Developing countries on the rise at G-20 summit in Mexico, come to Europe's rescue
LOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) — The scene at the just-concluded Group of 20 summit held in this seaside resort would have been unthinkable a decade ago: Hundreds of dignitaries gathered in opulent Mexican hotels and convention halls to hammer out an economic bailout for Europe. Meanwhile, the leaders of Brazil and China kicked in tens of billions of dollars to the International Monetary Fund to rescue downtrodden Spain and Greece.
Although the gathering didn't produce a solution for the ailing euro zone, it did outline the globe's new balance of power. Developing countries projected optimism and wealth over the summit's two days, while European and U.S. leaders struggled just to stay solvent.
A lot has clearly changed since the 1990s, when Asian and Latin American economies were slogging through recessions while Washington-based power brokers ordered up the very kind of austerity-minded prescriptions now sparking street protests in Europe.
Even during recent economic crises in the U.S. and Europe, China has been posting annual growth rates topping 8 percent. Countries with booming Chinese trade, such as Argentina and Ethiopia, have similarly seen their economies thrive. China's economy surpassed Japan's over the past year to become the world's second biggest; Brazil's overtook the U.K.'s to take sixth place.
"It is a different picture and reflects the fact that (developing) economies are not only the largest and fastest growing economies but are among the biggest economies in the world," said Uri Dadush, director of the international economics program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "Clearly, neither the Americans nor the Europeans are in any position to tell the biggest economies what to do."
Mubarak on life support after heart stops, adding new uncertainty to Egypt's crises
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's Hosni Mubarak was on life support after suffering a stroke in prison Tuesday, deepening the country's uncertainty just as a potentially explosive fight opened over who will succeed him.
The 84-year-old Mubarak suffered a "fast deterioration of his health" and his heart stopped beating, the state news agency MENA and security officials said. He was revived by defibrillation but then had a stroke and was moved from Torah Prison to a military hospital in Cairo.
MENA initially reported he was "clinically dead" upon arrival, but a security official said he was put on life support. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Maj. Gen. Mohsen el-Fangari, a member of the ruling military council, told the Al-Shorouk newspaper website that Mubarak was in a "very critical condition," but denied he was dead. Mubarak's wife, Suzanne, came to the hospital, where Mubarak was in an intensive care unit, another security official said.
The developments came amid threats of new unrest and political power struggles, 16 months after Mubarak was ousted by a popular uprising demanding democracy.
To Pakistan, America means never having to say you're sorry
WASHINGTON (AP) — Say you're sorry. That's what the Pakistani government says it wants from the United States in order to jump-start a number of initiatives between the two countries that would help the hunt for al-Qaida in Pakistan and smooth the end of the war in Afghanistan.
Pakistan wants the U.S. to apologize for a border incident in November 2011 in which the U.S. killed 24 Pakistani troops in an airstrike. The U.S. has expressed regret for the incident, a diplomatic step removed from an apology, and said it was a tragic case of mistaken identity, in which each side mistook the other for militants and both sides erroneously fired on the other.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton even explored the possibilities of an apology with a Pakistani diplomat in a London meeting but then backed off when the Pakistanis insisted the apology be timed for maximum political impact on their turf.
The Pakistanis have put the apology at the top of a long list of demands to address what they see as insults to national pride and sovereignty — from the Navy SEAL raid onto Pakistani territory last year that killed Osama bin Laden to the steady U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani territory. A lot of these demands are now up in the air with the news Tuesday that Pakistan's high court had dismissed the prime minister, a move that could usher in months of turmoil in the country's government.
From the American point of view, Pakistan has not done enough to stop attacks on U.S. troops carried out by the Taliban and members of the Haqqani clan who shelter in Pakistan's tribal areas.
Obama says European economic crisis could affect his own re-election chances in November
LOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) — President Barack Obama is acknowledging that Europe's economic situation could have a spillover effect on his own re-election prospects.
Wrapping up the Group of 20 economic summit of world leaders, Obama expressed confidence in Europe's ability to right its own financial ship. He said he was hopeful that voters would validate his own efforts come November if he stayed focused on strengthening both the U.S. and world economies and creating more jobs at home.
"I've consistently believed that if we take the right policy steps, if we're doing the right thing, then the politics will follow, and my mind hasn't changed on that," the president said a news conference in this Mexican resort Tuesday at the close of what is expected to be his last foreign trip before the November election. He returned to Washington early Wednesday.
Obama said he was encouraged that European leaders understood the depth of the problem and were working in unison to address it.
"Even if they cannot achieve all of it in one fell swoop, I think if people have a sense of where they are going, that can provide confidence and break the fever," Obama said.
Poll: Political leaders should work on new bill if Supreme Court throws out Obama health law
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans overwhelmingly want the president and Congress to get to work on a new bill to change the health care system if the Supreme Court strikes down President Barack Obama's 2010 overhaul as unconstitutional, a new poll finds.
A new health care bill doesn't seem to be in either party's plans on the verge of the high court's verdict on the law aimed at extending health insurance to more than 30 million Americans who now lack coverage. Republicans say they will try to repeal whatever's left of the law after the high court rules and then wait at least until after the November elections to push replacement measures. Democrats say Obama will push to put in place whatever survives.
