Click for St. Louis, Missouri Forecast

// a href = ./ // St Louis News, Weather, Sports, The Big 550 AM, St Louis Traffic, Breaking News in St Louis

Online pharmacy:fesmag.com/tem

Have you a sex problem? Please visit our site:fesmag.com/medic

Site map
 
 
 
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt was rocked Monday by the deadliest day since its Islamist president was toppled by the military, with more than 50 of his supporters killed by security forces as the country's top Muslim cleric raised the specter of civil war.

The military found itself on the defensive after the bloodshed, but the interim president drove ahead with the army's political plan. He issued a swift timetable for the process of amending the Islamist-backed constitution and set parliamentary and presidential elections for early 2014.

The killings further entrenched the battle lines between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, who was removed by the military July 3 after a year in office following mass demonstrations by millions of Egyptians.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood called for an uprising, accusing troops of gunning down protesters, while the military blamed armed Islamists for provoking its forces.

The shootings began during a protest by about 1,000 Islamists outside the Republican Guard headquarters where Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader, was detained last week. Demonstrators and members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood said troops descended on them and opened fire unprovoked as they finished dawn prayers.

"I was in the last row praying. They were firing from the left and right," said Nashat Mohammed, who had come from southern Egypt to join the sit-in and was wounded in the knee. "We said, 'Stop, we're your brothers.' They shot at us from every direction."

After a battle lasting about three hours, at least 51 protesters were killed and 435 wounded, most from live ammunition and birdshot, emergency services chief Mohammed Sultan told to the state news agency.

At a nationally televised news conference, Army Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said police and troops came under "heavy gunfire" at around 4 a.m. and attackers on rooftops opened fire with guns and Molotov cocktails. A soldier and two policemen were killed, and 42 in the security forces were wounded, eight critically, he said.

While he said troops had a right to defend the facility, Ali did not directly explain how the protester deaths occurred. He expressed condolences but offered no apologies for the deaths.

A collection of video of the clashes provided by the military to Egyptian TV showed protesters on rooftops lobbing projectiles at troops below, including firebombs and toilet seats. It also showed some armed protesters firing at close range at the troops, but it did not show what the military did. It was also not clear at what time in the fighting the videos were shot. It included aerial views of the clashes.

Several witnesses from outside the protest said the gunfire started when troops appeared to move on the camp.

University student Mirna el-Helbawi told The Associated Press that she watched from her 14th floor apartment overlooking the scene, after she heard protesters banging on metal barricades, a common battle cry. El-Helbawi, 21, said she saw troops and police approaching the protesters, who were lined up on the street behind a make-shift wall. The troops fired tear gas, the protesters responded with rocks, she said.

Soon after, she heard the first gunshots and saw the troops initially retreat backward — which she said led her to believe the shots came from the protester side. She saw Morsi supporters firing from rooftops, while the troops were also shooting.

The Freedom and Justice party, the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, called on Egyptians to rise up against the army, which it accused of turning Egypt into "a new Syria."

"This could be a moment of extremism for both sides" of the equation, Mohammed Mahsoub, a member of the Islamist Wasat Party told Al-Jazeera TV.

The sole Islamist faction that backed Morsi's removal, the ultraconservative Al-Nour Party, suspended its participation in talks on forming a new leadership for the country. The group is now torn by pressure from many in its base, furious over what they saw as a "massacre" against Islamists.

Reeling from scenes of bloodied protesters in hospitals and clinics, many with gaping wounds, some of Egypt's politicians tried to push new plans for some sort of reconciliation in the deeply polarized nation.

Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the most prominent Sunni Muslim institution, demanded that a reconciliation panel with full powers immediately start work and that those detained in recent days be released. Five prominent Brotherhood figures have been jailed since Morsi's fall, and Morsi himself is held in detention in an unknown location.

El-Tayeb's announcement he was going into seclusion was a symbolic but dramatic stance — a figure seen as a moral compass by many Egyptians expressing his disgust with all sides in the events. Egypt's Coptic popes have at times gone into seclusion to protest acts against the Christian community, but the sheik of Al-Azhar has never done so.

Struggling whether to fully bolt from the new leadership, the ultraconservative Al-Nour Party denounced what it called incitement against fellow Islamists. Speaking to Al-Jazeera TV, the party's chief Younes Makhyoun raised the possibility of calling a referendum on Morsi as a compromise measure.

