Toyota reaches settlement with families after fatal crash
By the CNN Wire Staff
September 18, 201
Toyota has reached a settlement with two families over product liability claims following a crash that killed four family members, a spokesman for the automaker said.
California Highway Patrolman Mark Saylor; his wife, Cleofe Lastrella; a 13-year-old daughter, Mahala; and Saylor’s brother-in-law, Chris Lastrella, were killed when a Lexus sedan they were in accelerated uncontrollably on a freeway near San Diego last year and crashed over an embankment.
Lexus is a division of Toyota.
Prime time for moongazers
The moon is getting its figurative “day in the sun” this weekend during a global celebration of lunar looks, and the great thing is that you don’t need to be a hotshot astronomer to join in.
More than 275 events in 40 countries are planned on Saturday during International Observe the Moon Night, with most of those events aimed at casual observers who usually wouldn’t give the moon a second look.
Our only natural satellite tends to get noticed only during unusual astronomical events – for example, when it blots out the sun during a solar eclipse (such as the one that occurred July 11), or when Earth’s shadow creates a total lunar eclipse (as it will on Dec. 22).
Wide G.O.P. Field Tests the Waters for 2012 Contest
By JIM RUTENBERG and JEFF ZELENY
Published: September 17, 2010
DES MOINES – The Republican presidential field for 2012 is beginning to take shape in a period of intensive upheaval set off by the rise of the Tea Party movement, expanding the roster of potential candidates but presenting a more complicated road to the nomination.
The opportunities and pitfalls were on full display Friday – in some ways a kickoff to the Republican contest – as no fewer than six possible contenders made appearances in Washington and, in one especially closely watched case, here in Iowa, the first stop on the path to the White House. At least as many more Republicans are already taking steps to test candidacies of their own.
Capitol Hill reaction to poverty figures sidetracked by political concerns
By Michael A. Fletcher
Washington Post Staff Writer
Deborah Weinstein, a longtime advocate for the poor, calls the news that one in seven Americans is living in poverty “a national emergency.” But for much of Washington’s political class, the shocking new poverty numbers provoked not alarm about the poor but further debate over tax cuts for the middle class.
“We know that a strong middle class leads a strong economy,” President Obama told reporters in the Rose Garden on Friday, as he used the new census report, which also showed that middle-class income has dipped slightly over the past decade, to continue making his case for limiting the cuts to family incomes under $250,000.
Row with Merkel leaves Sarkozy more isolated than ever
By John Lichfield in Paris Saturday, 18 September 2010
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rubbished a claim by President Nicolas Sarkozy that she planned to follow France’s example and bulldoze Roma camps in Germany.
The humiliating disavowal by France’s closest ally left President Sarkozy more isolated than ever in his battle with the European Union over his campaign against Roma migrants from eastern Europe.
Why Russia wants ‘Enemy No. 1’ Akhmed Zakayev back
Russia considers Chechen separatist Akhmed Zakayev, picked up in Warsaw today under an international arrest warrant, as ‘Enemy No. 1.’
By Fred Weir, Correspondent / September 17, 2010
Russia is demanding that Poland turn over Chechen separatist Akhmed Zakayev, who was detained in Warsaw Friday under an international arrest warrant.
Mr. Zakayev, whom Moscow describes as “Enemy No. 1,” had been placed on an Interpol “red notice” wanted list by Russia for alleged involvement in terrorist acts. Polish authorities said Friday they detained him as he arrived to attend an international conference of Chechens, pursuant to their international legal obligations.
Special Ops and the ‘End of Combat’ in Iraq
By STEVEN LEE MYERS
CAMP SYVERSON, Iraq – One thing did not change after President Obama officially declared an end to the American combat mission in Iraq on Sept. 1: the size and role of American Special Operations forces here.
And if the first weeks of Operation New Dawn are any indication, their operations will test the public’s perception – cultivated by the administration – that American combat in Iraq is, in fact, over.
“We have stayed at steady state,” the American Special Operations commander here, Col. Mark E. Mitchell, said in an interview at his headquarters, a highly secured camp-within-a-camp at Joint Base Balad, north of Baghdad.
Yom Kippur fasting day beginning; Israel grinds to a halt
Yom Kippur: Israel all but shuts down for the duration of the fast day. There are no TV or radio broadcasts, businesses are shuttered and the streets are so devoid of cars that thousands of children take advantage of Yom Kippur to ride their bicycles down highways.
By Associated Press / September 17, 2010
Israel came to a virtual standstill at sundown Friday as Jews began observing the start of the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, the 25 hours of fasting and contemplation known as Yom Kippur.
Though most Israelis are not religious, Israel all but shuts down for the duration of the fast day. There are no TV or radio broadcasts, businesses are shuttered and the streets are so devoid of cars that thousands of children take advantage of the day to ride their bicycles down highways.
Polls show that most Israeli Jews fast on Yom Kippur, also know as the Day of Atonement, and the Friday editions of the papers carried tips on how to prepare: have an egg for breakfast, drink 10 cups of water during the day and eat lots of carbohydrates.
Candidates kidnapped on eve of Afghan elections
By Julius Cavendish in Kabul Saturday, 18 September 2010
Militants kidnapped two parliamentary candidates and 18 election workers ahead of today’s parliamentary elections in Afghanistan in the latest sign that the vote will be marked by bloodshed and intimidation.
Reports of violence across the country, government seizures of fake voter cards and observer accreditation badges, and the closure of polling stations deemed too insecure added to a gloomy prognosis for the ballot, which election officials hope will not be a repeat of last year’s disastrous presidential ballot.
Eviction game hits a nerve in China
September 18, 2010
BEIJING: It may lack the sophistication and addictive power of Farmville or World of Warcraft. But an online game in which a family fights off a demolition crew with slippers and bullets has hooked Chinese internet users.
The Big Battle: Nail House Versus Demolition Team has triumphed not through playability, but by tapping into anger about forced relocations.
”Nail houses” are the last homes left standing in areas slated for clearance, so called because they stick out when all around them have been demolished.
Violence spirals out of control in east DRC
First the rebel soldiers told residents of the villages in the mineral-rich eastern DRC not to worry. They were just there for a rest and would do no harm. But as dusk fell, the fighters encircled five villages simultaneously, and the gang rapes began.
MICHELLE FAUL | WALIKALE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Sep 18 2010
Six or seven men lined up to take their turn. The victims ranged from a month-old baby boy to a 110-year-old great-great-grandmother.
They forced husbands and children to watch as they gang-raped the villagers for four days. Some victims told doctors the fighters raped them with their fists, saying “We’re looking for the gold.”
It took days for help to arrive, even though the villages are 20km from a camp of UN peacekeepers from India.
First bore hole for rescue reaches Chile miners
Next step is to widen tube so the men can be plucked out
SANTIAGO, Chile – Rescuers achieved a key breakthrough in efforts to rescue 33 trapped miners on Friday, reaching the caverns where they are imprisoned with a 12-inch bore hole that will now be widened so that they can be pulled to freedom.
Atacama region Gov. Ximena Matas said the T130 probe had reached the mine area 2,070 feet beneath the surface, near the chamber where the men have taken refuge.