EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 28, 2013

At least 65 Morsi supporters killed in clashes with police


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — CAIRO — Security forces and armed men clashed with supporters of Egypt’s ousted president early Saturday, killing at least 65 people in mayhem that underscored an increasingly heavy hand against protests demanding Mohammed Morsi’s return to office.

In chaotic scenes, pools of blood stained the floor and bodies were lined up under white sheets in a makeshift hospital near the site of the battles in eastern Cairo. Doctors struggled to cope with the flood of dozens of wounded, many with gunshots to the head or chest.

It was the deadliest single outbreak of violence since the military ousted Morsi on July 3 and one of the deadliest in 2 ½ years of turmoil in Egypt. It was not immediately clear if all the 65 killed were all protesters or if residents who joined the fight against the march were among the dead. The Brotherhood said that 66 Morsi supporters were killed in the Cairo violence.

The extent of the bloodshed pointed to a rapidly building confrontation between the country’s two camps, sharply divided over the coup that removed Egypt’s first freely elected president after widespread protests against his rule.

Authorities talk more boldly of making a move to end weeks of protests by Morsi’s largely Islamist supporters. At the same time, the Islamists are growing more assertive in challenging security forces as they try to win public backing for their cause.

Pope shames Brazil church for letting Catholics stray

RIO DE JANEIRO — Pope Francis issued blunt, soul-searching criticism Saturday of the Brazilian church’s failure to stem the “exodus” of Catholics to evangelical congregations, challenging the region’s bishops to be closer to the people to understand their problems and persuade them that Catholicism isn’t “barren, fruitless soil.”

In the longest and most important speech of his four-month pontificate, Francis drove home a message he has emphasized throughout his first international trip to World Youth Day: the need for Catholics, lay and religious, to shake up the status quo, get out of their stuffy sacristies and reach the faithful on the margins of society or risk losing them to rival churches.

Francis took a direct swipe at the “intellectual” message of the church that so characterized the pontificate of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. He said ordinary Catholics simply don’t understand such lofty ideas and need to hear the simpler message of love, forgiveness and mercy that is at the core of the Catholic faith.

“At times we lose people because they don’t understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people,” he said. “Without the grammar of simplicity, the church loses the very conditions which make it possible to fish for God in the deep waters of his mystery.”

In a speech outlining the kind of church he wants, Francis asked bishops to reflect on why hundreds of thousands of Catholics have left for Protestant and Pentecostal congregations that have grown exponentially in recent decades, particularly in Brazil’s slums or favelas, where their charismatic message and nuts-and-bolts advice have been welcomed by the poor.

Driver charged with manslaughter in boat crash on NY river

PIERMONT, N.Y. — The driver of a speedboat carrying a bride-to-be and five others that crashed on New York’s Hudson River late Friday night has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Rockland County Sheriff’s Department Chief William Barbera said Saturday 35-year-old Jojo John of Nyack was also charged with vehicular assault. Barbera says John may have operating the boat while intoxicated.

Earlier Saturday, a body matching the description of 30-year-old Lindsey Stewart, of Piermont, was found in the water. Stewart was set to be married Aug. 10.

Rescuers are still trying to locate her fiance’s best man, 30-year-old Mark Lennon. The search for him was suspended Saturday evening.

Officials say the groom-to-be and three others were hospitalized after the boat carrying six friends crashed into a construction barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge.

3 dead when bus carrying teens crashes in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — A bus carrying teens coming home from a church camp crashed Saturday on a busy Indianapolis thoroughfare, killing three people and sending others to hospitals, officials said.

An Indiana Department of Transportation camera showed the bus overturned on its side near an Interstate 465 overpass. The Indianapolis Fire Department said crews had to free five people who were trapped inside after the crash Saturday afternoon. Four good Samaritans helped before first responders could arrive, including one man who helped pull the driver out, the agency said.

The bus was carrying 40 passengers who are members of Colonial Hill Baptist Church in Indianapolis and were returning from a summer camp. The Fire Department said those injured included children and adults.

Indianapolis Fire Department spokesman Lt. Rita Burris confirmed that three people died, though she did not provide any details on the victims, including whether they were children or adults. She said survivors were being taken to area hospitals. Some of the victims were taken from the scene by helicopter.

Details about how the crash happened were not immediately available.

Spain train driver remains in police custody

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain — The injured driver of the Spanish train that derailed at high speed, killing 78 and injuring dozens more, was released from the hospital Saturday, but he was still being held in a police station as authorities increasingly focused on his culpability.

Francisco Jose Garzon Amo was to appear before a judge by Sunday evening, a hotly awaited opportunity for him to give his explanation for Spain’s deadliest train crash in decades.

Garzon has been under the microscope, with the country’s railway agency saying it was his responsibility to brake before going into the high-risk curve where the train careered off the rails and smashed into a wall. It’s still not clear whether the brakes failed or were never used, and Garzon has remained mum so far.

“There is rational evidence to lead us to think that the driver could have eventual responsibility,” Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told reporters at the crash site near the Catholic pilgrimage town of Santiago De Compostela.

