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Local News

  • Long blackouts pose risk to US reactors

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Long before the nuclear emergency in Japan, U.S. regulators knew that a power failure lasting for days at an American nuclear plant, whatever the cause, could lead to a radioactive leak. Even so, they have only required the nation's 104 nuclear reactors to develop plans for dealing with much shorter blackouts on the assumption that power would be restored quickly.

  • Syrian Cabinet resigns amid unrest

    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's Cabinet resigned Tuesday to help quell a wave of popular fury that erupted more than a week ago, threatening President Bashar Assad's 11-year rule in one of the most authoritarian nations in the Middle East.

    Assad, whose family has controlled Syria for four decades, is trying to calm the growing dissent with a string of overtures. He is expected to address the nation in the next 24 hours to lift emergency laws in place since 1963 and moving to annul other harsh restrictions on civil liberties and political freedoms.

  • Syrian Cabinet resigns amid unrest

    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's Cabinet resigned Tuesday to help quell a wave of popular fury that erupted more than a week ago, threatening President Bashar Assad's 11-year rule in one of the most authoritarian nations in the Middle East.

    Assad, whose family has controlled Syria for four decades, is trying to calm the growing dissent with a string of overtures. He is expected to address the nation in the next 24 hours to lift emergency laws in place since 1963 and moving to annul other harsh restrictions on civil liberties and political freedoms.

  • Gunmen kill 56 in grisly Iraq hostage siege

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Wearing military uniforms over explosives belts, gunmen held a local Iraqi government center hostage Tuesday in a grisly siege that ended with the deaths of at least 56 people, including three councilmen who were executed with gunshots to the head.

    The five-hour standoff in Tikrit, former dictator Saddam Hussein's home town, ended only when the attackers blew themselves up in one of the bloodiest days in Iraqi this year.

    First they set fire to the bodies of the three slain Salahuddin province councilmen in a brutal, defiant show of how insurgents still render Iraq unstable — even if it has so far escaped the political unrest rolling across the Arab world.

  • Kan: Japan on 'maximum alert' over nuke crisis--video added

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan's leader insisted Tuesday that the country was on "maximum alert" to bring its nuclear crisis under control, but the spread of radiation raised concerns about the ability of experts to stabilize the crippled reactor complex.

    Wan but resolute, Prime Minister Naoto Kan told parliament that Japan was grappling with its worst problems since World War II.

    "This quake, tsunami and the nuclear accident are the biggest crises for Japan" in decades, Kan said, dressed in one of the blue work jackets that have become ubiquitous among bureaucrats since the tsunami. He said the crises remained unpredictable, but added: "From now on, we will continue to handle it in a state of maximum alert."

  • FACT CHECK: How Obama's Libya claims fit the facts

    EDITOR'S NOTE: An occasional look at statements by political leaders and how well they adhere to the facts.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — There may be less than meets the eye to President Barack Obama's statements Monday night that NATO is taking over from the U.S. in Libya and that U.S. action is limited to defending people under attack there by Moammar Gadhafi's forces.

    In transferring command and control to NATO, the U.S. is turning the reins over to an organization dominated by the U.S., both militarily and politically. In essence, the U.S. runs the show that is taking over running the show.

  • Obama strongly defends US military action in Libya--video extra

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Defending the first war launched on his watch, President Barack Obama declared Monday night that the United States intervened in Libya to prevent a slaughter of civilians that would have stained the world's conscience and "been a betrayal of who we are." Yet he ruled out targeting Moammar Gadhafi, warning that trying to oust him militarily would be a costly mistake.

    Obama announced that NATO would take command over the entire Libya operation on Wednesday, keeping his pledge to get the U.S. out of the lead — but offering no estimate on when the conflict might end.

  • Libyan rebels close in on key Gadhafi stronghold--video extra

    BIN JAWWAD, Libya (AP) — Rebel forces fought their way Monday toward Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, a key government stronghold guarding the road to the capital Tripoli.

    Their rapid advance came on the back of international airstrikes that have battered Gadhafi's air force, armor and troops over the past week. The rebels have now recaptured all the territory they lost over the past week and brought them closer than ever to Sirte — within 60 miles (100 kilometers).

  • News minute
  • Obama to lay out his case on Libya to nation--video extra

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is offering Congress and an anxious public his first detailed accounting of his rationale for U.S. military involvement in Libya and perhaps an answer to the burning question: What's next?

    His speech, set for 7:30 p.m. EDT Monday, comes after the administration scored an important diplomatic victory. NATO ambassadors on Sunday approved a plan for the alliance to assume from the U.S. command all aerial operations, including ground attacks.

    That will help Obama assure the nation he can deliver on his promise that the United States will be a partner in the military action against Libya, but not from the driver's seat. Bickering among NATO members delayed the process.