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WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF: Egyptian president calls for referendum on constitution

Saturday, December 1, 2012 | 7:39 p.m. CST

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

Egyptian president calls for referendum on draft constitution in 2 weeks

CAIRO — Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi called Saturday for a referendum in two weeks on a disputed draft constitution, as tens of thousands of his supporters celebrated the decision.

Morsi set the date as Dec. 15 in a nationally televised speech to the Islamist-led assembly that hurriedly approved the draft charter amid widening opposition from secular and Christian groups.

Egypt's Constitutional Court was due to rule Sunday on whether to dissolve the panel. If the judges decide to hold their session, whatever the decision, it is still a challenge and a continuation of the tug of war between Morsi and the powerful judiciary, which dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament earlier this year.

"After receiving this draft constitution, and out of keenness to build the nation's institutions without delay or stalling, I will issue today the call for a public referendum on this draft charter on Saturday, Dec. 15," Morsi said. "I pray to God and hope that it will be a new day of democracy in Egypt."

Morsi urged those who opposed it to go out and vote. "With us all we build the nation," he said.

Police: Man stabbed woman, then killed father in bow-and-arrow attack at Wyoming college

CASPER, Wyo. — Police released more details Saturday of a grisly murder-suicide at a Wyoming community college, saying a man shot his father in the head with a bow and arrow in front of a computer science class not long after fatally stabbing his father's live-in girlfriend at their home a couple miles away.

Computer science instructor James Krumm, 56, may have saved some of his students' lives Friday by giving them time to flee while trying to fend off his son, Christopher Krumm, 25, of Vernon, Conn., Casper Police Chief Chris Walsh said.

"I can tell you the courage that was demonstrated by Mr. Krumm was absolutely without equal," he said, adding that his actions could offer some measure of comfort to those affected by the killings.

He said police still were trying to figure out what motivated Christopher Krumm to attack his father and girlfriend, 42-year-old Heidi Arnold, a math instructor at the college. Arnold was found stabbed to death in front of the home she shared with James Krumm.

After shooting his father with the arrow, Christopher Krumm stabbed himself, then fatally stabbed his father in the chest in a struggle in the classroom, Walsh said.

From the ashes of Bangladesh fire, evidence of a complex global supply chain

In the charred bones of the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory, the labels and logos — sewn and printed in scarlet and royal blue — beckon from the ashes. Even in ruins, there's no missing that these T-shirts and jeans were intended for U.S. stores and shopping carts, designed as bargains too good to pass up, or stocking stuffers just in time for the holidays and in just the right size.

But a week after the blaze outside Bangladesh's capital killed 112 workers, a glaring question remains unanswered: How, exactly, did brands worth fortunes end up in such a place? And what does the odyssey that brings them to market across thousands of miles say about the everyday economics most consumers take for granted?

Retailers and marketers whose clothes were found in the embers, including Wal-Mart, Sears and Disney, are carefully vague in explaining why that was the case. But piecing together the information they provide with records and the insight of apparel and sourcing experts reveals a complex and ever-morphing supply chain, in which Tazreen was just an interchangeable link.

It is a chain whose combination of ultra-low labor costs, maximum flexibility and delegated authority offers undeniable advantages. But it is also comes with considerable risk.

"A lot of people go into the store and see 'Made in China' or Bangladesh or India or whatever and it's almost like this magical thing, that somebody said I want to make some shirts and it shows up the next day," says Vinod Rangarajan, who advises apparel companies on product development and sourcing for consultant Kurt Salmon. "But it is a lot more involved than people would imagine."

Internet service largely restored in Syria after 2-day blackout, network monitoring firm says

BEIRUT — Internet and telephone services were restored across much of Syria on Saturday following a two-day, nationwide communications blackout that came during some of the worst fighting to hit the capital since July.

Experts say the shutdown was likely caused by President Bashar Assad's regime, raising fears that the government is taking increasingly bold measures to cut off the country from the outside world as it tries to crush a relentless rebellion.

Renesys, a U.S.-based network monitoring firm that studies Internet disruptions, said in a statement Saturday that service went back up around 4:32 p.m. local time in Syria, describing it as a "largely complete restoration of the Syrian Internet."

Mobile telephone networks also appeared to be mostly back up Saturday. A Britain-based activist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said it was receiving dispatches from many parts of the country. Many land lines had remained in working order.

