Home » News » View News
National

Monday, February 3, 2014,AP News in Brief at 5:58 a.m. EST

Font size

Posted: Feb 2, 2014 4:00 PM

Updated: Feb 3, 2014 4:00 AM

Seahawks rout Broncos 43-8 and could be set up for more Super runs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Pete Carroll stood in the center of the locker room and gathered his Seattle Seahawks around him.

They were Super Bowl champions, and they had the Lombardi Trophy after routing the Denver Broncos 43-8 on Sunday night.

After a rah-rah speech and Carroll shouting out some players' names, the entire team joined in a chant: "We all we got! We all we need! We all we got! We all we need!"

And that could be the case for a while for these Seahawks, who could be a force to be reckoned with next season and beyond.

"Obviously, we feel like we have a very strong foundation and we're very excited about our future," Seahawks general manager John Schneider said. "We talk about being a consistent championship-caliber football team and for our fans, that means you have hope every year that your team is going to be in it."

___

Thai protesters vow to nullify election, step up rallies after polls marred by disruptions

BANGKOK (AP) Thai protesters vowed Monday to stage larger rallies in central Bangkok and push ahead their efforts to nullify the results of elections that were expected to prolong a national political crisis.

Despite fears of violence, voting proceeded peacefully in 90 percent of polling stations Sunday. The protesters forced polling booths to close in Bangkok and southern Thailand, disenfranchising millions of registered voters. As a result, not all Parliament seats will be filled and a series of by-elections are required to complete voting, extending political paralysis for months.

After disrupting voting, protesters say they will fight the election on several grounds including that it is required by law to be held on one day. The opposition Democrat Party, which backs the protesters and boycotted the vote, said Monday it was studying other legal justifications to invalidate the vote.

The struggle to hold the polls was part of a 3-month-old conflict that has split the country between supporters of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and opponents who allege her government is too corrupt to rule.

Demonstrators have occupied major intersections in Bangkok and forced government ministries to shut down and work elsewhere.

___

GOP starts laying blame on Obama for failure to pass immigration overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) Republicans are starting to lay the blame on President Barack Obama if an overhaul of the nation's broken immigration system fails to become law.

The GOP's emerging plan on immigration is to criticize Obama as an untrustworthy leader and his administration as an unreliable enforcer of any laws that might be passed. Perhaps realizing the odds of finding a consensus on immigration are long, the Republicans have started telling voters that if the GOP-led House doesn't take action this election year, it is Obama's fault.

"If the president had been serious about this the last five years, we'd be further along in this discussion," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, said Sunday.

House Republicans last week unveiled a road map for an overhaul of the nation's broken immigration system that calls for increased border security, better law enforcement within the U.S. and a pathway to legal status but not citizenship for millions of adults who live in America unlawfully. The proposal requires those here illegally to pay back taxes and fines.

But one of its backers, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, said distrust of Obama poisons interest among some in his Republican caucus.

___

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in NYC apartment; drugs suspected

NEW YORK (AP) He was only 46, busy as ever and secure in his standing as one of the world's greatest actors.

There were no dissenters about the gifts and achievements of Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose death Sunday in New York brought a stunning halt to his extraordinary and unpredictable career.

An Oscar winner and multiple nominee, Hoffman could take on any character with almost unnerving authority, whether the religious leader in command of his every word in "The Master," a trembling mess in "Boogie Nights," or the witty, theatrical Truman Capote in "Capote."

Fearless in his choices, encyclopedic in his preparation, he was a Shakespearean performer in modern dress, bringing depth and variety to charlatans, slackers, curmudgeons and loners.

"Hearing that Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away came as much as a shock to me as to anyone else I'd imagine," says Anton Corbijn, director of "A Most Wanted Man," one of two films (the other being "In God's Pocket") starring Hoffman that premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival.

___

Most traffic jam subpoena recipients seek extensions as Monday's deadline looms

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) Twenty people and organizations close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are due to turn over emails, text messages and other documents involving an apparent vindictive plot to block traffic near the George Washington Bridge, though almost all the subpoena recipients have requested more time.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the co-chairman of the joint legislative panel leading the investigation told The Associated Press that some extensions of Monday's deadline were granted. The requests of others who asked to produce documents on a rolling basis were also being considered.

The subpoena returns are likely to be voluminous, as the committee seeks to unravel how high up Christie's chain of command the order to shut traffic lanes went, whether the operation was meant to punish a Democratic adversary, and if so, why?

Christie has denied knowing about the planning or execution of the operation, and has said he learned that members of his circle were involved after an original batch of subpoenaed documents were published on Jan. 8. However, one former loyalist, David Wildstein, indicated Friday there was contradictory evidence to show that the governor knew about the closings as they were happening.

