Monday, December 27, 2010

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Monta Ellis had 22 points and a season-high 12 assists, David Lee added 21 points and 16 rebounds and Golden State won its third straight, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 110-95 on Monday night.

Stephen Curry added 17 points, including seven straight during a decisive run in the fourth quarter when the Warriors (12-18) pulled away.

The three-game winning streak is Golden State's longest since it won three in a row in April 2009.

Jrue Holiday had 23 points and 11 assists for Philadelphia (12-19) while Elton Brand had his eighth double-double in 13 games with 16 points and 16 rebounds.

Ellis, named the Western Conference player of the week earlier in the day after averaging 39.7 points in three games, struggled with his shot most of the night. He missed seven of his first 11 attempts and was didn't score in the fourth quarter until 23 seconds were left.

That didn't seem to slow the Warriors down much. Golden State made its best run of the game to open the fourth quarter with Ellis on the bench.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Trevor Lewis broke up a scoreless game early in the third period and Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for his fourth shutout this season, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.

Dustin Brown scored twice and former San Jose forward Marco Sturm also scored in the third as the Kings broke open a close game to snap a three-game losing streak to San Jose. Anze Kopitar had three assists.

The Sharks looked sluggish in their first game following a three-day Christmas break, taking more than 12 minutes to put a single shot on net and eventually having their season-long four-game winning streak snapped. They had few good chances all night, with perhaps the best coming on Patrick Marleau's short-handed breakaway that Quick stopped midway through the third.

The Kings were already solidly in control by then, on the way to their ninth win in 12 games. They used another big third period to prolong this run, having outscored the opposition 16-4 in the third during this span.
CHICAGO (AP) -- Through a combination of procrastination and bad timing, many baby boomers are facing a personal finance disaster just as they're hoping to retire. Starting in January, more than 10,000 baby boomers a day will turn 65, a pattern that will continue for the next 19 years.

The boomers, who in their youth revolutionized everything from music to race relations, are set to redefine retirement. But a generation that made its mark in the tumultuous 1960s now faces a crisis as it hits its own mid-60s.

"The situation is extremely serious because baby boomers have not saved very effectively for retirement and are still retiring too early," says Olivia Mitchell, director of the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research at the University of Pennsylvania.

There are several reasons to be concerned:

- The traditional pension plan is disappearing. In 1980, some 39 percent of private-sector workers had a pension that guaranteed a steady payout during retirement. Today that number stands closer to 15 percent, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, D.C.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's official news agency says authorities have hanged an Iranian man convicted of spying for the country's archenemy Israel.

The report by IRNA identifies the man as Ali Akbar Siadati and says he was hanged on Tuesday morning in Tehran's Evin prison. Earlier in the week, Iran's judiciary had announced that a spy for Israel would be executed soon.

IRNA says Siadati was arrested in 2008 and accused of providing Israel with classified information on Iran's military capabilities. The report also says he began his alleged espionage activities in 2004. There were no details on how Siadati obtained the classified information.

Espionage is punishable by death under Iranian law. In 2008, Iran hanged another Iranian convicted of spying for Israel.
LONDON (AP) -- Nine men suspected of plotting attacks on the U.S. Embassy and the London Stock Exchange were charged with terrorism-related crimes Monday and jailed until their next court appearance.

A dozen men were arrested last week in London, Cardiff and Stoke-on-Trent in central England in the largest British anti-terror raid in two years. Three were released without charge. The arrests came at a time of heightened anxiety about terror plots in Europe.

British officials have released few details, but U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the American Embassy in London was among the alleged plot's possible targets.

"(We) are obviously taking suitable security precautions," Toner told reporters in Washington.

U.K. officials have previously said that possible targets included the Houses of Parliament in London and shopping areas elsewhere in the U.K. Others on the potential target list included the London Stock Exchange as well as political and religious figures, the BBC reported, citing court proceedings.

A spokeswoman for Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said she could provide no comment or confirmation of what was said in court Monday, a national holiday in Britain.

Although the arrests occurred on Dec. 21, in the run-up to Christmas, a security official told The Associated Press last week that this latest conspiracy didn't appear to be timed for the holidays. It also wasn't linked to a larger European plot uncovered in the fall involving a Mumbai-style shooting spree in cities across Britain, France or Germany, or to last week's suicide bombing in Sweden, he said.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

The suspects are expected back in court Jan. 14 on a variety of terror-related charges including conspiracy to cause explosions.

Europe has been the target of numerous terror plots by Islamist militants. The deadliest was the 2004 Madrid train bombings, when shrapnel-filled bombs exploded, killing 191 people and wounding about 1,800.

