AP News in Brief at 5:58 a.m. EDT

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Associated Press

Posted on July 21, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 22 at 6:02 AM

Royal baby: Palace officials say Prince William's wife, Kate, is in early stages of labor

LONDON (AP) — Prince William's wife, Kate, is in the early stages of labor in a private wing of a central London hospital, palace officials said Monday.

It is a historic moment for the British monarchy — the couple's first child will become third in line for the British throne, after Prince Charles and William, and should eventually become king or queen.

William and Kate entered St. Mary's Hospital in central London through a side door early Monday morning, avoiding the world's media. Palace officials confirmed her arrival about 90 minutes later.

Royal officials said they traveled by car, without a police escort, just before 6 a.m. Kate — also known as the Duchess of Cambridge — is expected to give birth in the private Lindo Wing of the hospital, where Princess Diana also gave birth to William and his younger brother, Prince Harry.

"Things are progressing as normal," the couple's spokesman said.

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10 things to know about royal baby traditions in Britain

LONDON (AP) — Prince William and Kate are seen as the new face of a centuries-old institution, keeping the best of traditions while moving forward with the times. Here are 10 things to know about the royal baby in relation to royal births of the past:

HOME BIRTHING

Most people take a hospital birth for granted these days, but just a few decades ago the custom among royals — as it was among commoners — was to give birth at home.

Queen Elizabeth II was born at 17 Bruton Street in London, a private family home, and she gave birth to her sons Charles, Andrew and Edward in Buckingham Palace. Her only daughter, Princess Anne, was born at Clarence House, also a royal property.

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Brazil buzzing with anticipation ahead of Pope Francis' return to Latin America as pontiff

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Pope Francis lands Monday in a Brazil electric with anticipation for the pontiff's first international trip, heading into the open arms of his home continent where mammoth crowds are expected to celebrate Mass on Rio's Copacabana beach.

The pope is coming to meet with legions of young Roman Catholics converging on Rio for the church's World Youth Day festival, believers whose behavior so far hasn't been typical of the normal tourists in this seaside Sin City known for hedonistic excess.

More than 1 million people are expected to pack the white sands of Copacabana to celebrate Mass with Francis. He also will visit a tiny chapel in a trash-strewn slum, and grassroots Catholics love that he plans a side trip to venerate Brazil's patron saint.

"I'm here for faith! I'm here for joy! And I'm here for the first Latino pope!" Ismael Diaz, a 27-year-old pilgrim wrapped in the flag of his native Paraguay, said as he bounded down the stone sidewalks of Copacabana hours ahead of Francis' arrival.

Diaz gave high fives to four fellow pilgrims, then turned toward local beachgoers who looked on while calmly sipping green coconut water and staring from behind dark sunglasses.

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Police chief: Charges expected in grisly discovery of 3 female bodies found in trash bags

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) — Charges were expected to be filed against a registered sex offender who was arrested following the discovery of three bodies in trash bags in a poor Ohio neighborhood riddled with abandoned houses.

The search for additional bodies was suspended Sunday after police and volunteers scoured about 40 empty homes, with no immediate plans to resume, said East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts.

Spotts identified the suspect as 35-year-old Michael Madison. He said Madison is expected to be formally charged on Monday, but did not elaborate.

Mayor Gary Norton said the suspect has indicated he might have been influenced by Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 of murdering 11 women and sentenced to death.

It's the latest in a series of high-profile cases involving the disappearance of women from the Cleveland area.

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NSA spying revelations prompt some ordinary citizens to rethink computing habits

In Louisiana, the wife of a former soldier is scaling back on Facebook posts and considering unfriending old acquaintances, worried an innocuous joke or long-lost associate might one day land her in a government probe. In California, a college student encrypts chats and emails, saying he's not planning anything sinister but shouldn't have to sweat snoopers. And in Canada, a lawyer is rethinking the data products he uses to ensure his clients' privacy.

As the attorney, Chris Bushong, put it: "Who wants to feel like they're being watched?"

News of the U.S. government's secret surveillance programs that targeted phone records but also information transmitted on the Internet has done more than spark a debate about privacy. Some are reviewing and changing their online habits as they reconsider some basic questions about today's interconnected world. Among them: How much should I share and how should I share it?

Some say they want to take preventative measures in case such programs are expanded. Others are looking to send a message — not just to the U.S. government but to the Internet companies that collect so much personal information.

"We all think that nobody's interested in us, we're all simple folk," said Doan Moran of Alexandria, La. "But you start looking at the numbers and the phone records ... it makes you really hesitate."

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Dubai pardons woman charged with illicit sex after rape claim

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Norwegian woman at the center of a Dubai rape claim dispute says she has been pardoned and is free to leave the country.

