• Times Square car bomb suspect pleads guilty in NYC

    NEW YORK – Calling himself a "Muslim soldier," a defiant Pakistan-born U.S. citizen pleaded guilty Monday to carrying out the failed Times Square car bombing, saying his attack was the answer to "the U.S. terrorizing ... Muslim people."

    Wearing a white skull cap, Faisal Shahzad entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Manhattan just days after a federal grand jury indicted him on 10 terrorism and weapons counts, some of which carried mandatory life prison sentences. He pleaded guilty to them all.

    "One has to understand where I'm coming from," Shahzad calmly told U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, who challenged him repeatedly with questions such as whether he worried about killing children in Times Square. "I consider myself ... a Muslim soldier."

  • Spain vs. Honduras: At World Cup, Spanish get back on track with win

    JOHANNESBURG -- Spain couldn't afford any more missteps in this World Cup, not after dropping its debut match in spectacularly disappointing fashion. On Monday night at Ellis Park, a team desperate to remain in the Group H race and resurrect its championship aspirations performed with style and grace against badly overmatched Honduras.

    David Villa scored twice in the 2-0 victory, but Spain squandered numerous other opportunities. Villa, brilliant on the left side of the attack, should have had four goals. The misses could prove costly if the round-of-16 berths are decided by goal differential.

    With the satisfactory result, Spain (1-1) moved into second place, three points behind group front-runner Chile (2-0), the Spaniards' opponent Friday in Pretoria. A victory in the finale by the reigning European champions would leave the teams even on points. Chile has a plus-two goal differential, Spain plus-one.

  • Apple's iOS 4 Benchmarked: Is It Faster?

    The new iOS 4 for the iPhone and iPod touch promises 100 new features, but we weren't sure if one of them would be speed. We're still not sure. After running some preliminary benchmarks on an iPhone 3GS and an iPod touch (3rd generation), we found mixed results with iOS 4, which made some tests run slightly faster and others slightly slower.

    Part of the ambiguity may be because the two native benchmarking apps we use, BenchTest and Benchmark, haven't yet been updated for iOS 4. So they aren't using the latest features. Along with those two native apps, we also tried two tests of Web browser processing power and checked how long it took to launch a complex game.

  • Chile Vs. Switzerland on World Cup 2010

    The second scheduled football match today, June 21, 2010 in the World Cup 2010 in South Africa will about to start at 4PM at Nelson Mandela Bay. The game is between Chile vs. Switzerland.

    Looking back at their previous World Cup 2010 football matches, Chile faced Honduras at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit last Wednesday and Chile won with a final score of 1-0. In contrast, Switzerland faced Spain on the same day at Durban Stadium and Switzerland won with a final score of 1-0 against Spain. With that said, which team is likely to win in this World Cup 2010 football match? Is it Chile or Switzerland?

  • Obama steps up fatherhood advocacy with new mentoring initiative

    In what is becoming a Father's Day ritual for the Obama administration, the president on Monday will bring together children, famous dads and nonprofit groups that promote fatherhood to highlight the importance of fathers.

    The center of President Obama's day-long celebration will be a speech at the ARC, an arts and recreation campus in Southeast Washington, where he is set to announce the creation of the President's Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative. It will build on a theme that has been central to his family policy and a core part of the White House's Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

    The new initiative, which is enlisting a network of organizations, will expand on a six-city listening tour the administration held last year to bring attention to the issue of fatherlessness. "The tour was a national conversation on responsible fatherhood that was rooted in the president's personal experiences growing up and his realization that father absence is a real challenge facing many communities," said Joshua DuBois, director of the partnerships office.

  • First-Place Yankees Greet First Day of Summer

    It's not a natural pairing, to be sure, but Teixeira hit big home runs on both Saturday and Sunday to help the Yankees win the series from the Mets and pass the Rays to take sole possession of first place. Hopefully he won't take any fashion cues from the pop star, the world isn't ready to find out that Teixeira wears a bra and fishnets under his uniform, but perhaps her own streak of big hits rubbed off on Tex.

    Lady Gaga, as you can tell from her ubiquity, is taking advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. Teixeira has done that from time to time this season but he hasn't been as consistent a hitmaker as the Yankees' unlikely lucky charm. He may be getting into a groove -- sorry to mix pop star metaphors -- as he's got a 1010 OPS over the last 13 games but we're still cautious about proclaiming him totally alive.

  • Treasuries Decline Most in Week as Stock Markets Gain on End of Yuan Peg

    Treasuries fell the most in a week as China said it will allow a more flexible yuan, encouraging confidence in the global economic recovery and triggering gains in stock markets.

    Longer-maturity bonds led declines after the People’s Bank of China indicated two days ago it’s abandoning the 6.83 yuan peg to the dollar adopted during the global financial crisis to protect exporters. The U.S. will sell $108 billion in two-, five- and seven-year notes this week.

    “People anticipate the revaluation is going to cause a jump-start of jobs in the U.S., and that will make manufacturing easier,” said Michael Franzese, managing director and head of Treasury trading at Wunderlich Securities Inc. in New York. “As they revalue the yuan, the dollar holdings are going to get weaker, so why would you add them?”

  • Portugal revives World Cup campaign, eliminating NKorea after 7-0 rout

    CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Portugal revived its World Cup campaign with a 7-0 rout of North Korea in Group G on Monday, eliminating the Asian team from the competition.

    Cristiano Ronaldo scored the sixth goal of the game, his first in a competitive match for the national team since the 2008 European Championship.

