In Brief { Nation & World, 06-10-14


Airport attack poses stark challenge for Pakistan’s government as militants vow more violence

KARACHI, Pakistan — The Pakistani Taliban threatened more violence Monday after a five-hour assault on the nation’s busiest airport killed 29 people — including all 10 attackers — raising a new challenge for a U.S. ally trying to end years of fighting that has claimed thousands of lives.

With recently started peace efforts stalled, the cautious government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may be dragged closer to a decision on whether to take on the militants in earnest across a country with a long history of ambiguity when it comes to dealing with militancy.

A further weakening of stability in the nuclear power whose tribal regions are already a hotbed of foment could ripple to neighboring Afghanistan as international combat forces prepare to withdraw from that country.

“Everywhere is a threat,” warned Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. “Every area is a target, every building is a potential target.”

Such an attack in Karachi, Pakistan’s business center, will likely discourage foreign investment at a time when its economy is struggling.

Prosecutor: Trucker in crash that injured Tracy Morgan hadn’t slept for more than 24 hours

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A truck driver accused of triggering a highway crash that injured Tracy Morgan and killed another comedian hadn’t slept for more than 24 hours before the accident, authorities said Monday as Morgan recovered in a hospital.

Wal-Mart truck driver Kevin Roper was originally expected to make an initial appearance in state court Monday, but a court official said the Jonesboro, Ga., resident is scheduled in court on Wednesday. It wasn’t clear Monday if Roper had retained an attorney. He remained free after posting $50,000 bond.

Authorities said the 35-year-old Roper apparently failed to slow for traffic ahead early Saturday in Cranbury Township and swerved at the last minute to avoid a crash. Instead, his big rig smashed into the back of Morgan’s chauffeured Mercedes limo bus, killing comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, authorities said.

The 45-year-old Morgan, a former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” cast member, remained in critical but stable condition Monday. Morgan’s spokesman, Lewis Kay, said he was “more responsive” after having surgery for a broken leg but faces an “arduous” recovery.

Kay said Morgan suffered a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs and is expected to remain hospitalized for several weeks. He said Morgan’s family is “tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans.”

Still scarred by bridge scandal, Christie is at work building coalition for possible 2016 bid

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Chris Christie is plunging into what amounts to a cross-country revival tour, looking to recover from a clumsy political scandal and reclaim his place as a promising Republican presidential prospect.

In one recent week, it was on-the-ground politics in Tennessee and New Mexico. This week, after a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, the New Jersey governor returns to the late night comedy circuit with an appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show.” Then he’ll stop by Mitt Romney’s Utah summit, a private event for donors and GOP establishment leaders, and the week after that he heads to Washington to court Christian conservatives at a national gathering of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

All the while, he’s raising a record-setting amount of money for other Republicans, and bolstering his political network in all the right places — Iowa and New Hampshire, in particular.

“As the president’s record continues to get worse, as the Democratic Party brand continues to get worse across the country, this momentum’s going to build,” Christie said recently. “I’ve been looking forward to this year for quite some time.”

Despite his optimism, this isn’t where Christie expected to be at this point on the road to 2016. His stock plummeted early this year after it was discovered that members of his staff and political allies intentionally snarled traffic from New Jersey into Manhattan, apparently to punish a political rival.

By wire sources