River crests approaching
Those fighting floods in several communities along the Mississippi River were mostly successful Sunday despite the onslaught of water, but an ominous forecast and the growing accumulation of snow in the upper Midwest tempered any feelings of victory.
The surging Mississippi was at or near crest at several places from the Quad Cities south to near St. Louis — some reaching 10 feet above flood stage.
Flooding has now been blamed in three deaths — two at the same spot in Indiana and one in Missouri. In all three cases, vehicles were swept off the road in flash floods.
Two are shot at potfest
Authorities are hunting for suspects after shooting broke out during a massive marijuana celebration in Denver, leaving two people with gunshot wounds.
The gunfire scattered thousands attending Saturday’s 4/20 counterculture holiday, the first since Colorado legalized marijuana.
A man and a woman each suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds, officials said. Local media reports said a third person was grazed.
Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said investigators are looking for one or two suspects, asking festival attendees for possible photo or video of the shootings.
He said police had no motive for the gunfire.
Witnesses described a scene in which a jovial atmosphere quickly turned to one of panic at the downtown Civic Center Park just before 5 p.m. Several thought firecrackers were being set off, then a man fell bleeding, his dog also shot.
Taliban menace candidates
Moderate politicians from some of Pakistan’s most violent areas are risking the threat of Taliban attack to run in upcoming nationwide elections, but they are increasingly being forced to rely on social media, phone calls and even short documentaries that allow them to campaign at a distance.
That could give hard-line Islamic candidates and Taliban supporters an advantage as they’re able to stump for votes and hold large public rallies that are a traditional hallmark of elections in the country but are extremely vulnerable to attacks.
One of the most serious attacks occurred Tuesday, when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a meeting of the secular Awami National Party in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing 16 people.
Erdogan urged to hold off
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry has urged Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to delay a planned visit to the Gaza Strip, saying it could jeopardize efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Ending a two-day visit here, Kerry said Sunday that he “it would be more helpful to wait for the right circumstance. … We’re trying to get off the ground, and we would like to see the parties with as little outside distraction as possible.”
He said this was one of a number of “important reasons” why Erdogan shouldn’t go on the trip, and implied that the Turkish leader hadn’t made a final decision on the plan.
Kerry has been meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and other Turkish officials, but didn’t meet Erdogan on this visit.
Both the Israelis and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have voiced unhappiness with Erdogan’s plans.