Share this article

print logo



Woman fatally beaten in U.S. buried in Najaf

NAJAF, Iraq (AP) -- An Iraqi-American woman found beaten to death in her California home with a threatening note left beside her body was buried Saturday in her native Iraq.

A relative called on Iraq's government to take quick action to press U.S. authorities to reveal the results of the investigation into the killing of Iraqi-born Shaima Alawadi. Her father asked God to exact revenge on those responsible for her death.

A 32-year-old mother of five, Alawadi was found unconscious by her daughter Fatima, 17, on March 21 in the dining room of the family's home in El Cajon, one of America's largest enclaves of Iraqi immigrants. Three days later, she was taken off life support.

No suspects have been identified or apprehended so far. California police have said the note had led investigators to regard the killing as a possible hate crime. Her daughter told a local TV station it read, "Go back to your country, you terrorist."

The family brought Alawadi's body from the U.S. to the Shiite holy city of Najaf for burial in a Shiite cemetery.



Lights out worldwide puts focus on climate

LONDON (AP) -- Hundreds of world landmarks from Berlin's Brandenburg Gate to the Great Wall of China went dark Saturday, part of a global effort to highlight climate change.

Earth Hour, held the last Saturday of March, began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. The city's Harbor Bridge and Opera House were dimmed again this year.

Australia is among the first countries to flick off the light switches each year; in New Zealand, Sky Tower in Auckland and the parliament buildings in Wellington switched off two hours earlier; Tokyo Tower was also dimmed, and in Hong Kong, buildings along Victoria Harbour also went dark. The lights illuminating the falls in Niagara Falls also went dark. All events occurred at 8:30 p.m.

The WWF, the global environmental group which organizes the event, said the number of countries and territories participating has grown from 135 last year to 147 this year.



Cruise ship repaired after disabling fire

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A cruise ship with 1,000 people on board that had drifted for 24 hours after being disabled by a fire was headed toward Malaysia following repairs, the Philippine coast guard said Saturday.

The Azamara Quest, which had embarked on a 17-day Southeast Asian cruise, was left drifting in southern Philippine waters after a fire broke out Friday night. The flames engulfed one of the ship's engine rooms but were quickly extinguished.

The ship informed the coast guard Saturday that its power and propulsion had been restored and it was moving slowly toward Sandakan, its next destination after it left Manila Thursday, a spokesman said.

Azamara Club Cruises, the ship's operator, said the rest of the cruise would be canceled. It said it will fully refund the passengers and provide each guest with a future cruise certificate for the amount paid for the aborted voyage.

The Azamara Quest is carrying 590 passengers and 411 crew members. More than one third of the passengers on board are American.