Congress split on whether US should cut aid to Egypt over military takeover, violence
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Members of Congress are split over whether the U.S. should cut off military aid to Egypt, highlighting the difficult choices facing the Obama administration amid spiraling violence on the streets of an important Middle East ally.
Democratic leaders have generally supported the president's approach. But on Sunday, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said he would end aid to Egypt. Ellison is the first Muslim elected to Congress and is co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
"I would cut off aid but engage in intense diplomacy in Egypt and in the region to try to say, look, we will restore aid when you stop the bloodshed in the street and set up a path towards democracy that you were on before," Ellison said. "In my mind, there's no way to say that this was not a coup. It is. We should say so. And then follow our own law, which says we cannot fund the coup leaders."
Among Republicans, there were growing calls to eliminate military aid to Egypt. But others were more hesitant.
Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., said curtailing aid could reduce U.S. influence over Egypt's interim government, which controls access to strategic resources, including the Suez Canal.
Egypt: 36 detainees killed in escape attempt as army leader promises no tolerance for clashes
CAIRO (AP) -- Egyptian police fired tear gas Sunday in an attempt to free a guard from rioting detainees, killing at least 36 as the country's military leader vowed to tolerate no more violence after days of clashes that killed nearly 900 people.
The deaths of the prisoners, captured during the fierce fighting in recent days around Cairo's Ramses Square, came as Gen. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi also called for the inclusion of Islamists in the government. Meanwhile, security forces detained Muslim Brotherhood members in raids aimed at stopping more planned rallies supporting ousted President Mohammed Morsi -- which the military-backed government says fuels the violent unrest.
The suspects killed were part of a prison truck convoy of some 600 detainees heading to Abu Zaabal prison in northern Egypt, security officials told The Associated Press. Detainees in one of the trucks rioted and managed to capture a police officer inside, the officials said,
Security forces fired tear gas into the truck in hopes of freeing the badly beaten officer, the officials said. The officials said those killed died from suffocating on the gas.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.
10 Things to Know for Monday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:
1. THE DIVERGING ACCOUNTS OF NEW DEATHS IN EGYPT
State media say 36 detainees died in clashes with security forces, but officials say they died after security forces fired tear gas into their truck.
Partner of journalist at center of NSA leak detained for about 9 hours at Heathrow Airport
LONDON (AP) -- The partner of a journalist who received leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was detained for nearly nine hours Sunday under anti-terror legislation at Heathrow Airport, triggering claims that authorities are trying to interfere with reporting on the issue.
David Miranda, the partner of Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, was held for nearly the maximum time authorities are allowed to detain individuals under the Terrorism Act's Schedule 7, which authorizes security agencies to stop and question people at borders. Greenwald said Miranda's cellphone, laptops and memory sticks were confiscated.
"This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism," Greenwald said in a post on the Guardian website. "It's bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It's worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic."
Greenwald has written a series of stories about the NSA's electronic surveillance programs based on files handed over by Snowden. The former contractor fled the United States and is now in Russia, where he has received temporary asylum.
The 28-year-old Miranda was returning home to Brazil from Germany, where he was staying with Laura Poitras, a U.S. filmmaker who has worked with Greenwald on the NSA story, Greenwald said in his post. He also said British authorities had "zero suspicion" that Miranda was linked to a terror group and instead interrogated him about the NSA reporting and the contents of the electronic equipment he was carrying.
US to review cases of Guantanamo prisoners previously deemed too dangerous to release
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) -- As the U.S. renews its effort to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, it will soon begin reconsidering the fate of prisoners such as Mohammed al-Shimrani.
The 38-year-old Saudi is in a special category among the 166 prisoners at Guantanamo -- one of nearly 50 men who a government task force decided were too dangerous to release but who can't be prosecuted, in some cases, because proceedings could reveal sensitive information. While the rest of the prisoners have been cleared for eventual release, transfer or prosecution, al-Shimrani and the others can only guess at their fate.
"The allegations against my client are no more serious than many, many Saudis who have been sent home," New York-based attorney Martha Rayner said of al-Shimrani. "It just baffles me."
The Pentagon says the men in the indefinite detention category are held under international laws of war until the "end of hostilities," whenever that may be. As a group, they are one of the chief hurdles to President Barack Obama's attempts to close the detention center on the U.S. base in Cuba.
For the most part, they have been accused of being al-Qaida and Taliban fighters, couriers and recruiters. After more than a decade, their lawyers say it's time to let them go.
NYPD faces prospect of 2 new watchdogs; backers see roles for both, critics foresee overlap
NEW YORK (AP) -- After years of burnishing a reputation as one of the nation's most potent police forces, the New York Police Department appears poised to become one of the most closely monitored.
