AP Top News at 3:25 p.m. EDT

Associated Press
A resident of Oshima island of pushes a wheel barrow past the destroyed port as he tries to salvage belongings from his home in northeastern Japan Monday, March 28, 2011, following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
.

View gallery

Workers discovered new pools of radioactive water leaking from Japan's crippled nuclear complex, officials said Monday, as emergency crews struggled to pump out hundreds of tons of contaminated water and bring the plant back under control. Officials believe the contaminated water has sent radioactivity levels soaring at the coastal complex and caused more radiation to seep into soil and seawater. Crews also found traces of plutonium in the soil outside of the complex on Monday, but officials insisted there was no threat to public health.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will make his case for U.S. involvement in Libya to an anxious public Monday night, while officials offered assurances that military action there does not set a precedent for how the U.S. will handle similar uprisings throughout the Middle East. White House aides were reluctant to spell out details of Obama's speech, set for 7:30 p.m. EDT Monday. However, deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough said the rationale Obama would lay out for involvement in Libya cannot be applied to escalating clashes between pro- and anti-government forces in Syria and elsewhere.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The specter of a partial government shutdown looms again as Congress returns to Washington with Democrats and Republicans as far apart on a bill to keep the government running as they were two weeks ago. Despite mounting pressure and a deadline looming, talks have stalled, with Democrats accusing GOP leaders of catering to tea party forces and Republicans countering that the White House isn't offering serious proposals to cut spending.

BIN JAWWAD, Libya (AP) — Rebel forces bore down Monday on Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, a key government stronghold where a brigade headed by one of the Libyan leader's sons was digging in to defend the city and setting the stage for a bloody and possibly decisive battle. The opposition made new headway in its rapid advance through oil towns and along stretches of empty desert highway toward the capital, Tripoli. Their run would have been impossible without international airstrikes that have battered the regime's armor and troops, even as NATO insisted it was only seeking to protect civilians and not to give air cover to an opposition march.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department official in charge of submitting sensitive government files to political advisers for secretive reviews before they could be released to citizens, journalists and watchdog groups complained in emails that the unusual scrutiny was "crazy" and hoped someone outside the Obama administration would discover the practice, The Associated Press has learned. Chief Privacy Officer Mary Ellen Callahan, who was appointed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, complained in late 2009 that the vetting process was burdensome and said she wanted to change it, according to uncensored emails newly obtained by the AP. In the emails, she warned that the Homeland Security Department might be sued over delays the political reviews were causing, and she hinted that a reporter might find out about the vetting. The reviews are the subject of a congressional hearing later this week and an ongoing inquiry by the department's inspector general.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Islamist militants ambushed a convoy of Pakistani troops traveling close to the Afghan border on Monday, killing 11 of them in an unusually bloody attack, a government official said. The dead included a colonel and a captain in the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary unit that is being trained by a small contingent of American special forces soldiers.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Japan's nuclear emergency highlights a big medical gap: Few treatments exist to help people exposed to large amounts of radiation. But some possibilities are in the pipeline — development of drugs to treat radiation poisoning, and the first rapid tests to tell who in a panicked crowd would really need them.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Just before sunset Monday, a French skyscraper climber who calls himself "Spiderman" started to pull his way up the side of the world's tallest tower in Dubai. Before he began his climb up the 2,717 foot-tall (828 meter) Burj Khalifa, Alain Robert said he expected the climb to take about six or seven hours. As night fell, a row of powerful spotlights shone on the side of the tower as Robert climbed.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A gushing missive in which 17-year-old Elizabeth Taylor tells her first fiance that she'll "never love anyone else — period" is among more than 60 of her unpublished love letters being put up for auction in New Hampshire. RR Auction in Amherst bought the letters two years ago from William Pawley, who was engaged to Taylor for less than a year in 1949. Officials had estimated they were worth about $25,000 before Taylor's death last week and expect them now to fetch two or three times that at the online auction in May.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Barry Bonds' former mistress testified Monday that the slugger blamed a 1999 elbow injury on steroid use. Called by federal prosecutors to the witness stand in Bonds' perjury trial, Kimberly Bell said that she asked Bonds about the problem with his left elbow, which she described as "a big lump ... it looked awful."

View Comments (0)