September 28, 2012
September 25, 2012
BERLIN (AP) -- The world's largest beer festival opened Saturday in Germany as Munich's mayor tapped the first keg to kick off the 16-day Oktoberfest, known for its oompah music and traditional costumes.
With only two blows of his hammer and a cry of "O'zapft is" -- "It's Tapped" -- Mayor Christian Ude inserted the tap into the first keg, opening the 179th Oktoberfest to the cheering of thousands who were waiting to be served their first beer.
More than 6 million guests from around the world are expected to descend on the beer tents of Munich to celebrate the 16-day Oktoberfest extravaganza.
The Oktoberfest started with a wedding party: Just over 200 years ago, Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig celebrated his royal nuptials with a big public bash that was such a hit it became an annual event. Nowadays, it is now known worldwide for its towering mugs of beer, oompah music, men wearing traditional Bavarian Lederhosen leather shorts and women in bright costumes.
September 21, 2012
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Space shuttle Endeavour landed safely at the Los Angeles International Airport Friday at 1p.m. after a whirlwind aerial tour around California landmarks.
The flyover took Endeavour over the state Capitol, Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood Sign and other icons en route to the Los Angeles airport, where the shuttle will be prepped for a slow-speed journey to its museum home next month.
Endeavour is the second of three remaining shuttles to head to its retirement home. In April, Discovery arrived at the Smithsonian Institution's hangar in Virginia. Atlantis, which closed out the shuttle program, will stay in Florida where it will be towed a short distance to the Kennedy Space Center's visitor center in the fall.
Endeavour will remain at an airport hangar for several weeks as crews ready the shuttle for its own road trip. Unlike Atlantis, it will creep through city streets to the California Science Center near downtown.
September 18, 2012
BEIJING (AP) -- Old wounds amplified outrage over a burning territorial dispute Tuesday as thousands of Chinese protested Tokyo's purchase of islands claimed by Beijing and marked the 81st anniversary of a Japanese invasion that China has never forgotten.
China marks every Sept. 18 by blowing sirens to remember a 1931 incident that Japan used as a pretext to invade Manchuria, setting off a brutal occupation of China that ended only at the close of World War II. Demonstrations are not routine, but this year, as Chinese fume over last week's Japanese purchase of long-contested islands in the East China Sea, they spread across the country.
Outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, thousands of protesters shouted patriotic slogans and demanded boycotts of Japanese goods. Some burned Japanese flags and threw apples, water bottles and eggs at the embassy, which was heavily guarded by three layers of paramilitary police and metal barricades.
September 13, 2012
American missions have been attacked in three Arab nations-- Yemen, Egypt and Libya. The spreading violence comes as outrage grows over an obscure movie made in the United States called "Innocence of Muslims" that mocked Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
Crowds protesting at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo the on Tuesday climbed its walls and tore down an American flag, which they replaced briefly with a black, Islamist flag. The protests continued Thursday, with protesters clashing with police near the U.S. mission.
Protesters in Yemen, meanwhile, stormed the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa.
Officials on Thursday were investigating whether the attack in Libya was a backlash to the video or a plot to coincide with the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. -- AP
September 11, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) -- There were still the tearful messages to loved ones, clutches of photos and flowers, and moments of silence. But 11 years after Sept. 11, Americans appeared to enter a new, scaled-back chapter of collective mourning for the worst terror attack in U.S history.
Crowds gathered, as always, at the World Trade Center site in New York, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania memorial Tuesday to mourn the nearly 3,000 victims of the 2001 terror attacks, reciting their names and remembering with music, tolling bells and prayer. But they came in fewer numbers, ceremonies were less elaborate and some cities canceled their remembrances altogether. A year after the milestone 10th anniversary, some said the memorials may have reached an emotional turning point.
September 10, 2012
BEIRUT (AP) -- The Syrian regime pounded Aleppo with warplanes and artillery shelling Saturday as ground forces seeking to regain momentum in the country's largest city advanced on three neighborhoods, activists said.
Aleppo -- which had been relatively quiet for most of the 18-month-old revolt -- has emerged as the main battleground in Syria's civil war, with both sides largely locked in a stalemate despite the superior firepower of Assad's regime.
The uprising against Assad began in March 2011, when protests calling for political change were met by a violent government crackdown by government troops. Many in the opposition took up arms, and activists say more than 23,000 people have been killed. The government says more than 4,000 security officers are among the dead.
September 7, 2012
The presidential race is moving into high gear.
Now that both parties have launched their respective tickets, President Barack Obama and rival Mitt Romney are revving up for the home stretch, campaigning Friday in battleground states.
Eight years ago, Obama, the little-known Democrat rocketed into the political spotlight with a soaring convention keynote address. Four years later, he accepted the Democratic Party's nomination and became its standard bearer. On Thursday, President Obama took the stage fighting for his job.
"I recognize that times have changed since I first spoke to this convention," Obama said. "The times have changed, and so have I."
"I'm no longer just a candidate. I'm the president," he said, drawing cheers from the crowd of 15,000.
It was a telling transformation for Obama, locked in a tight re-election battle with Republican Mitt Romney. After taking office with sky-high hopes in 2008, Obama now is hampered by a shaky economy and dampened enthusiasm among his supporters.