New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 13, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 7 A— Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, March 13, 2011
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FROM THE WIRE
From The Associated Press
83 RESCUED FROM ADRIFT KY. EATERY
COVINGTON, Ky. — Kathy Kinane and her husband walked into the upscale Waterfront restaurant wearing snorkeling gear, a joking reference to the recent rain and rising water levels outside the eatery housed on a barge.
They almost needed it. The Kinanes and 81 others found themselves floating downstream on the Ohio River during the dinner rush Friday night when the restaurant broke from its moorings. All had to be rescued one by one with a makeshift gangplank of ladders and ropes after the boat came to rest against a bridge about 100 feet downriver.
“We were joking about the river,” Kathy Kinane told The Associated Press on Saturday morning. “Well, the joke’s on us now.”
Officials said the hours-long rescue was orderly and calm. Women were rescued first, then the men.
LABOR PROTESTERS SAY NEXT FIGHT AT POLLS
MADISON, Wis. — Clogging the state Capitol grounds and screaming angry chants, tens of thousands of undaunted pro-labor protesters descended on Madison again and vowed to focus on future elections now that contentious cuts to public worker union rights have become law.
Protests have rocked the Capitol almost every day since Gov. Scott Walker proposed taking nearly all collective bargaining rights away from public workers, but the largest came a day after the governor signed the measure into law. Police estimated the crowd at 85,000 to 100,000 people — along with 50 tractors and one donkey — by late afternoon. No one was arrested.
Speakers delivered angry diatribes while the crowd carried signs comparing Walker to dictators and yelled thunderous chants of “this is what democracy looks like.”
“This is so not the end,” said protester Judy Gump, a 45-year-old high school English teacher. “This is what makes people more determined and makes them dig in.”
OKLA. RESIDENTS PICK THROUGH RUBBLE
HARRAH, Okla. — Cass Smith’s friends dug through the rubble of his fire-ravaged home Saturday and were able to salvage a few valuables, including the rings he and his wife exchanged on their wedding day and another ring that belonged to his father.
“You don’t realize how much nothing is until you have nothing," said Smith, a city council member in the Oklahoma City suburb of Harrah, where 30 homes were destroyed Friday by wind-driven wildfires.
Gov. Mary Fallin and U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., toured the area on Saturday. The governor urged homeowners to contact relief organizations and take advantage of other emergency services while they wait for their insurance claims.
A total of 49 homes were destroyed in Oklahoma, and eight others were gutted in separate fires in Texas.
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Gadhafi pushes ahead; Arab League seeks help
RAS LANOUF, Libya (AP) — The world moved a step closer to a decision on imposing a no-fly zone over Libya but Moammar Gadhafi was swiftly advancing Saturday on the poorly equipped and loosely organized rebels who have seized much of the country.
Gadhafi’s forces pushed the front line miles deeper into rebel territory and violence erupted at the front door of the opposition stronghold in eastern Libya, where an Al-Jazeera cameraman slain in an ambush became the first journalist killed in the nearly monthlong conflict.
In Cairo, the Arab League asked the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone to protect the rebels, increasing pressure on the U.S. and other Western powers to take action that most have expressed deep reservations about.
In surprisingly swift action and aggressive language, the 22-member Arab bloc said after an emergency meeting that the Libyan government
had “lost its sovereignty.’’ It asked the United Nations to "shoulder its responsibility... to impose a no-fly zone over the movement of Libyan military planes and to create safe zones in the places vulnerable to airstrikes.”
Western diplomats have said Arab and African approval was necessary before the Security Council voted on imposing a no-fly zone, which would be imposed by NATO nations to protect civilians from air attack by Gadhafi’s forces.
The U.S. and many allies have expressed deep reservations about the effectiveness of a no-fly zone, and the possibility it could drag them into another messy conflict in the Muslim world.
Gen. Abdel-Fattah Younis, the country’s interior minister before defecting, told The Associated Press that Gadhafi s forces had driven even further into rebel territory, past the refinery at Ras Lanouf and were now just 25 miles outside Brega.
Certified Public Accountant
U.S. contractor convicted in Cuba; 15-year sentence
HAVANA (AP) — A Cuban court on Saturday found U.S. contractor Alan Gross guilty of crimes against the state and sentenced him to 15 years In prison, a verdict that brought a swift and strongly worded condemnation from Washington.
The court said prosecutors had proved that Gross, 61, was working on a "subversive” program paid for by the United States that aimed to bring down Cuba’s revolutionary system. Prosecutors had sought a 20-year jail term.
Gloria Berbena, a spokeswoman for the U.S. diplomatic mission on the island, termed the decision “appalling” and called on Cuba to release Gross immediately.
“We reject and deplore this ruling,” she told T he Associated Press. “It is appalling that the Cuban government seeks
to criminalize what most of the world deems normal, in this case access to information «and technology."
Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, said the ruling “adds another injustice to Alan Gross’ ordeal."
“He has already spent too many days in detention and should not spend one more,” he said. “We urge the immediate release of Mr. Gross so that he can return home to his wife and family.”
Gross was arrested in December 2009 while on a USAID-hacked democracy-building project. The U.S. government and Gross’s family say he was working to improve Internet access for the island’s Jewish community, did nothing wrong, and should be released.
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