- Associated Press - Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nepal’s army says all 8 bodies recovered near crashed US Marine helicopter

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) - The bodies of all eight people on board the U.S. Marine helicopter that crashed during a relief mission in earthquake-hit Nepal have been recovered, Nepal’s army said Saturday.

The wreckage of the UH-1 “Huey” was found Friday following days of intense searching in the mountains northeast of the capital, Kathmandu. The first three charred bodies were retrieved the same day by Nepalese and U.S. military teams. The Nepalese army said in a statement Saturday that the remaining five were also recovered.

The aircraft, with six Marines and two Nepali soldiers on board, went missing while delivering aid on Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. John Wissler, commander of the Marine-led joint task force, told reporters in Kathmandu on Friday that his team could not immediately determine the cause of the crash or identify the bodies found.

He described the crash as “severe,” and said the recovery team at the site encountered extreme weather and difficult terrain.

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US says Army commandos on overnight raid into Syria kill Islamic State’s oil operations head

BEIRUT (AP) - In a rare ground attack deep into Syria, U.S. Army commandos killed a man described as the Islamic State’s head of oil operations, captured his wife and rescued a woman whom American officials said was enslaved.

A team of Delta Force commandos slipped across the border from Iraq under cover of darkness Saturday aboard Black Hawk helicopters and V-22 Osprey aircraft, according to a U.S. defense official knowledgeable about details of the raid. The official was not authorized to discuss the operation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Americans intended to capture a militant identified by U.S. officials as Abu Sayyaf. When they arrived at his location, a multi-story building, they met stiff resistance, the U.S. official said, and a firefight ensued, resulting in bullet-hole damage to the U.S. aircraft.

Abu Sayyaf was killed, along with an estimated dozen IS fighters, U.S. officials said. No American was killed or wounded.

Before the sun had risen, the commandos flew back to Iraq where Abu Sayyaf’s wife, Umm Sayyaf, was being questioned in U.S. custody, officials said. The goal was to gain intelligence about IS operations and any information about hostages, including American citizens, who were held by the group, according to Bernadette Meehan, spokeswoman for the U.S. National Security Council.

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Egypt’s ousted Islamist leader sentenced to death over prison break during 2011 uprising

CAIRO (AP) - An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced the country’s first freely elected leader, ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, to death over a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising that eventually brought him to power.

The ruling applies to another 120 people, and is the latest in a series of mass death sentences handed down since the military overthrew Morsi nearly two years ago. The sentence will likely further polarize Egypt, a longtime U.S. ally grappling with an Islamist insurgency that has intensified since Morsi’s overthrow.

In what appears to be the first violent response to the ruling, suspected Islamic militants gunned down three judges and their driver in the northern Sinai Peninsula city of al-Arish, according to security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Egypt’s judiciary has come under mounting international criticism since Morsi’s ouster as it has handed down harsh mass sentences to Islamists and jailed secular activists for protesting. At the same time, the courts have acquitted or handed light sentences to top officials who served under President Hosni Mubarak, whose nearly 30-year reign was ended by the 2011 Arab Spring-inspired uprising.

“These sentences are yet another manifestation of the deeply troubling way the Egyptian judiciary has been used as a tool to settle political disagreements,” Emad Shahin, a professor at the American University in Cairo who was sentenced to death in absentia wrote in a Facebook post.

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After Death Sentence, What’s Next for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

BOSTON (AP) - Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death by lethal injection, but he won’t be executed for years - maybe decades - as the appeals process runs its course. The next step is a formal imposition of the sentence. Then, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons will decide where he’ll be housed.

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SENTENCING HEARING

Judge George O’Toole Jr. will schedule a sentencing hearing to formally impose the sentence. Survivors of the bombing will be given a chance to give victim impact statements. Tsarnaev also will be allowed to speak if he chooses. It’s unclear how many victims the judge will allow to make statements.

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Jeb Bush’s tough week exposes rusty campaign skills, risks for those atop the GOP’s 2016 field

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Jeb Bush worked his way through the dim hallway of an Arizona resort for hours, shuttling from room to room and meeting with dozens of Republican officials, many for the first time.

He was in need of a political reset.

For days, he had offered confusing answers to questions about the war in Iraq. He had disappointed Republicans in Iowa, the leadoff state in the nomination chase. And, for a moment, he had forgotten he wasn’t yet a 2016 presidential candidate.

Only weeks earlier, donors willing to give millions to put him in the White House were coming to see him at an opulent Miami Beach hotel.

Now it was Bush seeking the private gatherings, on the sidelines of a Republican National Committee meeting.

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Texas mom, long-missing daughter arrive in US after Mexico judge returns custody

FRESNO, Texas (AP) - The joyful tears shed by a Texas woman and her long-missing daughter after they returned to Houston from Mexico on Saturday signaled the end of an eight-year cross-border custody case that had mistakenly sent another girl to the U.S. against her will.

