Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Published:

Toronto pitcher J.A. Happ hit in head by line drive, taken to hospital; Jays beat Rays 6-4

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ was hit in the head by a line drive and taken off the field on a stretcher during Toronto's 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.

In a frightening scene at Tropicana Field, Desmond Jennings' second-inning liner caromed squarely off the left side of Happ's head in a loud "thwack!"

The ball went all the way into the bullpen in foul territory halfway down the right-field line. Happ dropped face down at the front of the mound, holding his head with his glove and bare hand.

Happ was taken to a hospital for tests but the Blue Jays had no update on his condition immediately after the game, manager John Gibbons said.

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Harvey nearly perfect through 9 innings, allows 1 hit before Mets beat White Sox 1-0 in 10th

NEW YORK (AP) -- Matt Harvey was so dominant, it seemed certain the Chicago White Sox would never score. Instead, each pitch raised more tantalizing questions: Would they ever get a hit, or even a runner?

Harvey threw one-hit ball for nine innings in a nearly perfect performance and the New York Mets permitted just one baserunner all game in beating the White Sox 1-0 in the 10th Tuesday night.

Harvey allowed only an infield single by Alex Rios with two outs in the seventh -- he was safe, barely. The right-hander with the bright future struck out a career-high 12 and was pulled when the game went to extra innings.

"I mean, obviously, everything was working," Harvey said.

Pinch-hitter Mike Baxter lined an RBI single with one out in the 10th off Nate Jones (0-3).

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Cleveland police face questions as 3 missing women rescued; neighbors say they had suspicions

CLEVELAND (AP) -- One neighbor says a naked woman was seen crawling on her hands and knees in the backyard of the house a few years ago. Another heard pounding on the home's doors and noticed plastic bags over the windows.

Both times, police showed up but never went inside, neighbors say. Police also paid a visit to the house in 2004, but no one answered the door.

Now, after three women who vanished a decade ago were found captive Monday at the run-down house, Cleveland police are facing questions for the second time in four years about their handling of missing-person cases and are conducting an internal review to see if they overlooked anything.

City Safety Director Martin Flask said Tuesday that investigators had no record of anyone calling about criminal activity at the house but were still checking police, fire and emergency databases.

The three women were rescued after one of them kicked out the bottom portion of a locked screen door and used a neighbor's telephone to call 911.

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Neighbors: Ohio man who owned home where 3 women found alive went to vigil for missing

CLEVELAND (AP) -- In the tight-knit neighborhood near downtown where many conversations are spoken in Spanish, it seems most everyone knew Ariel Castro.

He played bass guitar in salsa and merengue bands. He parked his school bus on the street. He gave neighborhood children rides on his motorcycle.

And when they gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember two girls who vanished years ago, Castro was there, too, comforting the mother of one of the missing, a neighbor said.

Neighbors and friends were stunned by the arrest of Castro and his two brothers after a 911 call led police to his house, where authorities say three women missing for about a decade were held captive.

A 6-year-old girl also was found in the home, and a neighbor said she was at a park a week earlier with Castro, who referred to her as his "girlfriend's daughter." Israel Lugo lives down the street from the house where the women were found Monday and said he was stunned to see one of them holding the girl, who was screaming and crying.

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10 Things to Know for Wednesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday:

1. BENIGN PORTRAIT EMERGES OF CLEVELAND SUSPECT

The man who owned the home where three missing women were found alive played bass guitar in salsa and merengue bands and gave children rides on his motorcycle.

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Analysis: Tied down by civil war, Syria has limited options in response to Israel airstrikes

BEIRUT (AP) -- The Syrian regime on Tuesday dispatched an obscure proxy, a Damascus-based Palestinian militant group, to threaten retaliation for two Israeli airstrikes over the weekend.

The relatively tepid response to Israel's breach of Syrian sovereignty highlighted Syrian President Bashar Assad's limited options as he, along with allies Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah, is bogged down at home in a fight for survival against armed rebels.

Assad and visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi denounced Israel on Tuesday, but stopped short of promising retaliation. Commenting on the airstrikes for the first time, Assad said Syria is "capable of facing Israel's ventures" while Salehi said "it's high time to deter the Israeli occupation" from launching more attacks.