A federal judge this week said the department made thousands of racially discriminatory street stops and appointed a monitor to direct changes. And city lawmakers are readying for a final vote Thursday on creating an inspector general for the NYPD and widening the legal path for pursuing claims of police bias.
It's a one-two punch of outside tinkering that will muddy police work, a pair of complementary steps to protect civil rights or a rash of policymaking that may end up meaning little on the street, depending on who gets asked. But from any perspective, it would be the onset of a new era of oversight for the country's biggest police department, though the impacts would be defined by particulars and politics still in play.
The federal ruling outlines but doesn't always detail reforms, and the city plans to appeal it. The City Council, if it succeeds in overriding a mayoral veto, would establish a monitor but not select the person or specify exactly what gets investigated. And a new mayor will take office next year, which could well mean new police leadership.
"The complexity, at this point, is that there are so many moving parts," said John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Eugene O'Donnell, who isn't involved in the litigation or legislation. "And it doesn't help that it became very adversarial."
Officials optimistic about fight against Idaho fire after good weather, arrival of extra crews
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Fire managers expressed optimism Sunday in their battle against a wildfire that has scorched nearly 160 square miles and forced the evacuation of 2,300 homes near the central Idaho resort communities of Ketchum and Sun Valley.
Officials said the blaze had grown by only about 12 square miles because of cloud cover the day before and the arrival of additional crews and equipment. Many firefighters worked Sunday to create protective firebreaks, or gaps in vegetation.
"Today they're very optimistic that we will reinforce those lines in case the fire does flare up as we saw on Thursday and Friday," fire spokeswoman Shawna Hartman said.
More than 1,200 people and 19 aircraft were battling the lightning-caused Beaver Creek Fire, which started Aug. 7 and was 9 percent contained. Nearly 90 fire engines also were in the region, many protecting homes in the affluent area where celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis own pricey getaways.
Hartman said Sunday retardant was being dropped on the flank of Bald Mountain -- the Sun Valley Resort's primary ski hill -- to reinforce a fire line. That meant the famed ski mountain known as "Baldy" and often used in publicity photos would have a red line of retardant visible from Ketchum.
Penn State's first settlement with victim in Sandusky abuse scandal marks legal milestone
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State may never be able to fully shake off the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, but news that one victim has settled and other claimants may soon follow marks a legal milestone after almost a year of negotiations.
Attorney Tom Kline said Saturday that a 25-year-old suburban Philadelphia man known as "Victim 5" in court filings had completed the agreement with the university, the first to come to terms with the university that once employed Sandusky as an assistant football coach.
Another attorney, Mike Boni, one of four lawyers collectively representing 10 claimants -- including the young man whose complaint triggered the Sandusky criminal investigation -- said Sunday those claims were also close to being resolved.
"I'd be troubled if it didn't happen this week," Boni said. "We're not signed off, but we're close."
Another lawyer, Jeff Anderson, said his two cases are not that near to being resolved.
Recall campaign against San Diego mayor begins collecting signatures
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A campaign to oust embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner began Sunday, as volunteers armed with clipboards and petitions fanned out to collect thousands of signatures needed to authorize a recall election.
More than a dozen women have publicly accused Filner, a Democrat, of making inappropriate statements or sexual advances. The 70-year-old former congressman has resisted numerous calls to resign.
He is set to return to work this week after undergoing behavior therapy.
"He is a sexual predator. He has abused the power of his office," said Rachel Laing, spokeswoman for the recall campaign. "He can't possibly lead or possibly reclaim his ability to lead."
Recall organizers say they have raised more than $100,000 so far and more than 1,100 people have signed up to volunteer. They sought out signatures at a half-marathon Sunday in Balboa Park, while businesswomen and military sexual-assault victims planned to lead an afternoon march downtown.
Rodriguez hit by pitch 1st time up against Red Sox, benches clear and Girardi ejected
BOSTON (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez got hit by a fastball from Boston starter Ryan Dempster in the second inning Sunday night, setting off an angry scene at Fenway Park and leading to the ejection of New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
A-Rod answered with his bat in the sixth by hitting his 649th career home run.
The game between the longtime rivals quickly turned testy, with the benches and bullpens clearing and the teams being warned about beanballs by plate umpire Brian O'Nora.
Dempster appeared to take aim at Rodriguez, who recently was suspended for 211 games by Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis drug case. Rodriguez appealed the penalty and can play until there is a final decision.
Booed when he was on deck at the end of the first inning, Rodriguez was jeered when he led off the second inning. Fans chanted "You're a cheater!" as Dempster threw his first pitch behind Rodriguez's knees.