reassure West Germany and Europe during the Cold War.
There is no logical reason we cannot do it with North Korea. Kim is not
crazy or irrational and responds to strategic and domestic incentives."
Upping the game will require two things Narang believes are now lacking: a
coherent and unified message to Pyongyang from President Donald Trump's
administration, and strong, believable reassurances to America's regional
Along with preventing a U.S. attack, North Korea's nuclear weapons and
missile tests are intended to create discord among the U.S., Japan and South
Korea — and, though it's not an American ally — China. If America's ability
to handle North Korea is in doubt, there is more pressure for South Korea
and Japan to pursue independent strategies and even consider developing
nuclear weapons of their own.
Moreover, the different messages coming from the White House, State
Department and Department of Defense — ranging from Trump threatening "fire
and fury" to the more conciliatory tone of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
— Pyongyang has more incentive to push ahead quickly to either take
advantage of what it sees as weakness or bolster its capabilities ahead of
what it fears to be a looming invasion.
"So long as this incoherence persists, it becomes very difficult to craft
deterrent positions clearly and effectively," Narang said. "At this point,
the way forward it seems to me is to always keep the channel for
negotiations open while simultaneously practicing deterrence and reassurance
to our allies."
And maybe one more thing. Tone down the
"When President Trump tweets the day after the alleged H-bomb test that
South Korea should stop 'appeasement' of North Korea, Pyongyang can be
nothing short of delighted at its strategy working," Narang said.
NOT CHINA'S JOB
Previous efforts to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons have
leaned heavily on Beijing, and to a lesser extent Moscow, to enforce
sanctions and apply political pressure. It's an approach Trump seems to
support wholeheartedly. Right after the North's nuclear test Sunday, he
tweeted that Pyongyang has become "a great threat and embarrassment to
China, which is trying to help but with little success."
But China's and Russia's national interests aren't the same as Washington's.
Shifting the onus to them for a solution diminishes U.S. leadership and
control, said Joel Wit, a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins' School of
Advanced International Studies and a former State Department official who
developed strategies to deal with the crisis over North Korea's weapons
program in the 1990s.
"Under the best of circumstances, China can play a supporting role, both in
supporting limited pressure on the North and in supporting diplomatic
outreach to Pyongyang," he said. "But it has not and will not do what
Washington wants — solve this problem for the United States by creating
Even if Beijing went along, Wit said it still wouldn't work: "The North
Koreans are not going to roll over and play dead when faced with an
existential threat to their regime. They will lash out."
Wit also said the Trump administration will have "virtually no prospect of
securing Chinese cooperation" if it insists that reining in North Korea is
mainly a Chinese problem. He believes North Korea is already taking
advantage of the growing split between Washington and Beijing to "sprint to
the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) finish line."
He said that instead of pointing
fingers, Washington needs to accept that the core problem is between the
U.S. and North Korea and firmly take the wheel.
"The idea that this is the land of no good options leads everyone to move
on," he said. "Almost every foreign policy challenge facing the U.S. could
be called the same thing. But this fatalistic attitude has permeated U.S.
policy for over a decade and has led us to where we are today."
THE ART OF THE DEAL
If the U.S. is going to get what it wants, it has to know what it wants. And
it will probably need to give up something to get it.
John Delury, an associate professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University
in Seoul, believes the most realistic path forward involves three steps:
"dialogue, negotiation, settlement."
"Without talking to Kim Jong Un or his senior advisers, we just don't know
who we are dealing with, what their positions are, what we can give them
that they really want, and what we can get in return. That moves us into the
negotiation, for short-term steps that reduce risks, decrease hostility,
even build a little confidence."
Washington's focus should be clear and specific. Negotiators should push for
a missile and nuclear test moratorium, a freeze on the production of nuclear
weapons, the return of nuclear inspectors and increased transparency. There
must also be nonproliferation commitments.
Delury stresses there must also be some give and take.
"For these things, things that are in U.S. interests, the Trump
administration, in close consultation with Seoul and Tokyo, will have to
consider what it is willing to do, or forego," he said.
Pyongyang says it wants some sort of security guarantee and the removal of
the U.S. nuclear threat from the Korean Peninsula. Neither would seem to be
a good starter topic, but another item on Pyongyang's list — scaling back or
canceling the U.S. military's annual wargames with the South — might be an
area the two could at least talk about.
In the longer term, Delury says, the
U.S. must directly address "the true heart of the matter, which is working
on a political settlement" that fundamentally transforms the U.S.-North
"Let's call those 'peace talks,' for lack of a better phrase," he said.
Technically, the countries have remained at war since 1953, when an
armistice rather than a peace treaty ended fighting in the Korean War.
Delury said negotiations "should also involve a heavy dose of economic
cooperation, since the only alternative to the status quo that might appeal
to Kim Jong Un is a North Korea that is not only secure, but also
The hope is that more political and economic engagement would over time
prompt the North to ease its authoritarian controls. But the negotiation
process would undoubtedly be fraught with ambivalence and resistance on both
"It's true there are no easy answers,
no quick fixes, no silver bullets," he said. "Even if we made a determined
effort to improve the relationship, it would be hard and slow going.
"So being realistic about dealing with North Korea is prudent. But the
current level of fatalism is counterproductive to coming up with a better
Talmadge has been the AP's Pyongyang bureau chief since 2013. Follow him on
Twitter at EricTalmadge and on Instagram @erictalmadge.
Explosive used by IS militants found in apartment near Paris
police officers stand outside a building in Villejuif, south of Paris,
Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
By Philippe Sotto and Lori
Hinnant, Associated Press
PARIS (AP) — A peroxide-based explosive that has been employed by
Islamic extremists was found Wednesday in an apartment outside Paris that
authorities suspect might have been in use as a lab for possible attacks,
two French officials said.
A police official told The Associated Press that some 100 grams of usable
triacetone triperoxide, better known as TATP, were found in the Villejuif
apartment where a police operation was carried out earlier in the day,
leading to the detention of two suspects.
A judicial official confirmed that TATP, an explosive used by Islamic State
group militants in the past, was found in the unit, but didn't specify in
The two officials with knowledge of the probe spoke on condition of
anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.
A tip from a repairman led police to the apartment on Wednesday morning,
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said in a statement. He was doing a job in
the Villejuif building and informed authorities after noticing suspicious
products in an apartment.
Police found substances that "may be used to make explosives" in the unit,
Collomb said, praising the "civic reflex" of the worker.
The Paris prosecutor's office said its counter-terrorism section has opened
an investigation under potential charges of "criminal terrorist association"
and "possession, transportation and production of explosive substances in
relation with a terrorist action by an organized gang."
A bomb-disposal operation was carried out in the apartment, three police
officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing
Associated Press reporters in Villejuif saw forensic officers moving around
in white uniforms and police vans blocking a large street in the city, which
is located just 3 kilometers (less than two miles) south of Paris.
Nicolas Garriga in Villejuif contributed to the report
Seeking home's comforts, Rohingya couple make deadly choice
Ullah wipes his eyes as he speaks in Bandarban, Bangladesh.(AP Photo)
By Muneeza Naqvi, Associated
BANDARBAN, Bangladesh (AP) — The young Rohingya couple fleeing
violence in Myanmar had escaped with their family to nearby Bangladesh,
where they spent days living in a hastily built shelter on a muddy hill. For
the sake of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, they decided to return home
briefly, for a quick bath and clean clothes.
The man's brother soon followed them — to retrieve their bodies.
"Kefayet Ullah's brother has been slaughtered near the fence!" a man shouts
in a cellphone video as a cousin carries Jarullah's body, blood from the
corpse pouring down his back. "They cut his hands and legs and belly also."
Kefayet Ullah carried his dead sister-in-law. Wailing and moans — "Oh,
Allah!" — can be heard in the video as the group encounters villagers along
the wooded path.
Ullah said he couldn't bear the thought of leaving his loved ones behind,
and so risked his life to bring back their bodies so they could be buried in
peace. There was also one life left to save: the couple's 2-year-old son,
who was found near his parents' bodies.
Like untold numbers of people, Ullah and his family have been caught up in
the latest violence to ravage Rohingya villages in northern Rakhine state,
in the northwest corner of majority-Buddhist Myanmar. Many have seen their
homes burned to the ground. More than 120,000 have fled for safety in
neighboring Bangladesh in less than two weeks since the violence began.
The Myanmar government said it conducted security "clearance operations" to
root out Rohingya insurgents who attacked at least two dozen police posts
with machetes and rifles.
Rohingya see the violence that followed the insurgent attacks as something
more: a campaign to rid the country of a minority seen by Myanmar's
authorities as unwanted outsiders. They were denied citizenship and rights
by the country's former military rulers. And life has only gotten worse for
many since an elected government headed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San
Suu Kyi took over.
On Aug. 28, three days after the violence began, Ullah and his family fled,
leaving behind their ancestral home, a shop and 10 acres of farmland.
"The government ordered the military to come to our villages and to shoot
the people who were older than 8," Ullah said in a small forest clearing
near the refugee-packed seaside city of Bandarban where he buried his
brother and sister-in-law.
Two simple mounds of earth marked the spot. He brushed fallen leaves from
the unmarked graves.
In some areas, he said, "they started attacking people and raping the girls
and women. They were burning down the houses."
He paused to fill in holes left in the earth by the hooves of cattle that
had wandered through the makeshift cemetery. Across the road, his parents,
pregnant wife and three sons huddled under a sheet of plastic propped
haphazardly up on bamboo poles.
For the moment, they are safe — one of many families occupying a muddy patch
sticking out of the Naf River in what is essentially a no-man's-land between
the borders of Myanmar and Bangladesh. But Ullah said he wasn't sure how
long they could manage in their squalid shelter. There is no clean water,
and no access to toilets.
Refugee camps in Bangladesh have filled beyond capacity, and tens of
thousands are squatting in the open. Meanwhile, Rohingya continue to pour in
through several open areas along the barbed-wire border fence, or aboard
smugglers' rickety wooden boats.
Even now, the family yearns to go back to their village near the border, the
only home Ullah has known.
"Even my grandfather's father was born there," he said. But said he has
realized they may never return. Ultra-nationalist Buddhist monks call his
people "Bengali" — meant as a derogatory term implying they were illegal
immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh.
"The monks say that we came from Bangladesh and India. They say you are not
the people of this land. 'You go from this place,'" he said.
"They think, 'If we burn down Rohingya houses and kill the Rohingya people
and slit their throats, then the number of Rohingya people will decrease,'"
he said, his voice breaking. "That's why they say there's no need to give us
Ullah's home in Maungdaw township is fairly close to the barbed-wire fence
that marks much of the Myanmar-Bangladesh border. In other places, the Naf
River separates the countries.
The home was close enough that Jarullah, 25, and his 21-year-old wife,
Ayesha Bibi, decided to return Saturday morning.
Kefayet Ullah said Jarullah called within minutes of their return and told
him soldiers and monks had surrounded their home.
Then, the phone went silent.
Ullah said a terrified cousin managed to escape behind some bushes and
watched. He told Ullah the mob first looted the house of its valuables, then
killed the couple after demanding money and gold from them.
Ullah said he felt he had no choice but to bring the bodies back. He and his
cousin snuck across the border once again to do it.
They buried them later Saturday, the main day of Eid al-Adha.
Follow Muneeza Naqvi on Twitter at twitter.com/mnaqvi10
Dali group: Artist's exhumed DNA disproves paternity claim
In this May
21, 1973 file photo, Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali, presents his
first Chrono-Hologram in Paris, France.(AP Photo/Eustache Cardenas, File)
By Aritz Parra, Associated Press
MADRID (AP) — A paternity test has disproved a Spanish woman's claim
that she is the daughter of surrealist artist Salvador Dali, the deceased
painter's foundation announced Wednesday.
The Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation said in a written statement that the
Madrid court that ordered the DNA test informed it that Pilar Abel, a
61-year-old tarot card reader, has no biological relationship with Dali.
Abel has long alleged her mother had an affair with Dali and claimed she had
the right to part of his vast estate.
The foundation said it was happy the "absurd" claim had been resolved.
Calls to Abel's lawyer rang unanswered.
A judicial spokesman told The Associated Press the court has not made the
test results public but has informed the parties in the lawsuit. He spoke on
condition of anonymity in accordance with court rules.
The high-profile paternity claim led to the exhumation of Dali's embalmed
remains so genetic samples could be taken. Forensic experts removed hair,
nails and two long bones in July.
The foundation, which manages Dali's estate on behalf of the Spanish state,
said at the time of the exhumation that Dali's remains — including his
famous mustache — were well-preserved and mummified after an embalming
process almost three decades ago.
The foundation said the painter's remains will be returned to his coffin,
which is buried in the Dali Museum Theater in the northeastern Spanish town
of Figueres, Dali's birthplace. Dali died at age 84 in 1989.
Abel claimed her mother had an affair with Dali while working as a domestic
helper in Figueres. She said her grandmother revealed the family secret when
Abel was still young and that her mother confirmed the story years later.
Today in History - Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017
Today is Thursday, Sept. 7, the 250th day of 2017. There are 115 days left
in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 7, 1927, American television pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth, 21,
succeeded in transmitting the image of a line through purely electronic
means with a device called an "image dissector" at his San Francisco
On this date:
In 1892, James J. Corbett knocked out John L. Sullivan to win the world
heavyweight crown in New Orleans in a fight conducted under the Marquess of
In 1916, the Federal Employees Compensation Act, providing financial
assistance to federal workers who suffer job-related injuries, was signed
into law by President Woodrow Wilson.
In 1936, rock-and-roll legend Buddy Holly was born Charles Hardin Holley in
In 1940, Nazi Germany began its eight-month blitz of Britain during World
War II with the first air attack on London.
In 1957, the original animated version of the NBC-TV peacock logo, used to
denote programs "brought to you in living color," made its debut at the
beginning of "Your Hit Parade."
In 1963, the National Professional Football Hall of Fame was dedicated in
In 1964, the controversial "Daisy" commercial for President Lyndon Johnson's
election campaign, featuring a girl plucking flower petals followed by a
nuclear explosion, aired on NBC-TV.