There were multiple calls for an independent investigation into the bloodshed as a way to establish the truth and move forward.

The military-backed interim president, Adly Mansour, ordered a judicial inquiry into the killings. Significantly, the statement from his office echoed the military's version of events, saying the killings followed an attempt to storm the Republican Guard's headquarters.

The new leadership announced a fast-track timetable that would lead to elections for a new parliament within about seven months.

Under the plan, two panels would be appointed to made amendments to the constitution passed under Morsi. Those changes would be put to a referendum within about 4½ months. Parliamentary elections would be held within two months, and once the new parliament convenes it would have a week to set a date for a presidential election.

The swift issuing of the plan reflected a drive to push ahead with a post-Morsi political plan despite Islamist rejection — and is certain to further outrage the Brotherhood.

Egypt's escalating crisis could further complicate its relations with Washington and other Western allies, which had supported Morsi as the country's first freely elected leader and now are reassessing policies toward the military-backed group that forced him out.

Still, the White House said Monday that cutting off the more than $1 billion in annual aid to Egypt was not in the U.S.'s best interests, though it was reviewing whether the military's moves constitute a coup — which would force such a measure under U.S. law.

But Egypt's new leadership appeared to be pushing ahead with the "road map" the military set up for the post-Morsi political system. Negotiations have been ongoing over appointing a prime minister, who will hold the main powers in governing the country. Talks have been stalled by Al-Nour Party vetos of candidates from liberal and secular factions — but if the party drops out, those factions may push through a candidate.

At the same time, the military was pushing hard to isolate Islamists from public support, depicting their protests as rife with gunmen and weapons.

Ali said the sit-in outside the Guard headquarters had "abandoned peacefulness." Ali also pointed to other incidents of Islamist violence, including coordinated, deadly attacks by extremists on military installations in the Sinai Peninsula.

Prosecutors in Cairo also ordered the closure of the Brotherhood party's headquarters amid investigations into a cache of weapons found there, according to the official Middle East News Agency.

During the wave of protests last week that led to Morsi's removal, Brotherhood supporters used guns in several instances to defend their offices when opponents marched on them — or outright attacked them.

Pushing ahead with the military "road map" is likely to further infuriate Islamists who have vowed to continue protests until Morsi is restored and now depict the military as willing to wipe them out by force of arms.

Outside hospitals and clinics near Monday's violence, Morsi supporters waved the bloodied shirts of the dead or wounded.

"The only thing the military understands is force and they are trying to force people into submission," said Marwan Mosaad, speaking at a field hospital run by Morsi's supporters. "It is a struggle of wills and no one can predict anything."

Abu Ubaida Mahmoud of Al-Azhar University said he had been praying when the sit-in's security teams began banging on metal barricades in warning. He then saw troops coming out of the Guard complex.

"The number of troops that came from inside was stunning," said Mahmoud, who was wounded in the hand.

It was "as if they were firing at an enemy," said another protester, Ahmed Youssef.

By the afternoon, the sit-in site was cleared along with blockades that had been set up on roads. The site of the early morning clashes, a strip of road about a kilometer long (about half a mile), was covered with rocks, shattered glass, shoes, clothes, prayer rugs and personal photographs.

A big Morsi banner remained hoisted in front of the Republican Guards' building. On the ground below it, graffiti read: "Where are our votes?"

____ Associated Press correspondent Paul Schemm contributed to this report.
Read more...
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration signaled Monday that U.S. national security interests will trump its promotion of Egypt's budding democracy, stressing the importance of continued aid to the Egyptian military, which overthrew the elected president last week.

As violence blazed between security forces and supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, the White House and State Department both urged the military to exercise "maximum restraint." They also said the military would not be punished with a cutoff of its $1.3 billion in annual U.S. aid for toppling Morsi.

But if the American government makes a legal determination that the removal was done through a coup d'etat, U.S. law would require ending all non-humanitarian aid to Egypt, the vast majority of which goes to the military.

Administration officials said lawyers were still reviewing developments to make that ruling. However, the absence of a coup determination, coupled with the administration's refusal to condemn Morsi's ouster, sent an implicit message of U.S. approval to the military.