He said Garzon was now being held on suspicion of negligent homicide. Authorities had previously said he was detained on suspicion of recklessness.

Police: Gunman in Fla. standoff lived in apartment complex

HIALEAH, Fla. — A man set fire to his South Florida apartment, killed six people, and held another two hostage at gunpoint before a SWAT team stormed the complex and fatally shot him Saturday, according to police and witness accounts.

The ordeal lasted eight hours, with Pedro Alberto Vargas running through the building, firing at random and eluding officers for part of it, police said.

Vargas, 42, set a combustible liquid on fire on Friday evening to start the blaze, police spokesman Carl Zogby said.

The building manager, Italo Pisciotti, 79, and his wife, Camira Pisciotti, 69, noticed smoke and ran to the apartment. Vargas came out and shot several times, killing both of them, according to the police account.

Vargas then went to his fourth-story balcony and fired 10 to 20 shots in the street, killing Carlos Javier Gavilanes, 33, who was parking a car outside, Zogby said.

North Korea shows its arsenal in military parade

PYONGYANG, North Korea — Goose-stepping soldiers, columns of tanks and a broad array of ominous-looking missiles poised on mobile launchers paraded through Pyongyang’s main square on Saturday in a painstakingly choreographed military pageant intended to strike fear into North Korea’s adversaries and rally its people behind young ruler Kim Jong Un on the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.

The lavish assembly of weapons and troops is reminiscent of the marches held by the Soviet Union and China at the height of the Cold War. It is one of the few chances the world gets to see North Korea’s military up close. Although Pyongyang frequently uses the occasion to reveal new, though not always operational, hardware, there didn’t appear to be any new weapons in Saturday’s parade. Its arsenal of missiles, however, was front-and-center.

Overlooking a sea of spectators mobilized in Kim Il Sung Square to cheer and wave flags, leader Kim Jong Un saluted his troops from a review stand. He was flanked by senior military officials, the chests of their olive green and white uniforms laden with medals. As fighter jets screamed overhead, a relaxed looking Kim smiled and talked with China’s vice president. China fought with North Korea during the war and is Pyongyang’s only major ally and a crucial source of economic aid. Kim did not make a speech.

Saturday’s parade marks a holiday the North Koreans call “Victory Day in the Fatherland Liberation War,” although the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce and the Korean Peninsula remains technically at war.

In Washington, President Barack Obama marked the day with a speech at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, saying the anniversary marks the end of the war and the beginning of a long and prosperous peace.

Influential singer and songwriter JJ Cale dies at 74

If musicians were measured not by the number of records they sold but by the number of peers they influenced, JJ Cale would have been a towering figure in 1970s rock ‘n’ roll.

His best songs like “After Midnight,” ‘‘Cocaine” and “Call Me the Breeze” were towering hits — for other artists. Eric Clapton took “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” and turned them into the kind of hard-party anthems that defined rock for a long period of time. And Lynyrd Skynyrd took the easy-shuffling “Breeze” and supercharged it with a three-guitar attack that made it a hit.

Cale, the singer-songwriter and producer known as the main architect of the Tulsa Sound, passed away Friday night at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, Calif. His manager, Mike Kappus, said Cale died of a heart attack. He was 74.

While his best known songs remain in heavy rotation on the radio nearly 40 years later, most folks wouldn’t be able to name Cale as their author. That was a role he had no problem with.

“No, it doesn’t bother me,” Cale said with a laugh in an interview posted on his website. “What’s really nice is when you get a check in the mail.”

More than 1,000 inmates escape Libyan prison

TRIPOLI, Libya — More than a thousand inmates escaped a prison Saturday in Libya as protesters stormed political party offices across the country, signs of the simmering unrest gripping a nation overrun by militias and awash in weaponry.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the jailbreak at al-Kweifiya prison came as part of the demonstrations. Protesters had massed across Libya over the killing of an activist critical of the country’s Muslim Brotherhood group.

Inmates started a riot and set fires after security forces opened fire on three detainees who tried to escape the facility outside of Benghazi, a security official at al-Kweifiya prison said. Gunmen quickly arrived to the prison after news of the riot spread, opening fire with rifles outside in a bid to free their imprisoned relatives, a Benghazi-based security official said.

Those who escaped either face or were convicted of serious charges, the prison official said.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorized to speak to journalists.

Hunter Mahan withdraws from Canadian Open

OAKVILLE, Ontario — Tournament leader Hunter Mahan withdrew from the RBC Canadian Open on Saturday after his wife went into labor.

The 31-year-old American was at 13 under after 36 holes and had yet to tee off in the third round.

“I received exciting news a short time ago that my wife Kandi has gone into labor with our first child,” Mahan said in a statement. “Kandi and I are thrilled about the addition to the Mahan family and we look forward to returning to the RBC Canadian Open in the coming years.”

The sudden departure now puts the spotlight on John Merrick, who finished the second round two strokes back of Mahan after tying the course record with a 62 at the par-72, 7,253-yard Glen Abbey Golf Club.

Dustin Johnson shot 63 in rainy conditions on Saturday and also sits at 11 under after 54 holes.