Five people close to the Republican governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate have been fired or resigned amid the scandal, including Wildstein, who is seeking immunity from prosecution. The Associated Press confirmed Sunday the most recent resignation, that of Christina Genovese Renna on Friday. Renna is among those subpoenaed by the legislative panel. She worked directly under Bridget Kelly, the fired deputy chief of staff who set in motion the lane closings with an email to Wildstein saying, "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

___

Armed student kills teacher, security guard in Moscow school before being taken into custody

MOSCOW (AP) Moscow police say an armed teenager burst into his school and killed a security guard and a teacher before being taken into custody.

Police say a police officer who responded to an alarm Monday was wounded. No injuries have been reported among the children who were in the school at the time.

___

Man says he ate fish, birds and turtles as he drifted for 13 months across the Pacific Ocean

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) It's a story that almost defies belief: A man leaves Mexico in December 2012 for a day of shark fishing and ends up surviving 13 months on fish, birds and turtles before washing ashore on the remote Marshall Islands some 5,500 miles (8,800 kilometers) away.

But that's the story a man identifying himself as 37-year-old Jose Salvador Alvarenga told the U.S. ambassador in the Marshall Islands and the nation's officials during a 30-minute meeting Monday before he was taken to a local hospital for monitoring. Alvarenga washed ashore on the tiny atoll of Ebon in the Pacific Ocean last week before being taken to the capital, Majuro, on Monday.

"It's hard for me to imagine someone surviving 13 months at sea," said Ambassador Tom Armbruster in Majuro. "But it's also hard to imagine how someone might arrive on Ebon out of the blue. Certainly this guy has had an ordeal, and has been at sea for some time."

Other officials were reacting cautiously to the Spanish-speaking man's story while they try to piece together more information. If true, the man's ordeal would rank among the greatest tales ever of survival at sea.

Armbruster said the soft-spoken man complained of joint pain Monday and had a limp but was able to walk. He had long hair and a beard, the ambassador said, and rather than appearing emaciated he looked puffy in places, including around his ankles. Otherwise, he added, Alvarenga seemed in reasonable health.

___

Culture tours designed to win Cuban hearts and minds also changing American views on US policy

HAVANA (AP) When President Barack Obama reinstated "people-to-people" travel to Cuba in 2011, the idea was that visiting Americans would act as cultural ambassadors for a U.S. constantly demonized in the island's official media.

Two and a half years later, a survey shared exclusively with The Associated Press suggests the trips are not only improving Cubans' views of Americans. They are also changing U.S. travelers' opinions of the Caribbean nation for the better, and dimming their view of Washington policies that have long sought to pressure Cuba's Communist leaders.

"I think U.S.-Cuban relations should be open. People should be talking to each other. People should be sharing," said Ellen Landsberger, a 62-year-old New York obstetrician who recently visited on a people-to-people tour.

"We have this tiny little island that is no threat to the U.S. that we're isolating from the world," she said. "It doesn't make sense."

There's surely significant self-selection among people-to-people travelers; supporters of a hard-line policy against Cuba are unlikely to consider such a tour. And the people who run the trips tend to be more or less sympathetic toward Cuba, or at least to the idea of easing or lifting the 52-year-old U.S. embargo, which could potentially be a boon to their business.

___

School shootings continue in American schools despite increases in security measures

WASHINGTON (AP) Despite increased security put in place after the massacre at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, there's been no real reduction in the number of U.S. school shootings.

An Associated Press analysis finds that there have been at least 11 school shootings this academic year alone, in addition to other cases of gun violence, in school parking lots and elsewhere on campus, when classes were not in session. Experts say the rate of school shootings is statistically unchanged since the mid- to late-1990s, yet still remains troubling.

"Lockdown" is now part of the school vocabulary.

In Pennsylvania and New Mexico, Colorado and Tennessee, and elsewhere, gunfire has echoed through school hallways, and killed students or their teachers in some cases.

Last August, a gun discharged in a 5-year-old's backpack while students were waiting for the opening bell in the cafeteria at Westside Elementary School in Memphis. No one was hurt.

___

Toned down ads did not get the same buzz as a football hero's fur coat

NEW YORK (AP) The Seattle Seahawks had a blowout victory Sunday night, but there was no big winner in the Super Bowl ad contest.

Many advertisers went for a more serious, toned-down feel than in previous years. Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Chrysler all hit patriotic notes. RadioShack got praise for its surprisingly frank acknowledgement of its dated image and its use of 1980s pop culture figures including Alf. And "Seinfeld" characters Jerry, George and Newman got together for a mini reunion for Jerry Seinfeld's show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

Still, the ads seemed to be upstaged by Joe Namath, at least on social media. When the football hero appeared on the field for the coin toss wearing a massive fur coat, Twitter and other sites buzzed with jokes. The reaction to most ads was much more muted.

Here's a look at some things you might know and some things you don't about the ads.

Topics: World Briefly

KRGV is Social