In 1967, the situation comedy "The Flying Nun," starring Sally Field as a
novice nun who finds that she can fly, debuted on ABC.
In 1977, the Panama Canal treaties, calling for the U.S. to eventually turn
over control of the waterway to Panama, were signed in Washington by
President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos (toh-REE'-hohs).
Convicted Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy was released from prison
after more than four years.
In 1979, the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) made its
cable TV debut.
In 1987, the syndicated TV talk show "Geraldo," hosted by Geraldo Rivera,
began an 11-season run.
In 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and mortally wounded on the Las Vegas
Strip; he died six days later.
Ten years ago: Osama bin Laden appeared in a video for the first time in
three years, telling Americans they should convert to Islam if they wanted
the war in Iraq to end. A federal judge ruled that Iran had to pay $2.65
billion to the families of the 241 U.S. service members killed in the 1983
bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. A jury in St. Francisville,
Louisiana, acquitted Sal and Mabel Mangano, the owners of a nursing home
where 35 patients died after Hurricane Katrina, of negligent homicide and
cruelty charges. Shawn Johnson won the women's all-around title at the world
gymnastics championships in Stuttgart, Germany; among the men, China's Yang
Wei won his second straight title.
Five years ago: The Labor Department reported that employers added just
96,000 jobs in August 2012, down from 141,000 in July; the dismal finding
prompted Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to say, "We're going in
the wrong direction," while President Barack Obama, fresh off his nomination
for a second term in office, said: "We know it's not good enough." Twin
earthquakes and a spate of aftershocks struck southwestern China, toppling
thousands of houses and killing more than 80 people. Dorothy McGuire
Williamson, 84, who teamed with sisters Christine and Phyllis as the popular
McGuire Sisters, died in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
One year ago: In back-to-back appearances, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
confronted their perceived weaknesses during a national security forum in
New York, with Clinton, who went first, arguing that her email practices did
not expose questionable judgment while Trump, who went second, defended his
preparedness to be commander in chief. President Barack Obama, during a
visit to Laos, pledged to help to clear away the 80 million unexploded bombs
the U.S. dropped on the Southeast Asian country a generation ago.
Today's Birthdays: Jazz musician Sonny Rollins is 87. Actor Bruce Gray is
81. Singer Gloria Gaynor is 74. Singer Alfa Anderson (Chic) is 71. Actress
Susan Blakely is 69. Rock musician Dennis Thompson (MC5) is 69. Actress
Julie Kavner is 67. Rock singer Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) is 66. Rock
musician Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 64. Actor Corbin
Bernsen is 63. Actor Michael Emerson is 63. Pianist Michael Feinstein is 61.
Singer Margot Chapman is 60. Actress J. Smith-Cameron is 60. Actor W. Earl
Brown is 54. Actor Toby Jones is 51. Actress-comedian Leslie Jones (TV:
"Saturday Night Live") is 50. Model-actress Angie Everhart is 48. Actress
Diane Farr is 48. Country singer Butter (Trailer Choir) is 47. Actress
Monique Gabriela Curnen is 47. Actor Tom Everett Scott is 47. Rock musician
Chad Sexton (311) is 47. Actress Shannon Elizabeth is 44. Actor Oliver
Hudson is 41. Actor Devon Sawa (SAH'-wuh) is 39. Actor JD Pardo is 38. Actor
Benjamin Hollingsworth (TV: "Code Black") is 33.
Actress Alyssa Diaz (TV: "Ray Donovan"; "Zoo") is 32. Singer-musician Wes
Willis (Rush of Fools) is 31. Actress Evan Rachel Wood is 30. Actor Ian Chen
(TV: "Fresh Off the Boat") is 11.
Thought for Today: "Television has proved that people will look at anything
rather than each other." — Ann Landers, American advice columnist
Putin: North Korea will 'eat grass' before giving up nukes
President Vladimir Putin, speaks during his news conference in Xiamen,
Fujian province, China, on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017.(Mikhail Klimentyev,
Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President
Vladimir Putin on Tuesday condemned North Korea's latest nuclear test, but
also warned against using military force against the country, calling it a
"road to nowhere" that could lead to a "global catastrophe."
Russia condemns North Korea's nuclear test as "provocative," Putin told a
televised news conference in China. But he stopped short of expressing
willingness to impose more sanctions on North Korea, saying Moscow viewed
them as "useless and ineffective."
Putin said North Korea's neighbors should engage with it, not whip up
"It's a road to nowhere. Whipping up military hysteria — this will lead to
no good," he said. "It could cause a global catastrophe and an enormous loss
North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date on Sunday,
triggering warnings from the United States of a "massive military response."
Rattled by the test, South Korea on Tuesday conducted live-fire exercises at
sea in its second straight day of military displays.
The Russian president, who was in China for a summit of leading emerging
economies, told reporters that he had remarked to one of his counterparts at
the talks that North Korea "will eat grass but will not give up the
(nuclear) program, if they don't feel safe."
Putin said it was important that all parties affected by the crisis,
including North Korea, not face "threats of annihilation" and "step on the
path of cooperation."
Russia's United Nations ambassador echoed Putin's remarks later in the day.
Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Russia said sanctions against North Korea
aren't working and Moscow wants a new U.N. resolution on North Korea to
focus more on a political solution.
Nebenzia said the only initiative on paper is a Chinese-Russian
suspension-for-suspension proposal that would halt North Korean nuclear and
missile tests in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea halting their joint
He told reporters at U.N. headquarters on Tuesday that Russia would welcome
other initiatives, saying that the Swiss have offered mediation services and
"if that works, I'll be happy."
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting
Monday that the United States wants a new U.N. resolution with tougher
sanctions adopted by Sept. 11.
Nebenzia said he hasn't seen the draft resolution and told reporters Haley's
deadline is "a little premature" especially since the Security Council was
on a visit to Ethiopia and isn't scheduled to meet again until Sept. 11.
He stressed that a military option should be "ruled out of any discussions."
Nebenzia also said the U.N. Security Council may need "a separate political
resolution that stresses diplomacy rather than sanctions."
Asked about a possible oil embargo or ban on North Koreans working abroad,
he said: "We wouldn't like to see the ordinary people, the citizens of North
Korea, suffering for what the leadership is doing."
"And unfortunately, economic measures that might be adopted — they will
definitely fall on the Korean people themselves, not on the Korean nuclear
or ballistic (missile) problem," Nebenzia said.
France: Court finds topless photos violated royal's privacy
Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 file photo Britain's Prince William and his wife
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge smile as they arrive at the memorial garden in
Kensington Palace, London.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
By Philippe Sotto, Associated
NANTERRE, France (AP) — A French court ruled Tuesday that
photographers and gossip magazine executives violated the privacy of
Britain's Duchess of Cambridge by taking and publishing photographs of the
former Kate Middleton sunbathing topless.
The court in a Paris suburb fined two executives of French gossip magazine
Closer — owner Ernesto Mauri and executive editor Laurence Pieau — each the
maximum of 45,000 euros ($53,500) for such an offense.
The Closer executives, along with two photographers for a celebrity photo
agency, were collectively ordered to pay 50,000 euros ($59,500) in damages
to Kate and the same amount to her husband, Prince William.
The damage award was substantially below the figure that the magazine's
lawyer said the royals had requested, but the timing of the court's finding
of privacy invasion had particular resonance in Britain.
Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the death of William's mother,
Princess Diana, who was killed in a Paris car accident that occurred while
she was being pursued by paparazzi.
The royal couple did not attend the hearing where the verdict was announced.
Their office at Kensington Palace said they were pleased the court ruled in
their favor and now consider the matter closed.
Kate and William "wished to make the point strongly that this kind of
unjustified intrusion should not happen," the palace said in a statement.
The pictures of the duchess were taken in September 2012 with telephoto
lenses while she and her husband — an heir to the British throne — were on a
patio at a private estate in France's southern Provence region.
Their publication in Closer and a French regional newspaper outraged the
royal family. The Closer spread included a caption reading, "On holidays I
forget everything, the London grayness, and even the swimsuit left in her
Using lists of hotel customers and cellphone data, investigators found
photographers Cyril Moreau and Dominique Jacovides were in the vicinity of
the castle where Kate and William vacationed in September 2012. Surges in
the paparazzi's incomes were also recorded after the photos appeared in
Moreau and Jacovides, who work for Paris-based celebrity photo agency
Bestimage, denied taking the most contentious pictures published in Closer.
They each were fined 10,000 euros ($11,920), but the court suspended 5,000
euros ($5,958) of their penalties.
Jean Veil, the lawyer for the British royals, did not disclose how much in
damages he had sought on behalf of his clients. Closer magazine lawyer
Paul-Albert Iweins told reporters that the couple had requested damages
worth 1.6 million euros ($1.9 million dollars.)
Iweins called the fines the court imposed "a bit exaggerated," but said he
was pleased the damages awarded were in line with similar French cases of
Christopher Mesnooh, a corporate lawyer in France who often comments on the
country's legal system, said he was not surprised the court sided with
William and Kate on the privacy question.
"France has very strict privacy laws. And the photographs that have been
published back in 2012 in Closer magazine were clearly taken while the royal
couple was on a personal holiday, so there was no way of saying that this
was in a public domain," Mesnooh said. "So it was clear that the magazine
was going to be found guilty of invasion of privacy."
Neither was Mesnooh surprised that the court awarded damages in the low
six-figure range instead of "an American-style award."
"The French court clearly decided not to award them with a million and a
half, which really would have been completely disproportionate in the
context of the French legal system," he said.
Pauline Maclaran, co-author of "Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in
Consumer Culture," thinks the ruling must have disappointed the prince and
duchess since the court failed to make a distinction between the rights of
royalty and the privacy to which garden-variety celebrities are legally
"They would have been hoping for a much bigger sum to reflect the importance
of royalty," Maclaran said. "They just got allocated what any old celebrity
would have gotten."
Perhaps more significant, she said, is that the amount is so small that it
is "a drop in the ocean. It's not going to deter (the paparazzi) from trying
French regional newspaper La Provence also published a photo of the Duchess
of Cambridge wearing a full swimsuit on the same estate patio.
The prosecutor at the trial in May said that the Provence's picture, unlike
the ones in Closer, was neither "indecent" nor "vulgar," but that it still
shouldn't have been published.
The court gave La Provence's former publisher, Marc Auburtin, and
photographer Valerie Suau suspended fines and ordered them to pay
collectively 3,000 euros ($3,576) in damages to Kate and William.
Associated Press Writer Danica Kirka contributed from London.
UK Brexit chief faces jeering lawmakers during talks update
supporter of Britain staying in the EU, wears an EU flag mask whilst taking
part in a protest to coincide with politicians returning to work after the
summer recess, outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Tuesday, Sept. 5,
2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
By Danica Kirka, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — Britain's chief Brexit negotiator faced a jeering House
of Commons on Tuesday, as lawmakers returning from summer recess challenged
government plans to "intensify" talks with the European Union.
David Davis ticked off what he described as accomplishments thus far in the
negotiations and described Britain's position as "flexible and pragmatic."
As the heckles rose, a languid Davis leaned against the dispatch box and
said his message to the European Commission had always been to "put people
"Ultimately, businesses and citizens on both sides want us to move swiftly
on to discussing the future partnership and we want that to happen after the
European Council in October, if possible," he said.
Britain wants to persuade the 27 other EU nations to start negotiating a
future relationship that would include a free trade deal between Britain and
the EU by the fall.
The EU says those negotiations can't start until sufficient progress has
been made on three initial issues: how much money the U.K. will have to pay
to leave the bloc; whether security checks and customs duties will be
instituted on the Irish border; and the status of EU nationals living in
Brussels has expressed frustration on the course of the talks.
As Davis argued progress had been made on citizens' rights, financial
settlements, Ireland and Northern Ireland, the chamber erupted into laughter
and still more jeers. Unfazed, Davis pressed on.
"Nobody has ever pretended this would be simple or easy," he said.
The opposition Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, argued that "too many
promises" had been made about Brexit which "can't be kept."
"It is a fantasy to think that you can have a deep and comprehensive trade
deal without shared institution and the sooner we face up to that the
better," Starmer said.
Prime Minister Theresa May is bracing for the first test of the government's
new term of office. Lawmakers this week will begin debating the Brexit
Repeal Bill, which will effectively transfer EU law to U.K. statute books on
the day Britain leaves the bloc.
Opposition Labour Party members have said they will vote against the bill,
arguing it would allow ministers to "grab power from Parliament."
Some members of May's Conservative Party are suggesting they may vote
against the bill in the later stages of the legislative process.
Jennifer Lawrence hits Venice with horror story 'mother!'
Jennifer Lawrence poses for photographers at the premiere of the film
'mother!' at the 74th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy,
Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press
VENICE, Italy (AP) — Director Darren Aronofsky says his film "mother!" —
a delirious nightmare starring Jennifer Lawrence — is a "roller-coaster
Fittingly, it thrilled some viewers at the Venice Film Festival, and left
others a bit queasy.
A horror story that travels from menace to mind-bending mayhem, the movie
was greeted with a mix of applause and boos from journalists Tuesday at the
Italian festival, where it's one of 21 movies competing for the Golden Lion
Lawrence and Javier Bardem play a
couple — identified only as Mother and Him — living in that horror-flick
staple, an isolated old house. He's a poet with writer's block, while she
devotes herself to restoring the house after a devastating fire.
Mysterious houseguests, played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, trigger
unsettling events that get progressively weirder. Imagine a cross between
"Rosemary's Baby" and the teeming hell-scapes of medieval artist Hieronymus
Aronofsky, who won the Golden Lion in 2008 for "The Wrestler," acknowledged
the movie was "a very, very strong cocktail."
"Of course there are going to be people who are not going to want that type
of an experience. And that's fine," he told reporters.
"I've been making it clear that this is a roller-coaster ride: only come on
it if you are really prepared to do the loop-the-loop a few times."
Some critics were impressed by what a review in the Hollywood Reporter
called the "madhouse bacchanal" of the film's final stretch. Others wondered
what it all meant. Variety found it impressive but empty, a "baroque
nightmare that's about nothing but itself."
