KMPH Fox 26 Central San Joaquin Valley News Source in Fresno, California … – KMPH Fox 26

Gadhafi forces hammer rebels on eastern front

RAS LANOUF, Libya (AP) – Forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi hammered rebels with rocket barrages and airstrikes Tuesday, trying to check their advance out of the opposition-held east of Libya toward the capital Tripoli. At least 26 were wounded, some of them seriously. On another front, government forces were reportedly battering down resistance in the closest rebel-held city to Tripoli, Zawiya. A government official claimed Gadhafi loyalists had recaptured the city, but some residents reported that rebels still held the city’s main square amid a heavy barrage of residential areas. The city was sealed off and phone lines have been cut, making it impossible to verify the account.

Christians and Muslims clash in Egyptian capital

CAIRO (AP) — Clashes between Christians and Muslims escalated on Tuesday with thousands of people burning tires, smashing parked cars and cutting off a main road despite military moves to control a day of violent protests in Egypt’s capital. Tensions have been simmering between Egypt’s minority Christian community and its Muslim majority after a Muslim mob burned a church in a Cairo suburb. Egypt’s military rulers have since pledged to rebuild the church and Prime Minister Essam Sharaf met Monday with the protesters outside the state-television building.

US ‘heartland’ near historic shift from Midwest

WASHINGTON (AP) – America’s population center is edging away from the Midwest, pulled by Hispanic growth in the Southwest, according to census figures. The historic shift is changing the nation’s politics and even the traditional notion of the country’s heartland – long the symbol of mainstream American beliefs and culture. The West is now home to the four fastest-growing states – Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho – and has surpassed the Midwest in population, according to 2010 figures. California and Texas added to the southwestern population tilt, making up more than one-fourth of the nation’s total gains since 2000.

Out of spotlight, GOP hopefuls prepping for 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) – Newt Gingrich is the Republican taking some of the most public first steps for a presidential bid, but he’s hardly the only one in motion. Far from the media spotlight, White House hopefuls are furiously hiring staff, testing messages for the powerful conservative base of the GOP and mapping out a rough political calendar, all part of a hard-charging effort that precedes the official kickoff. Gingrich drew the national press to Atlanta last week for his announcement of a website to explore a bid, the most high-profile move so far.

Iran asks US for new info on missing FBI agent

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran urged the U.S. on Tuesday to provide new information about a retired FBI agent who disappeared inside the country, and says it will keep trying to discover his fate. “On a humanitarian basis, we will continue our efforts,” to find Robert Levinson, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at a weekly briefing. “If there is reliable information, relaying it to Iranian officials can turn this into a collective effort,” he said.

Angry residents of CA city vote on council recall

BELL, Calif. (AP) – Voters had a chance to clean house Tuesday after months of outrage directed at a city government that turned the modest Southern California suburb of Bell into the national poster child for municipal corruption. They went to the polls in a recall election involving four City Council members who have pleaded not guilty in an ongoing case to dozens of charges of fraud and misappropriation of public funds.

Suspect dies in standoff with St Louis police

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Two federal marshals and a police officer were wounded Tuesday in a gunfight at a St. Louis home, and a suspect later died following a standoff, authorities said. One marshal was shot in the head and is in critical condition, said William Sibert, the U.S. marshal for eastern Missouri. Sibert said the marshals and police were trying to take a suspect into custody at a house on the city’s south side when the man fired, prompting authorities to return fire. Neither he nor St. Louis police have said what the man was a suspect for or why he was being arrested.

Millions of fish found dead in California marina

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Millions of dead fish were found Tuesday floating in a Southern California marina. Boaters awakened to find a carpet of small silvery fish surrounding their vessels, said Staci Gabrielli, marine coordinator for King Harbor Marina on the Los Angeles County coast. California Fish and Game officials believe the fish are anchovies and sardines.

Icahn says he will return his investors’ money

NEW YORK (AP) – Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor, is returning all of the money that outside investors hold in his hedge funds. In a letter to limited partners, Icahn said he did not want to be responsible to investors for “another possible market crisis,” especially given the rapid increase in markets over the past two years. Icahn said he was also concerned about the economic outlook and political tensions in the Middle East.

Hello I must be going: singer Phil Collins retires

LONDON (AP) – British singer and drummer Phil Collins has used his personal website to announce his retirement in a bid to clarify recent speculation over his career. In a post titled “Breaking News,” the London-born multiple Grammy award winner said he wanted to explain his reasons “for calling it a day” in response to articles claiming he was quitting the music business.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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