Fugitive charged in abduction is caught
A fugitive charged with abducting and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old LA girl was returned to the U.S. Wednesday after being arrested in a Mexican village where he’d checked himself into a rehabilitation facility under a fake name, authorities said.
Tobias Summers, 30, was being brought to LA to face 37 felony charges, including numerous sexual-assault counts, FBI Special Agent in Charge Tim Delaney told a press conference.
Clashes erupt in Iraq, leaving dozens dead
Clashes erupted Wednesday between the Iraqi army and armed Sunni tribesmen who sealed off two central Iraqi towns, leaving 38 dead, just a day after fighting that killed 56 people. Other violence Wednesday killed 13.
The unrest is heightening Sunni-Shiite tensions and raising fears that the country could be headed toward a new round of violence.
Minaret of famed mosque is destroyed
The 11th-century minaret of a famed mosque that towered over the narrow stone alleyways of Aleppo’s old quarter collapsed Wednesday as rebels and government troops fought pitched battles in the streets around it, depriving the ancient Syrian city of one of its most important landmarks.
President Bashar Assad’s government and the rebels trying to overthrow him traded blame over the destruction to the Umayyad Mosque, a UNESCO world heritage site and centerpiece of Aleppo’s walled Old City.
White House: Open to fix on FAA furloughs
Under growing pressure, the Obama administration signaled Wednesday it might accept legislation eliminating Federal Aviation Administration furloughs blamed for lengthy delays affecting airline passengers, while leaving the rest of $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts in place.
The disclosure came as sentiment grew among Senate Democrats as well as Republicans for legislation to ease the impact of the cuts on the FAA, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had talks with key senators.
According to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which is privy to FAA data, there were 5,800 flight delays across the country for the three-day period beginning Sunday, when the furloughs took effect.
GOP puts off its health-care bill
An effort by House Republicans to highlight problems with President Barack Obama’s health-care law by bailing out a program for people with pre-existing medical conditions appeared to backfire Wednesday.
GOP leaders postponed a vote after the measure met strong opposition from two directions: from conservative groups resistant to any federal role in health care and from Democrats who objected that the Republicans planned to pay for the high-risk patient program by raiding a disease prevention provision the administration says is essential.
seoul, south korea
South Korea today warned of an unspecified “grave measure” if North Korea rejects a call for talks on a factory park that has been closed. Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk refused to say what Seoul would do if Pyongyang doesn’t respond by a deadline Friday to a demand for formal working-level talks on the industrial complex just over the heavily armed border in a North Korean town.