And officials said the White House had made clear in U.S. inter-agency discussions — as recently as a Monday morning conference call — that continued aid to Egypt's military was a priority for America's national security, Israel's safety and broader stability in the turbulent Middle East that should not be jeopardized.

"It would not be in the best interests of the United States to immediately change our assistance program to Egypt," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. He stressed that more elements — notably what the United States deems best for itself, its Mideast allies and the larger region — than just the physical removal from office of a democratically elected leader would be considered in the legal review.

"We are going to take the time necessary to review what has taken place and to monitor efforts by Egyptian authorities to forge an inclusive and democratic way forward," Carney told reporters. "And as we do, we will review our requirements under the law, and we will do so consistent with our policy objectives. And we will also, of course, consult with Congress on that."

Some members of Congress appeared divided on the question.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., criticized Morsi's performance as president but stressed that he had been elected by a majority of Egyptians in 2012.

"It is difficult for me to conclude that what happened was anything other than a coup in which the military played a decisive role," he said. "I do not want to suspend our critical assistance to Egypt, but I believe that is the right thing to do at this time."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in comments Monday emphasized the important role of the Egyptian military.

"Well I think the situation in Egypt is a tenuous one," he said. "One of the most respected institutions in the country is their military. And I think their military, on behalf of the citizens, did what they had to do in terms of replacing the elected president. But anything further, I think we'll wait for consultations with the administration on how we would move ahead."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., called for the administration to slow U.S. aid until Egypt takes steps to restore democracy.

"I think that we need to suspend aid to the new government until it does in fact schedule elections and put in place a process that comes up with a new constitution," he said.

Some others voiced caution. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said he had accompanied five Republican senators on a trip to the Middle East last week and that close U.S. allies in the region strongly advised against halting funding for Egypt.

"It's important that we not just shoot from the hip on that," he told reporters

Focusing on U.S. spending, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tweeted: "In Egypt, governments come and go. The only thing certain is that American taxpayers will continue to be stuck with the $1.5 billion bill."

At the State Department, spokeswoman Jen Psaki used similar, if not identical, language to Carney's to describe the current take on developments, pointing out that the U.S. has long provided significant assistance to Egypt even when it had serious concerns about the actions of its government. She appeared to refer to the tens of billions of dollars in U.S. aid sent to the government and military of authoritarian former leader Hosni Mubarak who ruled Egypt for decades without free and fair elections and under emergency decrees that gave him vast powers.

"The reason we have provided this aid in the past doesn't mean we have supported, even prior to this, every action taken by the government of Egypt," she said. "But there are security interests in the region; there are security interests for the United States."

Psaki demurred when asked if deposing an elected leader, placing him under house arrest and appointing a new head of state — as the Egyptian military has done over the course of the past five days — was not a clear example of a military coup. She pointed out that millions of Egyptians opposed Morsi, who had become increasingly autocratic, and did not believe his ouster was a coup.

Some officials, speaking anonymously because they were not authorized to describe internal administration discussions in public, said that a "no-coup" finding may become increasingly difficult to justify given the rising violence among Morsi supporters, his opponents and security forces that has led to fears of a civil war.

Meanwhile, Egyptian soldiers and police clashed with Islamists protesting the military's ouster last week of the president. The bloodshed left more than 50 protesters and three members of the security forces dead, officials and witnesses said, and the Muslim Brotherhood's political party called for all-out rebellion against the army.

The violence outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo — where Morsi was first held last week — marked the biggest death count since the beginning of massive protests that led to the fall of Morsi's government. The U.S. has condemned the violence and is appealing for restraint from all sides as well as a speedy return to elected civilian governance.

In the latest high-level contact between Washington and Cairo, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke again with Egypt's defense minister, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, on Monday — their fifth conversation in four days, according to Pentagon press secretary George Little.

Little would not disclose details of those conversations, but other officials said they had centered on U.S. concerns that the actions of the Egyptian military might force a suspension in American assistance, something the army relies on. They say that Hagel, and other senior administration officials, have told the Egyptian army brass to appoint a transitional civilian leadership and call for new elections and the drafting of a new constitution so as to give Washington some leeway in its legal review of the situation.

___ Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn, Bradley Klapper and Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.
Read more...
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Investigators trying to understand why Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash-landed focused Monday on the actions of an experienced pilot learning his way around a new aircraft, fellow pilots who were supposed to be monitoring him and why no one noticed that the plane was coming in too slow.