The airstrikes, which Israeli officials say targeted advanced Iranian missiles intended for Hezbollah, marked a sharp escalation of Israel's involvement in the Syrian civil war. They also raised fears that a conflict that has repeatedly spilled over Syria's borders in the past 26 months could turn into a full-fledged regional war.

Assad's regime might be reluctant to open a new front against Israel with his army already stretched thin in the deadlocked fight with the rebels, but he has a history of operating through proxies such as Hezbollah. One Iranian official hinted the Islamic militant group might take the lead.

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New milestone for Dow Jones industrial average: first close above 15,000 points

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Dow Jones industrial average punched through another milestone Tuesday, closing above 15,000 for the first time just two months after recovering the last of its losses from the 2008 financial crisis.

Good economic reports, strong corporate earnings and fresh support from central banks helped ease investor concerns about another economic slowdown. Many had been on the lookout for signs that a spring swoon would derail the rally, as happened in each of the past three years.

Instead, the Dow continued its epic ascent of 2013, which has seen it climb 1,952 points -- almost 15 percent -- since Jan. 1.

"The thing that's been driving stocks is rising confidence," said James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management. "Economic growth, job creation and the housing market have been better than expected."

The Dow closed at 15,056.20, up 87.31 points, or 0.6 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 8.46 points to a record 1,625.96, a gain of 0.5 percent. It has jumped 199 points this year, or 14 percent.

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Military reports of sexual assaults up in 2012; Pentagon, Congress demand oversight, changes

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sexual assaults in the military are a growing epidemic across the services and thousands of victims are still unwilling to come forward despite a slew of new oversight and assistance programs, according to a new Pentagon report.

Troubling new numbers estimate that up to 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year, according to survey results released against a backdrops of scandals including an ongoing investigation into more than 30 Air Force instructors for assaults on trainees at a Texas base

The report was released Tuesday and comes just days after the Air Force's head of sexual assault prevention was arrested on charges of groping a woman in a Northern Virginia parking lot. And it follows a heated debate over whether commanders should be stripped of the authority to overturn military jury verdicts, such as one officer did in a recent sexual assault conviction.

In a sharp rebuke Tuesday, President Barack Obama said he has no tolerance for the problem and that he had talked to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel about it. He said any military member found guilty of sexual assault should be held accountable, prosecuted and fired.

"I don't want just more speeches or awareness programs or training, or ultimately folks look the other way," the president said. "We're going to have to not just step up our game, we have to exponentially step up our game to go after this hard."

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4 years after affair, ethics scandal, ex-SC Gov. Sanford revives career, wins US House seat

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Four years after scandal derailed his political career, ex-Republican Gov. Mark Sanford once again holds a South Carolina political office, winning back his old congressional seat Tuesday after a race in which he battled his past and an opponent who outdid him in fundraising.

Sanford's resurrection was completed when he defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert, in a district that hasn't elected a Democratic congressman in more than three decades.

"Some guy came up to me the other day and said you look a lot like Lazarus," Sanford told a crowd of more than 100 cheering supporters at his victory celebration, referring to the man who, according to the Bible, Christ raised from the dead.

With all precincts reporting, Sanford had about 54 percent of the vote.

"I've talked a lot about grace during the course of this campaign," he said. "Until you experience human grace as a reflection of God's grace, I don't think you really get it. And I didn't get it before."

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Stronger borders or no immigration overhaul: Republicans say bill must ensure tougher security

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Landmark immigration legislation is doomed to fail in Congress unless border-security provisions are greatly strengthened, Republican senators bluntly warned on Tuesday.

"If in fact the American people can't trust that the border is controlled, you're never going to be able to pass this bill," declared Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

His admonishment, joined by those of other GOP lawmakers, came as both Democratic and Republican senators filed a flurry of amendments ahead of the first votes Thursday in a separate committee on the far-reaching bill to deal with an estimated 11 million immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally and the millions more who might be expected to try to enter in the future. Some of the amendments could destroy the legislation's prospects by upending the carefully crafted deal negotiated over months by four Republican and four Democratic senators, supporters say.

Border security was the major sticking point on Tuesday.

"If we're going to get immigration reform through, if you're going to get it through the House, we're going to have to do a whole lot more on what is the definition of a controlled border than what is in this bill," said Coburn.