Posted: Aug 4, 2012 4:00 PM
Updated: Aug 5, 2012 4:01 AM
AP source: Possible plea in Tucson shooting case would send Loughner to prison for life
PHOENIX (AP) A possible plea deal in the deadly Tucson shootings that wounded then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords would send Jared Lee Loughner to prison for the rest of his life, according to a person familiar with the case.
A court-appointed psychiatrist will testify Tuesday that Loughner is competent to enter a plea in the shooting rampage that killed six people and injured 13, including Giffords, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
A status conference in the federal case had already been scheduled for Tuesday in Tucson.
The person, speaking Saturday about upcoming events in the case, said the plan is for Loughner to enter a guilty plea in the murders and attempted murders. The plan is contingent on the judge in the case allowing Loughner to enter the plea.
The Los Angeles Times reported earlier Saturday that Loughner was set to change his plea.
Arab TV airs video purportedly showing Syrian rebels with kidnapped Iranians
BEIRUT (AP) A pan-Arab television station has aired a video purportedly showing Syrian rebels with a group of Iranians abducted a day earlier just outside Damascus.
The footage shown Sunday on the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya shows men identified as the Iranians sitting on the ground surrounded by fighters who said they were from the "Baraa Brigades."
A rebel claims in the video that the captives include an officer of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and that the group was on a "reconnaissance mission."
Iran's state-run news agency SANA said the 48 abducted Saturday were pilgrims. It said Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi spoke on the phone with Turkish and Qatari foreign ministers and demanded their intervention to help release them.
Okla. wildfires: dozens of homes destroyed in parched region, people forced into shelters
LUTHER, Okla. (AP) Several wildfires raging in parched Oklahoma countryside prompted more evacuations early Sunday as emergency workers sought to shelter those forced out by the flames that destroyed dozens of homes and threatened others in the drought-stricken region.
One roaring fire near Luther, about 25 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, destroyed nearly five dozen homes and other buildings before firefighters gained a measure of control Saturday.
Authorities said several state roads remained closed early Sunday because of drifting smoke or nearby fires.
Mike Donegan, a communications supervisor with the Oklahoma State Highway Patrol at the Troop B command center, said evacuations were continuing early Sunday. He had no immediate details on the numbers forced from their homes but said officers were going door to door into certain communities to ensure people leave.
Donegan told The Associated Press he saw thick smoke drifting near his home some 50 miles from one of the fires as he drove into work.
Get ready for the Bolt and Blake Show: Jamaicans hope to follow in Fraser-Pryce's steps in 100
LONDON (AP) There's been a whole lot of hype at the 2012 Summer Games about Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and the men's 100-meter final Sunday night. Yet Jamaica didn't need to wait for those two guys to resume the island nation's Olympic supremacy in sprint events.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took care of that.
Running with a golden ribbon tying back her hair, and a golden chain jangling around her neck, Fraser-Pryce earned a medal of that hue, too, winning a second consecutive Olympic title in the women's 100 by outleaning Carmelita Jeter of the U.S. to finish in 10.75 seconds Saturday night.
"Back in 2008, Usain Bolt was the first to get a gold medal," Fraser-Pryce said, "and now a woman is in charge."
And she had company: Veronica Campbell-Brown gave Jamaica the bronze.
EYES ON LONDON: Electric night coming up in the 100-meter dash; Goodwin changes his spikes
LONDON (AP) Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:
LET'S RUN TWO TODAY
The fastest men in the world on one of the fastest tracks around. Should make for an electric night in the 100-meter dash.
Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and the rest of a blazing will run in the semifinals, with the fastest advancing to the finals on Sunday night.
What's left for No. 1 Federer? An Olympic gold medal in singles
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) Roger Federer has "been around the block," as he puts it. The Swiss star has played for major titles, for the record books, for a place in tennis history.
On Sunday, he plays for Olympic gold in singles. That's new even for him.
The final will be a rematch of the game the top-ranked player won on the same court in the Wimbledon final a month ago. His opponent, British player Andy Murray, is hoping the novelty of the situation will give him a slim advantage. Federer is also trying to complete a career Golden Slam all four major titles and an Olympic win.
