Bergdahl tells officials he was tortured and caged after he tried to flee his Taliban captors
PARIS (AP) — Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has told people treating him at a U.S. military medical facility in Germany that he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan after he tried to escape, a senior U.S. official said Sunday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss what Bergdahl has revealed about the conditions of his captivity.
The official said it was difficult to verify the accounts Bergdahl has given since his release a week ago.
Bergdahl, now 28, was captured in June 2009 after he disappeared from his infantry unit. He was held for nearly five years by Taliban militants.
The New York Times reported Sunday that military doctors at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center say that while Bergdahl is physically able to travel he's not yet emotionally prepared to be reunited with his family. He has not yet spoken to his family.
Egypt's former army chief el-Sissi sworn in for 4-year term
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was sworn in on Sunday as president for a four-year term, taking the reins of power in a nation roiled since 2011 by deadly unrest and economic woes.
El-Sissi's inauguration came less than a year after the 59-year-old career infantry officer ousted the country's first freely elected president, the Islamist Mohammed Morsi, following days of mass protests by Egyptians demanding he step down.
El-Sissi took the oath of office before the Supreme Constitutional Court at the tribunal's Nile-side headquarters in a suburb south of Cairo, the same venue where Morsi, now on trial for charges that carry the death penalty, was sworn in two years ago.
Sunday was declared a national holiday and tight security was enforced by the police and military throughout Cairo.
The somber ceremony was held at a red carpeted hall adorned by Egypt's red, white and black flags and attended by the entire Cabinet of Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab as well as el-Sissi's wife and children.
Comedian Tracy Morgan injured in crash, friend killed; truck driver faces charges
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan remained hospitalized as state and federal officials continued their investigation of a six-vehicle crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that took the life of a Morgan friend and left two others seriously injured, authorities say.
Morgan, 45, was in critical condition and his family arrived to be with him after a tractor-trailer rammed into his chauffeured limousine bus, carrying seven people, his spokesman Lewis Kay said. Morgan was "receiving excellent care," the spokesman said.
A truck driver was charged with death by auto in the Saturday crash that killed comedian James McNair, described as a mentor to the former "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" cast member.
Thirty-five-year-old Kevin Roper, of Jonesboro, Georgia, also faces four counts of assault by auto, Middlesex County prosecutors said. His bail was set at $50,000, and he was expected to turn himself in. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.
Morgan and the group were traveling home from a standup comedy show in Delaware, officials said. About 1 a.m., near Cranbury Township, the tractor-trailer driver apparently failed to slow for traffic ahead and swerved at the last minute to avoid a crash, state police Sgt. 1st Class Greg Williams said.
AP Interview: Lebanese Druse leader Jumblatt scorns Hezbollah for its role in Syrian civil war
BEIRUT (AP) — The decision by Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group to join the civil war in neighboring Syria and fight along President Bashar Assad's forces was a historic and moral "mistake" toward the Syrian people, a leading Lebanese politician has said.
The harsh criticism by Walid Jumblatt, who leads Lebanon's minority Druse sect, reflects his increasing pessimism about the bloody conflict next door, now in its fourth year.
Although he leads a minority sect, Jumblatt is a pillar and a mainstay in Lebanese politics and is often referred to as the country's "kingmaker" because of his small bloc's track record of tipping the balance during key votes in parliament.
"Hezbollah intervened in Syria and did not care about the Lebanese (public) opinion," Jumblatt told The Associated Press during a recent interview at his home in Beirut. "This is a historical and moral mistake toward the Syrian people."
Hezbollah's fighters openly entered the fight in Syria in May 2013 and were instrumental in helping Assad's troops push back rebels and re-capture strategic towns and rebel strongholds along the border with Lebanon and near Syria's capital, Damascus.
Officials work to improve conditions at site holding migrant kids
NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — Officials are working to improve conditions at a makeshift holding center in southern Arizona where immigration authorities are housing hundreds of unaccompanied migrant minors.
A federal official said that mattresses, portable toilets and showers were brought in Saturday for 700 of the youthful migrants who spent the night sleeping on plastic cots inside the Nogales area center.
