EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 25, 2013

Around the World and Nation


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — UK braces for unrest after soldier’s slaying, conducts review

LONDON — Both of the suspects accused of butchering a British soldier during broad daylight on a London street had long been on the radar of Britain’s domestic spy agency, though investigators say it would have been nearly impossible to predict that the men were on the verge of a brutal killing.

Still, counter-terrorism officials said they are reviewing what — if any — lessons can be gleaned from the information they had leading up to the slaying Wednesday.

Authorities in the U.S. have similarly pledged to review their procedures in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, with the Boston police commissioner saying that cities should consider deploying more undercover officers and installing more surveillance cameras.

Driver horrified after load hits I-5 bridge, road falls into river

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — The trucker was hauling a load of drilling equipment when his load bumped against the steel framework over an Interstate 5 bridge. He looked in his rearview mirror and watched in horror as the span collapsed into the water behind him. Two vehicles fell into the icy Skagit River.

Amazingly, nobody was killed. The three people who fell into the water escaped with only minor injuries.

Officials are trying to find out whether the spectacular collapse of a bridge on one of the West’s most important roadways was a fluke — or a sign of a bigger problem with thousands of bridges across the U.S.

Russia says Syrian government agrees to peace talks

BEIRUT — Syria’s government has agreed to attend a U.S.-Russian-brokered peace conference, according to Moscow. While this development might seem at first glance to be a step toward ending the civil war, strong skepticism persists on both sides.

Doubting that Damascus is serious and may be stalling while government forces make battlefield gains, the Syrian opposition has demanded guarantees that President Bashar Assad’s departure top the agenda; Russia questioned whether the fragmented opposition is capable of negotiating with one voice.

The war has killed more than 70,000 people, and both sides are firmly entrenched in their positions and appear unwilling to compromise to stop the carnage and chaos engulfing the country.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denies crack cocaine

TORONTO — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denied Friday that he smokes crack cocaine and said he is not an addict after a video purported to show him using the drug. The mayor of Canada’s largest city did not say whether he has ever used crack.

Ford did not take questions from reporters at a news conference at City Hall held after a week of silence and after close allies released a letter urging him to address the video. The video apparently shows Ford smoking crack.

“I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,” Ford said. “As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen, or does not exist.”

-Associated Press

Ford had been ducking the media and his only comments before yesterday on the scandal came a week ago, a day after the story broke, when he called the crack smoking allegations “ridiculous” and said the Toronto Star newspaper was out to get him.