Aronofsky said the point of the film "is that it's a mystery."
"It's constantly surprising the audience," he said. "You don't know where
it's going to go. And we didn't want to make the audience ever feel safe,
because Jennifer's character in the movie never feels safe."
It's easy to see an environmental allegory in the film, about a house that
is invaded, besieged, flooded and set on fire.
Aronofsky said the movie is his "howl to the moon," provoked by anguish at
the state of society and particularly the environment.
He said that while most of his films take years, he wrote the first draft of
the script in just five days.
"It just sort of poured out of me," he said.
"It came out of living on this planet and sort of seeing what's happening
around us and not being able to do anything," the director added. "I just
had a lot of rage and anger and I just wanted to sort of channel it."
Viewers expecting naturalism should probably stay home. Aronofsky said the
film is an allegory. Before becoming "mother!" the movie's working title was
"Day Six" — the day in the book of Genesis on which God created humanity and
gave it dominion over the Earth.
That makes the characters as much archetypes as people — a challenge for the
cast. Lawrence, who has portrayed a string of strong women, here plays a
meek helpmeet who seems destined to suffer.
"It was a completely different character from anything I've ever done
before, but it was also a different side of myself that I wasn't in touch
with and I didn't really know, yet," said Lawrence, who is in a real-life
relationship with Aronofsky. "There is a part of me that Darren really
helped me get in touch with.
"It was difficult. It was the most I've ever had to pull out of myself," she
Like Aronofsky's ballet movie "Black Swan," the film depicts creative
artists as in some ways monstrous, using and consuming those around them.
And it touches on the way success and fame can be devouring, in bloody and
disturbingly literal images.
Lawrence — who drew crowds of fans in Venice, as she does everywhere — said
she tries in her life to "find the balance in myself" between being
accessible and protecting her private space.
She said the film spoke "to the insatiable need that we all have now,
especially with the internet. We just want more and more and more."
Though the movie is dark and disturbing, Aronofsky says he is an optimist
about the fate of the planet.
"America is schizophrenic," he said.
"We go from backing the Paris climate (accord) to eight months later pulling
"It's tragic, but in many ways we have revealed who the enemy is and now we
can attack it."
Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless
Today in History - Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017
Today is Wednesday, Sept. 6, the 249th day of 2017. There are 116 days left
in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 6, 1901, President William McKinley was shot and mortally
wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz (CHAWL'-gawsh) at the Pan-American
Exposition in Buffalo, New York. (McKinley died eight days later; Czolgosz
was executed on October 29.)
On this date:
In 1861, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant occupied Paducah,
Kentucky, during the Civil War.
In 1916, the first self-serve grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in
Memphis, Tennessee, by Clarence Saunders.
In 1925, the silent film horror classic "The Phantom of the Opera," starring
Lon Chaney, had its world premiere at the Astor Theater in New York.
In 1939, the Union of South Africa declared war on Germany.
In 1943, 79 people were killed when a New York-bound Pennsylvania Railroad
train derailed and crashed in Philadelphia.
In 1954, groundbreaking took place for the Shippingport Atomic Power Station
in western Pennsylvania.
In 1966, birth control advocate Margaret Sanger died in Tucson, Arizona, at
age 86, eight days before her birthday. South African Prime Minister Hendrik
Verwoerd (fehr-FOORT') was stabbed to death by an apparently deranged page
during a parliamentary session in Cape Town.
In 1970, Palestinian guerrillas seized control of three U.S.-bound
jetliners. (Two were later blown up on the ground in Jordan, along with a
London-bound plane hijacked on Sept. 9; the fourth plane was destroyed on
the ground in Egypt. No hostages were harmed.)
In 1975, 18-year-old tennis star Martina Navratilova of Czechoslovakia, in
New York for the U.S. Open, requested political asylum in the United States.
In 1985, all 31 people aboard a Midwest Express Airlines DC-9 were killed
when the Atlanta-bound jetliner crashed just after takeoff from Milwaukee's
In 1997, a public funeral was held for Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey
in London, six days after her death in a car crash in Paris.
In 2002, meeting outside Washington, D.C. for only the second time since
1800, Congress convened in New York to pay homage to the victims and heroes
of September 11.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao (hoo
jin-tow), in Sydney, Australia, for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
summit, called for greater international cooperation in tackling climate
change without stifling economic growth. Death claimed opera superstar
Luciano Pavarotti in Modena, Italy, at age 71 and author Madeleine L'Engle
("A Wrinkle in Time") in Litchfield, Connecticut, at age 88.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama conceded only halting progress toward
solving the nation's economic woes, but vowed in a Democratic National
Convention finale, "Our problems can be solved, our challenges can be met."
Drew Peterson, the former Illinois police officer who gained notoriety after
his much-younger wife, Stacy, vanished in 2007, was convicted of murdering a
previous wife, Kathleen Savio. (Peterson was later sentenced to 38 years in
prison.) Rihanna won video of the year at the MTV Awards for "We Found
Love." One Direction won best pop video, best new artist and most
share-worthy video for "What Makes You Beautiful."
One year ago: On the campaign trail, Democrat Hillary Clinton accused
Republican Donald Trump of insulting America's veterans and pressing
dangerous military plans, while Trump declared "our country is going to
hell" because of policies he said Clinton would make even worse. Hospital
officials in northern France announced the death the previous April of
Isabelle Dinoire, a Frenchwoman who received the world's first partial face
transplant; she was 49.
Today's Birthdays: Comedian JoAnne Worley is 82. Country singer David Allan
Coe is 78. Rock singer-musician Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) is 74. Actress
Swoosie Kurtz is 73. Comedian-actress Jane Curtin is 70. Rock musician Mick
Mashbir is 69. Country singer-songwriter Buddy Miller is 65. Actor James
Martin Kelly is 63. Country musician Joe Smyth (Sawyer Brown) is 60.
Actor-comedian Jeff Foxworthy is 59. Actor-comedian Michael Winslow is 59.
Rock musician Perry Bamonte is 57. Actor Steven Eckholdt is 56. Rock
musician Scott Travis (Judas Priest) is 56. Pop musician Pal Waaktaar (a-ha)
is 56. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is 55. Rock musician Kevin Miller is
55. ABC News correspondent Elizabeth Vargas is 55. Country singer Mark
Chesnutt is 54. Actress Betsy Russell is 54. Actress Rosie Perez is 53.
Rhythm and blues singer Macy Gray is 50. Singer CeCe Peniston is 48.
Rhythm-and-blues singer Darryl Anthony (Az Yet) is 48. Actress Daniele
Gaither is 47. Rock singer Dolores O'Riordan (The Cranberries) is 46. Actor
Dylan Bruno is 45. Actor Idris Elba is 45. Actress Justina Machado is 45.
Actress Anika Noni (ah-NEE'-kuh NOH'-nee) Rose is 45. Rock singer Nina
Persson (The Cardigans) is 43. Actor Justin Whalin is 43. Actress Naomie
Harris is 41. Rapper Noreaga is 40. Actress Natalia Cigliuti is 39. Rapper
Foxy Brown is 39. Actor Howard Charles is 34. Actress Lauren Lapkus is 32.
Rock singer Max George (The Wanted) is 29.
Thought for Today: "We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The
great task in life is to find reality." — Iris Murdoch, Anglo-Irish author
and philosopher (1919-1999).
Wounded and 'afraid,' Rohingya seek Bangladesh hospital aid
living in no man's land cross a stream carrying supplies donated by local
Bangladeshis, near Cox's Bazar's Tumbru area, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. (AP
By Muneeza Naqvi, Associated
COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh (AP) — With thousands of Rohingya refugees
streaming daily across the swampy border into Bangladesh, one hospital was
struggling to treat dozens of men who had arrived with broken bones, bullet
wounds and horrific stories of death.
Already, some 87,000 Rohingya Muslims have entered Bangladesh, fleeing
violence in western Myanmar that erupted Aug. 25. They have filled three
older refugee camps set up in the 1990s.
"The existing refugees have taken in the new arrivals into their homes,"
UNHCR spokeswoman Vivian Tan said Monday. Thousands more were sheltering in
local villages, or in open fields — wherever they could find space.
"What we desperately need is for land to be made available to get more
emergency shelters up," as well as help with other aid supplies, Tan said.
"These people have been walking for days. They likely have not eaten since
they left their homes," Tan said. Many needed medical attention for
respiratory diseases, infections and malnutrition. "They are exhausted, they
are traumatized ... There are babies, some newborns, who've been exposed to
On Monday, at the Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital about two hours from the
border, doctors were treating 31 men who arrived "distressed and afraid"
with broken bones and bullet wounds, mostly to their limbs, according to the
resident medical officer Dr. Shaheen Abdur Rahman Choudhury.
They all told similar stories of Myanmar soldiers opening fire randomly on
their villages in western Myanmar on Aug. 26-27 and setting buildings
aflame, Choudhury said.
One family that crossed into the border town of Kutupalong on Monday told
the Associated Press a land mine had blew off the right leg of their elderly
relative. The woman was bleeding profusely as her wailing relatives bundled
her into an autorickshaw and rushed to a hospital. The woman's lower right
leg had been blown away by the impact of the explosion. Her left leg and
parts of her hands also appeared seriously wounded.
The hospital, already "hugely overburdened," was expecting to receive many
more wounded refugees, said the doctor, Choudhury. "What we are seeing is
the tip of the iceberg."
On Aug. 25, Rohingya insurgents attacked at least two dozen Myanmar police
and paramilitary posts in coordinated attacks they said were intended to
protect their ethnic minority from persecution by security forces in the
majority-Buddhist country. The military responded with what it called
"clearance operations" to root out the insurgents it calls ethnic
terrorists. The violence led the U.N. World Food Program last week to halt
aid deliveries to some 250,000 people in Rakhine state.
The Rohingya have long faced discrimination in Myanmar but bloody rioting in
2012 forced more than 100,000 into displacement camps in Bangladesh, where
many still live today.
On Monday, Pakistani rights advocate Malala Yousafzai condemned the violence
against Rohingya, in a Twitter statement. "I am still waiting for my fellow
Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same," she said of Myanmar's
In several cities internationally, Rohingya, other Muslims and activists
protested the violence and called on their own governments to take a tougher
stance against Myanmar's government. Some of the protesters denounced Suu
Kyi by name and even burned or defaced posters bearing her image.
Myanmar security officials and Rohingya insurgents have accused each other
of atrocities. The military has said nearly 400 people, most of them
insurgents, have died in clashes. Bangladesh police say dozens of Rohingya
have died attempting to cross the river separating the two countries.
Myanmar's government blames the insurgents for burning their own homes and
killing Buddhists in Rakhine state.
Outside the hospital in Cox's Bazar, three Rohingya men and a teenage boy
who had been treated for bullet wounds described soldiers shooting at people
and burning buildings.
Mohammad Irshad, 27, told AP he saw at least eight bodies after his village
near the coastal town of Maungdaw was visited by at least 30 soldiers, who
he said opened fire indiscriminately and then set fire to homes and other
The 16-year-old Mohammed Osama said he'd tried to flee into the forest when
soldiers entered his village on Aug. 26, but was shot by one of them in the
thigh. With a gaping bullet wound in his leg, he was carried by his father
and some of his 11 siblings across the border. His family joined thousands
now packed into the Bangladeshi fishing village of Shah Porir Dwip.
But Osama and others were squatting behind the hospital in Cox's Bazar,
their only belongings a few bedsheets and personal documents in plastic
Yet another Myanmar village near Maungdaw was destroyed by about 50
soldiers, according to 25-year-old Mohammad Arafat.
"I started running when the firing started and lost track of both my
parents. I don't know if they're dead or alive," Arafat said. "They're
cutting up people, shooting people. I'm very afraid. I never want to go
His wife and mother-in-law were sheltering in the border area of Teknaf, but
Arafat sought treatment for his wound. He was told he needed further
treatment at a hospital in the city of Chittagong, he said. "I have no
money. I don't know what to do."
Associated Press writer Nirmala George in New Delhi contributed to this
Follow Muneeza Naqvi at
106-year-old Afghan woman faces deportation from Sweden
106-year-old Afghan refugee Bibihal Uzbeki rests
in bed attended by her son Mohammadollah and daughter-in-law Ziba, in Hova,
Sweden. (AP Photo/David Keyton)
By David Keyton, Associated Press
HOVA, Sweden (AP) — A 106-year-old Afghan woman who made a perilous
journey to Europe, carried by her son and grandson through mountains,
deserts and forests, is facing deportation from Sweden after her asylum
application was rejected.
Bibihal Uzbeki is severely disabled and can barely speak. Her family has
appealed the rejection.
Their journey made headlines in 2015, when they were part of a huge influx
of people who came to Europe from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other
countries. They traveled by foot and on trains through the Balkans before
finally reaching Sweden.
Two years later, she and her 11 family members are living in the small
village of Hova, in central Sweden.
Her rejection letter came during Ramadan. While the family avoided telling
her, the constant grief from her granddaughters made her suspicious.
"My sisters were crying," explained 22-year-old Mohammed Uzbeki. "My
grandmother asked, 'Why are you crying?'" The family says that soon after
she understood her request was denied, her health started deteriorating and
she suffered a debilitating stroke.
The Swedish Migration Agency confirmed in a statement to the AP they had
"taken a decision regarding an expulsion in the case," adding "generally
speaking, high age does not in itself provide grounds for asylum."
People whose applications are rejected are allowed up to three appeals, a
process that can take a long time. The applications of other family members
are in various stages of appeal.
The family feels the plight of Afghans is being ignored by Swedish
authorities. Many countries in Europe deny asylum to Afghans from parts of
the country considered safe.
"The reasoning from the migration agency is that it's not unsafe enough in
Afghanistan," said Sanna Vestin, the head of the Swedish Network of Refugee
Support Groups. But she said many of the big cities cited as safe are not at
Before their journey to Sweden, the family had been living illegally in Iran
for eight years. They left Afghanistan because of an ongoing war and
insecurity, but Mohammed Uzbeki said it's difficult to prove that the family
faces a specific enemy if they return.