Britain's terror alert has remained unchanged at "severe" while Germany upped its terror alert Nov. 17 in response to an increased threat from Islamic extremists.

Since the 2005 suicide bombing attacks on London's transportation network that killed 52 commuters, there have been a number of other alleged terror plots in Britain.

In April 2009, 12 men were detained over an alleged al-Qaida bomb plot in the northern city of Manchester. All were subsequently released without charge and ordered to leave Britain. One of them, Abid Naseer, was later re-arrested at the request of the U.S., which says he was involved a plot to bomb the New York City subway. He is in jail awaiting extradition.

In 2006, U.S. and British intelligence officials thwarted one of the most dramatic plots yet made public, a plan to explode nearly a dozen trans-Atlantic airliners.

The nine men in the latest alleged plot are: Gurukanth Desai, 28, Omar Sharif Latif, 26, and Abdul Malik Miah, 24, from Cardiff, Mohammed Moksudur Rahman Chowdhury, 20, and Shah Mohammed Lutfar Rahman, 28, from London, and Nazam Hussain, 25, Usman Khan, 19, Mohibur Rahman, 26, and Abul Bosher Mohammed Shahjahan, 26, from Stoke-on-Trent.

The decision to charge them was announced early Monday, with police saying that the conspiracy started Oct. 1 and continued until Dec. 20, the day of the arrests.

The men are also accused of preparing for acts of terrorism, downloading and researching materials and methods for acts of terrorism, and carrying out reconnaissance missions and testing incendiary material.

(Reuters) - R&B singer and songwriter Teena Marie, best known for the hit 1980s singles "Lovergirl" and "Ooo La La La," died at her home in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to news reports. She was 54.
The cause of death was not known, and a spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment. Her friend, percussionist Sheila E, reported on Twitter that Teena Marie had a history of seizures.

Teena Marie, whose real name was Mary Brockert, was one of the rare white performers to enjoy crossover success on America's black music charts.

A protégée of funk singer Rick James, she signed with Motown Records in 1975 and released her first album four years later. That album, which was mostly written by James, led fans to believe that Teena Marie was black since it did not feature a picture of her. Her duet with James on "I'm a Sucker For You" peaked at No. 8 on Billboard's Black Singles chart.

"I've always been accepted by the black community and I think that's a beautiful thing," Teena Marie told Jet magazine in 2006.

She released 13 albums up to 2009's "Conga Square," on which she paid tribute to jazz influences, such as Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday.

Teena Marie's career had been on the upswing since 2004 when she signed with a New Orleans rap label and released her first album in a decade. "La Dona" debuted and peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, the first time she had ever cracked the top 20. A song from the album, "Still in Love," took her onto the Hot 100 singles chart for the first time since 1988.

Two of her albums, 1981's "It Must Be Magic" and 1984's "Starchild," went gold for U.S. shipments in excess of 500,000 units each, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The latter album, released after she left Motown in the wake of a legal battle, spawned the tune "Lovergirl," which hit No. 4 on the Hot 100. "Ooo La La La," meanwhile, went to No. 1 on the black singles chart in 1988.

Teena Marie is survived by a daughter, Alia Rose.

NEW YORK (AP) -- A powerful East Coast blizzard marooned thousands of would-be air, rail and road travelers Monday, shutting down major airports and rail lines for a second day, stranding buses on buried highways, and forcing New York City subway riders to spend a cold night in unheated trains.

Officials urged anyone who did not have to drive to stay off roads in the region, where high winds pushed snow into deep drifts across streets, railroads and runways. More than two feet of snow had fallen in some areas by Monday morning.

The New York area, where cars abandoned in the middle of the city's snow-clogged avenues stymied cleanup, took the brunt of a storm that meandered across the country over the Christmas weekend before plowing up the East Coast. States of emergency were declared in at least six states from the Carolinas on north. Jets got snowed in on the tarmac or never left the gate.

"People are exhausted. ... They want to get home," said Eric Schorr, 22, who was trying to get from New York City to Tel Aviv on Sunday night but ended up spending about nine hours stuck on the tarmac at Kennedy Airport, finally ending back in the airport around 3 a.m. His flight was rescheduled for 7 p.m.

Similar delays have produced outrage in the past, but Schorr said he and his fellow travelers were "as comfortable as you can be on a plane," with the crew passing out drinks and serving dinner.

Authorities had to rescue hundreds of motorists across the region, including about 100 people trying to get back to New York from a gambling trip to Atlantic City, some of them diabetic or elderly. As 5-foot drifts piled up on the road, state troopers took water and food to passengers who were feeling ill.

