New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 19, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
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From The Associated Press
EGYPT TO ALLOW IRANIAN VESSELS THROUGH SUEZ
CAIRO — Egypt has agreed to allow two Iranian naval vessels to transit the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, a military official said Friday, ending several days of confusion over their planned passage, which Israel’s foreign minister has labeled a provocation.
An Iranian diplomat has said the vessels were heading to Syria for training and that the request to move through the canal is in line with international regulations.
It would be the first time since Iran’s clerical rulers came to power in the 1979 Islamic Revolution that Iranian naval vessels have passed through the canal to the Mediterranean.
NASA PICKS THURS. FOR DISCOVERY'S FINAL LAUNCH
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA will try to launch space shuttle Discovery next week following a four-month delay.
Discovery’s final liftoff is set for Thursday afternoon. Senior managers voted unanimously Friday on the new launch date.
Discovery will carry six astronauts and a humanoid robot, along with a full load of supplies, to the International Space Station.
SPEAKING 2 LANGUAGES MAY DELAY ALZHEIMER'S
WASHINGTON — Mastering a second language can pump up your brain in ways that seem to delay getting Alzheimer’s disease later on, scientists said Friday.
Never learned to habla or parlez? While the new research focuses mostly on the truly long-term bilingual, scientists say even people who tackle a new language later in life stand to gain.
U.S. vetoes U.N. resolution on Israeli settlements
Saturday, February 19, 2011 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5A
Bahrain forces fire on protesters; 50 injured in landmark square
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States vetoed a U.N. resolution Friday that would have condemned “illegal’ Israeli settlements and demanded an immediate halt to all settlement building, a move certain to anger Arab countries and Palestinian supporters around the world.
The 14 other Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution in Friday’s vote, reflecting the wide support for the Palestinian-backed draft which had more than 100 cosponsors.
The Palestinians insist they will not resume peace talks until Israel halts settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which they want as a capital. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed just weeks after they restarted in September because Israel ended a 10-month moratorium on settlement construction.
Explaining the U.S. veto, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the overriding issue for the Obama administration was whether the resolution would lead to renewed peace negotiations.
“Unfortunately, this draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides,” she said.
Rice said the United States did not want the veto to be “misunderstood” as support for continued Israeli settle-
WASH. INMATE PLEADS GUILTY TO MURDER 49
SEATTLE (AP) — One of the nation’s most prolific killers pleaded guilty Friday to killing a 49th person.
Gary Ridgway is serving 48 life terms at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. He entered his plea on a murder charge at King County Regional Justice Center in Kent.
Ridgway, who has been dubbed the Green River Killer, already confessed to killing Rebecca “Becky” Marrero in 1982 as part of a 2003 plea deal that spared him the death penalty.
CONTINUED FROM Page 1A
“I’m really trying to look to the betterment of the future of New Braunfels.”
Improved drainage for the flood-prone city tops his legacy list and is the main plank in his re-election platform.
“Fixing drainage is the most important thing we’ve got going on — for the simple fact we have flooding more often than we should,” he said.
The city’s North Tributary and South Tributary drainage projects, which will take hundreds of oft-flooded properties out of harm’s way in Digges’ southern New Braunfels district, are steps in the right direction, he said.
The South Trib project, which is nearing completion, runs along the south tributary of the Guadalupe River from just west of Farm-to-Market 1044 to the Guadalupe River.
The planned North Trib project would improve drainage along the north tributary of the Guadalupe between Walnut Avenue and McQueeney Road.
“I want to make sure that I'm on council to see the North Trib through to fruition,” Digges said.
He said the city is “behind the curve” in terms of needing to update inadequate drainage work that was done in past years and just doesn’t do the job.
“We’re going to have to make up for that now,” he said.
Digges said he supports a bond election for drainage improvements.
“We really need to take it to a bond election. I would support that wholeheartedly. That way the voters can tell us, All right, we want you to spend money
He’d support bond elections on street projects as well. The city councilor also believes New Braunfels needs a sports complex.
“I’ve been real active with the Parks and Recreation Department in trying to get a sports complex,” he said.
Youth sports facilities in New Braunfels are far inferior to those found in other cities, he said. They're outdated and too few, especially with the city’s growing population.
Digges said New Braunfels’ sports facilities are so inadequate that a lot of parents here want to take their kids other places to play youth sports.
