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World briefly for July 24
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CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — With their anger and tears stirred by the sight of James Holmes in a courtroom with red hair and glassy eyes, the families of those killed in the Colorado theater massacre now must go home to plan their final goodbyes.

Tom Teves' stare bore into Holmes as the 24-year-old former graduate student sat as though in a daze during his court appearance Monday. Teves' son was one of the 12 people Holmes is accused of killing after Alex Teves dove to protect his girlfriend in the shooting early Friday.

Another 58 were wounded, including seven critically, when a gunman opened fire at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in nearby Aurora.

The father called the red-and-orange-haired object of his anger "a coward" for allegedly mowing down defenseless victims, including a girl.

"Somebody had to be in the courtroom to say, 'You know what? You went in with ballistic protection and guns, and you shot a 6-year-old,'" he said. "And then when the cops came, you gave up? You've got the ballistic protection on. Take on some guys who know how to use guns."


Penn State's hometown, a passenger in football team's success, may face its own tough time

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Many in this leafy, vibrant college town nicknamed "Happy Valley" worry the temporary evisceration of Penn State's football program might inflict similar damage on a community that, for years, thrived as fans flocked to home games at the massive football stadium and a far-flung alumni base stayed connected by loyalty — and by checkbook.

Some business operators saw the same silver lining that many survivors do after a near-death accident: They had feared a complete shutdown of Penn State's football program by the NCAA.

Yet they also know Penn State, and the hotels, eateries and university-themed apparel shops that cluster around campus, face rough times ahead.

"Football is absolutely intertwined with the university, therefore the town," said graduate student Will Ethier. "Such hard hits really will hit the town economically, as well as a community. Penn State, Penn State football, State College, they're all absolutely intertwined. If one gets sanctioned, everybody else gets sanctioned. So it's really tough on everybody."

Penn State's powerhouse football program sustained an unprecedented blow on Monday as the university agreed to a $60 million fine, a four-year ban from postseason play and a cut in the number of football scholarships it can award — the price it will pay for having looked the other way while former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky brought boys onto campus and molested them.


Putting aside economy, Romney focusing on military and foreign policy ahead of overseas trip

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is moving away from his preferred issue — the economy — and into military and foreign policy, a realm usually viewed as the home turf of the incumbent.

Romney's address Tuesday to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars comes on the eve of an overseas visit to key allies. Aides say the former Massachusetts governor will outline to veterans his view that President Barack Obama has relinquished U.S. leadership around the world.

Obama sought to raise the stakes for Romney's speech with remarks Monday at the VFW convention, casting himself as a steady commander in chief tested by two wars and the successful raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. The president was continuing a Western campaign swing with appearances Tuesday in Oregon and Washington.

While raising money in California on Monday, Romney offered a preview of his latest critique of Obama, telling about 400 supporters at a hotel in Irvine that "the consequence of American weakness is seen around us in the world."

However, Obama touted his record as one of promises kept: End the war in Iraq, wind down the conflict in Afghanistan and go after the al-Qaida leader behind the 9/11 attacks.


Both sides ready their arguments for public hearing over proposed NYC ban on big sugary drinks

NEW YORK (AP) — Whether they think the mayor is combating obesity or infringing on their rights, New Yorkers are scheduled to have their say on a proposed ban on large sugary drinks served at restaurants, movie theaters and other eateries.

The proposal requires only the approval of the Board of Health — appointed by the mayor — to take effect. But opponents could still sue to block the ban, or they could convince legislators to step in and block the proposal.

A public hearing was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, and the board is scheduled to vote on the measure Sept. 13.

"Sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday alongside community leaders who gathered to voice their support for the measure. "This year an estimated 5,800 New Yorkers will die because they are obese or overweight."

A few miles away and about an hour later, more than 100 people gathered on the steps of City Hall to protest the proposed ban — many wearing t-shirts that read, "I picked out my beverage all by myself."


FACT CHECK: For veterans, disability claims backlog has continued growing under Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama paints an encouraging picture of the additional resources his administration has poured into helping veterans get disability benefits and mental health treatment. But he glosses over just how much those problems have grown during his time in office.

Obama spoke Monday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His Republican rival for the White House, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, is set to address the same group Tuesday. A look at Obama's assertions about the Veterans Affairs Department's efforts and how they compare with the facts:


OBAMA: "We've hired thousands of claims processors. We're investing in paperless systems. To their credit, the dedicated folks at the VA are now completing 1 million claims a year, but there's been a tidal wave of new claims."

THE FACTS: Veterans can be eligible for help with conditions caused or aggravated by their military service. The government, however, has long struggled to keep up with the claims, and the backlog has grown worse during the president's term in office as soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan.