"Most of the people are pretty calm, but they are getting antsy," state trooper Chris Menello, who raided his personal stash of food for the gamblers, said early Monday as the rescues unfolded in Monmouth County.

Wind gusts as high as 80 mph knocked out power to thousands. Airlines scrambled to rebook passengers on thousands of canceled flights but said they didn't expect normal service to resume until later in the week. Amtrak service was trickling back after being knocked out from New York to Boston.

Commuters waded through knee-high snow on sidewalks and unplowed roads Monday morning, and cars stalled repeatedly on snow-filled streets, including two city buses on a side street in Brooklyn. Cars left behind, along with the "furious rate" of 2 to 3 inches of snowfall an hour, slowed efforts to clear the streets, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

"It's being handled by the best professionals in the business," the mayor said Monday. "It's a snowstorm, and it really is inconvenient for a lot of people."

Sanitation Commissioner John Dougherty said it would take at least 24 hours to open up all the streets. Staffing wasn't a problem that slowed plowing, he said. About 2,400 workers worked 14-hour shifts until 9 a.m. Monday and were relieved by a second shift, the mayor said.

Hundreds of cold, hungry and tired air passengers spent the night at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports. Officials said they were provided blankets and cots, but some travelers were not allowed to retrieve their checked luggage, leaving them with no extra clothing or toiletries.

Jason Cochran, of Manhattan, boarded his flight to London at 6 p.m. Sunday at Kennedy, but it missed its takeoff window as high winds set in, he said. Passengers were told they would be sent to hotels but were given only food vouchers - and then vendors began running out of provisions.

An airport McDonald's ran out of food, and he spent more than an hour in line at a KFC on an hour's sleep, he said.

"When people start to get hungry, you're going to see tempers flare," Cochran said.

Tall snowdrifts covered the landing gear of jets parked at the Newark airport. A truck with a snowplow moved across the tarmac, digging out a British Airways plane as passengers watched from the terminal.

In a baggage claim area, two pigeons walked among the sleeping passengers on the floor, looking for crumbs. Dozens of people lay on the floor of the concourse, leaning their heads against their luggage as they waited for ticket counters to open.

Not even New York City's subway system - usually a reliable workhorse during a snow storm - could withstand the blizzard. Some subway passengers were stranded for hours on trains that broke down overnight in Queens and finally pulled into a station by midday Monday.

Christopher Mullen, stranded aboard one train since 1 a.m., said conditions were frustrating.

"No food, no water. Cold. That's the main thing that's bothering everyone," Christopher Mullen told local cable news channel NY1.

At Jamaica Station on the Long Island Rail Road, the nation's largest commuter rail system, hundreds of people dozed in train cars frozen at the platform. Others lay like refugees at the entrance to the train link to Kennedy and stood helpless at the ticket office, waiting in vain for good news to flash on the schedule screens. Hours went by without a single train leaving with passengers.

Buses were knocked out, cabs were little more than a myth and those who tried walking out of the station were assailed with a hard, frigid wind that made snowflakes sting like needles.

"They tried, but they can't do much with this snow. It's just not stopping," said Sharray Jones, 20, headed home to Long Island after visiting friends.

A blizzard warning, issued when snow is accompanied by winds higher than 35 mph for three hours, was in effect early Monday from Delaware to Maine. Though some areas saw only a few inches, almost 30 inches had fallen in New Jersey's Bergen County by Monday morning, and 20 inches was reported in New York's Central Park.

States of emergency, which generally endow government officials with special powers to expedite storm recovery, were declared in states including North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Maine and Massachusetts.

In coastal Scituate, Mass., several seaside homes were flooded overnight by storm-driven waves, and two later caught fire. Firefighters rescued occupants of the burning homes by boat, said John Danehey, who is on the town's board of selectmen. No injuries were reported.

In Wells, Maine, police say a 59-year-old man died several hours after his pickup crashed into a tree during whiteout conditions Sunday night.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- While the Minnesota Vikings ate cheesesteaks and acted like tourists, the Philadelphia Eagles savored a division title they clinched from their couches.

Both teams had to wait another day to play the first NFL game on a Tuesday in 64 years.

A winter storm postponed the Vikings-Eagles game from Sunday night to Tuesday night before any snow had even accumulated. About a foot of snow fell on Philadelphia, though less than five inches was on the ground before the scheduled kickoff at 8:20 p.m. EST. By Monday morning, it was bright and sunny at Lincoln Financial Field. But the league had already postponed the game because of the uncertainty of the forecast.
Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Corruption charges against one of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's most trusted political advisers provided the latest evidence of deep rifts within the Iranian president's own conservative political camp.

