Libyan helicopter gunships strafed opposition fighters as forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi pounded them with artillery and rockets Sunday, dramatically escalating a counteroffensive to halt the rapid advance of rebels toward the capital, Tripoli. Another scene of heavy fighting was the city of Misrata, 120 miles (200 kilometers) east of Tripoli, where a doctor told The Associated Press 20 people were killed and 100 wounded. Residents said pro-Gadhafi troops punched into the city with mortars and tanks but were pushed out five hours later by rebel forces. The rebel commanders intentionally opened the way for government tanks to enter the city, then surrounded them and attacked with anti-aircraft guns and mortars, said Abdel Fatah al-Misrati, one of the rebels.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Muslims in the America aren't cooperating enough with law enforcement to counter the radicalization of young followers by al-Qaida-linked groups, said a House leader on terrorism issues, renewing debate about religion's role in motivating extremists and what the U.S. can do without alienating the Islamic world. Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, asserted that al-Qaida terrorists are targeting Muslim youth in this country, previewing his hearing Thursday on the extent of the problem and the Muslim community's response.
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's prime minister-designate named a caretaker Cabinet on Sunday to help lead the country through reforms and toward free elections after the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The changes include new faces in the key foreign, interior and justice ministries — a decision expected to be met with the approval of the pro-reform groups that led an 18-day uprising that force Mubarak to step down on Feb. 11.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The space shuttle and space station crews hustled to take care of last-minute business Sunday before sealing the hatches between them. The two astronaut teams were all set to close the hatches between their spacecraft Sunday afternoon. Then Monday morning, shuttle Discovery will undock for the final time from the International Space Station.
NEW YORK (AP) — Of America's 7,382 state legislators, only 85 are openly gay or lesbian. They are, however, playing an outsized and often impassioned role when the agenda turns to recognizing same-sex couples with civil unions or full marriage rights. In Hawaii and Illinois, gay state representatives were lead sponsors of civil union bills signed into law earlier this year. In Maryland and Rhode Island, gay lawmakers are co-sponsoring pending bills that would legalize same-sex marriage. In New York, a gay senator, Tom Duane, is preparing to be lead sponsor of a marriage bill in his chamber later this session.
BARTLETT, N.H. (AP) — This time, Mitt Romney has a clear pitch: I'm the strongest Republican to challenge President Barack Obama on the country's single biggest issue — the economy. "He created a deeper recession, and delayed the recovery," Romney said Saturday, previewing his campaign message before Republicans in this influential early nominating state.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke fielded the usual questions about inflation, tax cuts and government debt during a trip to Congress last week. Then a new question popped up: Is the Fed creating another bubble in stock prices? Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee he saw "little evidence" that was happening. But he cautioned: "Of course, nobody can know for sure."
RAYNE, La. (AP) — As the storm roared over Pauline Patton's apartment, she peered out the window and saw something she wasn't ready for: A funnel cloud. Suddenly, the power went out. Rainwater poured through the ceiling. And as everything went black, she heard what sounded like a bomb exploding overhead. Still, residents said the tornado that killed a woman the day before and displaced hundreds could have been much worse. Many have turned their attention to taking care of pets and retrieving essentials left behind while evacuating.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Rango" has lassoed the top spot at the box office. The animated Paramount film featuring Johnny Depp as the voice of a Wild West chameleon sheriff rode into town with a $38 million debut, according to studio estimates released Sunday.
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — As he grabs a quick bite to eat at a favorite restaurant before heading off for yet another long afternoon at the pool, Greg Louganis sits all but unrecognized by scores of fellow diners — and that's just fine with the greatest Olympic diver who ever lived. "I've had my day in the sun as it were," Louganis chuckles as he swirls the Thai iced tea in his glass and contemplates something that just a year ago he never imagined would happen. Louganis, winner of four gold medals and a silver in three Olympics, has returned to the sport as a coach and mentor.