The Homeland Security official told The Associated Press that about 2,000 mattresses had been ordered for the center — a warehouse that has not been used to shelter people in years.
With the center lacking some of the basics, federal officials have asked Arizona to immediately ship medical supplies, Gov. Jan Brewer's spokesman Andrew Wilder said.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security started flying immigrants in the country illegally to Arizona from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas last month after the number of immigrants — including more than 48,000 children traveling on their own — overwhelmed the Border Patrol there.
Police release 911 calls from Seattle campus shooting: "Someone was hit directly."
SEATTLE (AP) — One student talks to 911 operators while a classmate attempts to tend to his bleeding neck and chest. Two other callers after witnessing the shooting at a small Seattle university calmly describe their location, the shooter and the chilling scene.
"He walked up behind this guy," the caller said, adding moments later: "There were two people standing there. And this guy walked up behind one of them, lifted his rifle and shot directly."
A day after a lone gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle police released three 911 calls recorded shortly after the shooting. The calls reflect a mix of shock, calmness and swift action by students, witnesses and faculty.
The 911 calls show "the remarkable calm and resourcefulness of students, faculty, and other witnesses," police wrote.
Police said the shooter, who killed a 19-year-old freshman student and wounded two other young people, had 50 additional shotgun shells and a hunting knife. He said after his arrest that he wanted to kill as many people as possible before taking his own life, Seattle police wrote in a statement filed in court Friday.
Iraqi officials: Double bombing at Kurdish party office kills 19 northeast of Baghdad
BAGHDAD (AP) — A double bombing at a Kurdish party office killed 19 people in a town northeast of Baghdad on Sunday, Iraqi officials said.
Police officials said the attack took place in the morning when a suicide bomber set off his explosive vest at the gate of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan office in Jalula, 125 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Baghdad in the ethnically mixed Diyala province.
Minutes later, a car bomb exploded near the building as security forces arrived to inspect the scene of the first blast. Police put the death toll for both explosions at 19 killed and 65 wounded. The dead included a senior police officer and four of his bodyguards, and several houses and cars were damaged in the attack.
Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.
The PUK is headed by the ailing Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, who is receiving treatment in a hospital in Germany.
Country star George Strait ends nearly 4 decades of touring with final performance in Texas
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Country music king George Strait capped off the last tour of his career with an epic, star-studded final performance at the billion-dollar stadium where the Dallas Cowboys play, dazzling an audience of nearly 105,000 people with duet after duet with some of the biggest names in country music.
The attendance shattered the previous record set by The Rolling Stones at The Louisiana Superdome in 1981. More than 10,000 fans alone took in the three-hour show from the stadium floor.
"Oh, man. I tell you what. This is too much fun," he said.
Known for his honky-tonk style, classic interpretation of Western swing and Texas cowboy get-up, Strait is the undisputed patriarch of a generation of country music stars, none of whom left the stage Saturday without paying homage to or receiving a hug from the country music legend.
"In the early 80s when I was a young man in Georgia, I was a big fan of 'Unwound,'" Alan Jackson said of the 1981 hit that propelled Strait to stardom. "You're the reason I came to Nashville, Tennessee. God bless you."
5 reasons California Chrome came up empty in Belmont, spoiling Triple try
NEW YORK (AP) — California Chrome added his name to the list of Triple Crown misses with a loss in the Belmont Stakes.
The chestnut colt finished in a dead-heat for fourth place Saturday, ensuring horse racing will go at least 37 years without a sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. Affirmed was the last to achieve the rare feat in 1978.
California Chrome became the 12th horse since Affirmed to win the first two legs and lose in the Belmont. Two years ago, I'll Have Another had his bid dashed when he was scratched the day before the race with a career-ending tendon injury.
Here are 5 reasons California Chrome why failed to make history:
TOO FAR TO RUN: The 1 1/2-mile Belmont is the longest of the three races. California Chrome was in contention through the first 1 1/4 miles, but the last quarter-mile did him in. He was forced four-wide on the outside, while eventual winner Tonalist was three-wide coming out of the turn heading for home.
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