"If I knew who was the enemy, I would have just avoided them," he said,
citing the Islamic State group, the Taliban and suicide bombers as possible
In the Uzbeki home, Bibihal's daughter-in-law gently readjusts the elderly
woman's veil as Mohammed Uzbeki watches over her.
"She still cannot speak properly, she has hallucinations," he laments. "She
says they are coming to kill us, we should run away."
Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant again; a look at the family
Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 file photo Britain's Prince William and his wife
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge smile as they walk through the memorial garden in
Kensington Palace, London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
LONDON (AP) — Prince William's
wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant with her third child. The new
baby will be fifth in line to the British throne.
Here's a brief look at the rest of the family.
THE NEXT GENERATION:
Two older siblings will welcome the new arrival.
Prince George, born July 22, 2013, is the first child of Prince William and
the former Kate Middleton. Princess Charlotte, born May 2, 2015, will be
bumped to middle child status after the new baby is born.
NOT THE TRADITIONAL FAMILY:
When children, Prince William and Prince Harry had often been chided as the
"royal heir" and the "royal spare," respectively. But having a larger family
might take the pressure off the children in the succession stakes. Changes
to the rules of succession mean that male siblings aren't allowed to jump
ahead of their older sisters, so Princess Charlotte's place in the line will
not be affected.
The order now is as follows: Prince Charles is first in line, followed by
Prince William, who is second, and then Prince George, who is third, and
Princess Charlotte, who is fourth.
As a great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, the
new arrival will be fifth in line to the throne, bumping uncle, Prince
Harry, out of the top five.
ALL ABOUT HARRY:
Prince Harry says the news of Kate's latest pregnancy is "fantastic." Though
Harry is pushed down the line of accession, this may not be unwelcome news.
Harry suggested earlier this year that no one really strives to be the
monarch, but carries the role out of a sense of duty to the nation.
THE REST OF THE FAMILY:
The family's latest addition will be Queen Elizabeth II's sixth
Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' screens in 3-D at Venice
John Landis arrives for a photocall of his 'Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D'
during the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Monday, Sept. 4,
2017. (Claudio Onorati/ANSA via AP)
VENICE, Italy (AP) — Director
John Landis said Monday that he is still upset by Michael Jackson's death,
but a Venice Film Festival screening dedicated to "Thriller" is a chance to
celebrate the musician's life.
An enhanced version of the landmark Landis-directed music video, "Michael
Jackson's Thriller 3-D," is screening alongside a behind-the-scenes
documentary that has never been shown in cinemas before.
Landis told reporters in Venice on Monday that Jackson's death aged 50 in
2009 was a tragedy for his family, his friends and the world.
"Truly great performers are rare, and he was brilliant — and a tragic
figure, I think," Landis said. "I was horrified, and I'm still upset about
The 14-minute "Thriller" video, released in 1983, stemmed from Jackson's
love of Landis' film "An American Werewolf in London" and the King of Pop's
desire to turn into a monster onscreen.
Landis says modern technology has let him remix the sound and improve the
visuals while converting the film to 3-D, so audiences can now "experience
it the way Michael wanted you to."
"My only disappointment is that Michael is not here to see it and hear it,
because I think he would love it," Landis said.
Landis says the accompanying backstage documentary shows Jackson "happy and
joyous" and at his creative peak.
"It's a celebration of Michael I didn't
expect, and very emotional for me," he said.
Today in History - Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017
Today is Tuesday, Sept. 5, the 248th day of 2017. There are 117 days left in
Today's Highlights in History:
On September 5, 1997, breaking the royal reticence over the death of
Princess Diana, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II delivered a televised address
in which she called her former daughter-in-law "a remarkable person." Mother
Teresa died in Calcutta, India, at age 87; conductor Sir Georg Solti (johrj
SHOL'-tee) died in France at age 84.
On this date:
In 1774, the first Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia.
In 1836, Sam Houston was elected president of the Republic of Texas.
In 1882, the nation's first Labor Day was celebrated with a parade in New
York. (Although Labor Day now takes place on the first Monday of September,
this first celebration occurred on a Tuesday.)
In 1914, the First Battle of the Marne, resulting in a French-British
victory over Germany, began during World War I.
In 1939, four days after war had broken out in Europe, President Franklin D.
Roosevelt issued a proclamation declaring U.S. neutrality in the conflict.
In 1945, Japanese-American Iva Toguri D'Aquino, suspected of being wartime
broadcaster "Tokyo Rose," was arrested in Yokohama. (D'Aquino was later
convicted of treason and served six years in prison; she was pardoned in
1977 by President Gerald R. Ford.)
In 1957, the novel "On the Road," by Jack Kerouac, was first published by
In 1972, the Palestinian group Black September attacked the Israeli Olympic
delegation at the Munich Games; 11 Israelis, five guerrillas and a police
officer were killed in the resulting siege.
In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford escaped an attempt on his life by Lynette
"Squeaky" Fromme, a disciple of Charles Manson, in Sacramento, California.
In 1977, West German industrialist Hanns-Martin Schleyer (SHLY'-ur) was
kidnapped in Cologne by the Baader-Meinhof gang. (Schleyer was later killed
by his captors.) The U.S. launched the Voyager 1 spacecraft two weeks after
launching its twin, Voyager 2.
In 1986, four hijackers who had seized a Pan Am jumbo jet on the ground in
Karachi, Pakistan, opened fire when the lights inside the plane failed; a
total of 20 people were killed before Pakistani commandos stormed the
In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated John Roberts to succeed the late
William Rehnquist as chief justice of the United States. An Indonesian
jetliner crashed, killing 149 people, including 49 on the ground; 17
Ten years ago: German officials announced that three militants from an
Islamic group linked to al-Qaida were planning "imminent" bomb attacks
against Americans in Germany when an elite anti-terrorist unit raided their
small-town hideout. Fred Thompson announced on "The Tonight Show with Jay
Leno" that he was running for the Republican presidential nomination; his
candidacy lasted less than five months. Alicia Sacramone's floor routine
rallied the United States to the world women's gymnastics title in
Five years ago: In an impassioned speech that rocked the Democratic National
Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, former President Bill Clinton
proclaimed, "I know we're coming back" from the worst economic mess in
generations, and he appealed to hard-pressed Americans to stick with Barack
Obama for a second term in the White House; in a roll call that lasted past
midnight, Obama was officially nominated.
One year ago: Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) announced the
close of the G-20 summit in the eastern city of Hangzhou (hahn-joh), saying
it had contributed to encouraging new progress in boosting global growth.
Hugh O'Brian, the actor who shot to fame as Sheriff Wyatt Earp in what was
hailed as television's first adult Western, died in Beverly Hills,
California, at age 91. Phyllis Schlafly, the outspoken conservative activist
who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the
Eagle Forum political group, died in St. Louis at age 92.
Today's Birthdays: Former Federal Reserve Board chairman Paul A. Volcker is
90. Comedian-actor Bob Newhart is 88. Actress-singer Carol Lawrence is 85.
Actor William Devane is 78. Actor George Lazenby is 78. Actress Raquel Welch
is 77. Movie director Werner Herzog is 75. Singer Al Stewart is 72.
Actor-director Dennis Dugan is 71. College Football Hall of Famer Jerry
LeVias is 71. Singer Loudon Wainwright III is 71. "Cathy" cartoonist Cathy
Guisewite (GYZ'-wyt) is 67. Actor Michael Keaton is 66. Country musician
Jamie Oldaker (The Tractors) is 66. Actress Debbie Turner-Larson (Marta in
"The Sound of Music") is 61. Actress Kristian Alfonso is 54.
Rhythm-and-blues singer Terry Ellis is 54. Rock musician Brad Wilk is 49. TV
personality Dweezil Zappa is 48. Actress Rose McGowan is 44. Actress Carice
Van Houten is 41. Actor Andrew Ducote is 31. Actress Kat Graham is 31.
Olympic gold medal figure skater Yuna Kim is 27. Actor Skandar Keynes is 26.
Thought for Today: "History may be divided into three movements: what moves
rapidly, what moves slowly and what appears not to move at all." — Fernand
Braudel, French historian (1902-1985).
BRICS countries meet to map path to increase their roles
Brazil's President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese
President Xi Jinping, South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi pose for a group photo during the BRICS Summit at the
Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center in Xiamen,
southeastern China's Fujian Province, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. (Wu Hong/Pool
Photo via AP)
By Louise Watt, Associated Press
XIAMEN, China (AP) — Five major developing countries opened a summit
Monday to map out their future course after host Chinese President Xi
Jinping called on them to stand up together against a growing tide of
protectionism across the world.
Leaders of the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
— are meeting in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen through Tuesday.
Ahead of the summit, Xi gave a speech to BRICS business leaders on Sunday
calling for those nations to work with others around the world to deal with
problems arising from globalization.
BRICS was formed as an association of fast-growing large economies about a
decade ago to advocate for better representation for developing countries
and challenge the Western-dominated world order that has prevailed since the
end of World War II. It soon achieved agreement to increase the share of
voting rights for emerging markets in world financial bodies the
International Monetary Fund and World Bank. It has also started operating
its own development bank.
Xi wants BRICS to play a more important role in international affairs, even
as some observers suggest its power is waning given rivalry between China
and India and the economic woes of Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
"BRICS country cooperation is not a talking shop but a task force that gets
things done," Xi said in his speech Sunday. "Our goal is to build a big
market of trade and investment, promote smooth flow of currency and finance,
improve connectivity of infrastructure and build close bonds between the
All broadly support free trade and oppose protectionism, although
particularly China, the world's second-largest economy, has been accused of
erecting barriers to foreign competition.
Yet clear political and economic differences exist among the countries. They
range from democratic to autocratic, with some maintaining heavy government
control over the economy and civil society. And the economies of Brazil,
Russia and South Africa are driven largely by raw material exports and have
been hit by slumping commodity prices, while China and India are oriented
more toward manufacturing and services.
Suggesting disagreements lie ahead in Xiamen, South African President Jacob
Zuma said that despite a doubling of his nation's trade with BRICS countries
from $15 billion in 2010 to $31.2 billion in 2016, it had been
"The character of trade has been highly
inequitable," he said in remarks to the BRICS Business Council on Sunday.
"Exports from South Africa have been driven particularly by raw materials.
This dominance of raw material exports has adversely impacted South Africa."
He called on the other BRICS nations to invest in supply and development
programs in Africa and skills development and technology transfer, and
engage in projects "that would support inclusive development and equal
He also called on the New Development
Bank, which was created by BRICS in 2014 and started operating last year, to
lend more to Africa.
A meeting between Xi and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to take
place Tuesday. Last week, the two hurriedly concluded a 10-week border
stand-off over disputed land in the Himalayas, which was their most serious
confrontation in decades, to smooth the way for Modi's participation in the
summit. The two greeted each other smiling and with a firm handshake at
Monday's welcoming ceremony.
Some observers say admitting other countries to BRICS would answer some of
its problems. While no formal progress is expected on that at this summit,
China has invited the leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and
Thailand to attend a dialogue with the BRICS' presidents and prime ministers
On Sunday, Xi met on the sidelines with Russian President Vladimir Putin and
discussed North Korea's latest nuclear test — its sixth and most powerful
yet, which has cast a shadow over the summit hosted by its only major ally,
China. The official Xinhua News Agency said they agreed to "appropriately
deal with" it, without elaborating.
Xinhua also reported that Xi and Putin had agreed to enhance military
cooperation between China and Russia.
Follow Louise Watt on Twitter at twitter.com/louise_watt
What North Korea's Kim Jong Un may be trying to prove
A man watches a TV news report about a possible
nuclear test conducted by North Korea at the Seoul Railway station in Seoul,
South Korea, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
By Eric Talmadge, Associated Press
TOKYO (AP) — North Korea put on an extraordinary two-part show of its
nuclear ambitions, releasing photos of leader Kim Jong Un next to what it
described as a hydrogen bomb for an intercontinental ballistic missile, then
actually detonating a device in its sixth and by far most powerful nuclear
test to date.
The underground test, a major nose-thumb at Washington, Beijing and all of
the North's neighbors, follows an intense few months that have seen Kim
launching missiles at record clip and in ways that are much more provocative
It was almost certainly intended to get under the skin of one man in
particular: President Donald Trump, whose first salvo back, in a tweet, was:
"North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions
continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States."
Here's a closer look at what the North did Sunday, and some of the possible
THE MORNING TEASER
Bright and early, North Korea's state media started posting photos of Kim
visiting the country's Nuclear Weapons Institute to see what state media
described as "a signal turn in nuclear weaponization."
A front-page story in the ruling-party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, carried
photos of Kim watching a shiny, peanut-shaped device it said was a hydrogen
bomb designed to be mounted into the North's new "Hwasong-14"
intercontinental ballistic missile. The North's official news agency, KCNA,
also released the photos, which were clearly intended to be seen by a global
Whether the North can make a nuclear warhead small and light enough to put
on top of a long-range missile has long been a matter of heated debate among
foreign experts. This was clearly an attempt to address those doubts. The
North in July had demonstrated for the first time that it has — or is very
close to having — an operational ICBM, though experts still believe it could
at best reach Chicago and will probably require another year or two to
The photos created a stir among missile and nuclear weapons experts on
Twitter, with the general consensus being that the design appeared to look
about right for a sophisticated thermonuclear warhead. The peanut shape is
created by two rounded "stages" within the device that give it an extra
boost and a far higher yield than simpler nuclear bombs.
The state media reports stressed that the bomb was made with domestic parts
and workmanship, suggesting that more could be made without outside experts
BIGGEST BLAST YET
Before North Korea watchers had a chance to digest the photos, seismographs
recorded a big tremor around noon North Korea time.
Ground motion is a great indicator of an underground nuclear test, and
sometimes the only one. North Korea has proven itself adept at masking other
telltale signs, such as the leakage of radioactive materials. The power of
the blast, its location at the North's nuclear testing site and the shallow
epicenter left little doubt.
North Korea has repeatedly stated that it will continue to pursue nuclear
weapons and long-range missiles capable of reaching the U.S. because it sees
that strategy as its only protection against what it believes is a hostile
superpower bent on regime change or possibly outright invasion.