Controlled growth is another thing Digges has been working toward.
“We’re growing so fast that if we don’t stay on top of it, it’s going to overgrow all of us and it’ll be too late to control it,” he said. “I want to get out front of all of this growth and try to make it more manageable for future generations.”
How would he control growth?
“By making sure I have my input (on development projects) while working with council and city staff as a team to try to make die best recommendations. I want to make sure New Braunfels is left in better shape than when I got on council.”
Digges said he’s going to miss working with outgoing Mayor Bruce Boyer and District 5 Councilor Kathleen Krueger, both of whom he praised for the good works they’ve done while on council.
“But I’m looking forward to the challenges of working with a new mayor and a new councilor in District 5.”
“We reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” she said.
It was the 10th U.S. veto on a Mideast issue since 2001 and the first by the Obama administration.
The last U.S. veto in the Security Council was Nov. 11,2006, on a resolution calling for an end to Israeli military operations and the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip.
Fhe vetoed resolution would have reaffirmed “that the Israeli settlements established in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
It would have reiterated previous council demands “that Israel, the occupying power, immediately and completely ceases all settlement activities...”
The Palestinians rejected U.S. efforts to substitute a weaker Security Council presidential statement for the legally binding resolution and decided to go ahead with a vote after Palestinian leaders meeting in Ramallah earlier Friday gave their unanimous approval.
The call for a U.N. vote put President Barack Obama in a difficult position, both internationally and domestically.
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Soldiers opened fire Friday on thousands of protesters defying a government ban and streaming toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising to break the political grip of the Gulf nation’s leaders.
Officials at the main Salmaniya hospital said at least 50 people were injured, some with gunshot wounds. Some doctors and medics on emergency medical teams were in tears as they tended to the wounded. X-rays showed bullets still lodged inside victims.
“This is a war,” said Dr. Bassem Deif, an orthopedic surgeon examining people with bullet-shattered bones.
Health ministry officials said in a statement that seven people were critically injured.
Protesters described a chaotic scene of tear gas clouds, bullets coming from many directions and people slipping in pools of blood as they sought cover. Some claimed the gunfire came from either helicopters or sniper nests, a day after riot police swept through the protest encampment in Pearl Square, killing at least five people and razing the tents and makeshift shelters that were inspired by the demonstrators in (’airo’s Tahrir Square.
An Associated Press cameraman saw army units shooting anti-aircraft weapons, fitted on top of armored personnel carriers, above the protesters, in apparent warning shots and attempts to drive them back from security cordons about 200 yards (200 meters) from the square.
Then the soldiers turned firearms on the crowd, one marcher said.
“People started running in all directions and bullets were flying,” said Ali al-Haji, a 27-year-old bank clerk. "I saw people getting shot in the legs, chest, and one man was bleeding from his head.”
"My eyes were full of tear gas, there was shooting and there was a lot of panic,” said Mohammed Abdullah, a 37-year-old businessman taking part in the protest.
The clash came hours after funeral mourners and worshippers at Friday prayers called for the toppling of the Western-allied monarchy in the tiny island nation that is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, the centerpiece of the Pentagon’s efforts to confront Iranian military influence.
Violence marks ‘Friday of Rage’ in Yemen
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Ant ¡-government demonstrators dashed with supporters of Yemen’s longtime ruler and riot police, who fired tear gas and gunshots to disperse the crowd on what organizers called a nationwide "Friday of Rage.” Three people were killed by police in the port of Aden and 48 were wounded in the southern city of Taiz when someone threw what appeared to be a hand grenade into a crowd, witnesses said.
It was the ninth straight day
ot protests in Yemen inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. Demonstrators are calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh — a key U.S. ally in Fighting al-Qaida terrorists — who has ruled the country for 32 years.
U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the reported violence in response to protests in Yemen, as well as Bahrain and Libya, he urged those governments to respect the rights of peacefully demonstrating citizens, and he expressed condolences to
the families of those killed.
The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa said it has seen “a disturbing rise in the number and violence of attacks against Yemeni citizens” at peaceful protests. It added that diplomats also saw reports of Yemen government officials “present during these attacks,” which it called "contrary to the commitments that President Saleh has made to protect the right of Yemeni citizens to gather peacefully to express their views.”
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