Obama visits Oklahoma, consoles tornado victims, offers federal support in rebuilding efforts
MOORE, Okla. (AP) — President Barack Obama visited tornado-devastated Moore, Okla., Sunday, consoling people staggered by the loss of life and property and promising that the government will be behind them "every step of the way."
"I'm just a messenger here," the president said, saying "folks are behind you" across America. He offered moral and monetary support in the wake of the monstrous EF5 tornado that killed 24 people, including 10 children, last Monday afternoon.
Standing with Gov. Mary Fallin and other state and federal officials, Obama noted a substantial rebuilding job ahead and said that "our hearts go out to you."
"This is a strong community with strong character. There's no doubt they will bounce back," he said. "But they need help."
The White House said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has already provided $57 million in rebates and incentives to help build about 12,000 storm shelters in Oklahoma. "These storm shelters can be the difference between life and death," presidential spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters accompanying Obama to Oklahoma on Air Force One.
2 rockets hit Beirut, signaling a backlash against Hezbollah for role in Syria's civil war
BEIRUT (AP) — Two rockets hit Hezbollah strongholds in Beirut on Sunday, tearing through an apartment and peppering cars with shrapnel, a day after the Lebanese group's leader pledged to lift President Bashar Assad to victory in Syria's civil war.
The strikes illustrated the potential backlash against Hezbollah at home for linking its fate to the survival of the Assad regime. It's a gambit that also threatens to pull fragile Lebanon deeper into Syria's bloody conflict.
Despite such risks, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah made it clear there is no turning back. In a televised speech Saturday, he said Hezbollah will keep fighting alongside Assad's forces until victory, regardless of the costs.
For Hezbollah, it may well be an existential battle. If Assad falls, Hezbollah's supply line of Iranian weapons through Syrian territory would dry up and it could become increasingly isolated in the region.
At the same time, Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group, is raising the sectarian stakes in Lebanon by declaring war on Syria's rebels, most of them Sunni Muslims.
Kenya: UK soldier killing suspect arrested in 2010 near border with Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A suspect in last week's savage killing of a British soldier on a London street was arrested in Kenya in 2010 while apparently preparing to train and fight with al-Qaida-linked Somali militants, an anti-terrorism police official said Sunday.
Michael Adebolajo, who was carrying a British passport, was then handed over to British authorities in the East African country, another Kenyan official said.
The information surfaced as London's Metropolitan Police said specialist firearms officers arrested a man Sunday suspected of conspiring to murder 25-year-old British soldier Lee Rigby. Police gave few details about the suspect, only saying he is 22 years old.
The arrest brought to nine the number of suspects who have been taken into custody regarding Rigby's horrific killing in London. Two have been released without charge, and one was released on bail pending further questioning. No one has been charged in the case.
The British soldier, who had served in Afghanistan, was run over, then stabbed with knives in the Woolwich area in southeast London on Wednesday afternoon as he was walking near his barracks.
2 temporary steel bridges to span across Skagit River after Wash. I-5 collapse
SEATTLE (AP) — Federal investigators used 3D laser scans Sunday to study what remained of a collapsed Washington state bridge as Gov. Jay Inslee announced temporary spans will be installed across the Skagit River within weeks — if plans go well.
Sunday's announcement comes a day after the chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board called last week's Interstate 5 bridge collapse a wake-up call to the state of safety of the nation's infrastructure and the Saturday destruction of a highway overpass in Missouri that was struck by a cargo train.
The Washington state collapse, caused by a semi-truck carrying an oversize load striking the bridge, fractured one of the major trade and travel corridors on the West Coast. The interstate connects Washington state with Canada, which is about an hour north of Mount Vernon, where the bridge buckled.
After the collapse, semi-trucks, travel buses and cars clogged local bridges as traffic was diverted through the small cities around the bridge. But overall, traffic was flowing as well as expected during the holiday weekend.
"We're going to get this project done as fast as humanly possible," Inslee, a Democrat, said Sunday. "There are no more important issue right now to the economy of the state of Washington than getting this bridge up and running."
2 of last surviving Marine vets of Edson's Raiders recall unit's WWII heroics in the Pacific
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Gerald West held the laminated sheet of paper fellow World War II combat veteran Robert Addison pulled from an old briefcase and perused the 300-plus names listed under the words, "Lest We Forget."
"I knew quite a few of those guys," said West, 93, who made the short drive to Addison's home 45 miles north of Albany recently to reminisce about their wartime service with the legendary Edson's Raiders, an elite Marine Corps unit that was the forerunnner of today's U.S. Special Forces.