The challenge by Ahmadinejad's rivals - one of them the head of the judiciary - could set the tone for a bitter fight leading up to the next big political moment in Iran, parliamentary elections less than a year away.

"This case isn't going to bring down Ahmadinejad, but it may get very ugly," said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a regional political analyst at Emirates University. "It's a commentary on the troubled state of Iranian politics at the moment."

Ahmadinejad has faced a growing internal backlash from conservative leaders - including influential parliament speaker Ali Larijani. They are upset by the president's combative nature and deepening links with the vast military-economic network run by the Revolutionary Guard, Iran's most powerful force which led the crackdown on the reformist movement after Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election last year.

The political infighting escalated earlier this month when Ahmadinejad suddenly dismissed his longtime foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, a close ally of Larijani. Many lawmakers and others denounced the move as further evidence of Ahmadinejad's steamrolling style. He dumped Mottaki in apparent retaliation for disagreements that included control over foreign ministry posts.

Shortly after Mottaki's firing, the judiciary headed by Larijani's brother announced the corruption allegations against First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi.

The charges could do more damage to Ahmadinejad and the reputation he has cultivated as aloof from Iran's powerful financial clans and foundations, many run by the Revolutionary Guard.

The developments revealed the increasingly complex political maneuvering within the Islamic Republic as it struggles with economic sanctions and growing international pressure to curb its production of nuclear fuel.

The judiciary last week said Rahimi is facing corruption charges that need to be investigated and will have to stand trial. The details of the accusations against him have not been made public since. Rahimi quickly denied the charges and was expected to present his side at a news conference, possibly later this week.

On Monday, Ahmadinejad's office came to Rahimi's defense, saying that his complaints against the accusations should be investigated, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

But the rumblings have been coming for months against Rahimi, whose position as the top of 12 vice presidents gives him authority to meet visiting prime ministers and other dignitaries and lead Cabinet meetings in Ahmadinejad's absence.

Some of Ahmadinejad's political foes have frequently taken pot shots at Rahimi with allegations of financial misdeeds since a major government-linked embezzlement probe opened in April. At the time, conservative lawmaker Elias Naderan calling Rahimi the "leader of the corruption circle."

Now, a full-scale investigation and possible trial could become a high-stakes proxy clash between Ahmadinejad and Larijani and his backers, who include his brother, judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani.

The immediate battles may be sporadic because all of Iran's political establishment is currently engrossed in painful steps to trim government subsidies, which has already pushed fuel prices up to 400 percent higher.

The economic shock has brought waves of complaints against the government from all sides. Reformists have claimed the billions saved on subsidies will be funneled back to help boost Ahmadinejad and the Revolutionary Guard. Even some hard-liners - Ahmadinejad's political base - have said the price hikes are too fast and too steep.

The rifts point to the next big political test in Iran - parliamentary elections in early 2012. The races will mark the first major balloting since the accusations of vote-rigging after Ahmadinejad's June 2009 victory plunged Iran into its worst internal chaos since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

It's still uncertain whether the opposition movement can rebound in some form for the parliamentary campaign. But there's little doubt that Larijani and his allies will make a run.

A strong showing would have the twin effect of embarrassing Ahmadinejad and sending a message to the ruling clerics, who have the final word on the candidates for the 2013 presidential election to replace lame duck Ahmadinejad.

"It is unlikely the (Rahimi) dispute will have particular repercussions in the short term," said Hamid Reza Shokouhi, a political analyst in Tehran. "But its impact will be seen in the next parliamentary elections."

It does, however, show Ahmadinejad's shrinking political coterie.

"Supporters of Ahmadinejad are ... a limited group now," said Shokouhi.

But still a very formidable one.

Ahmadinejad continues to enjoy support from the two most potent forces in Iran: the Revolutionary Guard and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who controls the theocracy and its almost limitless powers.

This has been enough to intimidate Ahmadinejad's opponents from going too far. The lines, however, keep shifting in favor of bolder political challenges.

On Sunday, former foreign minister Mottaki was praised in a statement by 260 parliament members - all but 30 - in a direct slap against Ahmadinejad. Last month, dozens of lawmakers signed a petition seeking bring Ahmadinejad into the chamber for questioning over complaints including fiscal mismanagement.

The effort apparently sputtered before getting enough signatures, but it reinforced the sense that Ahmadinejad can be pressured openly without facing the wrath of the supreme leader.

"The fact that Rahimi is being attacked so publicly by conservatives - and even some hard-liners - suggests the political temperature is heating up," said Shadi Hamid, a researcher on Gulf affairs at The Brookings Doha Center in Qatar.

