Nation & World Briefs 09-14-12 Egyptian president says Muslims must protect embassies

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CAIRO -- Egypt's president says it's up to Muslims as part of their Islamic duty to protect embassies and foreign diplomats who are guests in the country.

Mohammad Morsi made the appeal on state TV on Friday, ahead of expected protests across the Muslim world over an anti-Islam film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad.

As he spoke, riot police fired tear gas and clashed with about 100 protesters a few blocks from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Protests in the Egyptian capital have been ongoing since Tuesday, when an angry crowd scaled the embassy's walls and took down and tore the American flag.

The film "Innocence of Muslims" has prompted violent protests at U.S. Embassies in the Middle East, resulting in the death of the American ambassador and three staff in Libya.

Talk of roar and darkness: Villagers and farmers living at the foot of a Guatemalan volcano say they were awoken by a massive roar when the long-simmering Volcan del Fuego exploded with a series of eruptions that darkened the skies and covered the surrounding sugar cane fields with ash. "It thundered and then it got dark as the ash began falling," said Miriam Curumaco, a 28-year-old homemaker from the village of Morelia who was evacuated along with 16 family members to a makeshift shelter at a nearby elementary school. "It sounded like a pressure cooker that wouldn't stop." As the Volcan del Fuego, or Volcano of Fire, spewed rivers of bright orange lava down its flanks on Thursday, authorities ordered more than 33,000 people in 17 nearby communities evacuated.

Prince William, wife "saddened:" Photos apparently of Prince William's wife, Kate, sunbathing topless in the south of France were published in a French magazine today, and an aide to the royal couple said they were "saddened" to learn about the images. The royal family said it was considering legal action for a "grotesque and totally unjustifiable" invasion of privacy in the same country where William's mother died while fleeing paparazzi. The photos in Closer, a magazine that's among a newly popular French genre of gossip tabloids, were blurry and shot from a distance. The publication claimed they were taken on a guesthouse terrace in France where the couple vacationed this month.

Road dust suit still alive: Is a northern Michigan county responsible for road dust in a fatal wreck? The state appeals court says Manistee County can be sued over the condition of a road near Copemish. In 2010, Debra Hagerty-Kraemer apparently was blinded by dust stirred up by a passing vehicle on Litzen Road and smashed her car into a tree. She died. Manistee County says it should be immune to the lawsuit because road dust is not related to a road defect. But the appeals court disagreed, saying the dust made the road unsafe. Hagerty-Kraemer was a teenager who was driving to perform at a Mesick High School graduation when she was killed.

Tax on Amazon purchases begins Saturday: Online retailer Amazon.com has tried to become all things to all consumers, but in California, it is about to take on a role it has fought against for years: tax collector. The change, which takes effect this weekend, comes after years of bitter back and forth between the world's largest online mall and the California Legislature over whether Internet retailers should have to charge sales tax. The two sides reached a deal in 2011 that included a one-year grace period set to end Saturday. The deadline has spurred at least some consumers into impulse-buying mode, making big-ticket purchases and stocking up on essentials before the tax collection kicks in.

Ends with no CEO news: Ford's board of directors has ended a scheduled meeting with no announcement on the company's CEO succession plan. There were rumors this week that the board was preparing to name a successor to 67-year-old CEO Alan Mulally.

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