Record-breaking flood displaces thousands in Middle Tennessee
BY BRAD SCHRADE AND BRIAN HAAS • THE TENNESSEAN • MAY 3, 2010
As darkness set in across the soaked and battered Middle Tennessee region Sunday evening, Nashville began evacuating homes and businesses along the rising Cumberland River.
The storms that started Saturday have left 11 dead across the state, including five in Davidson County and one in Williamson County. Thousands of cars, homes and basements are filled with water. Entire neighborhoods are submerged, and hundreds of people are in shelters.
Authorities were just beginning to comprehend the damage. Late Sunday, Nashville announced that it was shutting down a water treatment plant and that a levee in MetroCenter along the Cumberland River had begun to leak.
After an aerial survey early Sunday evening, Mayor Karl Dean said the damage was worse than he thought.
Sir Paul McCartney: small gigs still make me nervous
Sir Paul McCartney has revealed that he still suffers nerves – when he plays small corporate and charity gigs.
The music superstar, 67, said playing festivals in front of tens of thousands of people are no problem but he struggles with more intimate shows.
Sir Paul – due to play the Hard Rock Calling event in Hyde Park, as well as the Isle Of Wight Festival in June – said he finds it tougher when he knows the audience may not be big fans.
In an interview with Absolute Radio, he said: ”I’ll tell you what does get me nervous, when you’re playing to small groups of people.
”If it’s at all kind of corporate – so in other words, charity dos – you don’t know who you’ve got in the audience. It can be people who really don’t like rock and roll, and you’re sitting there going ‘Yeah, we’re going to have a great time tonight’ and they’re just chatting to each other.
Officials’ forecast grim about massive oil spill as Obama tours part of the Gulf Coast
‘A massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster’
By Joel Achenbach and Anne E. Kornblut
Monday, May 3, 2010
On a stormy Sunday in the Gulf of Mexico, the one piece of good news — the huge oil slick remains offshore — was framed by ominous forecasts from government officials as the uncapped well nearly a mile below the surface continued to spew an unknown quantity of crude. President Obama flew in for a briefing about what he called “a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.”
In the region’s beach towns and coastline parishes, people waited and floated more booms to try to block the rogue oil that threatens their fragile economy and delicate marshlands.
N.Y. police search for suspect in Times Square bomb scare
The tourist spot returns to business while officials scour hours of surveillance footage of the failed attack, which many say amounts to a form of terrorism.
By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times
May 3, 2010
Reporting from New York
A car bomb left in Times Square made of easily purchased items, including alarm clocks and gasoline, could have sent a “significant fireball” hurtling through one of the world’s busiest tourist spots, police said Sunday as they searched for a man caught on film who might be linked to the failed attempt.
The incident, coming months after a foiled plot by Afghan immigrants to blow up New York subways, underscored the vulnerability of heavily policed Times Square, which since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has been under close watch by police and scores of surveillance cameras.
Catholic sexual abuse scandal sharpens church rift over what a priest should be
Progressive Catholics and theologians in the US and Europe say the Vatican’s model of a priest is outdated. The global sexual abuse scandal has sharpened the church’s inner struggle over how to reform that model.
By Robert Marquand, Staff writer / May 2, 2010
Munich, Germany; and Paris
With no fewer than three Catholic bishops resigning over sexual abuse charges in recent days, Pope Benedict XVI may offer a more substantial repentance for a sex scandal that continues to batter Catholic churches around the globe, Vatican officials say.
The papal apology would arrive at the end of “the year of the priest” in the church in June – and may eclipse the official “sorrow” and “shame” in the pope’s letter to the Irish church this spring after terrific public fulminations in that largely Catholic country, over pedophile priests.
“I wouldn’t be surprised” if the pope takes a further step, says Cardinal William Levada, of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
Hundreds arrested as German police clash with May Day rioters
From The Times
May 3, 2010
Roger Boyes, Berlin Correspondent
Bank windows were shattered, cars overturned and snack bars set ablaze as thousands of hooded, left-wing activists fought in the streets of Berlin and Hamburg with their right-wing counterparts during the May Day holidays.
When the police tried to intervene they were pelted with bottles and cobblestones. In Berlin, which was guarded by 7,000 riot control officers brought in from around Germany, 450 people were detained and 84 police officers were injured. “It was a pleasing result,” said the police chief, Dieter Glietsch.
The comment was not intended to be ironic: the May Day clashes between extremists on the Left and Right usually have a much bloodier outcome.
Confusion continues as Israelis and Palestinians talk about talks
From The Times
May 3, 2010
James Hider in Jerusalem
Israel and the Palestinians are expected to renew peace talks this week for the first time since negotiations broke down 16 months ago – but exactly when and where the indirect exchanges will take place is likely to be a last-minute decision.
“The truth is, everybody is talking about these proximity talks, from the Arab League to the Prime Minister to Hillary Clinton, but nobody knows when exactly it’s going to begin, and exactly how they’re going to do it,” an Israeli official said.
Mrs Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said that the talks would probably begin early this week and that the US regional envoy, George Mitchell, is expected to fly in today. The US push for renewed talks received a boost this weekend when the Arab League – without whose backing the weakened Palestinian leadership would be unable to sign up for negotiations – gave its approval during a meeting in Cairo.
Iran, US take their nuclear cases to UN stage
By CHARLES J. HANLEY
AP Special Correspondent May 3, 2010
UNITED NATIONS – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad brings his nuclear case to New York on Monday, turning a U.N. treaty conference into a stage for Tehran’s long-running showdown with the Western powers over its uranium enrichment program.
The only head of state participating, Ahmadinejad was one of Monday’s scheduled kickoff speakers for the monthlong session, to review the workings of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
Departing Tehran on Sunday, the Iranian leader made clear he would assail U.S.-led efforts to impose a new round of U.N. sanctions on his country for refusing to stop its enrichment program, which Washington and others contend is meant to produce the nuclear fuel for bombs in violation of Iran’s NPT obligations.
Suu Kyi’s party bids farewell to politics but not to its hopes
The party that Burma’s junta never let come to power will this week cease to exist
By Phoebe Kennedy in Rangoon Monday, 3 May 2010
This week, more than 21 years after Burma’s National League for Democracy sprang to life on a wave of opposition to military rule, it will cease to exist, the dreams of its founders still unrealised, and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi in long-term detention.
Under laws drawn up by Burma’s ruling generals to govern elections this year, the NLD was forced to choose between expelling its iconic leader on the grounds that she is a prisoner, or not registering for the vote. It chose the latter, a decision which means the party cannot legally exist after the 6 May deadline for registration.
Mumbai attacks trial verdict due for Ajmal Amir Qasab
An Indian court is set to deliver its verdict on the man alleged to be the sole surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai (Bombay) attacks.
The BBC Monday, 3 May 2010
Pakistani national Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, 22, faces 86 charges, including waging war on India, murder and possessing explosives.
The November attacks left 174 people dead, including nine gunmen and soured ties between India and Pakistan.
India blames Pakistan-based militants Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attacks.
After initial denials, Pakistan acknowledged that the attacks had been partially planned on its territory and that Mr Qasab was one of its citizens.