advertisement

TOP HEADLINES: Al-Qaida's No. 2 dies in US drone strike

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | 6:39 p.m. CDT

Here are today's top stories from The Associated Press:

Al-Qaida No. 2 dies in US drone strike in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A U.S. drone strike in northwest Pakistan has killed al-Qaida's second-in-command, officials from both countries confirmed Tuesday, the most significant victory so far in the controversial bombing campaign and the biggest setback to the terror network since the death of Osama bin Laden.

Abu Yahya al-Libi was considered a media-savvy, charismatic leader with religious credentials who was helping preside over the transformation of a secretive group based in Pakistan and Afghanistan into a global movement aimed at winning converts — and potential attackers — from Somalia to the Philippines.

This was not the first time the U.S. had al-Libi in its sights: He was originally captured a decade ago and held by American forces at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan until he escaped in 2005 in an embarrassing security breach. Soon thereafter, he began appearing in videos in which he talked about the lessons he learned while watching his captors, whom he described as cowardly, lost and alienated.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called al-Libi's death a "major blow" to the group. Carney described al-Libi as an operational leader and a "general manager" of al-Qaida. He said al-Libi had a range of experience that will be hard for al-Qaida to replicate and brings the terror network closer to its ultimate demise than ever before.

"His death is part of the degradation that has been taking place to core al-Qaida during the past several years and that degradation has depleted the ranks to such an extent that there's no clear successor," Carney said.

Senate Republicans block Democrats' equal pay bill

WASHINGTON  — Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a Democratic bill calling for equal pay in the workplace. But President Barack Obama and his congressional allies aren't finished appealing to women on the No. 1 concern for all voters: the cash in their wallets on the heels of recession.

As expected, the pay equity bill failed along party lines, 52-47, short of the required 60-vote threshold. But for majority Democrats, passage wasn't the only point. The debate itself was aimed at putting Republicans on the defensive on yet another women's issue, this one overtly economic after a government report showing slower-than-expected job growth.

"It is incredibly disappointing that in this make-or-break moment for the middle class, Senate Republicans put partisan politics ahead of American women and their families," Obama said in a statement after the vote.

"Even Mitt Romney has refused to publicly oppose this legislation," added Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "He should show some leadership."

Unlike past taunts over access to contraception and abortion, Republicans this time didn't take the bait.

Nine jurors picked for Sandusky sex abuse trial

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Connections to Penn State weren't enough to keep prospective jurors from being chosen to decide Jerry Sandusky's fate on child sexual abuse charges.

The start of jury selection Tuesday showed the strength of Sandusky's and Penn State's links to their rural central Pennsylvania community, but the presiding judge indicated that those connections weren't necessarily enough to keep them from being one of the 12 jurors or four alternates.

Nine jurors were selected Tuesday, including a longtime Penn State football season ticketholder.

In the first questioning of 40 prospective jurors, about half said they or immediate family members worked at Penn State or were university retirees. One woman rented apartments to college students. Four knew Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach. Two knew his wife.

Sandusky's lawyer won the right to have jurors chosen from the local community, and prosecutors had concerns that Centre County might prove to be nearly synonymous with Penn State. Sandusky had helped build the football team's reputation as a defensive powerhouse known as "Linebacker U," his arrest toppled Joe Paterno from the head coaching position just months before his death from cancer, and some of the alleged attacks on children occurred inside university showers.

Report of first doctor to reach mortally-wounded Lincoln found

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The first doctor to reach President Abraham Lincoln after he was shot in a Washington theater rushed to his ceremonial box and found him paralyzed, comatose and leaning against his wife. Charles Leale ordered brandy and water to be brought immediately.

Leale's long-lost report of efforts to help the mortally wounded president, written just hours after his death, was discovered in a box at the National Archives late last month.

The Army surgeon, who sat 40 feet from Lincoln at Ford's Theater that night in April 1865, saw assassin John Wilkes Booth jump to the stage, brandishing a dagger. Thinking Lincoln had been stabbed, Leale pushed his way to the victim but found a different injury.

"I commenced to examine his head (as no wound near the shoulder was found) and soon passed my fingers over a large firm clot of blood situated about one inch below the superior curved line of the occipital bone," Leale reported. "The coagula I easily removed and passed the little finger of my left hand through the perfectly smooth opening made by the ball."

The historians who discovered the report believe it was filed, packed in a box, stored at the archives and not seen for 147 years. While it doesn't add much new information about the tragedy, "it's the first draft" of history, said Daniel Stowell, director of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln.

Michelle Obama won't push plan to ban sugary drinks

WASHINGTON, D.C. — First lady Michelle Obama says banning big servings of sugary drinks isn't anything she'd want to do at the federal level, but she offered some kind words Tuesday for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's effort to do just that. She later issued a statement backing away from taking a stand on New York's controversial proposed ban.

It was a telling example of the fine line the first lady walks as she tries to improve Americans' health and eating habits without provoking complaints that she's part of any "nanny state" telling people how to eat or raise their children.

Asked about Bloomberg's proposal during an interview with The Associated Press, Obama said there's no "one-size-fits-all" solution for the country's health challenges. But, she said, "We applaud anyone who's stepping up to think about what changes work in their communities. New York is one example."

And asked whether the nation's obesity epidemic warrants taking a more aggressive approach, such as Bloomberg's, she said: "There are people like Mayor Bloomberg who are, and that is perfectly fine."

Obama later issued a statement saying that she hadn't intended to weigh in on the Bloomberg plan "one way or the other."

Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda hospitalized

NEW YORK — Retired Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda was hospitalized after having a "mild" heart attack while in New York for the Major League Baseball draft.

The team said Tuesday that doctors inserted a stent to repair a blocked artery in Lasorda's heart. The 84-year-old Hall of Famer became ill Monday while in town to represent the club at the draft. He was in stable condition and resting comfortably.

"The doctors confirmed I do bleed Dodger Blue. I'm looking forward to being back at the stadium to cheer on the Dodgers," Lasorda's Twitter feed said.

TMZ first reported Lasorda's condition. Lasorda is in his sixth decade working for the Dodgers organization, beginning when the team was still in Brooklyn.

He had a heart attack in June 1996, shortly after managing his final game for the Dodgers, whom he guided to 1,599 career victories. The team won World Series titles in 1981 and 1988, four National League pennants and eight division titles during Lasorda's 20-year career.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements