Sunday, February 5, 2012

Published:

With last-minute TD, Giants beat Patriots 21-17 for 4th Super Bowl championship

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Take that, Brady. You too, Peyton.

Eli Manning is the big man in the NFL after one-upping Tom Brady and leading the New York Giants to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl -- in older brother Peyton's house, at that.

Just as Manning did four years ago when the Giants ruined New England's perfect season, he guided them 88 yards to the decisive touchdown, which the Patriots didn't contest as Ahmad Bradshaw ran 6 yards with 57 seconds left.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick reasoned the Giants would run the clock down and kick a short field goal, so he gambled by allowing the six points.

The gamble failed.

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Wash. home fire kills Josh Powell, husband of missing Utah woman, 2 young sons

GRAHAM, Wash. (AP) -- Josh Powell's note was simple and short, a farewell to the world after two years of being scrutinized in the media, hammered by police and questioned by judges, prosecutors and social workers, living his life under a microscope since the day his wife vanished.

"I'm sorry, goodbye," Powell wrote in an email to his attorney just minutes before authorities say he set fire to his home, killing himself and his two young sons days after he was denied custody and ordered to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation.

The Sunday blaze at Powell's home brought yet another twist in the very public scandal that began when Susan Powell vanished in 2009. The case had since spiraled into a salacious saga of finger-pointing and accusations of sex and lies -- and now the unthinkable loss of two young lives caught in the crossfire.

A social worker brought the two boys to Josh Powell's home Sunday for what was to be a supervised visit. They rushed toward the home, leaving the social worker behind. By the time she got to the door, Powell had let his sons in but locked her out, Graham Fire and Rescue Chief Gary Franz told The Associated Press.

The social worker called her supervisors to report that she could smell gas. Moments later, the home burst into flames, igniting an inferno that neighbors said rattled their houses.

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US seeks alliance to back Syria opposition; rebels say only force can oust Assad after UN veto

BEIRUT (AP) -- The United States proposed an international coalition to support Syria's opposition Sunday after Russia and China blocked a U.N. attempt to end nearly 11 months of bloodshed, raising fears that violence will escalate. Rebel soldiers said force was now the only way to oust President Bashar Assad, while the regime vowed to press its military crackdown.

The threat of both sides turning to greater force after Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution raises the potential for Syria's turmoil to move into even a more dangerous new phase that could degenerate into outright civil war.

The uprising inspired by other Arab Spring revolts began in March with peaceful protests against Assad's regime, sparking a fierce crackdown by government forces. Soldiers who defected to join the uprising later began to protect protesters from attacks. In recent months, the rebel soldiers, known as the Free Syrian Army, have grown bolder, attacking regime troops and trying to establish control in pro-opposition areas. That has brought a heavier government response.

More than 5,400 people have been killed since March, according to the U.N., and now regime opponents fear that Assad will be emboldened by the feeling he is protected by his top ally Moscow and unleash even greater violence to crush protesters. If the opposition turns overtly to armed resistance, the result could be a dramatic increase in bloodshed.

At least 30 civilians were killed Sunday, including five children and a woman who was hit by a bullet while standing on her balcony as troops fired on protesters in a Damascus suburb, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group.

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NYC protest against Yemeni president gets heated when he appears as shoe is thrown

NEW YORK (AP) -- A protest against embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh outside a luxury hotel in New York got heated Sunday when demonstrators saw him leave the building, with one charging toward him and another throwing a shoe.

"Everybody is living in fear of this guy at home, but here, he's getting good treatment!" said Yemeni immigrant Nasser Almroot, a Brooklyn grocer.

The dozen angry protesters were kept behind police barricades across the street from the Ritz-Carlton hotel, which was teeming with security guards, both inside and on the sidewalk where Saleh passed.

The 69-year-old leader is visiting the United States for medical treatment.

He exited the hotel on Central Park South on Sunday afternoon and waved and smiled sardonically toward the yelling protesters -- even blowing them a kiss. Suddenly, one of them tried to charge across the street but was restrained by police, who wrestled him to the ground.

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Back-to-back victories in hand, Romney looks ahead while Gingrich regroups

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Now it's on to Colorado, Minnesota and Maine.

With back-to-back victories fueling him, Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is looking toward the next states that hold GOP nominating contests as main rival Newt Gingrich brushes aside any talk of abandoning his White House bid __ all but ensuring the battle will stretch into the spring if not beyond.

Shortly after losing big to Romney here, the former House speaker emphatically renewed his vow to campaign into the party convention in Tampa this summer. His goal, he said, was to "find a series of victories which by the end of the Texas primary will leave us at parity" with Romney by early April.

Gingrich continued to shrug off Nevada's caucus results in an appearance on Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press."

"This is the state he won last time, and he won it this time," he said of Romney. "Our goal is to get to Super Tuesday where we're in much more favorable territory."