Houston resident Dorotea Garcia and 13-year-old Alondra Diaz arrived at Bush Intercontinental Airport on Saturday morning after a judge in the Mexican state of Michoacan on Friday returned the girl to Garcia following DNA tests that showed they are mother and daughter.

An emotional Garcia told reporters later Saturday that the return of her daughter was a beautiful moment.

“What I had been wishing for so many years. Finally I can touch her. She is with me and I am grateful to God,” Garcia said in Spanish as she stood in front of her suburban Houston home and embraced her daughter.

Diaz, a native-born U.S. citizen, was taken to Mexico in 2007 by her father, Reynaldo Diaz, without her mother’s consent after the couple divorced. Alondra Diaz’s whereabouts hadn’t been known until recently.

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Fighting rages in multiple Yemeni provinces on 4th day of humanitarian truce

SANAA, Yemen (AP) - Fighting was underway Saturday in multiple Yemeni provinces on the fourth day of a humanitarian truce between a Saudi-led coalition and Shiite rebels, security and tribal officials said.

The five-day truce has been repeatedly violated, with each side blaming the other.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief journalists, reported fierce fighting Saturday in the southern city of Aden, the western city of Taiz and the province of Marib.

Medical and security officials say three civilians were killed in Aden by mortar shells during an exchange of fire. Two civilians were killed and three others were wounded in clashes in Taiz, officials said.

Saleh al-Anjaf, a spokesman for an anti-Houthi tribal alliance in the northern Marib province, said hundreds of fighters loyal to the Houthis and their allies have arrived in the area as reinforcements, as heavy fighting continued with local tribesmen.

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Elisabeth Bing, pioneer in spreading Lamaze approach to childbirth in US, dies at 100 in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) - When Elisabeth Bing became interested in childbirth techniques in the 1950s, women were often heavily medicated, dads were generally nowhere near the delivery room and expectant parents had far less information than many do today.

Bing, the Lamaze International co-founder who popularized what was known as natural childbirth and helped change how women and doctors approached the delivery room, died Friday at 100 in her New York apartment, the organization said Saturday. The cause of her death wasn’t immediately known.

Trained as a physical therapist, Bing taught breathing and relaxation techniques to generations of expectant mothers, wrote several books about birth and pregnancy and encouraged women - and men - to be more prepared, active and inquisitive participants in the arrival of their babies.

“I was certainly considered a radical,” she wrote in Lamaze’s magazine in 1990. By then, she noted, childbirth education had become common: “This so-called fad has been proven not to be a fad.”

Born July 8, 1914, in Berlin, Bing fled Nazi Germany with her family for England, where she got her physical therapy training. Working with new mothers got her thinking about delivery practices, an interest she brought with her to the United States in 1949.

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Remembering B.B.: Club Ebony, famed Mississippi blues venue, opens for King’s fans, friends

INDIANOLA, Miss. (AP) - Club Ebony was once a hopping juke joint, a place where blues masters B.B. King, Little Milton and Howlin’ Wolf performed for residents of this humble farming community looking to spice up their Saturday nights with dinner, dancing and maybe some drinks.

On Friday night, the historic club in Indianola became a meeting place for friends and fans of King who talked about his influential music, his friendly personality and his effect on the town where he used to live and returned every year to perform as their own personal guitar hero.

King died Thursday in Las Vegas at age 89. Fans in Indianola and around the world have been mourning since they heard the news.

Annise Strong James, 67, used to get into the club as an underage teenager, and was able to see Bobby “Blue” Bland and Little Milton perform. The club was something of a town hall, a locale where folks would gather at football games to eat burgers and fish plates, where the fun would extend until early in the morning. James’ brother would drive around in a van, picking up residents and driving them to the club, she said.

“It would get packed. We had a ball,” said James, who enjoyed a beverage with a friend as others sat around tables and chatted with King’s music playing in the background Friday night. “This was a spot for us to enjoy life.”

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A Triple Crown try in 3 weeks after Derby winner American Pharoah romps in Preakness

BALTIMORE (AP) - American Pharoah has Bob Baffert back in the Triple Crown groove.

With thunder rumbling and rain pouring down, Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah took the lead early and easily won the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.

The brilliant 3-year-old colt was never seriously challenged after shaking off long-shot Mr. Z early to win by seven lengths and set up the ultimate drama in racing - a Triple Crown attempt at the Belmont Stakes in three weeks in New York.

“Great horses do great things,” Baffert said after his sixth Preakness victory, “and he showed that today.”

American Pharoah, who started from the rail under Victor Espinoza, will be 14th Derby-Preakness winner to take a shot at becoming the first to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont since Affirmed in 1978.


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