Sunday, April 13, 2014

Published:

3 shot, killed at Jewish community, retirement center; man in custody not from Kansas

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) -- A man in his 70s opened fire Sunday outside of a Jewish community center and nearby retirement community, killing three people, authorities said.

Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said at a news conference Sunday evening that a person who had been reported to be in critical condition earlier was among three killed in the attacks, which apparently occurred minutes apart.

"Today is a sad and very tragic day," Douglass said. "As you might imagine we are only three hours into this investigation. There's a lot of innuendo and a lot of assertions going around. There is really very little hardcore information."

Shots were fired behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in a parking lot about 1 p.m., Douglass said. One male died at the scene, another male died at a hospital. The gunman then fled and opened fire at nearby Village Shalom, killing a female, before later being arrested near an elementary school. Two other people were shot at, but the gunfire missed them, Douglass said.

Douglass said it was too early in the investigation to determine if the shootings were hate crimes. The Jewish festival of Passover begins Monday.

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Ukraine government to deploy troops to try to quash pro-Russian insurgency in east

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) -- Turning to force to try to restore its authority in the vital industrial east, Ukraine's government announced Sunday it was sending in troops to try to quash an increasingly brazen pro-Russian insurgency, despite repeated warnings from the Kremlin.

Accusing Moscow of fomenting the unrest, Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said in a televised address that such a "large-scale anti-terrorist operation" would ensure Russia did not "repeat the Crimean scenario in Ukraine's east." Turchynov pledged to offer amnesty to anyone surrendering their weapons by Monday morning.

Reliance on the military is a response that hints at concerns over the reliability of the police, who have often proven unable or unwilling to repel pro-Russian gunmen and other Moscow loyalists from seizing key state facilities. With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed along Ukraine's eastern border, there are fears that Moscow might use unrest in the mainly Russian-speaking region as a pretext for an invasion.

Speaking late Sunday on Russian state television, ousted president Viktor Yanukovych accused the CIA of being behind the new government's decision to turn to force, a claim the CIA denied as "completely false."

Yanukovych claimed that CIA director John Brennan met with Ukraine's new leadership and "in fact sanctioned the use of weapons and provoked bloodshed."

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Complaints from prisoner, and Senate report shine spotlight on secret Guantanamo camp

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) -- Attorney James Connell has visited his client inside the secret Guantanamo prison complex known as Camp 7 only once, taken in a van with covered windows on a circuitous trek to disguise the route on the scrub brush-and-cactus covered military base.

Connell is allowed to say virtually nothing about what he saw in the secret camp where the most notorious terror suspects in U.S. custody are held except that it is unlike any detention facility he's encountered.

"It's much more isolating than any other facility that I have known," the lawyer says. "I've done cases from the Virginia death row and Texas death row and these pretrial conditions are much more isolating."

The Camp 7 prison unit is so shrouded in secrecy that its location on the U.S. base in Cuba is classified and officials refuse to discuss it. Now, two separate but related events are forcing it into the limelight.

In Washington, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted on April 3 to declassify a portion of a review of the U.S. detention and interrogation program in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, al-Qaida attack. The report, the release of which is opposed by the CIA, is expected to be sharply critical of the treatment of prisoners, including some now held in Camp 7.

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US official says reports of Syria toxic gas attack unsubstantiated, though being examined

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that reports of a poison gas attack in a rural village north of Damascus were so far "unsubstantiated," adding that the United States was trying to establish what really happened before it considers a response.

Both sides in Syria's civil war blamed each other for the alleged attack that reportedly injured scores of people Friday amid an ongoing international effort to rid the country of chemical weapons.

The details of what happened in Kfar Zeita, an opposition-held village in Hama province some 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Damascus, remain murky. Online videos posted by rebel activists showed pale-faced men, women and children gasping for breath at what appeared to be a field hospital. They suggested an affliction by some kind of poison -- and yet another clouded incident where both sides blame each other in a conflict that activists say has killed more than 150,000 people with no end in sight.

"We are trying to run this down," said Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, during an appearance Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"So far it's unsubstantiated, but we've shown, I think, in the past that we will do everything in our power to establish what has happened and then consider possible steps in response," she said.

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With partial results, Afghan presidential vote looks like tight race between Abdullah, Ghani

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Two clear front-runners emerged in Afghanistan's presidential election as partial results released Sunday showed a tight race that increasingly appears destined for a runoff vote.

Both candidates promise a fresh start with the West, vowing to sign a security pact with the United States that has been rejected by President Hamid Karzai, but their fierce rivalry has raised the possibility of divisive campaigning in what so far has been a relatively peaceful vote.

With 10 percent of the ballots counted, Abdullah Abdullah, who was Karzai's main rival in his fraud-marred re-election in 2009, had 41.9 percent of the vote. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, a former finance minister and World Bank official, followed with 37.6 percent. Zalmai Rassoul, another former foreign minister widely considered as Karzai's pick, was a distant third with 9.8 percent.

Karzai himself was constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.

Officials cautioned the vote count could change as full preliminary results won't be due until April 24, but the early numbers suggest none of the eight candidates likely will get the outright majority needed to avoid a runoff.

