EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 21, 2013

world and nation briefs


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Egyptina military steps up crackdown onBrotherhood with arrest of top leader

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s military-backed authorities arrested the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme leader on Tuesday, dealing a serious blow to the embattled movement at a time when it is struggling to keep up street protests against the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi in the face of a harsh government crackdown.

The Brotherhood’s spiritual guide, Mohammed Badie, was arrested in an apartment in the Cairo district of Nasr City, close to the site of a sit-in encampment that was forcibly cleared by security forces last week, triggering violence that killed hundreds of people.

Badie’s arrest is the latest move in an escalating crackdown by authorities on the Brotherhood, which has seen hundreds of its members taken into custody.

The Muslim Brotherhood said Badie’s detention would not weaken the movement or lead its followers away from their principles.

Court indicts Pakistani ex-president Musharraf in assassinationof Bhutto

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) — In an unprecedented ruling that tests the military’s aura of inviolability, a court indicted former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf Tuesday on murder charges stemming from the 2007 assassination of ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Musharraf, who became a key U.S. ally in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, pleaded not guilty.

The decision by the court in Rawalpindi marked the first time a current or former army chief has been charged with a crime in the country.

Musharraf, a 70-year-old former commando who took power in a 1999 coup and stepped down from office in disgrace nearly a decade later, now faces a string of legal problems that in many ways challenge the military’s sacrosanct status in Pakistani society.

Elmore Leonard,best-selling author, dies at age 87

DETROIT (AP) — He was the master of his genre, the Dickens of Detroit, the Chaucer of Crime.

Pretty much every novel Elmore Leonard wrote from the mid-1980s on was a best-seller, and every fan of crime stories knew his name. George Clooney was an admirer. So were Quentin Tarantino, Saul Bellow and Stephen King and millions of ordinary readers.

Leonard, who died Tuesday at age 87, helped achieve for crime writing what King did for horror and Ray Bradbury for science fiction. He made it hip, and he made it respectable.

When the public flocked to watch John Travolta in the movie version of “Get Shorty” in 1995, its author became the darling of Hollywood’s hottest young directors. Book critics and literary stars, prone to dismissing crime novels as light entertainment, competed for adjectives to praise him. Last fall, he became the first crime writer to receive an honorary National Book Award, a prize given in the past to Philip Roth, Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller.

Oklahoma Teens charged in death of Australian baseball player

DUNCAN, Okla. (AP) — Prosecutors filed charges against three teenagers Tuesday after police said the boys randomly targeted an Australian baseball player as he jogged and shot him in the back, killing him, to avoid the boredom of an Oklahoma summer day.

Christopher Lane, 22, of Melbourne, died Friday along a tree-lined road on Duncan’s well-to-do north side. Two teenagers, 15- and 16-year-olds from the gritty part of the town, were charged with first-degree murder and ordered held without bond.

Shots fired at Atlanta-area school; gunman in custody, children unhurt

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A teen was in custody Tuesday, accused of firing shots from an assault rifle at an Atlanta-area elementary school where dramatic television footage showed young students racing out of the building, being escorted by teachers and police to safety. No one was injured.

The 800 or so students in pre-kindergarten to fifth grade were evacuated from Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, a few miles east of Atlanta. They sat outside in a field for a time until school buses came to take them to their waiting parents and other relatives at a nearby Wal-Mart. When the first bus arrived a couple hours later, cheers erupted in the store parking lot.

The suspect, a 19-year-old man with no clear ties to the school, fired at least a half-dozen shots with an assault rifle from inside the school and officers returned fire when the man was alone and they had a clear shot, DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric L. Alexander said at a news conference.

Though the school has a system where people must be buzzed in, the gunman slipped inside behind someone authorized to be there, Alexander said. The suspect, whose identity was not released, never got past the front office, where he held one or two employees captive for a time, and was being questioned at the police department, Alexander said. No charges had yet been filed.

Manning faces up to 90 years for leakingmilitary secrets

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — A military judge said she’ll announce on Wednesday the sentence for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who gave reams of classified information to WikiLeaks.

Army Col. Denise Lind said Tuesday she was still deliberating but she was confident she would have a sentence by Wednesday morning.

“At 10 a.m. tomorrow I will announce the sentence,” Lind said about 2 1/2 hours into her deliberations.

Manning faces up to 90 years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department diplomatic cables in 2010 while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. He also leaked video of an U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad in which at least nine people were killed, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.

Prosecutors have asked for at least a 60-year prison term. Capt. Joe Morrow said in his closing argument Monday that a long prison sentence would dissuade other soldiers from following in Manning’s footsteps.

Defendant in 9/11 case alleges that troops have withheld foodfrom him

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — A defendant in the Sept. 11 terror attack case alleged Tuesday that guards at Guantanamo Bay have been withholding food when he is in court or meeting with his lawyers. Military officials denied that has happened.

The charge by Ramzi bin al Shibh came as he angrily explained to the military judge in his case why he did not want to attend the afternoon session on the second day of a weeklong pretrial hearing at the U.S. base in Cuba.

“It is a form of psychological torture,” he said.

The judge, Army Col. James Pohl, has been allowing the five defendants to skip sessions of their pretrial hearings, but he has said they will be required to attend their actual trial, which is likely at least a year away. The other four defendants had already decided not to come to court Tuesday.

NEWSPaper detailsconfrontation withUK spies

LONDON (AP) — A British newspaper released new details of its confrontation with the country’s intelligence service on Tuesday, saying it destroyed hard drives containing material leaked by Edward Snowden in order to insulate the former American intelligence worker from potential prosecution and to keep reporting on his leaks.

The Guardian said senior staffers shattered the electronics using angle grinders and drills in mid-July in a bid to avoid legal action or even a police raid that could halt its reporting or provide evidence for U.S. officials seeking to put Snowden behind bars.

“I didn’t want to get in that position,” editor Alan Rusbridger said in a video interview posted to the Guardian’s website. “Once it was obvious that they would be going to law, I would rather destroy the copy than hand it back to them or allow the courts to freeze our reporting.”

He said the paper has other copies of the same material located elsewhere.

Rusbridger spoke as disquiet continued to grow over the detention of Guardian journalist Gleen Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, whose was held for nine hours at London’s Heathrow Airport on Sunday as he was ferrying material related to the Snowden story between filmmaker Laura Poitras in Germany and Brazil, where Greenwald is based.