Authorities also reviewed the initial rescue efforts after fire officials acknowledged that one of their trucks may have run over one of the two Chinese teenagers killed in the crash at San Francisco International Airport. The students were the accident's only fatalities.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said investigators watched airport surveillance video to determine whether an emergency vehicle hit one of the students. But they have not reached any firm conclusions. A coroner said he would need at least two weeks to rule in the matter.

The students had been in the rear of the aircraft, where many of the most seriously injured passengers were seated, Hersman said.

The NTSB also said part of the jet's tail section was found in San Francisco Bay, and debris from the seawall was carried several hundred feet down the runway, indicating the plane hit the seawall on its approach.

Investigators have said Flight 214 was flying "significantly below" its target speed during approach when the crew tried to abort the landing just before the plane smashed onto the runway. Authorities do not know yet whether the pilot's inexperience with the Boeing 777 and landing it at San Francisco's airport played a role.

The airline acknowledged Monday in Seoul that the pilot at the controls had flown that type of plane for only a short time and had never before landed one at that airport.

Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyomin said pilot Lee Gang-guk had logged nearly 10,000 hours operating other planes but had only 43 hours in the 777, a plane she said he was still getting used to.

It's not unusual for veteran pilots to learn about new aircraft by flying with more experienced colleagues. Another pilot on the flight, Lee Jeong-min, had 12,390 hours of flying experience, including 3,220 hours on the 777, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in South Korea.

Lee Jeong-min was the deputy pilot helping Lee Gang-guk get accustomed to the 777, according to Asiana Airlines.

It was unclear whether the other two pilots were in the cockpit, which in the Boeing 777 typically seats four. But that would be standard procedure at most airlines at the end of a long international flight.

NTSB lead investigator Bill English said pilot interviews were going slowly because of the need for translation. The interviews began only after agents from the Korean Aviation and Rail Accident Investigation Board arrived from South Korea.

New details of the investigation have also raised questions about whether the pilots may have been so reliant on automated cockpit systems that they failed to notice the plane's airspeed had dropped dangerously low, aviation safety experts and other airline pilots said.

Information gleaned from the Boeing 777's flight-data recorders revealed a jet that appeared to be descending normally until the last half-minute before impact.

The autopilot was switched off at about 1,600 feet as the plane began its final descent, according to an account of the last 82 seconds of flight provided by Hersman.

Over the next 42 seconds, the plane appeared to descend normally, reaching about 500 feet and slowing to 134 knots (154 mph), a 777 pilot for a major airline familiar with Hersman's description told The Associated Press. The pilot spoke on the condition of anonymity because his company had not authorized him to speak publicly.

But something went wrong during the following 18 seconds. The plane continued slowing to 118 knots (136 mph), well below its target speed of 137 knots (158 mph) that is typical for crossing the runway threshold. By that time, it had descended to just 200 feet.

Eight seconds later, with the speed still falling, Hersman said, the throttles were moved forward, an apparent attempt by the pilot to increase speed. But it was too little, too late.

Five seconds later, at 50 percent power, speed began to increase.

A key question raised by the NTSB's account is why two experienced pilots — the pilot flying the plane and another supervising pilot in the other seat — apparently didn't notice the plane's airspeed problem.

Part of the answer to that question may lie in whether the pilot flying, after switching off the autopilot, still had the plane's autothrottle engaged during the descent.

Aviation safety experts have long warned that an overreliance on automation is contributing to an erosion of pilots' stick-and-rudder flying skills. It's too soon to say if that was the case in the Asiana crash, but it's something NTSB investigators will be exploring, they said.

"It sounds like they let the airplane get slow and it came out from under them," said John Cox, a former US Airways pilot and former Air Line Pilots Association air crash investigator.

"There are two real big questions here: Why did they let the airplane get that slow, and where was the non-flying pilot, the monitoring pilot, who should have been calling out 'airspeed, airspeed, airspeed,' " Cox said.

More than 180 people aboard the plane went to hospitals with injuries. But remarkably, 305 of 307 passengers and crew survived, and more than a third didn't even require hospitalization. Only a small number were badly hurt.