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Police arrest woman after finding 7 dead babies in cardboard boxes in garage of Utah home

A Utah woman accused of killing seven babies she gave birth to over 10 years was arrested Sunday after police discovered the tiny bodies stuffed in separate cardboard boxes in the garage of her former home.

Megan Huntsman, 39, who lived in the Utah home until three years ago, had the infants between 1996 and 2006, investigators said.

Officers responded to a call Saturday from Huntsman's estranged husband about a dead infant at the home in Pleasant Grove, 35 miles south of Salt Lake City, police Capt. Michael Roberts said. Officers then discovered the six other bodies.

Roberts declined to comment on a motive and what Huntsman said during an interview with investigators.

The spokesman said the estranged husband lived with Huntsman when the babies were born but isn't a person of interest at this time. The man's name was not immediately released.

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NTSB: No crash-scene evidence found that truck was on fire before deadly California bus crash

RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) -- Federal investigators said Sunday that they haven't found physical evidence confirming a witness' claim that a FedEx truck was on fire before it slammed into a bus carrying high school students, killing 10 people in Northern California.

National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosekind said investigators are not ruling out a pre-impact fire, but a fire expert did not find evidence of flames as the truck crossed a median, sideswiped a Nissan Altima and crashed into the bus.

"This is all preliminary and factual information," Rosekind said at a news conference. "We are not ruling anything out."

The bus was carrying 44 Southern California high school students to a free campus tour of Humboldt State University. Many were hoping to become the first in their families to attend college. Five students, three adult chaperones and both drivers died and dozens were injured in Thursday's collision in Orland, a small city about 100 miles north of Sacramento.

Bonnie Duran, who drove the Altima and survived with minor injuries, told investigators and reporters Saturday that she had seen flames emerging from the lower rear of the truck's cab as it approached her car. The bus was gutted and the truck was a mangled mess after an explosion sent flames towering and black smoke billowing, making it difficult for investigators to track the source of the fire.

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Despite emissions growth, cost of fighting climate change still 'modest,' UN panel says

BERLIN (AP) -- The cost of keeping global warming in check is "relatively modest," but only if the world acts quickly to reverse the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the head of the U.N.'s expert panel on climate change said Sunday.

Such gases, mainly CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, rose on average by 2.2 percent a year in 2000-2010, driven by the use of coal in the power sector, officials said as they launched the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change's report on measures to fight global warming.

Without additional measures to contain emissions, global temperatures will rise about 3 degrees to 4 degrees Celsius (5 degrees to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 compared to current levels, the panel said.

"The longer we delay the higher would be the cost," IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told The Associated Press after the panel's weeklong session in Berlin. "But despite that, the point I'm making is that even now, the cost is not something that's going to bring about a major disruption of economic systems. It's well within our reach."

The IPCC, an international body assessing climate science, projected that shifting the energy system from fossil fuels to zero- or low-carbon sources including wind and solar power would reduce consumption growth by about 0.06 percentage points per year, adding that that didn't take into account the economic benefits of reduced climate change. "The loss in consumption is relatively modest," Pachauri said.

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Chile's historic Valparaiso in flames; 11 dead, 1,000 homes destroyed, thousands evacuated

VALPARAISO, Chile (AP) -- A raging fire leaped from hilltop to hilltop in this colorful port city throughout the night and day on Sunday, killing at least 11 people and destroying at least 1,000 homes. More than 10,000 people were evacuated, including more than 200 female inmates at a prison.

And with hot dry winds stoking the embers, some of the fires broke out again and were burning out of control as a second night fell.

The blaze began Saturday afternoon in a forested ravine next to ramshackle housing on one of the city's 42 hilltops, and spread quickly as hot ash rained down over wooden houses and narrow streets that lack municipal water systems. Electricity failed as the fire grew, with towering, sparking flames turning the night sky orange over a darkening, destroyed horizon.

Eventually, neighborhoods on six hilltops were reduced to ashes, including one hill just several blocks from Chile's parliament building. And flames broke out again on at least two of those hills, burning out of control and threatening to consume other neighborhoods.

"It's a tremendous tragedy. This could be the worst fire in the city's history," President Michelle Bachelet said as firefighters contained most of the blazes, mobilizing 20 helicopters and planes to drop water on hotspots.

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Bubba Watson claims another green jacket, winning Masters by 3 shots over Spieth, Blixt

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- Bubba Watson's second Masters title was nothing like the green jacket he won two years ago.

The only daring shot Watson hit was one he really didn't need. The wild swing in momentum came on the front nine, not the back nine of Augusta National. And the sweetest difference of all Sunday was seeing his 2-year-old son walk toward him on the edge of the 18th green after his three-shot victory over Jordan Spieth.

Watson turned in another masterpiece and joined an elusive group as the 17th player to win the Masters more than once.

He turned a two-shot deficit into a two-shot lead on the final two holes of the front nine, then kept Spieth, 20, and everyone else at safe distance the rest of the way. Watson closed with a 3-under 69 to beat a pair of Masters rookies in Spieth and Jonas Blixt of Sweden.

Two years ago, when he hit that wild hook out of the trees on the 10th hole to win in a playoff, his wife and newly adopted son were watching at home in Florida. This time, young Caleb was decked out in a green-and-white striped Masters shirt and green tennis shoes as he waddled over to his father.