Nation & World briefs

Published Apr 30, 2013 at 05:00AM

Transportation nomination — President Barack Obama on Monday nominated Anthony Foxx, the Democratic mayor of Charlotte, N.C., to be the next transportation secretary, saying his local government experience would help him manage the nation's roads, bridges and airports. While Foxx does not have a transportation background, he worked as mayor to extend a light-rail line and bring streetcars back to Charlotte. After criticism that the president had not done enough to recruit minority or female advisers, Foxx would add to the diversity of Obama's Cabinet.

Abortion trial — The trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who ran a Philadelphia abortion clinic, wrapped up Monday with summations by both sides. In five weeks of testimony, jurors were told that Gosnell, 72, had performed late-term abortions tantamount to murder. The jury is expected to begin deliberations today.

9/11 debris — Plane wreckage found last week behind a building in Lower Manhattan and apparently deposited there after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is part of a wing flap — not part of the landing gear — from a jet of the same model as those that crashed into the World Trade Center, the Police Department's spokesman said Monday.

Syria conflict — Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on his convoy in the heart of the heavily defended capital Monday, state media said. The bombing, which killed several other people, highlights an accelerating campaign targeting government officials, from midlevel civil servants to the highest echelons of the Syrian regime.

Fukushima disaster — Two years after a triple meltdown that grew into the world's second-worst nuclear disaster, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is faced with a new crisis: a flood of highly radioactive wastewater that workers are struggling to contain. Groundwater is pouring into the plant's reactor buildings at a rate of almost 75 gallons a minute. It becomes highly contaminated there, before being pumped out to keep from swamping a critical cooling system.

Bangladesh disaster — A court gave police 15 days to interrogate the owner of a building that collapsed last week, killing at least 382 people, as rescuers used heavy machinery to cut through the destroyed structure Monday, giving up hopes of finding more survivors.

Iran's election — Just six weeks before the presidential election, politicians and clerics have declared open season on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his government, in one instance calling him a “coward.” The invective is the latest manifestation of infighting that broke out months ago between Ahmadinejad and his allies and a loose coalition of clerics and Revolutionary Guards commanders. Critics mostly lament the government's management of the economy.

Italian stimulus — The new prime minister in the European Union's third-largest economy, Enrico Letta, said Monday he would move quickly to stimulate growth and jobs, while easing some of the unpopular austerity measures enacted to strengthen Italy's public finances and ease its cumbersome debt.

Extraterrestrial hearings — Former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., and six other former lawmakers are presiding over hearings on the existence of aliens in 30 hours of congressional-style hearings, which kicked off Monday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Those testifying hope to prove that aliens contact Earth — and that the government is trying to keep it secret.

— From wire reports