A showdown over Rahimi could also feed into the claims that Ahmadinejad is increasingly embattled and trying to surround himself with staunch loyalists.

Rahimi was appointed as one of Iran's 12 vice presidents in 2005 and rose to the top spot last year. He has taken part in sensitive political meetings, such as visits by Chinese officials.

Last summer, he called the U.S. dollar and euro "dirty" after Iran threatened to stop selling oil in the currencies to protest economic sanctions. He also called Australians "a bunch of cattlemen" and said South Korea "needed to be slapped" after both nations backed sanctions.

PHOENIX (AP) -- Police say a man who began firing a gun in a Phoenix strip club, killing two people, had a "personal agenda" but isn't giving further details about his motive.

Police say 28-year-old Gavin MacFarlane of Scottsdale shot four people at the Great Alaskan Bush Company shortly before midnight Sunday before he ran out of ammunition and was tackled.

Troy Cooley, a security guard at the west Phoenix club, was shot and killed. A club patron, Antonio Garcia also died. A 22-year-old man and a 20-year-old topless dancer were wounded.

Police Sgt. Trent Crump says MacFarlane told detectives that he had a "personal agenda" but did not immediately provide further details.

Witnesses reported that MacFarlane had been inside the bar, went outside to the parking lot, then came back and started shooting.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PHOENIX (AP) - A man started shooting inside a strip club, killing two people and wounding two others, including a topless dancer, before patrons wrestled the gunman to the floor, police said.

A 28-year-old man walked into the Great Alaskan Bush Company shortly before midnight Sunday, opened fire, and hit four people before running out of ammunition, said Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a police spokesman.

Troy Cooley, 34, a security guard at the west Phoenix club, was shot and killed, police said. A club patron, Antonio Garcia, 20, also died after being shot. A 22-year-old man and the 20-year-old dancer were wounded.

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- A Rochester Hills man who says he learned of his wife's affair by reading her e-mail on their computer faces trial Feb. 7 on felony computer misuse charges.

Thirty-three-year-old Leon Walker used his wife's password to get into her Gmail account. Clara Walker filed for a divorce, which was granted this month.

Leon Walker tells The Oakland Press of Pontiac he was trying to protect the couple's children from neglect and calls the case a "miscarriage of justice."

Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Sydney Turner says the charge is justified.

Privacy law writer Frederick Lane tells the Detroit Free Press the law typically is used to prosecute identity theft and stealing trade secrets. He says he questions if a wife can expect privacy on a computer she shares with her husband.

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's prime minister said Monday that if negotiations don't resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he could seek an interim accord instead of the comprehensive deal the United States wants. Palestinians reject that idea.

In an interview with Israeli Channel 10 TV, Benjamin Netanyahu said that if negotiations bog down on major issues that have stymied peace efforts for years, he could seek a short-term deal.

"It could be we hit a wall - a wall on the topic of Jerusalem, maybe a wall on the subject of (Palestinian) refugees - it could be that then the result will be an interim agreement," he said.

On Sunday Israel's hard-line Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman floated the same proposal, but with a different emphasis. He said the peace talks cannot succeed, and Israel should not negotiate a peace treaty with the West Bank regime of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the idea of an interim agreement idea is "a nonstarter and will not fly."

"This is not the time for interim solutions," he said. "The time is for the decisions on the permanent status issues."

The Palestinian Authority was set up on the basis of an interim peace agreement in 1994. Incremental peacemaking broke down over mutual mistrust and accusations by both sides of violations.

U.S.-backed peace talks broke down in September only weeks after starting over the issue of Israel settlement construction. Israel had a partial construction freeze in effect for 10 months but refused to renew it. The Palestinians refuse to negotiate while Israel builds on lands the Palestinians want for a future state.

The Palestinian seek a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with a capital in east Jerusalem. Years of peace talks have failed over key issues such as the status of east Jerusalem - with its sites holy to Christians, Jews and Muslims - and the fate of Palestinians displaced during the war surrounding Israel's creation, and their millions of descendants.

AP Entertainment Writer

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- The holiday season is high time for film fans. The year's best pictures hit theaters, awards buzz begins and cold weather and extra days off make for perfect moviegoing conditions.

Still, some of the world's biggest cinephiles might enjoy this season more than most: As the newest members of the film academy, they'll be voting on the Oscars for the first time.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited 135 actors, animators, art directors, cinematographers, documentarians, producers, publicists, writers and other filmmakers to join its ranks in 2010, and their first-ever Oscar ballots were being mailed out Monday.