To that end, it must test its weapons to both perfect technologies and
dispel doubts. Sunday's test went a long way toward doing that.
Although it doesn't prove a nuclear warhead can be fitted onto the
Hwasong-14, thermonuclear devices can be lightweight and still produce
tremendously high yields. The device that was detonated on Sunday is
believed to have a much bigger yield than anything the North has
demonstrated — possibly 70 kilotons according to Japan's defense minister.
That's far more than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima (15 kilotons) and
Nagasaki (around 20).
A CURTAIN RAISER
Starting with the launches of two ICBMs in July that are believed to have
the range to strike the U.S. mainland, North Korea has been far more
aggressive in its military activities over the past few months than usual.
It's possible Kim Jong Un — feeling either threatened or emboldened by Trump
— has decided to hurry to get that nuclear deterrent his country wants.
But tensions on the Korean Peninsula rise every year in the spring and late
summer, when the U.S. and South Korea hold annual military exercises.
North Korea has stated it is, at least in part, responding to Washington's
decision to hold the exercises, which ended last week. It has also protested
a new round of sanctions recently approved by the U.N. and the repeated
dispatch of B-1B bombers from the island of Guam to the skies of South Korea
— a show of force from Washington to reassure allies in Seoul and Tokyo.
North Korea's state media reported that Kim said the launch of an
intermediate range missile over Japan just a week ago was a "curtain-raiser"
for more activity ahead.
Sunday's test would certainly fit that bill.
But it will almost certainly raise the curtain on something else — a tougher
response, either in sanctions, diplomatic isolation or a bolstered U.S.
military presence — that Kim and his top lieutenants will have to take into
consideration as well.
Talmadge has been The AP's Pyongyang bureau chief since 2013. Follow him on
Twitter @EricTalmadge and on Instagram @erictalmadge.
Huge WWII-era bomb successfully defused in Frankfurt
Disposers Dieter Schwaetzler, left, and Rene
Bennert sit next to 1.8 ton WWII bomb right after they defused it, in
Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
By Michael Probst, Associated Press
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Bomb disposal experts defused a huge
unexploded World War II-era bomb in the German financial capital Frankfurt
that forced the evacuation of more than 60,000 residents, police said
Hospital patients and the elderly were among those affected in what was
Germany's biggest evacuation in recent history.
Construction workers found the 1.8-ton (4,000-pound) British bomb Tuesday.
Officials ordered residents to evacuate homes within a 1.5-kilometer (nearly
a mile) radius of the site in Germany's financial capital. Dozens of
ambulances lined up early Sunday to pick up anyone unable to independently
leave the danger zone.
The high capacity bomb, also dubbed a Blockbuster, was one of thousands
dropped over Germany by the Royal Air Force during the final years of World
War II to cripple the Nazi war machine and demoralize the German population.
Authorities warned that if the bomb had exploded, the shock wave could have
caused widespread damage throughout the western part of the city.
Unexploded bombs are still found regularly across Germany, even 72 years
after the war ended. About 20,000 people were evacuated from the western
city of Koblenz before specialists disarmed a 500-kilogram U.S. bomb there
Judi Dench rules the Venice waves in 'Victoria & Abdul'
Dench, left, and director Stephen Frears pose for photographers upon arrival
at the press conference for the film 'Victoria and Abdul' during the 74th
edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017.
(Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
By Jill Lawless, Associated Press
VENICE, Italy (AP) — It was a day of queens at the Venice Film
Festival on Sunday — a real British monarch on the screen and two queens of
acting, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren, on the red carpet.
Dench plays long-reigning Queen Victoria in Stephen Frears' "Victoria &
Abdul," which charts the relationship between the monarch and Abdul Karim,
an Indian man who became her servant and teacher.
Ahead of the film's gala premiere, Dench said she owes her movie career to
Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901.
The 82-year-old actress told reporters "I had no film career really to speak
of" before playing the monarch in the 1997 drama "Mrs. Brown," which gained
Dench the first of her seven Academy Awards nominations.
She said revisiting the role and working again with Frears — who directed
her to an Oscar nomination in "Philomena" — was "an irresistible
If Dench needs any advice on playing royalty, she could turn to Helen
Mirren, in Venice Sunday with Paolo Virzi's road-trip movie "The Leisure
Seeker." Mirren has played Britain's current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in
movie "The Queen" and play "The Audience."
"It's good to be queen," Mirren said at a news conference for her film. "You
always get very nice costumes when you're the queen, and you usually get
quite a lot of lines. Or if you don't get a lot of lines you have very few
lines but everybody looks at you."
Dench's two films about Victoria both center on close relationships the
widowed monarch struck with men who were her servants.
In "Mrs. Brown" it was Scottish outdoorsman John Brown; in "Victoria &
Abdul" it's Karim (played by Indian actor Ali Fazal), a young man brought to
Britain to present the monarch with a gift for her Golden Jubilee in 1887.
The film depicts the queen's growing fascination with India, then part of
the vast British empire. Victoria filled one of her homes with Indian
artworks and under Karim's tutelage even learned Urdu.
The film — based largely on real events — depicts a royal court and British
government horrified at the monarch's growing relationship with an Indian
It's a story that feels strongly relevant to modern times, despite its
Frears joked that he asked himself before making it: "What film would Donald
Trump most like to see?"
Eddie Izzard, who plays Victoria's eldest son, the future King Edward VII,
said "Victoria & Abdul" is "an edgy story because of what we did to the
Indian nation back then," when Britain was India's colonial master.
"This story has been suppressed for 100 years, so it's good to get it out,"
The film marks a return to royal subject matter for Frears, who had one of
his biggest successes in 2006 with "The Queen."
Frears also has a gritty side to his repertoire, exemplified by films like
"My Beautiful Laundrette," ''The Grifters" and "Dirty Pretty Things."
Izzard said the new film had more in common than might first appear with "My
Beautiful Laundrette," the story of a relationship between a
Pakistani-British man and a white former skinhead in Thatcher-era London.
It's a landmark of 80s British cinema, and gave Daniel Day-Lewis one of his
first big screen roles.
Izzard said the new movie "is essentially 'My Beautiful Laundrette' done
with kings and queens."
Added Frears: "Except that we no longer have Daniel Day-Lewis — we have Judi
Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless
Today in History - Monday, Sept. 4, 2017
Today is Monday, Sept. 4, the 247th day of 2017. There are 118 days left in
the year. This is Labor Day.
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 4, 1917, the American Expeditionary Forces in France suffered
their first fatalities during World War I when a German plane attacked a
British-run base hospital in Camiers.
On this date:
In 1781, Los Angeles was founded by Spanish settlers under the leadership of
Governor Felipe de Neve.
In 1886, a group of Apache Indians led by Geronimo (also known as Goyathlay,
"One Who Yawns") surrendered to Gen. Nelson Miles at Skeleton Canyon in
In 1888, George Eastman received a patent for his roll-film box camera, and
registered his trademark: "Kodak."
In 1948, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands abdicated after nearly six
decades of rule for health reasons.
In 1951, President Harry S. Truman addressed the nation from the Japanese
peace treaty conference in San Francisco in the first live, coast-to-coast
In 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus used Arkansas National Guardsmen to
prevent nine black students from entering all-white Central High School in
Little Rock. Ford Motor Co. began selling its ill-fated Edsel.
In 1967, Detroit TV station WKBD aired an interview with Michigan Gov.
George Romney in which the Republican presidential hopeful attributed his
previous support for the war in Vietnam to a "brainwashing" he'd received
from U.S. officials during a 1965 visit.
In 1971, an Alaska Airlines jet crashed near Juneau, killing all 111 people
In 1972, U.S. swimmer Mark Spitz won a seventh gold medal at the Munich
Olympics in the 400-meter medley relay.
In 1987, a Soviet court convicted West German pilot Mathias Rust of charges
stemming from his daring flight to Moscow's Red Square, and sentenced him to
four years in a labor camp. (Rust was released in August 1988.)
In 1998, Internet services company Google filed for incorporation in
In 2014, comedian Joan Rivers died at a New York hospital at age 81, a week
after going into cardiac arrest in a doctor's office during a routine
Ten years ago: Hurricane Felix slammed into Nicaragua's coast, the first
time on record that two Category 5 Atlantic hurricanes hit land in the same
year. Toy maker Mattel Inc. recalled 800,000 lead-tainted, Chinese-made toys
worldwide, a third major recall in just over a month.
Five years ago: Democrats opened their national convention in Charlotte,
North Carolina, by ridiculing Republican Mitt Romney as a millionaire
candidate who "quite simply doesn't get it"; first lady Michelle Obama
lovingly praised her husband as a devoted spouse and caring father at home
and a "man we can trust" to revive the nation's weak economy as president.
The Treasury Department reported the national debt had topped $16 trillion.
One year ago: Elevating the "saint of the gutters" to one of the Catholic
Church's highest honors, Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa, praising her
radical dedication to society's outcasts and her courage in shaming world
leaders for the "crimes of poverty they themselves created."
Today's Birthdays: Actress Mitzi Gaynor is 86. Actor Kenneth Kimmins is 76.
Singer Merald "Bubba" Knight (Gladys Knight & The Pips) is 75. TV
personality and veterinarian Dr. Jan Pol (TV: "The Incredible Dr. Pol") is
75. World Golf Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd is 75. Actress Jennifer Salt is
73. World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Watson is 68. Rhythm-and-blues musician
Ronald LaPread is 67. Actress Judith Ivey is 66. Rock musician Martin
Chambers (The Pretenders) is 66. Actor Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs is 64. Actress
Khandi Alexander is 60. Actor-comedian Damon Wayans Sr. is 57. Rock musician
Kim Thayil is 57. Actor Richard Speight Jr. is 48. Actor Noah Taylor is 48.
Actress Ione (eye-OH'-nee) Skye is 47. Actor-singer James Monroe Iglehart is
43. Pop-rock singer-DJ-musician-producer Mark Ronson is 42. Rhythm-and-blues
singer Richard Wingo (Jagged Edge) is 42. Rock musician Ian Grushka (New
Found Glory) is 40. Actor Wes Bentley is 39. Actor Max Greenfield is 38.
Singer Dan Miller (O Town) is 37.
Singer Beyonce Knowles is 36. Country singer-musician Tom Gossin (Gloriana)
is 36. Actress-comedian Whitney Cummings is 35. Actor-comedian Kyle Mooney
(TV: "Saturday Night Live") is 33. Folk-rock musician Neyla Pekarek
(NEE'-lah peh-KAYR'-ehk) (The Lumineers) is 31. Pop-rock singer-songwriter
James Bay is 27. Actor Carter Jenkins is 26. Actor Trevor Gagnon is 22.
Thought for Today: "I am one of the people who love the why of things." —
Catherine the Great, Russian czarina (1729-1796).
Update September 2 - 3, 2017
What's on US astronaut's wish list after 9 months in space?
Wednesday, Oct 10, 2007 file photo, U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson, center,
commander of the 16th mission for the International Space Station, smiles
just before the launch of the Russian Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur
cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.(AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
By Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — After 9 ฝ months in orbit, what's on
Peggy Whitson's wish list? Will the record-setting NASA astronaut miss
anything about space life?
Whitson was scheduled to answer reporters' question during her final news
conference from space this week, days before her scheduled return to Earth.
But it was called off because of Harvey: Houston is home to Johnson Space
Center and Mission Control for the International Space Station
Instead, NASA relayed questions from The Associated Press to Whitson by
The questions and answers have been edited and condensed.
Q: What are your thoughts as you get ready to close out your mission? Has
the flight hurried by or seemed to have dragged?
A: Actually, most of the flight has gone by very quickly. In fact, I would
say that it didn't feel any longer than my previous two flights of 6 months
in duration. I would say the slowest time has been the last week or so. I
think it has to do with switching in your mind where you want/need to be.
Once the switch is thrown to go home, time seems to move a lot slower.
Q: You will be arriving back to a storm-crippled Houston. How has the
catastrophe there affected your mindset? How did you and your husband's home
A: Our home is fine, but so many friends and co-workers have been impacted.
For example, in order to keep Mission Control running, the team (three
shifts of a skeleton support crew) were sleeping on cots in the backup
Mission Control rooms. Their sacrifices for the station and keeping things
running up here are amazing. Any trepidations I might have about returning
in the aftermath of a hurricane are entirely eclipsed by the all those folks
keeping our mission going and physically putting themselves out there to
help folks who were less fortunate than us.
Q: Besides family and friends, what have you missed most about Earth?
A: Flush toilets. Trust me, you don't want to know the details. Pizza has
been on my mind for a month or two, since (U.S. astronaut) Jack (Fischer)
told the ground we weren't a pizza delivery place when he was joking with
Q: What will you miss most about space?
A: Things I will miss: I know that I will hugely miss the freedom of
floating and moving with the lightest of touch, especially those first few
days after my return when gravity will especially SUCK. I will miss seeing
the enchantingly peaceful limb of our Earth from this vantage point. Until
the end of my days, my eyes will search the horizon to see that curve.
I will miss seeing and working within this awe-inspiring creation that we,
as a people, have constructed here in space, travelling at 17,500 mph. I
still can't believe the incredible level of detail that was required to
imagine this place, let alone to build it! I will also miss the ability to
"go for a walk" in a spaceship built for one.
And mostly, I will miss that incredible
sense of satisfaction, gratitude and pride that comes from working with the
NASA team from on orbit.
Q: You broke quite a few records on this mission. What are your thoughts
about being a space superwoman?
A: I have noted in more than a few interviews that I am not overly
comfortable with the praise about the records. I honestly do think that it
is critical that we are continuously breaking records, because that
represents us moving forward in exploration. I am working on paying forward
some of the advice and mentoring that I received on my journey, in hopes
that one day those young people will do the same, and look back on a life in
which they leapt at the opportunities and broke their own records.
Q: How much longer could you envision yourself staying up there, if you had
to? An entire year? Longer?
A: Yes, I do think I could have flown in space longer. The resistive
exercise device is much better than the previous versions, and does a
fantastic job of keeping us fit from a bone and muscle perspective.
Q: Is this your last spaceflight, in all likelihood? What's next for you?
