Mike Wallace, star interviewer on CBS News' '60 Minutes' for decades, dies at age 93
CBS newsman Mike Wallace, the dogged, merciless reporter and interviewer who took on politicians, celebrities and other public figures in a 60-year career highlighted by the on-air confrontations that helped make "60 Minutes" the most successful primetime television news program ever, has died. He was 93.
Wallace died Saturday night at a care facility in New Canaan, Conn., where he had lived in recent years, CBS spokesman Kevin Tedesco said.
Until he was slowed by heart surgery as he neared his 90th birthday in 2008, Wallace continued making news, doing "60 Minutes" interviews with such subjects as Jack Kevorkian and Roger Clemens. He had promised to still do occasional reports when he announced his retirement as a regular correspondent in March 2006.
Wallace said then that he had long vowed to retire "when my toes turn up" and "they're just beginning to curl a trifle. ... It's become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren't quite what they used to be."
Among his later contributions, after bowing out as a regular on "60 Minutes," was a May 2007 profile of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, and an interview with Kevorkian, the assisted suicide doctor released from prison in June 2007 who died June 3, 2011, at age 83.
Tulsa police: Revenge for dad's death one motive in shootings that terrorized black community
TULSA, Okla. — Police say a shooting spree that spread fear in Tulsa's black community and left three people dead may have been partly motivated by an Oklahoma man's desire to avenge his father's shooting by a black man.
Police spokesman Jason Willingham said Sunday that investigators are still considering many possible motives, but based on messages posted in social media, revenge appeared to be a factor.
All five victims of the Friday shootings were black. Police have described the two suspects as white.
In a Thursday Facebook update, one suspect, 19-year-old Jake England, expressed anger over his father being shot and killed by a black man two years earlier. The Facebook page had been taken down by Sunday afternoon.
Syria poses last-minute truce conditions rejected by opposition; deal in jeopardy
BEIRUT — A U.N.-brokered plan to stop the bloodshed in Syria effectively collapsed Sunday after President Bashar Assad's government raised new, last-minute demands that the country's largest rebel group swiftly rejected.
The truce plan, devised by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, was supposed to go into effect on Tuesday, with a withdrawal of Syrian forces from population centers, followed within 48 hours by a cease-fire by both sides in the uprising against four decades of repressive rule by the Assad family.
But on Sunday, Syria's Foreign Ministry said that ahead of any troop pullback, the government needs written guarantees from opposition fighters that they will lay down their weapons.
The commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army, Riad al-Asaad, said that while his group is ready to abide by a truce, it does not recognize the regime "and for that reason we will not give guarantees."
Annan's spokesman had no comment on the setback. The envoy has not said what would happen if his deadlines were ignored.
Gingrich calls Romney 'far and away' most likely GOP presidential nominee — but stays in race
WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich once led his rivals for the nomination in polls. Today, he's millions of dollars in debt and describing Mitt Romney as "far and away the most likely" GOP nominee.
Running for president "turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be," he said Sunday.
"I do think there's a desire for a more idea-oriented Republican Party, but that doesn't translate necessarily to being able to take on the Romney machine," Gingrich told "Fox News Sunday" in a reflective interview.
After his Jan. 21 victory in the South Carolina primary, the former House Speaker said the Florida primary he lost in the following days turned into a "real brawl." He said Romney did a good job building a substantial machine, adding he has no regrets.
"Unfortunately, our guys tried to match Romney," Gingrich said of the Florida match-up. "It turned out, we didn't have anything like his capacity to raise money."
Natural gas producers forced to scale back as prices fall, storage caverns fill up
NEW YORK — The U.S. natural gas market is bursting at the seams.
So much natural gas is being produced that soon there may be nowhere left to put the country's swelling surplus. After years of explosive growth, natural gas producers are retrenching.
The underground salt caverns, depleted oil fields and aquifers that store natural gas are rapidly filling up after a balmy winter depressed demand for home heating.
The glut has benefited businesses and homeowners that use natural gas. But with natural gas prices at a 10-year low — and falling — companies that produce the fuel are becoming victims of their drilling successes. Their stock prices are falling in anticipation of declining profits and scaled-back growth plans.
Some of the nation's biggest natural gas producers, including Chesapeake Energy, ConocoPhillips and Encana Corp., have announced plans to slow down.
Afghans, US sign deal on night raids, clearing way for pact on long-term US presence
KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S. and Afghanistan signed a deal Sunday giving Afghans authority over raids of Afghan homes, resolving one of the most contentious issues between the two wartime allies.
The majority of these raids are nighttime operations in which U.S. and Afghan troops descend without warning on homes or residential compounds searching for insurgents.
The raids are widely resented by Afghans, and President Hamid Karzai had repeatedly called for a halt to all night raids by international forces. He said for months that they would have to stop before he would sign a much-anticipated pact governing the long-term U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
Both countries have said that they wanted that bigger deal signed before the NATO summit in May, so the night raids agreement announced Sunday makes hitting that deadline possible.
Karzai has argued that night raids by international troops make civilian casualties more likely and that U.S. soldiers are disrespectful in the way they conduct the operations. The U.S. military has said such operations are essential for intelligence gathering and for capturing Taliban and al-Qaida commanders.
Jennifer Hudson's star power to complicate trial of man accused of murdering her family
CHICAGO — Accustomed to wearing Vera Wang gowns on red carpets, singing at the Grammys or autographing her weight-loss memoir, Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson will take on a new role under a very different spotlight — in Chicago's drab criminal courts building at the trial of the man charged with murdering her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.
The Hollywood star's presence, and the accompanying media hubbub, is bound to affect the proceedings, which begin Monday. That's when presiding Judge Charles Burns plans to start questioning would-be jurors one by one, trying to weed out anyone who could be swayed by Hudson's celebrity status.
Hudson is expected to be at the trial every day once testimony begins, court officials say, and she's on the 300-name list of witnesses who could testify. While the judge will warn prospective jurors to avoid watching TV coverage of the trial, they may see Hudson on "American Idol" on Thursday.
Legal experts widely agree on the No. 1 challenge at trials involving megastars: It's identifying 12 jurors able and willing to assess guilt solely on what they hear in court.
Hudson will need to refrain from overt displays of emotion as potentially starstruck jurors' eyes dart back at her, said Gerald Uelmen, a defense attorney at O.J. Simpson's murder trial.
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