World briefly 2/5


Authorities rescue 5-year-old Ala. boy

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — Authorities stormed an underground bunker Monday in Alabama, freeing a 5-year-old boy who had been held hostage for nearly a week in the tiny underground shelter and leaving the boy’s abductor dead.

After days of fruitless negotiations, talks had deteriorated with an increasingly agitated Jimmy Lee Dykes, who had kidnapped the child from a school bus after fatally shooting the driver.

Dykes had been seen with a gun, and officers concluded the boy was in imminent danger, said Steve Richardson of the FBI’s office in Mobile.

Officials refused to say how the 65-year-old died.

Obama signs bill raising federal debt ceiling

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill raising the government’s borrowing limit, averting a default and delaying the next clash over the nation’s debt until later this year.

The legislation temporarily suspends the $16.4 trillion limit on federal borrowing. Experts say that will allow the government to borrow about $450 billion to meet interest payments and other obligations.

The Senate gave the bill final approval last week and sent it to Obama, who signed it Monday shortly after returning from Minneapolis.

Democrats and Obama had warned that failure to pass the bill could set off financial panic and threaten the economic recovery.

The bill includes a provision attached by House Republicans that temporarily withholds lawmakers’ pay in either chamber that fails to produce a budget plan.

Marine charged in SEAL’s slaying ‘traded his soul’ for a truck

FORT WORTH, Texas — The Iraq War veteran charged with killing a former Navy SEAL sniper and his friend on a Texas shooting range told a relative that he “traded his soul for a new truck,” according to police documents.

Eddie Ray Routh, 25, is charged with one count of capital murder and two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, author of the best-selling book “American Sniper,” and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range Saturday.

Authorities say the three men arrived at the sprawling Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose on Saturday afternoon, and a hunting guide discovered the bodies of Kyle and Littlefield about two hours later and called 911. They were shot multiple times, and numerous guns were at the scene, according to an Erath County arrest warrant affidavit obtained by WFAA-TV.

Routh then drove Kyle’s pickup to his sister’s house in Midlothian and told her that he killed two people, and she called police, the affidavit says.

Police records from Lancaster show Routh was taken to a mental hospital on Sept. 2 after threatening to kill his family and then commit suicide. Authorities found Routh walking nearby with no shirt and no shoes, and smelling of alcohol.

S&P expects to be sued over mortgage bond ratings

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is expected to file civil charges against Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, alleging that it improperly gave high ratings to mortgage debt that later plunged in value and helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis.

The charges would mark the first enforcement action the government has taken against a major rating agency involving the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

S&P said Monday that the Justice Department had informed the rating agency that it intends to file a civil lawsuit focusing on S&P’s ratings of mortgage debt in 2007.

The action does not involve criminal allegations. Critics have complained about the government’s failure to charge any major players.

By wire sources