But an Associated Press-GfK poll shows that more than three-fourths of Americans do not want their political leaders to leave the health care system alone in the event the court throws out the health care law.
Large majorities of both opponents and backers of the law share the view that Congress and the president should undertake a new effort. The lowest level of support for new health care legislation comes from people who identify themselves as strong supporters of the tea party. Even in that group, though, nearly 60 percent favor work on a new bill.
Gary Hess, a Republican from Discovery Bay, Calif., wants the high court to throw out the entire law.
Investors hoping to see Fed action to boost lackluster economy and spur job growth
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve, meeting at a time of heightened uncertainty, is expected to provide further support for a slumping U.S. economy. But there is no consensus over what form the added support will take.
Some private economists believe the Fed will launch another round of bond buying in an effort to drive long-term interest rates even lower. The aim would be to spur more borrowing, spending and economic growth.
At the very least, many economists believe the Fed will stress its readiness to do more should the economy weaken further.
The Fed was scheduled to conclude its two-day meeting on Wednesday with the release of a statement outlining any changes in policy. That will be followed by an updated economic forecast from the central bank and then finally a news conference by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Wall Street rallied on hopes that the Fed will announce that more help is on the way. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 95.51 points on Tuesday to its highest close in a month.
Experts question science behind decision to open 9/11 health fund to cancer patients
NEW YORK (AP) — Call it compassionate, even political. But ... scientific? Several experts say there's no hard evidence to support the federal government's declaration this month that 50 kinds of cancer could be caused by exposure to World Trade Center dust.
The decision could help hundreds of people get payouts from a multibillion-dollar World Trade Center health fund to repay those ailing after they breathed in toxic dust created by the collapsing twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
But scientists say there is little research to prove that exposure to the toxic dust plume caused even one kind of cancer. And many acknowledge the payouts to cancer patients could take money away from those suffering from illnesses more definitively linked to Sept. 11, like asthma and laryngitis.
"To imagine that there is strong evidence about any cancer resulting from 9/11 is naive in the extreme," said Donald Berry, a biostatistics professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Yet this month, Dr. John Howard, who heads the federal agency that researches workplace illnesses, added scores of common and rare cancers to a list that had previously included just 12 ailments caused by dust exposure.
Testimony could be nearing end in Sandusky's abuse trial; unclear if ex-coach will testify
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — Jerry Sandusky had an inspiring reputation for helping youth, and boasted such a soft spot for children that he invited them to watch Penn State football games and spend the night at his home, witnesses for the retired coach testified at his child molestation trial.
On Wednesday, Sandusky might finally tell his side of the story in court.
Testimony appears to be nearing an end. Judge John Cleland has said Sandusky's defense team could wrap up Wednesday, which would mean closing statements taking place Thursday and deliberations beginning that afternoon. It's still unclear whether Sandusky will testify on his own behalf.
So far, defense attorneys have called on a parade of character witnesses and tried to discredit police investigators in trying to counter the graphic testimony of eight accusers. Their most notable witness to date — Sandusky's wife, Dottie, smiled as she took the witness stand Tuesday to defend him against charges he sexually abused boys in their home and on Penn State's campus.
Dottie Sandusky said she remembered most but not all of the eight men who have accused her husband of abusing them as children. She told jurors she did not see him have inappropriate contact with them over the years they visited the couple's home or traveled with them.
Jacksons prepare 16-city tour without brother Michael, 3 years after his death
BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Guided by a thumping bass line from their backing band, the Jackson brothers strut forward to a row of four microphones, thrusting their pelvises along the way, before launching into "Can't Let Her Get Away," a song their superstar sibling released on his "Dangerous" album. If they had afros and matching powder blue suits, it might feel like 1977 again.
It doesn't. They're casually sporting sunglasses, workout gear and a few more pounds than when they, along with the future King of Pop, were simply known as the Jackson 5. (Also, "Can't Let Her Get Away" was released in 1991 after the group fizzled out.)
Nearly three years since Michael died while preparing for his comeback tour, four of his brothers — Marlon, Jermaine, Tito and Jackie — are set for their own return to the stage as The Jacksons. It hasn't been easy.
"The brothers don't know this, but I've broken down several times and cried during rehearsals," said Jermaine during a recent rehearsal break on a soundstage in Burbank, Calif. "I'm so used to Michael being on the right and then Marlon, Jackie, on and on. It's just something we never get used to."
The brothers are launching their "Unity" tour on Wednesday, five days ahead of the third anniversary of Michael's death from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009.
LeBron James shakes off leg cramps, Heat beat Thunder 104-98 to move 1 win from NBA title
MIAMI (AP) — The pain was so great, LeBron James said, that his body practically shut down on him.
He could hardly stand, certainly couldn't run. Good thing all he needed to do was shoot.
A limping, grimacing James shook off the pain of left leg cramps to hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2:51 remaining and the Miami Heat held off the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 104-98 victory Tuesday night and a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals that no team has ever blown.
"He was hurting," teammate Dwyane Wade said. "But that's what it's about this time of the year. It would hurt more if we lose the ballgame, so it feels a little better if you can win it."
Imagine how good it will feel if the Heat get one more victory.