Marte Deborah Dalelv told The Associated Press she was given back her passport Sunday by the public prosecutor's office and that her 16-month sentence for having sex outside marriage has been dropped.

The 42-year-old Dalelv claimed she was raped in March by a co-worker, but she was charged with the sex offense after going to police in Dubai in a case that highlighted the clash between the city's Western-friendly atmosphere and its Islamic-based legal codes.

Her sentencing last week stirred outrage in the West.

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Strong quake hits dry farming region of western China; at least 56 killed, 400 injured

BEIJING (AP) — A shallow earthquake struck a dry, hilly farming area in western China early Monday, killing at least 56 people, injuring more than 400, and destroying thousands of homes, the local government said.

The quake hit near the city of Dingxi in Gansu province, a hilly region of mountains, desert and pastureland about 1,233 kilometers (766 miles) west of Beijing.

Residents described shaking windows and swinging lights but there was relatively little major damage or panic in the city itself. Tremors were felt in the provincial capital of Lanzhou 177 kilometers (110 miles) north, and as far away as Xi'an, 400 kilometers (250 miles) to the east.

"You could see the chandeliers wobble and the windows vibrating and making noise, but there aren't any cracks in the walls. Shop assistants all poured out onto the streets when the shaking began," said a front desk clerk at the Wuyang Hotel in the Zhang County seat about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the epicenter. The clerk surnamed Bao refrained from identifying herself further, as is common among ordinary Chinese.

The government's earthquake monitoring center said the initial quake at 7:45 a.m. (2345 GMT Sunday) was magnitude-6.6 and subsequent tremors included a magnitude-5.6.

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Top aide to Palestinian president says path to a resumption of Mideast talks still blocked

JERUSALEM (AP) — The path to formal negotiations with Israel is still blocked despite a U.S. suggestion that the sides are close to returning to the table, a senior Palestinian official said in another sign of skepticism that peace talks will resume.

Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement late Sunday that for actual peace talks to resume, Israel must first accept its pre-1967 war frontier as a baseline and halt settlement building, demands Israel's leader has rejected in the past. The Palestinians seek a state in the lands Israel captured in 1967.

He said that Abbas agreed to send a delegate to Washington to continue lower-level preliminary talks with an Israeli counterpart about the terms for negotiations. The Washington talks are meant to "overcome the obstacles that still stand in the way of launching negotiations," he said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced this weekend that an agreement has been reached that establishes the basis for resuming peace talks that collapsed about five years ago.

Gaps remain on three issues Palestinians say need to be settled before talks can begin — the baseline for border talks, the extent of a possible Israeli settlement slowdown and a timetable for releasing long-detained Palestinian prisoners.

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HEALTHBEAT: Cold caps tested to prevent a much-despised side effect of chemotherapy, hair loss

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first time Miriam Lipton had breast cancer, her thick locks fell out two weeks after starting chemotherapy. The second time breast cancer struck, Lipton gave her scalp a deep chill and kept much of her hair — making her fight for survival seem a bit easier.

Hair loss is one of chemotherapy's most despised side effects, not because of vanity but because it fuels stigma, revealing to the world an illness that many would rather keep private.

"I didn't necessarily want to walk around the grocery store answering questions about my cancer," recalled Lipton, 45, of San Francisco. "If you look OK on the outside, it can help you feel, 'OK, this is manageable, I can get through this.'"

Now U.S. researchers are about to put an experimental hair-preserving treatment to a rigorous test: To see if strapping on a cap so cold it numbs the scalp during chemo, like Lipton did, really works well enough to be used widely in this country, as it is in Europe and Canada.

Near-freezing temperatures are supposed to reduce blood flow in the scalp, making it harder for cancer-fighting drugs to reach and harm hair follicles. But while several types of cold caps are sold around the world, the Food and Drug Administration hasn't approved their use in the U.S.

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Lefty's jug: Mickelson claims prize he wasn't sure he'd get with 'greatest round of career'

GULLANE, Scotland (AP) — Phil Mickelson wondered if he'd ever win this venerable trophy, the one he proudly posed with on Muirfield's 18th hole as photographers snapped away and fans chanted his name.

Raised on the lush, manicured courses of America, Lefty crafted a game that required one to look toward the sky. Booming drives. Soaring iron shots. Chips and wedges that floated, then spun improbably to a stop.

Beautiful to watch — except when Mickelson was trying to win the claret jug.

Links golf is played along the ground, a version of the game he fretted about ever mastering.

"It took me a while to figure it out," Mickelson said late Sunday, another step closer to a career Grand Slam. "It's been the last eight or nine years I've started to play it more effectively. But even then, it's so different than what I grew up playing. I always wondered if I would develop the skills needed to win this championship."

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