US News: US vs. Hong Kong over Snowden; Another Wildfire in Colorado

By: AP
By: AP
Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden (Credit: MGN Online)

NSA-SURVEILLANCE
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A legal tug-of-war could be building in the aftermath of the leak of classified information about the Obama administration's sweeping electronic surveillance programs.
The White House on Saturday warned Hong Kong against slow-walking the U.S. request for the extradition of 30-year-old Edward Snowden, the man who revealed the sensitive information. He has been hiding in Hong Kong.
The administration's tough remarks Saturday reflect concerns about the possibility of a prolonged legal battle before the government contractor ever appears in a U.S. courtroom to answer espionage charges.
A formal extradition request to bring Snowden to the United States from Hong Kong could drag through appeal courts for years. Such a scenario would pit Beijing against Washington at a time when China tries to deflect U.S. accusations that it carries out extensive surveillance on U.S. government and commercial operations.
White House national security adviser Tom Donilon tells CBS News in an interview that Hong Kong has been a historically good partner of the United States in law enforcement matters" and he says he expects that to continue.

COLORADO WILDFIRES
DEL NORTE, Colo. (AP) -- A wildfire threatening a tourist region in southwestern Colorado has mushroomed to nearly 100 square miles.
But fire officials said Saturday night that they are still optimistic they can protect the town of South Fork.
Officials provided an estimate of the size of the wildfire burning through a rugged and remote mountainous region, but say they won't know for sure until infrared imaging is done overnight.
The fire's rapid advance prompted the evacuation of hundreds of summer visitors and South Fork's 400 permanent residents Friday, and it could be days before people are allowed back into their homes, cabins and RV parks, fire crew spokeswoman Laura McConnell said. South Fork Mayor Kenneth Brooke estimated that 1,000 to 1,500 people were forced to flee.
Despite everything, officials say no structures had been lost and the fire was still about 5 miles from the town.

OBIT-RENA PRICE
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The woman who intervened when an officer pulled over one of her sons, leading to a racially-charged scuffle that set off the 1965 Watts riot, has died.
The Los Angeles Times reports Saturday that Rena Price died of natural causes on June 10. She was 97.
On August 11, 1965 Price rushed from her home in South Los Angeles to a nearby traffic stop where a white California Highway Patrol officer had pulled over her son Marquette Frye. Accounts vary on what set off the scuffle, but a patrolman hit Frye on the head with a baton and his mother jumped on another officer.
A crowd witnessed their arrests. After rumors spread that police had roughed up a black woman, angry mobs formed and six days of deadly rioting ensued.

ANTI-FREEZE KILLINGS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri woman and her daughter have confessed to fatally poisoning two relatives with antifreeze and attempting to kill a third over a 14-month period. Court documents show that 51-year-old Diane Staudte of Springfield was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault and one count of armed criminal action. Her 22-year-old daughter Rachel Staudte, 22, was charged with the same counts Saturday.
Both women are jailed without bond. A spokeswoman for the Greene County prosecutor's office didn't immediately return an email from The Associated Press.
A court document said Diane Staudte initially told law enforcement that her 61-year-old husband, Mark Staudte, hadn't been feeling well and suffered from seizures before his April 2012 death. And it said Diane Staude told authorities that her 26-year-old son Shawn had been sick with flu-like symptoms before his death in September.
The medical examiner in Greene County had at first ruled that the husband died of natural causes and the son as a result of prior medical issues.

CANADA-ALBERTA FLOODING
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- The two rivers that converge on the western Canadian city of Calgary are receding after floods devastated much of southern Alberta province, causing at least three deaths and forcing thousands to evacuate.
The flooding forced authorities to evacuate Calgary's entire downtown and hit some of the city's iconic structures hard. The Saddledome, home to the National Hockey League's Calgary Flames, was flooded up to the 10th row, leaving the dressing rooms submerged.
Flames' president and CEO Ken King says Saturday the Saddledome is a "real mess," with water still up to row 8 of the lower bowl. He says the flooding has caused a total loss on the event level with all mechanical equipment submerged under 15 feet (4.5 meters) of water.
Water reached the roof of the chuckwagon barns at the grounds of the Calgary Stampede, which is scheduled to start in two weeks. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has said the city will do everything it can to make sure that the world-renowned party goes ahead.

TEXAS A&M-STRUCTURE COLLAPSE
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Four workers were hurt, three critically, when a barn frame collapsed today at an $80 million Texas A&M University equestrian complex that's under construction.
A spokesman for the school, Lane Stephenson, says the accident happened on university property about a mile from the main campus at College Station, Texas.
Fire departments from College Station and Bryan responded, along with campus police and Texas A&M emergency medical personnel. The collapse happened shortly before 11 a.m.
The accident involved an approximately 300-foot barn, according to the College Station Fire Department. Twisted metal beams could be seen at the site, where ground was broken last fall.
The injured workers were transported to hospitals. Their names and further details on their conditions were not immediately released.
For a while, emergency responders had to halt the search for the four because of concerns about another collapse.

CAPTURED SOLDIER-RALLY
HAILEY, Idaho (AP) -- The mother of the only known U.S. prisoner of war said Saturday she's feeling "very optimistic" about his eventual release after his Taliban captors offered last week to exchange him for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's mother, Jani Bergdahl, spoke to about 2,000 people gathered in Hailey, Idaho, his hometown. The rally was in a city park where he played as a toddler and little boy.
About 400 in the crowd arrived astride motorcycles, adorned in leather and patches commemorating America's military missing in action.
Twenty-seven-year-old Bergdahl was taken prisoner in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. First Jani Bergdahl, spoke, fighting through tears to get her message across. Then his father, Bob Bergdahl, spoke about new hope that their son's four-year ordeal will soon come to a happy conclusion.
Jani Bergdahl told the crowd, quote, "Bowe, we love you, we support you, and are eagerly awaiting your return home."
Buses brought POW-MIA activists to the event from as far as Elko, Nev., some 230 miles to the south.

JAPAN-OKINAWA ANNIVERSARY
TOKYO (AP) -- The southern Japan island of Okinawa has marked the 68th anniversary of a decisive and bloody World War II battle that hastened Japan's surrender but left the island with a heavy U.S. military presence that is still the source of intense friction and frequent protests.
Sunday's ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other Japanese officials, along with U.S. Ambassador John Roos, who is the first U.S. ambassador to attend the ceremony in 18 years.
More than 200,000 people are believed to have died in the 1945 battle for Okinawa.
Roughly 50,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Japan under a mutual security pact. About half, including thousands of U.S. Marines and a major Air Force Base, are located on Okinawa. Protests against the U.S. troops are common on Okinawa amid concerns over crowding, troop-related crimes and the danger of accidents.

OBAMA-CLIMATE-CHANGE
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Efforts to come to grips with climate change are among the national priorities President Barack Obama has had difficulty advancing, even though he's five months into his second term. Now, Obama says he wants to change that.
In an online video released by the White House, Obama says that in a speech Tuesday he will lay out his vision for reducing carbon pollution. The aim is to prepare the U.S. for the effects of climate change and lead other nations in the global effort. Obama's speech Tuesday afternoon at Georgetown University will come the day before he leaves for a weeklong trip to three African nations.
In the video, Obama says, "There's no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change." But he adds that "when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can."
He says scientists must design new fuels and energy sources, and workers must prepare for a clean energy economy.


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