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World briefly for Aug. 7
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OAK CREEK, Wis. (AP) — Wade Michael Page played in white supremacist heavy metal bands and posted frequent comments on Internet forums for skinheads, repeatedly exhorting members to act more decisively to support their cause.

"If you are wanting to meet people, get involved and become active," he wrote last year. "Stop hiding behind the computer or making excuses."

A day after Page strode into a Sikh temple with a 9mm handgun and multiple magazines of ammunition, authorities were trying to determine if the 40-year-old Army veteran was taking his own advice when he opened fire on total strangers in a house of worship.

Detectives cautioned they might never know for sure. But the picture of Page that began to develop Monday — found in dark corners of the Internet, in records from a dodgy Army career and throughout a life lived on the margins — suggested he was a white supremacist who wanted to see his beliefs advanced with action.

Page, who was shot to death by police, described himself as a member of the "Hammerskins Nation," a skinhead group rooted in Texas that has branches in Australia and Canada, according to the SITE Monitoring Service, a Maryland-based private intelligence firm that searches the Internet for extremist activity.


Temple president, officers who tended wounded and killed gunman, hailed amid shootings horror

MILWAUKEE (AP) — His community under attack, Sikh Temple of Wisconsin president Satwant Singh Kaleka fought back with all his strength and a simple butter knife, trying to stab a murderous gunman before taking two fatal gunshots to the leg.

Shot nine times and left for dead as he tended to a wounded victim outside, Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy tried to wave off his colleagues' aid, insisting worshippers indoors needed their help more.

Under fire in the temple parking lot, 32-year veteran Oak Creek police officer Sam Lenda took aim and shot back, downing the gunman who refused to drop his weapon after killing six people as they gathered for Sunday services.

Kaleka, Murphy and Lenda — one dead, one critically injured and one physically unharmed — are being hailed as heroes for saving lives in the shootings that sent more shockwaves through the nation just two weeks after a gunman killed 12 people inside an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. Police say gunman Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old Army veteran and former leader of a white supremacist heavy metal band, unloaded a 9 mm handgun at the temple. They have not determined a motive.

What they have done is hailed the actions of those caught in the crossfire.


Syrian activists say fighting in Aleppo is spreading as rebels try to gain more ground

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say fighting in Aleppo has spread to new areas as rebels try to expand their hold inside Syria's largest city.

Despite intense bombardment from government warplanes, helicopters and artillery, the rebels in Aleppo have now withstood two weeks of counterattacks by President Bashar Assad's troops and are clawing toward the city center.

Local activist Tamam Hazem says fierce clashes are going on in Bab Jnein and Sabee Bahrat districts near the heart of Aleppo. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also says fighting Tuesday has extended to new parts of the city.

Aleppo is Syria's commercial hub and lies close to the Turkish border, where rebels have their rear bases. If the opposition were to gain control of Aleppo, it would be a major blow to the regime.


Republicans to decide on Senate opponent for McCaskill as Missouri, 3 others hold primaries

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans have long considered Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri one of their top targets in the Senate this year. They just didn't know who her opponent would be.

GOP voters will decide among three contenders — Sarah Palin-backed Sarah Steelman, businessman John Brunner, and Rep. Todd Akin, who was endorsed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — in the marquee contest in Tuesday's state primaries. No clear favorite has emerged in a primary race that will set up one of November's most anticipated Senate contests.

All three Republicans have cast themselves as the best conservative alternative to McCaskill, who is seeking re-election for the first time since winning her seat in 2006.

Other races in the four states with elections Tuesday include a Republican primary in Michigan that will determine who will take on Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee; a showdown between two of Missouri's most prominent Democratic families, as Reps. Russ Carnahan and William Lacy Clay vie for a St. Louis-area seat in a race brought on by congressional redistricting; and a Democratic congressional primary for an open seat in Washington state. In Kansas, Republican primaries could determine whether a conservative bloc takes control of the state legislature.

The closely watched race between Steelman, Akin and Brunner promises to have the most national consequence. The GOP needs to net four seats from Democrats to gain control of the Senate in 2012.


EYES ON LONDON: Gabby Douglas back on balance beam; Gold-medal runner remembers his grandma

LONDON (AP) — Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:



Gabby Douglas is back for her grand finale.

The American two-time gold medalist has a chance for one more title before she leaves the London Games, competing Tuesday on the balance beam.


100-meter gold medal in hand, Jamaican sensation Usain Bolt moves on to the 200, his favorite

LONDON (AP) — Get ready for more of The Bolt Show.

Usain Bolt dropped by Olympic Stadium for a brief visit Monday night and did things his way, as usual, jumping to the top step of the medal podium to collect his second consecutive gold for the 100 meters.