So will having a say on the outcome of the Oscars change the way these folks watch movies? And how did they end up in the film business anyway?

The academy's class of 2010 considered these questions recently at a private party at the Margaret Herrick Library, where they were welcomed to one of Hollywood's most exclusive clubs by president Tom Sherak, who called the event "rookie night at the academy."

An academy member for 27 years, Sherak said he still feels like "the ultimate movie fan" - and he still votes like one.

"When I go to a movie, even as an academy member, I go to be entertained, from crying to laughing to thinking to being angry to being happy," he said. "I go as a fan first."

His advice to new voters? "Vote as conscientiously as you possibly can."

A parcel sent to the Greek embassy in Rome on Christmas Eve contained not a present, but a bomb. Police say the device resembled those that exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies last week. Are anarchists to blame?

Bomb disposal experts defused a parcel bomb found at the Greek embassy in Rome on Monday.

Police sources said the device, which arrived at the embassy on Christmas Eve but was not opened until Monday, was similar to two bombs that went off at the Swiss and Chilean embassies last week.

Those attacks injured a Swiss embassy employee and a Chilean diplomat.

Investigators believe the device was sent by the same anarchist group that claimed responsibility for last Thursday's bombings.

The group, calling itself the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), said in a note found near one of the blasts that the attacks were carried out by their "Lambros Fountas revolutionary cell." The note said the group wanted to "destroy the system of domination."

Fountas was a Greek far-left activist who was killed in a gunfight with Greek police in March.

Possible links with November attacks

Armored policeman walking past carsBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: November's attacks triggered a massive police operation in GreeceItalian authorities said they were investigating whether the bombings were connected with a suspected far-left anarchist plot carried out in Greece in November. In that campaign, more than a dozen packages with explosives were sent to foreign embassies in Athens and European government leaders.

The incidents have raised concern that violence by European militant groups may be on the increase as governments introduce severe austerity packages in the wake of the financial crisis.

Embassies in Rome were on high alert following Monday's incident. Police were called in to investigate suspicious parcels at the missions of Denmark, Finland, Monaco, Morocco, Sweden, Ukraine and Venezuela, which were all found to be false alarms.

Author: Timothy Jones (dpa, Reuters, AFP)
Editor: Nancy Isenson

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday's auction, with the rate on three-month bills hitting its highest level in 16 months.

The Treasury Department auctioned $29 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.180 percent, up from 0.130 percent last week. Another $28 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.225 percent, up from 0.185 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 0.185 percent on Aug. 10, 2009. The six-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 0.230 percent on May 17.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,995.45 and the six-month bill sold for $9,988.63. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.183 for the three-month bills and 0.228 for the six-month bills.

The department also auctioned on Monday $35 billion in two-year notes at a rate of 0.740 percent. That was up from a rate of 0.520 percent at the last auction on Nov. 22. It was the highest rate since two-year notes averaged 0.769 percent on May 25.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, held steady at 0.30 percent last week, unchanged from the previous week.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- This month's early, under-the-radar campaigning by potential Republican challengers to President Barack Obama is a reminder of something too easily forgotten: Running for president is harder than it looks, and Obama ultimately will stand against a flesh-and-blood nominee certain to make mistakes along the way.

Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and other possible GOP candidates stumbled over health care, taxes and other issues in December, even as Obama coped with the harsh political reality stemming from his party's "shellacking" in last month's elections.

No serious contender has officially launched a 2012 campaign. But with the Iowa caucuses less than 13 months away, at least a dozen Republicans are jockeying for position, speaking to groups throughout the country, writing op-ed columns and taking potshots at one another.

As all politicians learn, the more deeply they delve into contested issues, the likelier they are to stumble.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., got caught in the middle of his party's quickly changing views about congressional earmarks, the pet projects that some lawmakers sprinkle throughout big spending bills. Earlier this year he tucked more than $100 million in earmarks into a massive year-end spending bill that many had expected to pass.

But after tea party successes in the Nov. 2 elections, elected Republicans swung hard against earmarks and pork-barrel spending. At a Dec. 15 news conference in the Capitol, Thune came uncomfortably close to echoing Sen. John Kerry's infamous line about voting for an $87 billion bill "before I voted against it."

Thune told reporters: "I support those projects, but I don't support this bill, nor do I support the process by which this bill was put together."

Meanwhile, Romney was put on the spot when a federal judge ruled that Obama's health care law is unconstitutional because it requires everyone to buy health insurance. Romney included virtually the same mandate in the 2006 health law he enacted as Massachusetts governor.

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- A top diplomat says Washington has apologized to Peru for leaked diplomatic cables about the country.