The document Addison keeps among his wartime mementos and literature lists the names of members of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion who died while fighting the Japanese in the South Pacific. Addison and West are among the dwindling number of Edson's Raiders still alive. Out of an original roster of about 900 men, fewer than 150 are believed to survive, according to Bruce Burlingham, historian for U.S. Marine Raider Association.
Dubbed Edson's Raiders after their colorful, red-haired commander, Col. Merritt "Red Mike" Edson, the unit was the first U.S. ground force to attack Japan-held territory after Pearl Harbor. Landing on Tulagi in the Solomon Islands in August 1942, they beat the larger 1st Marine Division's arrival on nearby Guadalcanal by an hour.
The 1st and 2nd Raider battalions, formed just days apart in February 1942, were the first commando-style units in the American military, predating the creation of the U.S. Army Rangers by four months. Trained in jungle warfare and hand-to-hand combat, the Raiders' leatherneck pride paired with a pirate's attitude was reflected in their distinctive battalion patch: a white death's head skull in a red diamond, set against a blue background with five white stars representing the Southern Cross constellation.
Searchers find body of teen missing in Texas flooding; rivers dropping, flood threat remains
SCHERTZ, Texas (AP) — Search teams on Sunday found the body of teenager who was swept away by floodwaters as he tried to swim across a swollen creek near San Antonio, authorities said.
Avron Adams, 18, of Schertz, and a friend got caught Saturday in the swift waters of Cibolo Creek after about half a dozen friends swam across. One friend held onto a tree branch and got out, but Adams did not, officials said.
David Harris, a spokesman for Schertz, said about 5:45 p.m. searchers located Adams' body near the water's edge. Harris said Adams' family has been notified.
"The body was found near where the search and rescue dogs had identified a scent," Harris said.
Earlier Sunday, Adams' father said he was holding out hope.
New Jersey Gov. Christie wants to talk to Rutgers about AD Hermann in the wake abuse report
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to speak with Rutgers officials about a report that the athletic director hired to clean up the school's scandal-scarred program quit as Tennessee's women's volleyball coach 16 years ago after her players complained she ruled through humiliation, fear and emotional abuse.
Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak says the governor is aware of the report about Julie Hermann in The Star-Ledger of Newark, but wants to get more details before commenting.
"He's not going to make any judgments at this time," Drewniak said in an email to The Associated Press on Sunday.
The Star-Ledger reported that Tennessee players wrote the mentality cruelty they suffered when Hermann was coach was unbearable, adding she called them "whores, alcoholics and learning disabled."
Hermann was hired May15 to replace the ousted Tim Pernetti, who was let go after basketball coach Mike Rice was fired for abusive behavior.
A glance at select electric automakers' sales trends
Better Place is the latest casualty in an electric vehicle market that has struggled to lure consumers who are skeptical of the short battery life, high price, and a lack of infrastructure that can require recharging stops of several hours on long trips. Here's a look at sales trends for select electric car manufacturers:
— Tesla Motors Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif.
VEHICLE: Model S
PRICE: Starts at around $70,000.
Just days after Jolie pens op-ed on double mastectomy, aunt dies from breast cancer in Calif.
ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) — Less than two weeks after Angelina Jolie revealed she'd had a double mastectomy to avoid breast cancer, her aunt died from the disease Sunday.
Debbie Martin died at age 61 at a hospital in Escondido, Calif., near San Diego, her husband, Ron Martin, told The Associated Press.
Debbie Martin was the younger sister of Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, whose own death from ovarian cancer in 2007 inspired the surgery that Jolie described in a May 14 op-ed in the New York Times.
According to her husband, Debbie Martin had the same defective BRCA1 gene that Jolie does, but didn't know it until after her 2004 cancer diagnosis.
"Had we known, we certainly would have done exactly what Angelina did," Ron Martin said in a phone interview.
AP PHOTOS: After so much heartache at the Brickyard, Tony Kanaan of Brazil wins the Indy 500
Popular Brazilian Tony Kanaan ended years of heartbreak and won the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday on a day that saw a record 68 lead changes and a record average speed of 187.433 mph. It was also the coolest day in a decade at the speedway, but it didn't keep Kanaan from celebrating with the traditional celebration of milk after his victory. Carlos Munoz, a 21-year-old Colombian making his first IndyCar start, finished second and defending IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was third.
Here is a gallery of photos from the race.