World briefly 1/31


Police: Man wounded in Phoenix shooting dead

PHOENIX — A gunman opened fire at a Phoenix office complex on Wednesday, killing one person, wounding two others and setting off a manhunt. Police warned the public that he was “armed and dangerous.”

Authorities identified the suspect as Arthur D. Harmon, who they said opened fire at the end of a mediation session. They identified a man who died hours after the Wednesday morning shooting as 48-year-old Steve Singer.

Police say a 43-year-old man was listed in critical condition and a 32-year-old woman suffered nonlife-threatening injuries.

“We believe the two men were the targets. It was not a random shooting,” said Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Thompson said authorities believe Harmon acted alone and fled the scene in a car after the 10:30 a.m. shooting.

Police: Ala. gunman kills bus driver, seizes boy

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — A gunman holed up in a bunker with a 6-year-old hostage kept law officers at bay Wednesday in an all-night, all-day standoff that began when he killed a school bus driver and dragged the boy away, authorities said.

SWAT teams took up positions around the gunman’s rural property and police negotiators tried to win the kindergartener’s safe release.

The gunman, identified by neighbors as Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver, was known around the neighborhood as a menacing figure who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a shotgun.

He had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning to answer charges he shot at his neighbors in a dispute last month over a speed bump.

The standoff along a red dirt road began on Tuesday afternoon, after a gunman boarded a stopped school bus filled with children in the town of Midland City, population 2,300. Sheriff Wally Olsen said the man shot the bus driver when he refused to hand over a 6-year-old child. The gunman then took the boy away.

Week of unrest weakens Egypt’s Islamist leader

CAIRO — Egypt’s Islamist president has been significantly weakened by a week of violent protests across much of the country, with his popularity eroding, the powerful military implicitly criticizing him and some of his ultraconservative Islamist backers distancing themselves from him.

In his seven months since becoming Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohammed Morsi has weathered a series of crises. But the liberal opposition is now betting the backlash against him is so severe that he and his Muslim Brotherhood will be forced to change their ways, breaking what critics say is their monopolizing of power.

Critics claim that Morsi’s woes are mostly self-inflicted, calling him overconfident and out of sync with the public. Now the relatively high death toll — around 60 — the spread of protests and the use of excessive force by the police are feeding a wave of anger at the Egyptian leader and the Brotherhood, the Islamist group from which he hails and which is the foundation of his administration.

Morsi did not help matters when he addressed the nation Sunday night in a brief but angry address in which he at times screamed and wagged his finger. In that speech, he slapped a 30-day state of emergency and curfew on three Suez Canal provinces hit the hardest by the violence and vowed to take even harsher measures if peace is not restored.

In response, the three cities defied the president in a rare open rebellion that handed him an embarrassing loss of face.

By wire sources