In brief: Fight for control of buildings fatal
JALAL-ABAD, Kyrgyzstan – Gunfire erupted in Kyrgyzstan on Friday as hundreds of interim government backers fought supporters of deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev for control over regional government buildings. At least one person was killed and more than 60 injured in the worst violence since last month’s forceful government change.
The opponents exchanged gunshots, hurled stones and fought with sticks on a square in front of the regional government building in Jalal-Abad, the administrative center of a province in southwestern Kyrgyzstan.
Huge crowd sees shuttle take off
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Space shuttle Atlantis thundered away on its final voyage to orbit Friday, hoisting an experienced crew of six and a full shipment of space station gear.
Atlantis sped through a perfectly clear afternoon sky, blazing a trail over the Atlantic before huge crowds eager to catch one of the few remaining shuttle launches. More than 40,000 guests – the biggest launch-day crowd in years – packed the Kennedy Space Center.
Crash survivor told that parents died
TRIPOLI, Libya – Relatives broke the news to a Dutch boy who is the sole survivor of a plane crash in Libya that his parents and brother died in the disaster, as authorities said the 9-year-old would return home today.
Rescuers found Ruben van Assouw still strapped in his seat and breathing in an area of desert sand strewn with the plane’s debris. On Friday, his aunt and uncle released a statement saying they had told the boy of the deaths of his parents, Trudy and Patrick van Assouw, and his brother, Enzo, 11.
Palin tells NRA guns in danger
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin warned NRA members Friday that President Barack Obama wants to gut the Second Amendment and told a separate gathering that “mama grizzlies” will help Republicans win this November.
Palin told National Rifle Association members during their annual meeting that the only thing stopping Obama and his Democratic allies from trying to ban guns is political backlash.
“Don’t doubt for a minute that, if they thought they could get away with it, they would ban guns and ban ammunition and gut the Second Amendment,” said Palin.
During an event earlier Friday in Washington sponsored by an anti-abortion group, she challenged Republican women to help the GOP “take this country back” and elect anti-abortion lawmakers.
16-year-old sails around world
SYDNEY – After seven months at sea, an Australian teen crossed the finish line of a round-the-world journey Saturday in her pink yacht, becoming the youngest sailor to circle the globe solo, nonstop and unassisted.
Thousands of spectators erupted into cheers as 16-year-old Jessica Watson sailed into Sydney Harbour.
“She said she’d sail around the world, and she has,” a tearful Julie Watson said as she watched her grinning daughter cruise past the finish line from a nearby boat. “She’s home.”
Watson sailed out of Sydney on Oct. 18. Watson’s feat, however, will not be considered an official world record, because the World Speed Sailing Record Council discontinued its “youngest” category.