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Egypt ignores US threat to cut aid, refers 19 Americans working for nonprofit groups to trial

CAIRO (AP) -- Ignoring a U.S. threat to cut off aid, Egypt on Sunday referred 19 Americans and 24 other employees of nonprofit groups to trial before a criminal court on accusations they illegally used foreign funds to foment unrest in the country.

Egypt's military rulers had already deeply strained ties with Washington with their crackdown on U.S.-funded groups promoting democracy and human rights and accused of stirring up violence in the aftermath of the uprising a year ago that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The decision to send 43 workers from the various groups to trials marks a sharp escalation in the dispute.

Egypt and the United States have been close allies for more than three decades, but the campaign against the organizations has angered Washington, and jeopardized the $1.5 billion in aid Egypt is set to receive from the U.S. this year.

On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Egypt that failure to resolve the dispute may lead to the loss of American aid. The Egyptian minister, Mohammed Amr, responded Sunday by saying the government cannot interfere in the work of the judiciary.

"We are doing our best to contain this but ... we cannot actually exercise any influence on the investigating judges right now when it comes to the investigation," Amr told reporters at a security conference in Munich, Germany. A few hours later, word of the referral to trials came.

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Ex-Panamanian dictator Noriega hospitalized for hypertension; doctors say he is conscious

PANAMA CITY (AP) -- Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, who was toppled by a 1989 American invasion and later convicted of drug running, was transferred from prison to a hospital on Sunday because of extreme hypertension, health officials said.

Health Minister Franklin Vergara said Noriega's blood pressure was very high, nearly leading to a stroke. The former military strongman arrived to a hospital, and doctors saw signs of a possible brain hemorrhage.

Further X-rays and evaluations yielded normal results, Vergara said.

"He is conscious, knows where he is and we are not finding any injury with long-term effects at this moment," said Vergara.

Noriega will remain in intensive care for 24 hours, he said.

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After years of warning about a nuclear Iran, Israel seems to be weighing an attack

JERUSALEM (AP) -- For the first time in nearly two decades of escalating tensions over Iran's nuclear program, world leaders are genuinely concerned that an Israeli military attack on the Islamic Republic could be imminent -- an action that many fear might trigger a wider war, terrorism and global economic havoc.

High-level foreign dignitaries, including the U.N. chief and the head of the American military, have stopped in Israel in recent weeks, urging leaders to give the diplomatic process more time to work. Israel seems unmoved, and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has reportedly concluded that an Israeli attack on Iran is likely in the coming months.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday he does not think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran, telling NBC News in an interview that the United States was "going to be sure that we work in lockstep as we proceed to try to solve this -- hopefully diplomatically."

Despite harsh economic sanctions and international pressure, Iran is refusing to abandon its nuclear program, which it insists is purely civilian, and threatening Israel and the West.

It's beginning to cause jitters in world capitals and financial markets.

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Brown University student uncovers forgotten 1961 Malcolm X speech urging black separatism

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The recording was forgotten, and so, too, was the odd twist of history that brought together Malcolm X and a bespectacled Ivy Leaguer fated to become one of America's top diplomats.

The audiotape of Malcolm X's 1961 address in Providence might never have surfaced at all if 22-year-old Brown University student Malcolm Burnley hadn't stumbled across a reference to it in an old student newspaper. He found the recording of the little-remembered visit gathering dust in the university archives.

"No one had listened to this in 50 years," Burnley told The Associated Press. "There aren't many recordings of him before 1962. And this is a unique speech -- it's not like others he had given before."

In the May 11, 1961, speech delivered to a mostly white audience of students and some residents, Malcolm X combines blistering humor and reason to argue that blacks should not look to integrate into white society but instead must forge their own identities and culture.

At the time, Malcolm X, 35, was a loyal supporter of the black separatist movement Nation of Islam, now based in Chicago. He would be assassinated four years later after leaving the group and crafting his own more global, spiritual ideology.

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Finger malfunction? Madonna's Super Bowl halftime show upstaged by M.I.A. middle finger

For all the pomp and excess of Madonna's Super Bowl halftime extravaganza a single extended middle finger by guest singer M.I.A. is likely to be the most remembered piece of the show.

The gesture, accompanied by a barely disguised expletive, came during a performance of Madonna's new single, "Give Me All Your Luvin.'" At the end of her lines, M.I.A. appeared to sing "I don't give a (expletive)," although it was hard to hear clearly.

The incident was reminiscent of Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" eight years ago -- a surprise risque moment in front of tens of millions of unsuspecting viewers. The brief exposure of Jackson's nipple during the 2004 halftime show raised a storm of controversy and put CBS in hot water with the Federal Communications Commission.

The Super Bowl, shown on NBC this year, is routinely viewed by more than 100 million people, the biggest TV event of the year. The screen briefly went blurred after M.I.A.'s gesture in what was a late attempt -- by less than a second -- to cut out the camera shot.

"The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show," NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said. "Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers,"