Arturo Valenzuela is assistant U.S. secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs. He tells RPP radio that he and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke with Peruvian officials about the matter.

One cable released by WikiLeaks said President Alan Garcia had "a colossal ego," was rumored to suffer from manic depression or bipolar disorder and may have had "numerous" extramarital affairs.

Another reported speculation linking Peru's military chief to drug corruption. He denies the allegation.

Valenzuela said Monday that the State Department is "looking at how to turn the page so this does not affect our relationship."

Laurie Fiori Bianco was looking forward to 2011 for a long time. That's when she said she hoped in 2009 to leave for good.

The dawn of transmission was reduced salary of her husband, on their car as they racked in $ 17,000 in credit card debt. Now, nearly three years later, her hubby at work again and even for the promotion and after months of clipping coupons, cutting costs and stick to cash.

Chicago couple were not at all serious in the new year's resolution: to dig a hole of March.

"We want to start trying for a family in the summer," said 33-year) Fiori Bianco, who works in the field of human resources. "We postponed since the fall of 2009, there was no way you can bear children with the disorder where we were."

And uncertainty of 2010 prompted the review of a decision? Ulcers is to lose 5 £ honestly feel trivial, such as the Great Depression depends a lot?

Made Kelly Calabrese, 41, and her husband, the value of goods against litigation, and bad investments and the three major floods, the two boilers break down, and break a few bones and the demise of many of the large box sets in the last three years and a half.

Her husband lived stints of unemployment in the mortgage industry and underemployment, as they raise two children. They spent thousands of repair their home in Flower Hill, Texas, just before the sale agreement to be reduced by $ 15,000 at a later time.

"These flights of extravagant, a new car and invest 20 percent of my income will not list my resolutions for 2011 do," said Calabrese, a personal trainer. "We have learned to re-determine the need and greed."

The economy is still the main focus of the solution time, a social network of the authors of the target with more than 10000 members.
Belgrade, Serbia (AFP) - Police said a series of explosions rocked a Serbian munitions factory, causing serious damage but no injuries.

The Sloboda factory in Cacak, central Serbia, artillery shells and other explosives for the military produced burst into flames for hours Monday. Authorities said they managed to evacuate the workers just before the explosions.

One of thethe major military facilities in Serbia ,a frequent target of the Annex to NATO through the NATO air campaign in 1999 because the government campaign against separatists in Kosovo .

Duke is once again unanimous No. 1 in Top news agency Associated Press, 25.

Received the Blue Devils, who were on top of each election season, and all first place votes from the panel and the media at the national level of 65 members on Monday. Duke has dropped three-week run as an option unanimous one vote short last week, when he received the Ohio vote the first place.

Held Ohio, Kansas, Connecticut, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, San Diego State and the second through eighth Villanova. Overturned George Town, Missouri ninth and 10.

No. 22 Louisville, No. 24 Vanderbilt and No. 25 Temple to move to the rankings, replacing Baylor, who was 15, Tennessee, who was 19, and Florida, which was No. 20.

The Louisville and Temple both ranked earlier this season while moving in the Vanderbilt for the first time since last season.

  • Results of post-mortem examination due tomorrow
  • Her body was found on the opposite side of River Avon to her home
  • Detectives believe body may have been dumped there on Christmas Day
  • Anguished boyfriend in 'absolute pieces' by 25-year-old's death
The distraught parents of Joanna Yeates visited the site where their daughter's body was discovered this afternoon. David and Teresa Yeates laid a bouquet of yellow roses with a picture of their daughter on her graduation at the scene and embraced as they wiped away tears. Mr Yeates was seen kissing his wife's hand as she wept.
The pair spent a moment alone at the scene before being joined by others including their son Chris and Miss Yeates' boyfriend Greg Reardon. Mr Reardon, 27, left a bunch of red and yellow flowers at the spot.  The results of Miss Yeates' post-mortem examination are due tomorrow. They have been delayed because of the frozen condition of the body.