The SANA state news agency said technical teams brought both Internet and telephone services back online Saturday in Damascus and its suburbs — the flashpoints of recent fighting between government soldiers and rebels.

Mexico swears in president; old ruling party returns to power amid violent protests

MEXICO CITY — Enrique Pena Nieto took the oath of office as Mexico's new president Saturday promising to return peace and security and to take on the vested interests and sacred cows that have kept a lid on the country's economic prosperity.

As several hundred protesters threw fire bombs at police and smashed plate glass windows, Pena Nieto marked the return of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, with a 13-point plan heavy on old-party populist handouts but with reforms designed to boost the economy and modernize the education and justice systems.

"Mexico has not achieved the advances that the population demands or deserves," Pena Nieto said in an inaugural speech unusual for its heavy emphasis on policy. "It's time for us together to break the myths and paradigms and all else that has limited our development."

Inaugural events were marred all day by protesters opposed to the return of the PRI after a 12-year hiatus.

Inside and outside the congressional chambers where he took the oath of office, his opponents called his inauguration an "imposition" of a party that ruled for 71 years using a mix of populist handouts, graft and rigged elections. At least four demonstrators and four officers were injured as protesters clashed with tear-gas wielding police, and 65 people were detained.

Obama's decision on U.S.-Canada oil pipeline may preview new term's energy, climate approach

WASHINGTON — It's a decision President Barack Obama put off during the 2012 campaign, but now that he has won a second term, his next move on a proposed oil pipeline between the U.S. and Canada may signal how he will deal with climate and energy issues in the four years ahead.

Obama is facing increasing pressure to determine the fate of the $7 billion Keystone XL project, with environmental activists and oil producers each holding out hope that the president, freed from the political constraints of re-election, will side with them on this and countless other related issues down the road.

On its surface, it's a choice between the promise of jobs and economic growth and environmental concerns. But it has also become a proxy for a broader fight over American energy consumption and climate change, amplified by Superstorm Sandy and the conclusion of an election that was all about the economy.

"The broader climate movement is absolutely looking at this administration's Keystone XL decision as a really significant decision to signal that dirty fuels are not acceptable in the U.S.," said Danielle Droitsch, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Once content with delays that have kept the pipeline from moving forward at full speed, opponents of Keystone XL have launched protests in recent weeks at the White House and in Texas urging Obama to kill the project outright. On Capitol Hill, support for the pipeline appears to be gaining.

Police: 2 dead after bus crashes into concrete overpass at Miami airport; 3 critically hurt

MIAMI — A bus carrying 32 members of a church group hit a concrete overpass at Miami International Airport after the driver got lost, killing two elderly people on board and leaving three others critically injured, officials said Saturday.

The large, white bus was too tall for the 8-foot-6-inch entrance to the arrivals area, said airport spokesman Greg Chin. Buses are supposed to go through the departures area, which has a higher ceiling, he said.

Chin said the passengers told him they were part of a group of Jehovah's Witnesses headed to West Palm Beach. Police said in a news release that the group had chartered the bus to take them to a church convention there.

Two large signs warn drivers of large vehicles not to enter beneath the concrete overpass. One attached to the top of the concrete barrier reads: "High Vehicle STOP Turn Left." The other, placed to the left of the driveway several feet in front of the barrier, says all vehicles higher than the 8-foot-6 threshold must turn left.

Three people were at hospitals in critical condition. The other 27 surviving passengers had been hurt, but their injuries were less extensive, authorities said.

China demolishes lone home, resistance symbol as duck farmer agrees to accept compensation

BEIJING — Authorities have demolished a five-story home that stood incongruously in the middle of a new main road and had become the latest symbol of resistance by Chinese homeowners against officials accused of offering unfair compensation.

Xiayangzhang village chief Chen Xuecai told The Associated Press the house was bulldozed Saturday after its owners, duck farmer Luo Baogen and his wife, agreed to accept compensation of 260,000 yuan ($41,000).

There was no immediate confirmation from Luo, whose cellphone was turned off Saturday.

The couple had been the lone holdouts from a neighborhood that was demolished to make way for the main thoroughfare heading to a newly built railway station on the outskirts of the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province.

The razing comes a week after images of the house circulated widely online in China, triggering a flurry of domestic and foreign media reports about the latest "nail house," as buildings that remain standing as their owners resist development are called.


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