A: I am not sure what the future holds for me personally, but I envision
myself continuing to work on spaceflight programs. My desire to contribute
to the spaceflight team as we move forward in our exploration of space has
only increased over the years.
Mystery continues after removal of object off beach
Brockmann, left, president of the East Beach Association, gets help
assembling pieces of a mystery object that was removed from the surf on East
Beach in Westerly, R.I. (Harold Hanka/The Sun via AP)
WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — Questions
are still swirling after a mysterious object was removed from the waters off
a Rhode Island beach.
The circular metal object was taken out of the waters off East Beach in
Westerly by an excavator Thursday, and it's much bigger than originally
Peter Brockmann, president of the East Beach Association, tells The Westerly
Sun (http://bit.ly/2epxvti ) he hopes someone who sees a media report about
the object knows what it is.
Before it was removed, the best guess was it is what is called an acoustic
Doppler profiler to monitor currents. That device is about 4.5 feet (1.37
meters) long. But the object is about twice that size.
The object was discovered last month at the beach near singer Taylor Swift's
Back from watery grave: car stolen in 1979 in France
104, which was recovered this week 38 years after it was stolen, is stored
in a garage in Chalons-en-Champagne, eastern France. (AP Photo/Chris den
By John Leicester, Associated
PARIS (AP) — It's the car coming back from a watery grave.
A blue Peugeot 104 stolen in the heart of France's Champagne country in 1979
is being reunited with its owner — 38 years later — after French police
pulled it, in surprisingly good shape but crawling with crayfish, from a
In a Facebook posting, police said the pond owner alerted officers in
Chalons-en-Champagne, 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Paris, on Monday
about the discovery. The car became visible because drought dropped the
After police divers checked there wasn't a corpse inside, the long-lost
vehicle was towed onto dry land.
"lt still looks like a 104. It's still blue and there is still chrome on the
bumpers. It's surprising," Franck Menard, a mechanic who hauled it back to
the local garage where he works, said in a phone interview. "It's relatively
well preserved given that it spent so long in the water."
"The seats are still in good condition, beige," he added.
Police said the compact four-door hatchback — as much a feature of its time
as flared trousers and disco — was four years old and on its third owner
when it was declared stolen in the Champagne town of Reims in 1979. Too old
to figure in computer databases, investigators dusted off paper archives to
find the proprietor, who lives in the Reims area.
In their Facebook posting, headlined "Cold Case," police said plans are
afoot to reunite car and owner in the next few days.
Menard said that because it was declared stolen, the car technically now
belongs to the owner's insurer.
Still, he is expecting the owner to drop by his garage "to come and see the
car for nostalgia's sake."
The owner was stunned when officers tracked her down via family and
neighbors, said Lt. Col. Pierre-Damien Igau, of the gendarmerie in
"She was surprised that we contacted her because even for her this was very
ancient history," he said. "She appeared quite moved by the fact that we had
found her car so long after the fact and especially that we had made the
effort to contact her."
Menard said he doesn't expect the little Peugeot will ever run again,
because the rusty engine block was muddied up.
But he said they scooped up the crayfish that had been living inside and
freed them into a canal.
"At least they get a second life," he said.
Chris den Hond in Chalons-en-Champagne contributed to this report.
Fonda and Redford wow Venice; she says sex improves with age
Redford, left, and Jane Fonda pose during the photo call for the film "Our
Souls At NIght" at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Friday,
Sept. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
By Jill Lawless, Associated Press
VENICE, Italy (AP) — The older stars are shining the brightest at the
Venice Film Festival — and having much of the fun.
A playful Robert Redford and Jane Fonda brought undimmed glitter to the
festival on Friday along with their late-life romance "Our Souls at Night."
More than five decades after they first shared the screen, they star in the
Netflix-produced drama as widowed neighbors who forge a relationship.
Judging by the star-struck reaction from Venice audiences, the chemistry
that lit up the 1967 romantic comedy film "Barefoot in the Park" — one of
their most memorable pairings — remains strong.
Fonda said she loves the fact "that these films bookend our careers."
In "Barefoot in the Park," she told reporters, "we played that young love
just getting married and now we've played old people's love — and old
"Although in my opinion Ritesh cut the sex scene too soon," Fonda added,
referring to director Ritesh Batra.
Of Redford, she said: "I live for sex scenes with him."
The 81-year-old Redford and 79-year-old Fonda each are receiving a lifetime
achievement award from the festival Friday.
They are among a plethora of older stars at the Venice fest, which runs to
Sept. 9. Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland and Michael Caine are
all due to make appearances onscreen and on the red carpet.
Redford produced "Our Souls at Night," which is based on a novel by Kent
Haruf. He said he did it in part because the youth-obsessed movie business
doesn't make enough films for older audiences.
Fonda said she thought the representation of older people was improving,
pointing to the Netflix show "Grace and Frankie," in which she plays a newly
"I've had three lovers already in that series," she said. "I'm just so happy
we're giving a cultural face to older women. "
And she said love and sex got better with age, "because, first of all, we're
braver — what the heck to we have to lose? So my skin sags — so does his."
The two screen icons say they were thrilled to work together again, and it
shows in the warmth of their on-screen relationship.
"I wanted to do another film with her before I died," Redford said.
Fonda said her characters were often in love with Redford's, and "I wanted
to see what it was like to fall in love with him again."
"It was fun to kiss him in my 20s and then to kiss him again in my
almost-80s," she said.
Today in History - Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017
Today is Sunday, Sept. 3, the 246th day of 2017. There are 119 days left in
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 3, 1939, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declared
war on Germany, two days after the Nazi invasion of Poland; in a radio
address, Britain's King George VI said, "With God's help, we shall prevail."
The same day, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the British liner SS
Athenia some 250 miles off the Irish coast, killing more than 100 out of the
1,400 or so people on board.
On this date:
In 1189, England's King Richard I (the Lion-Hearted) was crowned in
In 1658, Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England, died in London; he
was succeeded by his son, Richard.
In 1783, representatives of the United States and Britain signed the Treaty
of Paris, which officially ended the Revolutionary War.
In 1868, the Japanese city of Edo was renamed Tokyo.
In 1914, Cardinal Giacomo Della Chiesa became pope; he took the name
In 1923, the United States and Mexico resumed diplomatic relations.
In 1940, Artie Shaw and his Gramercy Five recorded "Summit Ridge Drive" and
"Special Delivery Stomp" for RCA Victor.
In 1951, the television soap opera "Search for Tomorrow" made its debut on
In 1967, Nguyen Van Thieu (nwen van too) was elected president of South
Vietnam under a new constitution. Motorists in Sweden began driving on the
right-hand side of the road instead of the left. The original version of the
TV game show "What's My Line?," hosted by John Charles Daly, broadcast its
final episode after more than 17 years on CBS.
In 1976, America's Viking 2 lander touched down on Mars to take the first
close-up, color photographs of the red planet's surface.
In 1989, a Cubana de Aviacion jetliner crashed after takeoff in Havana,
killing all 126 aboard and 45 people on the ground.
In 1995, the online auction site eBay was founded in San Jose, California,
by Pierre Omidyar under the name "AuctionWeb."
Ten years ago: Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett, 63, went missing after
taking off in a single-engine plane in western Nevada. (The wreckage of the
plane and traces of his remains were found more than a year later.)
President George W. Bush, accompanied by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, paid a surprise visit to Iraq, where he
was briefed by U.S. military commanders and Iraqi leaders. Panama blasted
away part of a hillside next to the canal, marking the start of the
waterway's biggest expansion since it opened in 1914.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama consoled victims of Hurricane Isaac
along the Gulf Coast and stoked the enthusiasm of union voters in the
industrial heartland, blending a hard political sell with a softer show of
sympathy on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. Prolific
character actor Michael Clarke Duncan, 54, died in Los Angeles. Sun Myung
Moon, 92, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, died
in Gapeyeong, South Korea.
One year ago: President Barack Obama and China's President Xi Jinping (shee
jihn-peeng) sealed their nations' participation in the Paris climate change
agreement during a ceremony on the sidelines of a global economic summit in
Hangzhou (hahn-joh). Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visited
the Great Faith Ministries International, a predominantly black church in
Detroit, to call for a "civil rights agenda for our time." Authorities in
Minnesota said they had identified the remains of Jacob Wetterling, an
11-year-old boy kidnapped by a masked gunman in October 1989 near his home
in St. Joseph; the case was solved when a man confessed to sexually
assaulting and killing the boy.
Today's Birthdays: "Beetle Bailey" cartoonist Mort Walker is 94. Actress
Pauline Collins is 77. Rock singer-musician Al Jardine is 75. Actress
Valerie Perrine is 74. Rock musician Donald Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad) is
69. Rock guitarist Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols) is 62. Actor Steve
Schirripa is 60. Actor Holt McCallany is 53. Rock singer-musician Todd Lewis
is 52. Actor Costas Mandylor is 52. Actor Charlie Sheen is 52. Singer
Jennifer Paige is 44. Dance-rock musician Redfoo is 42. Actress Ashley Jones
is 41. Actress Nichole Hiltz is 39. Actor Joel Johnstone is 39. Actor Nick
Wechsler is 39. Rock musician Tomo Milicevic (30 Seconds to Mars) is 38.
Bluegrass musician Darren Nicholson (Balsam Range) is 34. Actress Christine
Woods is 34. Actor Garrett Hedlund is 33. Olympic gold medal snowboarder
Shaun White is 31. Hip-hop singer August Alsina is 25.
Thought for Today: "It is impossible to persuade a man who does not
disagree, but smiles." — Muriel Spark, Scottish author (1918-2006).
NKorea missile fear sets pre-emptive strike debate in Japan
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during
a press conference after he reshuffled his Cabinet at the prime minister's
official residence in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)
By Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press
TOKYO (AP) — Japan is debating whether to develop a limited
pre-emptive strike capability and buy cruise missiles — ideas that were
anathema in the pacifist country before the North Korea missile threat. With
revisions to Japan's defense plans underway, ruling party hawks are
accelerating the moves, and some defense experts say Japan should at least
After being on the backburner in the ruling party for decades, a possibility
of pre-emptive strike was formally proposed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by
his party's missile defense panel in March, prompting parliamentary debate,
though somewhat lost steam as Abe apparently avoided the divisive topic
after seeing support ratings for his scandal-laden government plunge.
North Korea's test-firing Tuesday of a missile, which flew over Japan and
landed in the northern Pacific Ocean, has intensified fear and reignited the
"Should we possess pre-emptive strike capability?" liberal-leaning Mainichi
newspaper asked the following day. "But isn't it too reckless to jump to
discuss a 'get them before they get you' approach?"
Japan has a two-step missile defense system. First, Standard Missile-3
interceptors on Aegis destroyers in the Sea of Japan would shoot down
projectiles mid-flight and if that fails, surface-to-air PAC-3s would
intercept them from within a 20-kilometer (12-mile) range. Technically, the
setup can handle falling debris or missiles heading to Japan, but it's not
good enough for missiles on a high-lofted trajectory, those with multiple
warheads or simultaneous multiple attacks, experts say.
A pre-emptive strike, by Japanese definition, is a step preceding the
two-tier defense. Cruise missiles, such as Tomahawk, fired from Aegis
destroyers or fighter jets would get the enemy missile clearly waiting to be
fired, or just after blastoff from a North Korean launch site, before it
Japan's self-defense-only principle under the country's war-renouncing
constitution prohibits its military from making a first strike, and
officials discussing a limited pre-emptive strike are calling it a
"strike-back" instead. Whichever the language, it further loosens postwar
Japan's pacifist principle and could strain its relations with China, which
is suspicious of Tokyo's intentions. There are gray areas as to how far
Japan can go and still justify minimum self-defense.
Some experts are skeptical about how it would work. North Korea's secretive,
diversified and mobile launch system makes it extremely difficult to track
down and incapacitate the weapons with Japan's limited cruise missile
attacks, security expert Ken Jimbo at Keio University said in a recent
article. A pre-emptive strike capability would also require trillions of
dollars to set up spy satellites, reconnaissance aircraft, cruise missiles,
as well as training of special units, experts say.
North Korea flight-tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July
and has threatened to send missiles near the U.S. territory of Guam, home to
key military bases. The North already has short-range missiles that cover
Japan and possibly has achieved miniaturized nuclear warheads, the Defense
Ministry's annual report says.
"North Korea has demonstrated its capability to hit targets anywhere in
Japan," said Narushige Michishita, a defense expert at the National Graduate
Institute for Policy Studies. "It has become even more important for Japan
to improve its missile and civil defense capabilities, and seriously think
about acquiring limited but meaningful strike capabilities."
Timing of the pre-emptive strike debate is seen in favor of supporters of
the option in the ruling party and the Defense Ministry because they are
just starting to revise Japan's multi-year defense plans.
Abe called Tuesday's missile firing "unprecedented, grave and serious
threat." Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, an advocate of bolstering
Japan's missile and strike-back capability, said more provocations by the
North are likely and Tokyo must quickly upgrade its missile arsenal.
The Defense Ministry announced Thursday a record 5.26 trillion yen ($48
billion) budget for fiscal 2018, which would cover purchase of upgraded
missile defense systems such as land-based Aegis Ashore interceptors or the
Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, a mobile equipment Washington
and Seoul have installed in South Korea. Beijing, which says THAAD's
powerful radar can reach deep into China and wants it removed, could react
sharply if it is installed in Japan.
Abe, since taking office five years ago, has expanded Japan's military role,
allowing it to take on a greater task in international peacekeeping. In
2015, his government allowed Japan to fight for its allies when they come
under enemy attack, a condition known as collective self-defense, by
re-interpreting part of the constitution and railroading a new security
legislation that sparked massive protests.
Pre-emptive strike, however, is even more sensitive and divisive topic and
the government may have to prioritize upgrading missile interceptors for
now, says Tetsuo Kotani, senior research fellow at the Japan Institute of
International Affairs. Polls show most Japanese fear North Korea's missile
threat and support bolstering Japan's intercepting capability, but in terms
of pre-emptive strike, opponents overwhelmed supporters.
"Prime Minister Abe seems to have turned hesitant about discussing
pre-emptive strikes," Kotani said, suggesting Abe's declining popularity is
causing his reluctance to push the issue. "Public debate of pre-emptive
strikes may slow down."
Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi
Her work can be found in APNews at
Myanmar military says death toll in clashes almost 400
Rohingya ethnic minority members walk through rice fields after crossing
over to the Bangladesh side of the border near Cox's Bazar's Teknaf area,
Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
By Bernat Armangue, Associated
TEKNAF, Bangladesh (AP) — Almost 400 people have died in violence in
western Myanmar that was triggered by attacks on security forces by
insurgents from the Rohingya ethnic minority, Myanmar's military said, as
both sides exchanged charges of atrocities and thousands of Rohingya fled
across the border to Bangladesh.
The death toll, posted on the Facebook page of Myanmar's military commander
Friday, is a sharp increase over the previously reported number of just over
100. The statement said all but 29 of the 399 dead were insurgents.
The statement said there had been 90 armed clashes, including an initial 30
attacks by insurgents on Aug. 25, making the combat more extensive than
previously announced. The army, responding to the attacks, launched what it
called clearance operations against the insurgents.
Advocates for the Rohingya, an oppressed Muslim minority in overwhelmingly
Buddhist Myanmar, say security forces and vigilantes attacked and burned
villages, shooting civilians and causing others to flee. Hundreds of
civilians were killed, they say, posting photos, videos and details on
social media as evidence.
The government blames the insurgents for burning their own homes and killing
Buddhists in Rakhine. Longstanding tension between the Rohingya Muslims and
Buddhists erupted in bloody rioting in 2012, forcing more than 100,000
Rohingya into displacement camps, where many still live.
As the refugees poured across the border into Bangladesh, a police official
in Cox Bazar's Teknaf area said that 21 bodies of Rohingya were found
floating in the Naf River. Mohammed Mohiuddin Khan said two of them had
On Thursday, three boats with refugees capsized, killing at least 26,
including women and children, police said.
Among those fleeing the violence was Sham Shu Hoque, 34, who crossed the
border with 17 family members. He said he left his village of Ngan Chaung on
Aug. 25 after it was attacked by Myanmar security forces who shot at the
villagers. He said troops also used rocket-propelled grenades, and
helicopters fired some sort of incendiary device.
Five people were killed in front of his house, he said. His family survived
the attack but was told by the soldiers to leave. They took a week to reach
Bangladesh, hiding in villages along the way, he said.
Estimates from local and police officials, intelligence sources and Rohingya
leaders suggest at least 40,000 have crossed into Bangladesh. In the first
six days after the Aug. 25 attacks, the International Organization for
Migration said at least 18,000 Rohingya arrived in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi border guards have tried to keep them out, but usually relent
when pressured, and thousands could be seen Friday making their way across
muddy rice fields. Young people helped carry the elderly, some on makeshift
stretchers, and children carried newborns.
Some, carrying bundles of clothes, cooking utensils and small solar panels,
said they had walked at least three days to get to the border.
The insurgent group that claimed responsibility for last week's attacks, the
Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army — ARSA — said it acted to protect Rohingya
It is nearly impossible to verify information issued by either the
government or Rohingya sympathizers because Myanmar has barred most
journalists from the area, except on limited official guided tours.
A human rights group, Fortify Rights, said that witnesses who escaped have
supported accusations by Rohingya advocates that government security
personnel and civilian vigilantes "committed mass killings of Rohingya
Muslim men, women, and children in Chut Pyin village, Rathedaung township,
on Aug. 27."
"Survivors and eyewitnesses from Chut Pyin told Fortify Rights that soldiers
and armed residents burned every house in the village," the group said in a
statement. It said survivors who returned to the village after the attackers
left estimated the death toll there to be more than 200.
It quoted a 41-year-old survivor identified by the pseudonym "Abdul Rahman"
as saying that soldiers killed and burned his brother along with other
"We found (my other family members) in the fields," it quoted him as saying.
"They had marks on their bodies from bullets and some had cuts. My two
nephews, their heads were off. One was 6 years old and the other was 9 years
old. My sister-in-law was shot with a gun."
Government accusations of atrocities committed by the insurgents are less
"Some of the ethnic natives while on their way were brutally butchered by
the terrorists applying inhuman ways without any reason," Friday's military
statement said. It said the insurgents were "using various terrorism tactics
under well-hatched plots, attacking security forces on duty with superior
force, mingling with villagers after running away from security forces in
hot pursuit of them, cutting off communication lines, and spreading false
information to get outside help."
Most of Myanmar's estimated 1 million Rohingya live in northern Rakhine
state. They face severe persecution, with the government refusing to
recognize them as a legitimate native ethnic minority, leaving them without
citizenship and basic rights.
The U.S. group Human Rights Watch said it has obtained satellite images that
suggest burning villages across a large swathe of Rakhine state. It said the
locations match some of the accounts given by people who have fled into
Bangladesh of settlements that have been attacked and destroyed by Myanmar
soldiers, police and armed civilians.
"The government has to stop this offensive," said Phil Robertson, deputy
Asia director for Human Rights Watch. "It has to allow humanitarian
assistance and let journalists into this area. We have to actually see
what's happened because quite clearly human rights violations have taken
He said it was possible that violations had occurred on both sides.
The U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar,
Yanghee Lee, expressed concern "that many thousands of people are
increasingly at risk of grave violations of their human rights."
The U.N. secretary-general also urged restraint by Myanmar security forces,
a spokesperson said in a statement.
"The current situation underlines the
urgency of seeking holistic approaches to addressing the complex root causes
of violence," spokesperson Eri Kaneko said.
4 dead as Tropical Storm Lidia hits Mexico's Baja California
covers an intersection in downtown Mexico City, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. An
enormous sinkhole about 30 feet (10 meters) in diameter opened on the
street, caused by an accumulation of water, according to civil protection.
(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
By Ignacio Martinez, Associated
CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Lidia has caused four
deaths in Mexico's Los Cabos, officials said Friday as it continued to lash
the resort-studded southern Baja California Peninsula with heavy rains.
Arturo de la Rosa Escalante, mayor of the twin resorts of Los Cabos, said
two people were electrocuted by power lines, a woman drowned after being
swept away by water on a flooded street and a baby was ripped from its
mother's arms as she crossed a flooded area.
Authorities warned that the death toll could rise and De la Rosa said one
person was considered missing.
About 1,400 people sought refuge at storm shelters as the storm flooded
streets and stranded tourists.
State Tourism Secretary Luis Genero Ruiz said about 20,000 foreign tourists
were stranded after airlines suspended flights to the area.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Lidia made landfall early Friday
west of La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur state.
Lidia's wind strength eased slightly to 55 mph (90 kph), and further
weakening was forecast over the next few days as the storm reaches
The storm was centered about 85 miles (135 kilometers) north of Cabo San
Lazaro and was heading northwest at about 12 mph (19 kph). It was expected
to track the Baja California peninsula's coast through Saturday before
moving over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday morning.
The center said Lidia could produce accumulations of as much as 6 to 12
inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of rain across much of Baja California and
parts of the mainland, threatening flash floods and landslides.
Lidia earlier spread rains over a broad swath of Mexico including the
capital, where it was blamed for flooding that briefly closed the city's
airport this week and a 30-foot-wide (10-meter-wide) sinkhole that opened in
a downtown street Thursday.
"Some of the tropical moisture from Lidia may reach parts of the desert
Southwest this holiday weekend, including southern California, southern
Nevada and southwestern Arizona," the hurricane center said.
The storm was expected to travel about halfway up the peninsula before
turning out into the Pacific.
Far out over the Atlantic, meanwhile, Category 3 Hurricane Irma was
following a course that could bring it near the eastern Caribbean Sea by
early next week. It had maximum sustained winds near 120 mph (195 kph) and
was moving west near 13 mph (20 kph).
Forecasters said Irma was expected to be an extremely dangerous hurricane
for the next several days. No coastal watches or warnings were in effect.
Pope saw psychoanalyst to seek 'clarity' years ago
In this Saturday, June 3, 2017 file photo, Pope
Francis attends an audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican.. (AP
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says that when he was 42 he had
sessions weekly with a psychoanalyst who was female and Jewish to "clarify
It wasn't specified what the future pontiff wanted to explore. The
revelation came in a dozen conversations Francis had with French sociologist
Dominique Wolton, writing a soon-to-be-published book.
La Stampa, an Italian daily, quoting from some of the conversations on
Friday, said Francis went to the analyst's home. Francis was quoted as
saying: "one day, when she was about to die, she called me. Not to receive
the sacraments, since she was Jewish, but for a spiritual dialogue."
"She was a good person. For six months she helped me a lot," Francis said.
Francis then was a Jesuit official in his native Argentina, which was ruled
by military dictatorship.
In the conversations with the French author, Francis speaks highly of the
positive influence women have had on his life.
"Those whom I've known helped me a lot when I needed to consult with them,"
Francis is quoted as saying.
The 80-year-old pope also speaks of his state of mind now. "I feel free.
Sure, I'm in a cage here at the Vatican, but not spiritually. Nothing makes
What bothers him, he ventured, are people with straitjacket points of view.
He singled out "rigid priests, who are afraid to communicate. It's a form of
fundamentalism. Whenever I run into a rigid person, especially if young, I
tell myself that he's sick."
But Francis concludes that "in reality, they are persons looking for
In past remarks, the pope has indicated he struggled with how to use
authority in his first leadership roles as a Jesuit.
The Catholic Church used to project a sense of mistrust regarding
But over time, the diffidence seems diminished.
Updated Vatican guidelines for use on seminaries in training future priests
describe psychologists as valuable in assessing the psychological health of
Today in History - Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017
Today is Saturday, Sept. 2, the 245th day of 2017. There are 120 days left
in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered in ceremonies aboard the
USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, ending World War II.
On this date:
In 1666, the Great Fire of London broke out.
In 1789, the United States Treasury Department was established.
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman's forces
In 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt offered the advice, "Speak softly
and carry a big stick" in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair.
In 1924, the Rudolf Friml operetta "Rose Marie" opened on Broadway.
In 1935, a Labor Day hurricane slammed into the Florida Keys, claiming more
than 400 lives.
In 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam an independent republic. (Ho died on
this date in 1969.)
In 1963, Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace prevented the integration of
Tuskegee High School by encircling the building with state troopers. "The
CBS Evening News" with Walter Cronkite was lengthened from 15 to 30 minutes,
becoming network television's first half-hour nightly newscast.
In 1969, in what some regard as the birth of the Internet, two connected
computers at the University of California, Los Angeles, passed test data
through a 15-foot cable.
In 1972, Dave Wottle of the United States won the men's 800-meter race at
the Munich Summer Olympics.
In 1986, a judge in Los Angeles sentenced Cathy Evelyn Smith to three years
in prison for involuntary manslaughter for her role in the 1982 drug
overdose death of comedian John Belushi. (Smith served 18 months.)
In 1998, a Swissair MD-11 jetliner crashed off Nova Scotia, killing all 229
Ten years ago: Following two days of talks in Geneva, the chief U.S. envoy
said North Korea had agreed to account for and disable its atomic programs
by the end of the year; the head of the North Korean delegation said his
country's willingness to cooperate was clear, but he did not cite any dates.
Hurricane Felix strengthened into a dangerous Category 4 storm as it toppled
trees and flooded homes on a cluster of Dutch islands before churning its
way into the open waters of the Caribbean.
Five years ago: Campaigning his way toward the Democratic National
Convention, President Barack Obama slapped a "Romney doesn't care" label on
his rival's health-care views and said Republicans wanted to repeal new
protections for millions without offering a plan of their own. Mark
Abrahamian, 46, lead guitarist for the rock group Starship, died in Norfolk,
Nebraska, of a heart attack after a performance.
One year ago: President Barack Obama departed for China on his final
official trip to Asia. Tropical Storm Hermine hit Florida as a Category 1
hurricane, wiping away beachside buildings and toppling trees onto homes.
Samsung Electronics recalled all of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after
finding batteries in some of the flagship gadgets exploded or caught fire.
The federal government banned more than a dozen chemicals long-used in
antibacterial soaps, saying manufacturers had failed to show they were safe
and killed germs.
Today's Birthdays: Dancer-actress Marge Champion is 98. Former Sen. Alan K.
Simpson, R-Wyo., is 86. Actor-comedian Chuck McCann is 83. Former United
States Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Ueberroth is 80. Actor Derek Fowlds
(TV: "Yes, Minister"; "Yes, Prime Minister") is 80. Singer Jimmy Clanton is
79. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sam Gooden (The Impressions) is 78.
Rhythm-and-blues singer Rosalind Ashford (Martha & the Vandellas) is 74.
Singer Joe Simon is 74. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Terry
Bradshaw is 69. Basketball Hall of Famer Nate Archibald is 69. Actor Mark
Harmon is 66. Former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is 66. International Tennis
Hall of Famer Jimmy Connors is 65. Actress Linda Purl is 62. Rock musician
Jerry Augustyniak (10,000 Maniacs) is 59. Country musician Paul Deakin (The
Mavericks) is 58. Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson is 57. Actor
Keanu Reeves is 53. International Boxing Hall of Famer Lennox Lewis is 52.
Actress Salma Hayek is 51. Actor Tuc Watkins is 51.
Actress Kristen Cloke is 49. Actress Cynthia Watros is 49. Rhythm-and-blues
singer K-Ci is 48. Actor-comedian Katt Williams is 44. Actor Michael
Lombardi is 43. Actress Tiffany Hines is 40. Rock musician Sam Rivers (Limp
Bizkit) is 40. Actor Jonathan Kite is 38. Actress Allison Miller is 32. Rock
musician Spencer Smith is 30. Electronic music DJ/producer Zedd is 28.
Thought for Today: "Life is a tragic mystery. We are pierced and driven by
laws we only half understand, we find that the lesson we learn again and
again is that of accepting heroic helplessness." — Florida Scott-Maxwell,
American writer and psychologist (1884-1979).