Navy: Civilian worker on nuclear sub in Maine set fire so he could leave early

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Navy investigators have determined that a civilian laborer set a fire that caused $400 million in damage to a nuclear-powered submarine because he had anxiety and wanted to get out of work early.

Casey James Fury of Portsmouth, N.H., faces up to life in prison if convicted of two counts of arson in the fire aboard the USS Miami attack submarine while it was in dry dock May 23 and a second blaze outside the sub on June 16.

The 24-year-old Casey was taking medications for anxiety and depression and told investigators he set the fires so he could get out of work, according a seven-page affidavit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Fury made his first court appearance Monday afternoon but did not enter a plea.

Magistrate Judge John Rich III scheduled a combined detention and probable cause hearing for next month. The U.S. attorney's office has filed a motion asking that Fury be held without bail.


Safety board: BP focus on worker safety caused it, others to miss big hazard picture in spill

WASHINGTON (AP) — BP focused too much on the little details of personal worker safety instead of the big systemic hazards that led to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and wasn't as strict on overall safety when drilling rigs involved other companies that they hired, a government safety panel concludes.

Eleven workers were killed in the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig and about 200 million gallons of oil flowed into the Gulf from the blown-out Macondo well. The company formerly known as British Petroleum had the lease on the well, but the drilling rig was owned and operated by another company and BP has faulted drilling contractor Transocean.

That contractor-owner split made a difference in major accident prevention with the oil disaster, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board concluded in a presentation to be made in a hearing in Houston Tuesday.

"BP applied lesser process safety standards" to rigs contracted out than it does to its own facilities, safety board managing director Daniel Horowitz told The Associated Press in an interview. "In reality, both Transocean and BP dropped the ball on major accident hazards in this case."

The oil company "did not conduct an effective comprehensive hazard evaluation of the major accident risks for the activities of the Deepwater Horizon rig or for the Macondo well" because BP's large risk evaluation program "looked only at BP assets, NOT drilling rigs that it contracted" to other firms for operation, investigators said in the 50-page Power Point presentation.


Facing Islamist pressure, Jordan's king treads a delicate line on reforms, loosening his power

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — For Jordan's King Abdullah II, preventing the Arab world's wave of uprisings from washing into to his country has been an exercise in careful calibration — easing his absolute grip on power just enough to defuse protests.

Upcoming parliamentary elections, the centerpiece of the king's reforms, will be a crucial test of his policy in the face of powerful Islamists' demands for more public say in politics.

The Muslim Brotherhood has announced it will boycott the election, saying reforms enacted by the king that could loosen his loyalists' domination of the parliament and give the body somewhat greater authority do not go far enough. The palace says it won't go any further and insists the vote will go ahead even without the country's largest opposition group participating.

The Brotherhood is threatening more protests demanding greater changes that would open the door for it to reach a long-held ambition of forming a government in this close U.S. ally, one of only two Arab nations that have a peace treaty with Israel. The test for it will be whether it can step up a protest movement that has been low-scale and mild in a country where the king has deep-rooted support among powerful Bedouin tribes.

Earlier this month, hundreds of young, bearded Brotherhood activists marched through downtown Amman demanding the election law be changed. "Revolution is headed to Amman," they shouted, gesturing with their fists and choking traffic while walking in the bustling streets under a simmering sun. Passers-by stopped to watch.


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to honor Chuck Berry as subject of American Music Masters this fall

NEW YORK (AP) — One of rock's pioneers will be celebrated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this fall.

Chuck Berry will be honored by the hall as part of its American Music Masters series.

Berry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. In October, the icon will be the subject of a week-long celebration by the hall and Case Western Reserve University. It kicks off Oct. 22 and ends with an all-star tribute concert on Oct 27. Performers have yet to be announced, though Berry is set to take the stage.

In a statement released Tuesday, 82-year-old Berry said he is "looking forward to reelin' and rockin' in Cleveland."

Past honorees include Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and Woody Guthrie.


Ichiro Suzuki singles 1st time up with Yankees in 4-1 win over former Mariners teammates

SEATTLE (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki bowed twice to the fans and promptly smacked a single to center.

Sayonara, Seattle. Hello, Yankees.

Suzuki switched teams at Safeco Field after a momentous trade and singled his first time up with New York during its 4-1 victory over the Mariners on Monday night.

"Obviously, it looks different being over here," Suzuki said through a translator. "I was worried about my first at-bat. I was really relieved with the standing ovation. It was a special day today."

In a surprising deal about 3½ hours before the game, Seattle sent Suzuki to the Yankees for a pair of young pitchers. After leaving the only major league team he'd ever played for, the 10-time All-Star held an emotional news conference and then joined his new teammates in the other clubhouse.

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