The nearly 4,500 passengers and crew of the Carnival Splendor have no air conditioning or hot water. Running low on food, they have to eat canned crab meat and Spam dropped in by helicopters. And for at least another 24 hours, they have no way out. What began as a seven-day cruise to the picturesque Mexican Riviera stopped around sunrise when an engine room fire cut power to the 952-foot vessel and set it adrift off Mexico's Pacific coast.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — From the most Muslim nation on earth, President Barack Obama is reaching out to the Islamic world, declaring that efforts to build trust and peace are showing promise but are still clearly "incomplete." Obama on Wednesday will deliver one of the most personal and potentially consequential speeches of his presidency, reflecting on his own years of upbringing in Indonesia and giving an update on America's "new beginning" with Muslims that he promised last year in Cairo.
DALLAS (AP) — Autograph-seekers descended on a Dallas shopping center Tuesday as former President George W. Bush officially kicked off the release of his new memoir, receiving praise for his candor at a hometown bookstore even as his renewed defense of waterboarding as an interrogation tactic was greeted with derision overseas. First in line at the Borders store about a mile from Bush's Dallas home were Terry and Tammy Jones of suburban Justin, who camped out overnight. They said when they told Bush of their wait, he said he'd sign their books "with admiration," shaking 53-year-old Terry Jones' hand and kissing his wife's.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon said Tuesday it did not know what created a vapor trail that crossed the skies off the Southern California coast and resembled a missile launch. Video posted on the CBS News website shows an object flying through the evening sky Monday that left a large contrail, or vapor trail. A news helicopter owned by KCBS, a CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, shot the video.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A special prosecutor cleared the CIA's former top clandestine officer and others Tuesday of any charges for destroying agency videotapes showing waterboarding of terror suspects, but he continued to investigate whether the harsh questioning went beyond legal boundaries. The decision not to prosecute anyone in the videotape destruction came five years to the day after the CIA destroyed its cache of 92 videos of two al-Qaida operatives, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashiri, being subjected to waterboarding, which evokes the sensation of drowning. The deadline for prosecuting someone under most federal laws is five years.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It's a happy moment for people who see the Happy Meal as anything but. San Francisco has become the first major American city to prohibit fast-food restaurants from including toys with children's meals that do not meet nutritional guidelines. The city's Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 in favor of the measure Tuesday after giving it preliminary approval last week. That's enough votes to survive a likely veto by Mayor Gavin Newsom.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh off the tea party's show of election might, GOP Sen. Jim DeMint said Tuesday he'll force a showdown next week with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other old guard Republicans over "earmarked" pet projects that DeMint and other victors last week made a symbol of out-of-control deficit spending. The South Carolina Republican, buoyed by support from six GOP freshman, is optimistic he'll win a change in internal GOP rules to effectively bar any Republican from seeking earmarks.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven Democratic House chairmen have endorsed Rep. Steny Hoyer to become the Democrats' second in command in the next Congress when Republicans regain control of the House. The support from such veterans as Henry Waxman of California and Barney Frank of Massachusetts is the latest development in the race for the vote-counting whip post between the Maryland Democrat and Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina. "Steny Hoyer is a tested leader who can help Democrats rise to the challenge of the next Congress, protect the interests of the middle class, and win back the majority," the seven Democrats wrote in a letter to their colleagues.
ROME (AP) — For all of Italy's ancient wonders, the real wonder might be that so many are still standing, given the poor care they get. The collapse in Pompeii last week of a frescoed house where gladiators prepared for combat was the latest loss. The structure had survived the explosion of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. but apparently could not withstand modern neglect. "We're stunned when some walls fall down. But these are ruins not systematically maintained, so the miracle is that so few of them collapse," said Andrea Carandini, a world-renowned archaeologist who leads a panel of professional consultants in the Cultural Ministry.
CLARENCE, N.Y. (AP) — A New York man looking to buy drugs misdialed and got the sheriff's "Crime Stoppers" line instead. Erie County Sheriff's Detective Alan Rozansky said he got a call around noon on Monday and answered with his usual "Crime Stoppers." The caller apparently didn't hear that and told Rozansky he was looking "to score" drugs. Rozansky told WIVB-TV that he was surprised but played along and arranged a meeting with undercover officers. The officers didn't arrest the caller but used him as an informant to lead them to another transaction taking place down the road.