When the Jamaican sensation returns to the track on Tuesday, it'll be for the first round of the 200 meters, an event he's planning to win, too, as part of his quest to become what he calls a "living legend."

As it is, Bolt and Carl Lewis are the only men to take home back-to-back golds in the 100.

No man ever has won two Olympic 200s.


NASA rover transmits los-resolution video of final minutes of descent, touchdown on Mars

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — NASA's Curiosity rover has transmitted a low-resolution video showing the last 2 1/2 minutes of its white-knuckle dive through the Martian atmosphere, giving earthlings a sneak peek of a spacecraft landing on another world.

As thumbnails of the video flashed on a big screen on Monday, scientists and engineers at the NASA Jet Propulsion let out "oohs" and "aahs." The recording began with the protective heat shield falling away and ended with dust being kicked up as the rover was lowered by cables inside an ancient crater.

It was a sneak preview, since it'll take some time before full-resolution frames are beamed back depending on other priorities.

The full video "will just be exquisite," said Michael Malin, the chief scientist of the instrument.

NASA celebrated the precision landing of a rover on Mars and marveled over the mission's flurry of photographs — grainy, black-and-white images of Martian gravel, a mountain at sunset and, most exciting of all, the spacecraft's white-knuckle plunge through the red planet's atmosphere.


Tropical Storm Ernesto swirls off Honduras as authorities warn of flood danger from rains

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Tropical Storm Ernesto swirled along Honduras' northern coast early Tuesday, staying offshore and bringing the threat of torrential rains as it headed toward landfall as a possible hurricane near Mexico's border with Belize.

Nicaraguan authorities moved some people from low-lying areas, while Honduran officials urged people along its Caribbean coast to stay alert.

With Ernesto predicted to stay at sea while passing along Honduras' northern coast during the day, Honduran authorities were monitoring the storm but there were no immediate plans to evacuate people, Roberto Diaz, operations chief of the country's Contingencies Commission, said Monday night.

"We don't think is necessary to evacuate people at this point," Diaz said. "We don't want to create collective panic ... and we think that ordering an evacuation would create hysteria that would affect the population more than the storm itself."

Authorities sent enough food packages to the sparsely populated area to feed 600 families for two weeks, Diaz said.


In tightly orchestrated China murder trial, authorities seek to keep corruption question out

HEFEI, China (AP) — The wife of a fallen Chinese leader goes on trial Thursday on charges of murdering a British businessman in a politically charged case that may have little to do with whether she really killed him.

Instead, the trial of Bo Xilai's wife, Gu Kailai, is seen largely as a tightly managed way for the leadership to cauterize a political scandal that has embarrassed the Communist Party.

"The men at the top have already made their decisions, and in conspicuous political trials like this, that's where the decision is made," said Perry Link, a Princeton University emeritus professor of East Asian studies. "So the trial, whatever the results and whatever the arguments, it will be theater, just theater."

The scandal has drawn attention to bare-knuckled infighting that politicians prefer to keep behind closed doors — particularly at a time when the government is preparing for a crucial once-a-decade political transition that will install a new generation of leaders. Until his fall, Bo was considered a contender for a top job.

Key among the central leadership's main objectives in Gu's trial is to keep the focus tightly on the murder case and not on larger allegations of corruption that could further taint the communist regime, experts say. Beijing also will closely orchestrate publicity to try to convince the domestic audience that the trial has been fair and the international community that justice has been served in the slaying of a foreigner.


Court date set for Ohio man accused of shooting wife in her hospital bed; autopsy is pending

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man suspected of shooting his wife in the head in her hospital bed was scheduled for his first court appearance as police awaited autopsy results that could affect the charge against him in the possible mercy killing.

Police said the results of an autopsy, expected to occur Tuesday or Wednesday, could cause the attempted aggravated murder charge against John Wise to be upgraded to a more serious type of murder charge. Wise was to appear in Akron Municipal Court on Tuesday.

Barbara Wise, 65, was incapacitated and in the intensive care unit before her husband of 45 years stood at her bedside and shot her on Saturday with a handgun, said Akron assistant city prosecutor Craig Morgan, who wouldn't specify the woman's ailments. She was declared dead on Sunday.

John Wise entered his wife's room at Akron General Medical Center and fired at least one round from the handgun, police said. Hospital officials said one shot was fired.

Violating hospital policy prohibiting guns on its campus, Wise entered the hospital through the main entrance and went up to his wife's room without drawing any attention, apparently keeping the handgun concealed, said hospital spokesman Jim Gosky.

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