    Ronaldo also set up Tiago's first goal in the 60th. Tiago added another for the 2006 World Cup semifinalists in the 89th, while Raul Meireles, Simao Sabrosa, Hugo Almeida and Liedson also scored.

    "This is a great result for us," Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz said. "We have to continue now."

    The win moves Portugal into second place in Group G with four points, two behind Brazil. The Ivory Coast has one point, and North Korea is out of the tournament after two straight losses.

  • Iran bans 2 UN nuclear inspectors from entering

    TEHRAN, Iran – Tehran said Monday it had banned two U.N. nuclear inspectors from entering the country because they had leaked "false" information about Iran's disputed nuclear program

    The ban is the latest twist in Iran's deepening tussle with the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency and the West over its nuclear program. The United States and its allies warn that Iran's program is geared toward making nuclear weapons.

    Tehran denies the charge saying its nuclear activities are only for peaceful purposes like power generation.

  • Jerusalem revives plan to raze Palestinian homes

    JERUSALEM – Jerusalem's mayor pressed ahead Monday with a plan to raze 22 Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem to make room for an Israeli tourist center, a decision that could stir new tensions in the divided city and put Israel in conflict with the Obama administration.

    Back in March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pressured Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to hold up the plan so authorities could consult with Palestinians who would lose their homes — a delay that appeared to be aimed at fending off criticism from the U.S.

    "Now, after fine-tuning the plan and seeking more cooperation with the residents as far as their needs and improving the quality of their lives, the municipality is ready to submit the plans for the first stage of approval," Barkat's spokesman, Stephan Miller.

  • Ex-Minister Wins Election in Colombia

    CARACAS, Venezuela — Colombian voters on Sunday overwhelmingly elected as their new president an American-educated former defense minister who oversaw a forceful counterinsurgency against the country’s rebel groups.

    Juan Manuel Santos took 69 percent of the vote in the second and final round of elections, against 27.5 percent for his rival, a former Bogotá mayor, Antanas Mockus, Colombian electoral officials said Sunday night.

    While Mr. Santos obtained a decisive majority, voting was marked by high levels of abstention and the killing by guerrillas over the weekend of at least 10 members of Colombia’s security forces, a reminder that the country’s four-decade war against leftist rebels is far from over.

    The victory for Mr. Santos, an economist, points to continuity in Colombia’s ties with the United States, which provides the country with hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid each year. Mr. Santos, like the outgoing president, Álvaro Uribe, has said he wants to preserve Colombia’s position as Washington’s leading Latin American ally.

  • Organizers of Lebanon's Gaza flotilla make formal request to sail

    Soon after Lebanese sources told Haaretz that preparations for a planned flotilla to break the Gaza blockade were not yet finalized, the country's transportation minister, Ghazi al-Aridi, said late Sunday that he received a formal request for one ship to set sail and denied the existence of a second ship thought to be part of the campaign.

    According to Aridi, organizers of the ship known as the Julia formally requested permission to set sail, but he added the ship would sail toward Cyprus and not Gaza, as he cannot authorize actions that contradict Lebanese law.

    Lebanese law requires every ship leaving the country's ports to obtain official permission. Lebanese law also forbids sailing to ports under Israeli control - including Gaza, which it categorizes as under Israeli occupation. Flotilla organizers are thus expected to ask permission to sail to another destination, such as Cyprus or Turkey, and then divert their route once at sea.

  • Nintendo's 3DS Opens All Eyes At E3

    A year ago many analysts and video game industry pundits wondered if growth for industry leader Nintendo (NTDOY) had peaked. In the fiscal year that ended in March, revenue fell 16 percent while profit tumbled 12 percent, to $2.5 billion, in part because of slowing console sales.

    Earnings gains may prove even more challenging in the coming months. Nintendo's motion-sensing Wii game console faces holiday season challenges from Microsoft (MSFT) and Sony (SNE), both of which this year will introduce console accessories that also track a player's movements.

    Sales of the company's handheld devices, the Nintendo DSi and DS Lite, also are under pressure as Apple (AAPL) goes after the mobile-gaming market with its iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Facebook's inclusion of Zynga and other social games is adding to the strain.

  • Arizona wildfire forces hundreds to evacuate

    The second wildfire to hit this forested city in two days drove residents from more than 1,000 homes Sunday, and authorities arrested a man they say caused the first blaze by dumping coals from a campfire on the ground.

    Coconino County authorities asked residents of 1,044 homes in three neighborhoods north of the city to leave because of the latest fire. The first wildfire, burning 350 acres in southeastern Flagstaff, forced the evacuation of about 170 homes, briefly shut down a hotel and remained uncontained Sunday.

    Authorities knew of no buildings that had been burned. U.S. Route 89 northeast of the city was closed because of smoke from the second fire, and each blaze had forced an animal shelter to evacuate.

  • Four NATO soldiers killed in Afghan chopper crash

    KABUL — Three Australian commandos and a US soldier were killed when a helicopter crashed Monday in southern Afghanistan, where NATO forces are mounting an ambitious campaign to flush out Taliban militants.

    Three other personnel were seriously wounded in the crash in Kandahar province, Australian armed forces chief Angus Houston and Defence Minister John Faulkner said. The chopper was not brought down by enemy fire, they said.

    The crash was Australia's deadliest single incident in the nearly nine-year conflict.

    "This is a tragic day for Australia and the Australian Defence Force," Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told Australia's parliament. "This is a very heavy price to pay."

    A NATO spokeswoman in Kabul confirmed that a US soldier was also killed in the incident.