"It's so rare for him to be in a position where he's trying to do something new because he's achieved so much in tennis. I hope that will even things out a little bit," said Murray, whose head-to-head record against Federer is 8-8. "It's going to be a tough match."
Federer acknowledged being emotionally drained after his semifinal win Friday over Juan Martin del Potro, the longest best-of-three set match in Open history at four hours and 26 minutes.
Discrimination adding to workers' stress at Japan nuclear plant; doctors liken to Vietnam vets
TOKYO (AP) A growing number of Japanese workers who are risking their health to shut down the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant are suffering from depression, anxiety about the future and a loss of motivation, say two doctors who visit them regularly.
But their psychological problems are driven less by fears about developing cancer from radiation exposure and more by something immediate and personal: Discrimination from the very community they tried to protect, says Jun Shigemura, who heads a volunteer team of about ten psychiatrists and psychologists from the National Defense Medical College who meet with Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear plant employees.
They tell therapists they have been harangued by residents displaced in Japan's nuclear disaster and threatened with signs on their doors telling them to leave. Some of their children have been taunted at school, and prospective landlords have turned them away.
"They have become targets of people's anger," Shigemura told The Associated Press.
TEPCO workers in their readily identifiable blue uniforms were once considered to be among the elite in this rural area 230 kilometers (140 kilometers) north of Tokyo. But after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami set off meltdowns at the Fukushima plant, residents came to view them as "perpetrators," Shigemura said.
Fitting finale: Phelps retires with one last gold, for a total of 18 over 4 Olympics
LONDON (AP) Michael Phelps got up to leave his last news conference at the Olympic pool when his relay mates were asked if they thought he would really stay retired.
Before they could answer, Phelps smiled and said emphatically: "Yes, yes."
The most decorated Olympian called it a career on Saturday night with a fitting ending a gold medal in the 4x100-meter medley relay at the London Games.
Phelps' totals in four Olympics: 22 medals, 18 golds, 51 races and 9,900 meters of swimming.
"I've been able to do everything that I wanted," he said. "If you can say that about your career, there's no need to move forward. Time for other things."
Red planet destination: NASA spacecraft barreling toward a Mars landing using new routine
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) After an 8 1/2-month voyage through space, NASA's souped-up Mars spacecraft zoomed toward the red planet for what the agency hopes will be an epic touchdown.
The fiery punch through the tenuous Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph Sunday night marks the beginning of "seven minutes of terror" as the Curiosity rover aims for a bull's-eye landing inside a massive crater near the equator.
The latest landing attempt is more nerve-racking than in the past because NASA is testing out a new routine. Curiosity will steer itself part of the way and end on a dramatic note: Dangling by cables until its six wheels touch the ground.
That's the plan at least.
"Can we do this? Yeah, I think we can do this. I'm confident," Doug McCuistion, head of the Mars exploration program at NASA headquarters, said Saturday. "We have the A-plus team on this. They've done everything possible to ensure success, but that risk still exists."
Study by 'global warming godfather': Texas drought, Europe heat waves are climate change
WASHINGTON (AP) The relentless, weather-gone-crazy type of heat that has blistered the United States and other parts of the world in recent years is so rare that it can't be anything but man-made global warming, says a new statistical analysis from a top government scientist.
The research by a man often called the "godfather of global warming" says that the likelihood of such temperatures occurring from the 1950s through the 1980s was rarer than 1 in 300. Now, the odds are closer to 1 in 10, according to the study by NASA scientist James Hansen. He says that statistically what's happening is not random or normal, but pure and simple climate change.
"This is not some scientific theory. We are now experiencing scientific fact," Hansen told The Associated Press in an interview.
Hansen is a scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and a professor at Columbia University. But he is also a strident activist who has called for government action to curb greenhouse gases for years. While his study was published online Saturday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, it is unlikely to sway opinion among the remaining climate change skeptics.
However, several climate scientists praised the new work.