SeaWorld seeks restraining order vs. protesters
In this Jan. 31, 2017, file photo, the entrance
to Sea World is seen, in Orlando, Florida.(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
By Julie Watson, Associated Press
SAN DIEGO (AP) — SeaWorld is seeking a restraining order against
three animal rights activists who disrupted a killer whale show at its San
Diego park last month in a protest led by actor James Cromwell.
The company wants to bar Lyanne Fernandez, Ricky Chavez Rodriguez and Lisa
Lange from the San Diego park and SeaWorld's nearby waterslide park,
Aquatica, according to court documents filed Thursday in San Diego County
Company officials told The Associated Press that the three were particularly
aggressive but the order would not bar them from its other parks in San
Antonio and Orlando, Florida. The court plans to hold a hearing before
deciding, the documents say.
Lange said SeaWorld's action is retaliation for the complaint the trio filed
to press charges against the company's head of security in San Diego. They
said some of the protesters were thrown to the ground.
"I think it's an odd reaction for SeaWorld. Instead of saying to their
security guy, 'Hey, you're not allowed to beat people up,' they seek a
restraining order against us," said Lange, who works for PETA in Los
Angeles. "He really roughed us up."
Lange said it won't stop her from protesting against SeaWorld. The two other
activists could not be immediately reached for comment.
Wearing a "SeaWorld Sucks" T-shirt, Cromwell and six activists with the
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals barged in to the "Orca
Encounter" show July 24 and spoke through a megaphone demanding SeaWorld
release its orcas living in tanks and move them to massive pens in the
Cromwell, who starred in the movie "Babe," told park visitors that SeaWorld
was condemning the orcas to premature deaths unless they are moved
immediately to ocean sanctuaries.
When park security asked them to leave, the protesters locked arms, went
limp and refused. After they were removed by force, SeaWorld alleges one
protester later lashed out at a security guard.
PETA has denied the allegations and said the security guard manhandled the
three protesters, wrestled phones away and threw two of them to the ground,
sat on them and put a knee on a woman's chest until she yelled that she
could not breathe.
PETA said in a statement after the arrests that it was a
"non-confrontational protest against cruelty to marine life" and that the
protesters obeyed the uniformed officers.
Cromwell, who was handcuffed and escorted out of the park, was separated
from the other demonstrators when they were taken away.
Fernandez, Rodriguez and Lange were charged with criminal trespassing last
month, and one of them also was charged with assault and battery, according
If the order is issued and the trio tries to enter the San Diego parks, the
company will call police, said Marilyn Hannes, president of SeaWorld's San
"We certainly respect free speech. When they demonstrate on SeaWorld Drive,
we are respectful and understand that. But this is not about that at all,"
Hannes said. "This is really about safety."
PETA has long been known for its stunts to draw attention to its protests.
But Hannes said it has been escalating in recent months.
"Now that it's gotten to the point of becoming violent, that is beyond
acceptable," she said. "We're very proud of the conduct of our security team
under difficult circumstances."
Hannes said the request for a restraining order is the first such action
taken by SeaWorld that she knows of in her 20 years working at the San Diego
The educational attraction called "Orca Encounter" debuted this summer at
the San Diego park as part of the Orlando-based entertainment company's move
to end its world-famous killer whale shows amid public pressure that has
intensified after the 2013 release of "Blackfish," a documentary critical of
SeaWorld's orca care.
SeaWorld has said the new "natural orca encounters" will replace the
Rescuers at India building collapse find 15 injured, 33 dead
Rescue workers clear debris from the site of a
building collapse in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017.(AP Photo/Rafiq
By Rafiq Maqbool, Associated Press
MUMBAI, India (AP) — Rescuers worked through the night removing the rubble
of a collapsed apartment building in India's financial capital of Mumbai
where at least 33 people have died and nearly a dozen others may still be
Fire officer Prabhat Kumar said Friday that 15 injured survivors have been
pulled from the debris so far.
Police said 33 bodies had been recovered from the rubble by early Friday,
but hope was fading of finding anyone alive more than 24 hours after the
building collapsed. Authorities have no clear idea how many people lived
there or were in the ground floor work spaces. But police say nearly a dozen
people are missing and feared trapped beneath the huge mound of broken
concrete slabs and twisted steel girders.
Rescuers used earth-moving machines to lift concrete slabs and cement blocks
as they searched for survivors.
Rescuers at India building collapse find 15
injured, 33 dead.
(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
The rickety 117-year-old, five-story building in congested Bhendi Bazaar in
south Mumbai had been declared unsafe to live in six years ago, but some
people continued to stay there. The residents of an adjacent building were
advised to leave after it developed cracks following the collapse.
The building had housed nine families in apartments above a first-floor
nursery school, but the collapse Thursday morning occurred before the
toddlers had arrived for the day, police said. The ground floor had
warehouses where workers may have been present.
Nearby resident Amina Sheikh tightly held her 4-year-old grandson's hand as
they watched the rescue efforts from a safe distance. "This is my grandson.
He used to go to school in that building," she said, tearfully pointing at
She had been getting the boy ready for school when she heard a loud boom and
saw the building had crashed down. It was "an hour before his class began.
That's why my grandson's life was saved," she said.
It was the first major building collapse after Mumbai recorded 315-mm (12
inches) rainfall on Tuesday, the city's highest since 2005.
Thousands of buildings in Mumbai are more than a century old, their
foundations weakened by years of heavy monsoon rains. The collapse of a
four-story building in the city's suburb of Ghatkopar last month killed 17.
Building collapses are common in India during the monsoon season, which is
June to September. High demand and lax regulations encourage some builders
to use substandard materials or add unauthorized extra floors. Property
prices and rents in Mumbai are among the highest in India as the city has
expanded in the past five decades.
The city is slowly returning to normal after being paralyzed by heavy
downpours for two days. Train services and public transport were disrupted
by flooding and water seeped into many low-lying buildings.
The city struggles to cope with the monsoon deluge each year, drawing
criticism about its poor planning.
Since the start of the season, devastating floods across South Asia have
killed at least 1,000 people and affected close to 40 million across
northern India, southern Nepal and northern Bangladesh.
The rains have led to wide-scale flooding in a broad arc stretching across
the Himalayan foothills in the three countries, causing landslides, damaging
roads and electric towers and washing away tens of thousands of homes and
vast swathes of farmland.
The rains moved into Pakistan on Thursday, with the heavy downpour flooding
streets in Karachi. At least eight deaths were considered flood-related.
Boats carrying fleeing Rohingya sink in Bangladesh; 26 dead
Members of Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority
sit in a boat to cross a canal at Shah Porir Deep, in Teknak, Bangladesh,
Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Suvra Kanti Das)
By Tofayel Ahmed and Julhas Alam, Associated Press
COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh (AP) — Three boats carrying ethnic Rohingya fleeing
violence in Myanmar capsized in Bangladesh and 26 bodies of women and
children have been recovered, officials said Thursday.
Bangladesh border guard commander Lt. Col. S.M. Ariful Islam said at least
three boats carrying an unknown number of Rohingya Muslims sank in the Naf
River at Teknaf in Cox's Bazar on Wednesday. He said the bodies of 15
children and 11 women were recovered, and it was unclear whether anyone was
The top government official in Cox's Bazar, Mohammad Ali Hossain, said the
bodies would be buried because no one had claimed them.
Last week, Rohingya insurgents attacked at least two dozen police posts in
Myanmar's Rakhine state, triggering fighting with security forces that left
more than 100 people dead and forced at least 18,000 Rohingya to flee into
Hundreds of people have been stranded in a no man's land at the countries'
border, the International Organization for Migration said. Satellite imagery
analyzed by Human Rights Watch indicated that many homes in northern Rakhine
state were set ablaze.
Most of Myanmar's estimated 1 million Rohingya Muslims live in northern
Rakhine. They face severe persecution in the Buddhist-majority country,
which denies them citizenship and basic rights.
Longstanding tension between the Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine
Buddhists erupted in bloody rioting in 2012. That set off a surge of
anti-Muslim feeling throughout the country.
Some Buddhists and Hindus have also fled the violence.
More than 400 Hindu residents of Rakhine state crossed into Bangladesh after
being attacked by armed men, officials and survivors said.
Main Uddin, a government official in Ukhiya in Cox's Bazar, said the
survivors reported that about 86 Hindus had been killed by armed groups in
three villages since last Friday.
Survivors said Myanmar soldiers were everywhere and "armed people" were also
burning houses and killing people.
Nirajan Rudro, a Hindu who fled to Bangladesh, told The Associated Press
that masked men armed with guns, sticks and knives had attacked them and set
fire to their houses.
Uddin said 412 Hindus are staying in a Hindu neighborhood near Rohingya
camps in Ukhiya.
"They have been sheltered in an abandoned poultry farm there. Bangladeshi
Hindus are helping them," he said.
Alam reported from Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Former Colombian rebels change their name ... to FARC?
In this Aug. 27, 2019 file photo, leaders
of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), sit before former
guerrillas as they lead the FARC's National Congress where they launched
their political party in Bogota, Colombia.AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File)
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Former leftist rebels in Colombia have chosen
a familiar-sounding, if polarizing, acronym for their fledgling political
movement — FARC.
At a meeting Thursday 900 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia voted overwhelmingly to change the group's name to the Alternative
Communal Revolutionary Forces, scrubbing any reference to its armed past.
Since both names in Spanish carry the acronym FARC, its common use name will
The decision came as part of a weeklong congress in which the rebels are
mapping out their future political strategy after having laid down their
weapons as part of a historic peace deal.
While ex-combatants are proud of their insurgent past it remains to be seen
if regular Colombians are ready to vote for a party with a name they've
grown to associate with violence during the nation's half-century conflict.
On Sunday, the former rebels initiated the launch of their political party,
vowing to upend Colombia's traditional conservatism with the creation of an
alternative leftist coalition.
Under the terms of the peace deal signed last year, ex-combatants are
guaranteed 10 seats in Congress and the same funding the state provides to
the nation's 13 other political parties.
The organization has signaled that it will adhere to its Marxist roots and
focus on winning votes from poor farmers, workers and the urban middle
class, but it faces opposition from many who identify the guerrillas with
kidnappings and terrorism.
A poll released in August found that fewer than 10 percent of Colombians
said they had total confidence in the rebels as a political party and a
large majority said they'd never vote a former guerrilla into Congress.
Today in History - Friday, Sept. 1, 2017
Today is Friday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2017. There are 121 days left
in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 1, 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland.
On this date:
In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr was found not guilty of treason.
(Burr was then tried on a misdemeanor charge, but was again acquitted.)
In 1897, the first section of Boston's new subway system was opened.
In 1905, Alberta and Saskatchewan entered Confederation as the eighth and
ninth provinces of Canada.
In 1914, the last passenger pigeon in captivity, "Martha," died at the
In 1923, the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Yokohama were devastated by an
earthquake that claimed some 140,000 lives.
In 1945, Americans received word of Japan's formal surrender that ended
World War II. (Because of the time difference, it was Sept. 2 in Tokyo Bay,
where the ceremony took place.)
In 1951, the United States, Australia and New Zealand signed a mutual
defense pact, the ANZUS treaty.
In 1969, a coup in Libya brought Moammar Gadhafi to power.
In 1976, U.S. Rep. Wayne L. Hays, D-Ohio, resigned in the wake of a scandal
in which he admitted having an affair with "secretary" Elizabeth Ray.
In 1983, 269 people were killed when a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 was shot
down by a Soviet jet fighter after the airliner entered Soviet airspace.
In 1987, peace demonstrator S. Brian Willson lost his lower legs when he was
hit by a train at the Concord Naval Weapons Station in California while
protesting weapons shipments to Central America.
In 1995, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame and Museum in Cleveland. (The hall opened to the public the next day.)
Ten years ago: Idaho Sen. Larry Craig announced his resignation, saying he
would leave office on September 30, 2007, in the wake of fallout over his
arrest and guilty plea in a Minnesota airport gay sex sting. (However, Craig
later reversed his decision, saying he would serve out the rest of his
term.) Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter in his second major league start,
just hours after being called up by the Boston Red Sox. Buchholz struck out
nine, walked three and hit one batter to give the Red Sox a 10-0 victory
Five years ago: President Barack Obama ridiculed the just-completed
Republican National Convention as better-suited to an era of black-and-white
TV and "trickle-down, you're on your own" economics, and declared that Mitt
Romney "did not offer a single new idea" for fixing the economy. Lyricist
Hal David, 91, who teamed with Burt Bacharach on dozens of timeless songs
for movies, television and a variety of recording artists in the 1960s and
beyond, died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: A massive fireball and explosion erupted at SpaceX's main
launch pad at Cape Canaveral, destroying a rocket as well as a satellite
that Facebook was counting on to spread internet service in Africa. Dallas
police Chief David Brown, who oversaw the response to a July 2016 sniper
attack that killed five of his officers, announced his retirement effective
in October. Fred Hellerman, a member of the influential folk music quartet
the Weavers, died in Weston, Connecticut, at age 89.
Today's Birthdays: Actor George Maharis is 89. Conductor Seiji Ozawa
(SAY'-jee oh-ZAH'-wah) is 82. Attorney and law professor Alan Dershowitz is
79. Comedian-actress Lily Tomlin is 78. Actor Don Stroud is 74. Conductor
Leonard Slatkin is 73. Singer Archie Bell is 73. Singer Barry Gibb is 71.
Rock musician Greg Errico is 69. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw is 67.
Singer Gloria Estefan is 60. Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee
Myers is 56. Jazz musician Boney James is 56. Singer-musician Grant Lee
Phillips (Grant Lee Buffalo) is 54. Country singer-songwriter Charlie
Robison is 53. Retired NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway is 51. Rap DJ Spigg Nice
(Lost Boyz) is 47. Actor Ricardo Antonio Chavira is 46. Actor Maury Sterling
is 46. Rock singer JD Fortune is 44. Actor Scott Speedman is 42. Country
singer Angaleena Presley (Pistol Annies) is 41. Actor Boyd Holbrook is 36.
Actress Zoe Lister-Jones is 35. Rock musician Joe Trohman is 33. Actress
Aisling (ASH'-ling) Loftus is 27.
Thought for Today: "When nothing is sure, everything is possible." —
Margaret Drabble, British author.