Tribute: David and Teresa Yeates today lay flowers at the scene where their daughter's body was discovered
                        Miss Yeates' boyfriend Greg Reardon (wearing a black hat) also laid a bouquet 
                        at the scene as family members including her brother Chris looked on

Found dead on Christmas Day: Joanna Yeates, seen here with her cat Bernard, went missing on December 17 Police were today examining footage from Clifton Suspension Bridge's 32 CCTV cameras to trace the final journey of Miss Yeates who was found dead on Christmas Day.
A team of 70 murder squad detectives are trying to determine whether her body was transported across the river or whether she walked across the bridge of her own accord. One theory police are believed to be working on is that Miss Yeates was abducted, knocked unconscious and then died of hypothermia after being pushed out of a car and into the snow.
Miss Yeates was last seen leaving the Ram pub in Bristol on Friday December 17, but her body was found on Christmas morning three miles from her home, on the other side of the River Avon.
The discovery of her body, on a grass verge visible to passing traffic, raises the prospect that the 25-year-old landscape architect was held for eight days before her body was dumped.
The road, despite its semi-rural location, is regularly used by drivers and pedestrians, and locals say her body would have been noticed on Christmas Eve if it had been there. It is not yet known how long Miss Yeates had been dead when she was found. Her killer may have kept her captive or stored her body while ignoring emotional television appeals from her parents for her safe return.

Whoever dumped her there would have also have run less risk of being spotted on Christmas Day while revellers celebrated indoors. The body was discovered by a pair of dog walkers at 9am on Christmas Day.
Miss Yeates’s parents are believed to have travelled to Bristol from their Hampshire home to identify her, but before the formal process took place, police confirmed their worst fears.

Heartbreak: Mr and Mrs Yeates wept as they visited the site where their 
daughter Joanna was found. Their son Chris is pictured behind them in a grey coat 

Under observation: Police are examining footage from Clifton Suspension Bridge's 
32 CCTV cameras to try to determine whether Miss Yeates crossed the river on foot or in a car

Final journey: Miss Yeates was found less than three miles from the 
house she shared with her boyfriend

A spokesman said: ‘While a formal identification is yet to be completed, police are satisfied that the body is that of Joanna Yeates.'

After the body was found on Christmas Day, her parents spoke from their home near Romsey, Hampshire, and said the discovery of a body was a kind of relief from the nightmare of not knowing what had happened to their daughter. Speaking before the identity of the body was confirmed, Mr Yeates, 63, said: ‘We don’t want to go to our graves wondering where she is and not being given the chance to say goodbye to her.


Rest in peace little Jo, we will miss you always': Anguish of family and friends as police confirm body found in snow is missing architect Joanna Yeates

    ‘We assume that she’s dead so we’d like to say goodbye. Our lives have gone.’

    Yesterday a friend of Greg Reardon, who had reported his girlfriend missing a week ago, said: ‘Greg is devastated, like all her family.
    Search: Two dog walkers found her body, which police are convinced 
    had been recently dumped by the side of the road

    Tribute: A bouquet of pink roses lies in the snow in Longwood Lane, 
    near to where Miss Yeates's body was found

    Out in force: Police comb the crime scene for clues following the discovery of Joanna's body

    ‘Greg and Jo were so in love and such a lovely couple. He can’t even face going back to their flat from where she was probably taken.’ More than 70 officers had been involved in the search for Miss Yeates after she disappeared following a visit to a pub with colleagues on Friday, December 17. She was filmed on CCTV buying a pizza in a Tesco Express on her one-mile walk home. 

    Miss Yeates' keys, coat, mobile and the pizza receipt were found at the home she shared with Mr Reardon. But the pizza and its packaging were missing. Police believe the whereabouts of the pizza may be a vital clue to what happened on December 17.

    Anguish: Miss Yeates's parents David and Teresa (left) and her boyfriend Greg Reardon had made desperate appeals for her safe return

    Joanna poses with Greg. It was her boyfriend who raised the alarm when he returned from a trip to Sheffield to find she was missing from their flat

    She was reported missing in the early hours of the Monday when Mr Reardon, 27, returned from a weekend visit to Sheffield – where he is understood to have been when she was at the pub.

    Her body was found on Longwood Lane, which lies between two golf clubs and a quarry.

    The site is around three miles from the £200,000 rented flat they shared. It is understood the body was clothed and partially covered in leaves and snow.

    Police were yesterday continuing their fingertip search of the area. They will be paying close attention to the Clifton Suspension Bridge – the only direct route between the flat and the spot where the body was found.

    The Brunel-designed structure, which spans the Avon Gorge, is constantly scanned by 32 CCTV cameras - in a bid to deter jumpers at the notorious suicide spot.

    Officers have been told by people living in the village of Long Ashton, near where the body was found, that her body was probably not dumped until at least the night of Christmas Eve.
    One resident said: ‘We drove on that road during the afternoon of Christmas Eve and we would have seen a body.

    ‘From what I’m told it was just lying on the verge fully clothed and we would have seen it.’

    Another possible line of inquiry is that the body was dumped on the grass verge late on December 17, the night Miss Yeates disappeared.
    Several inches of snow fell in the area that night and more on the Saturday that could have hidden the body until it was discovered.