The passengers included 141 Chinese, 77 South Koreans, 64 Americans, three Canadians, three Indians, one Japanese, one Vietnamese and one person from France. Asiana President Yoon Young-doo planned to leave for San Francisco later Tuesday to visit hospitalized passengers, according to Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyomin.

Twenty-three South Koreans have so far left for San Francisco to visit their injured family members and relatives since the crash, according to South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

After the crash, three firefighters — and two police officers without safety gear — rushed onto the plane to help evacuate trapped passengers, including one who was trapped under a collapsed bulkhead.

They had gotten everyone off the craft except one elderly man, who was in his seat, moaning and unable to move.

"We were running out of time," San Francisco Fire Department Lt. Dave Monteverdi recalled Monday at a news conference. "The smoke was starting to get thicker and thicker. So we had no choice. We stood him up and amazingly, he started shuffling his feet. That was a good sign...we were able to get him out and he was pretty much the last person off the plane."

The two dead passengers were identified as 16-year-old students from China who were scheduled to attend summer camp in California with dozens of classmates.

One of their bodies was found on the tarmac near where the plane's tail broke off when it slammed into the runway, the other was found on the left side of the plane about 30 feet (10 meters) away from where the jetliner came to rest after it skidded down the runway.

The flight originated in Shanghai, China, and stopped over in Seoul, South Korea, before making the nearly 11-hour trip to San Francisco.

NTSB investigators are also sure to examine whether pilot fatigue played a role in the accident, which occurred after a 10-hour nighttime flight. As is typical for long flights, four pilots were aboard, allowing the crew to take turns flying and resting. But pilots who regularly fly long routes say it's difficult to get restful sleep on planes.

The accident occurred in the late morning in San Francisco, but in Seoul it was 3:37 a.m.

"Fatigue is there. It is a factor," said Kevin Hiatt, a former Delta Air Lines chief international pilot. "At the end of a 10-hour flight, regardless of whether you have had a two-hour nap or not, it has been a long flight."

The two teenagers killed in the crash were close friends and top students.

Wang Linjia showed talent in physics and calligraphy; Ye Mengyuan was a champion gymnast who excelled in literature. Both were part of a trend among affluent Chinese families willing to spend thousands of dollars to send their children to the U.S. for a few weeks in the summer to practice English and hopefully boost their chances of attending a U.S. college — considered better than China's alternatives by many Chinese families.

The girls posted their last messages on their microblog accounts Thursday and Friday. The last posting from Wang said simply, "Go."

___ Lowy reported from Washington. ___ Associated Press writers Jason Dearen, Terry Collins, Paul Elias, Lisa Leff and Sudhin Thanawala in San Francisco, Gillian Wong and Didi Tang in Beijing, and Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul also contributed to this report.
Read more...

Latest News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Prev Next
Probe could complicate Rick Perry's prospect

Probe could complicate Rick Perry's prospect

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent a record 14 years in office vanquishing nearly all who dared confront him. But with eight months left on the ...

Star sea lion at the St. Louis Zoo has died

Star sea lion at the St. Louis Zoo has died

  ST. LOUIS (AP) — A star sea lion at the St. Louis Zoo has died. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Bennie the sea lion died Friday. He was 11. Zoo spoke...

Ride-sharing service hits snags in St. Louis

Ride-sharing service hits snags in St. Louis

  ST. LOUIS (AP) — A smartphone app-based ride-sharing service has started service in St. Louis, ignoring a cease and desist order from the city's taxi commission. ...

Missouri Republicans outline new gun proposal

Missouri Republicans outline new gun proposal

  JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Republicans have outlined a new approach to prevent federal agents from enforcing gun control laws the state considers to be infri...

Documents detail another delayed GM recall

Documents detail another delayed GM recall

  DETROIT (AP) — Government documents show that General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands o...

Ferry stops service on Mississippi River

  MEYER, Ill. (AP) — A farm cooperative has shut down a ferry service that shuttled agricultural products and other goods across the Mississippi River between western I...

Pepsi franchise to open center in Cape Girardeau

Pepsi franchise to open center in Cape Girardeau

  CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A Pepsi franchise is planning to build a new customer service center in Cape Girardeau (juh-RAHR'-doh) that could create 74 jobs. The M...

Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings

  KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas City-area man has been charged with 18 felony counts in connection with about a dozen recent random highway shootings...

© 2013 KTRS All Rights Reserved