AP News in Brief at 5:58 a.m. EDT

10/7/2014 6:00 AM
By Associated Press

John O'Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser win Nobel Prize in medicine for brain GPS

STOCKHOLM (AP) — U.S.-British scientist John O'Keefe and Norwegian husband and wife Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser have won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.

The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska institute says their discoveries have helped explain how the brain creates "a map of the space surrounding us and how we can navigate our way through a complex environment."


5th US Ebola patient traveling from Africa for treatment; will be 2nd treated at Nebraska unit

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An American photojournalist who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia is expected to arrive Monday in Nebraska where he will be treated for the virus that has ravaged West Africa.

Ashoka Mukpo, 33, will be the second Ebola patient to be treated at the Nebraska Medical Center's specialized isolation unit. Mukpo was working in Liberia as a freelance cameraman for NBC News when he became ill last week.

NBC reported Sunday evening that Mukpo had started his journey to the U.S. for treatment and that he would arrive Monday morning. Mukpo's family said Friday he would be treated in Omaha. Hospital officials said they expected an Ebola patient to arrive Monday, but declined to provide a name.

Mukpo is the fifth American to return to the United States for treatment since the start of the latest Ebola outbreak, which the World Health Organization estimates has killed more than 3,400 people.

The hospital's biocontainment unit was created in 2005 specifically to handle this kind of illness, said Dr. Phil Smith, who oversees the unit.


Hong Kong protest sites quiet after tumultuous week, but students vow to keep up pressure

HONG KONG (AP) — Student-led protests for democratic reforms in Hong Kong subsided Monday but a few hundred demonstrators remained camped out in the streets, vowing to keep up the pressure until the government responds to their demands.

Schools reopened and civil servants returned to work Monday morning after protesters cleared the area outside the city's government headquarters, a focal point of the demonstrations that started the previous weekend. Crowds also thinned markedly at the two other protest sites, and traffic flowed again through many road that had been blocked.

The subdued scenes left many wondering whether the movement, which has been free-forming and largely spontaneous, had run its course, and what the students would do next.

Early talks between the government and the students have started, but many disagreements remain. Students say they will walk away from the talks as soon as the government uses force to clear away the remaining protesters.

"This is definitely not the end — we've never set a timeframe for how long this should go on. It's normal for people to go home, to come and go," said Alex Chow, one of the student leaders. "It's up to the government now. This is the first step, but the pressure has to continue."


Supreme Court's term begins term with case on police actions based on misunderstanding of law

WASHINGTON (AP) — People can't plead ignorance of the law to excuse a violation. The first case of the new Supreme Court term Monday tests whether there's a double standard when it comes to the police.

A case from North Carolina turns on whether an officer's mistaken belief about a state law still can justify a traffic stop that led to the discovery of cocaine.

The justices are beginning their fifth year together, and Chief Justice John Roberts is at the start of his 10th year at the head of the high court.

Their term could be one for the ages if they decide, as seems likely, to take on the issue of same-sex marriage and settle once and for all whether gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry.

But before they get there, the court has an array of cases involving:


Typhoon in Japan washes 3 American airmen out to sea; trains stalled and flights canceled

TOKYO (AP) — A powerful typhoon that washed three American airmen in Okinawa out to sea, killing at least one, slammed central Japan on Monday, stalling trains and flights and triggering mudslides, before swerving to the Pacific Ocean.

Elsewhere in the Pacific, a separate typhoon whipped the Mariana Islands, including Guam, with high winds and heavy rain.

In Japan, bullet train service was suspended between Tokyo and Osaka because of the heavy rainfall, and more than 600 flights were canceled at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. The trains resumed service later in the day, although with delays.

Typhoon Phanfone came ashore near the city of Hamamatsu shortly after 8 a.m., and traveled northward before turning eastward into the Pacific north of Tokyo.

Authorities advised more than 2 million people to evacuate, according to Kyodo News service.


Immigration from Central America fades, but New Mexico lockup remains site of deportations

ARTESIA, N.M. (AP) — Trailers have been set up for a school at a federal immigration detention center in an isolated New Mexico desert town. A basketball court and a soccer field have been installed. And detainees are pleading their cases over a video link with judges in Denver.

Officials say that the facility, billed as a temporary place to house women and children from Central America who were among a wave of immigrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally this year, could remain open until next summer.

"All of us would love us to see the doors close in Artesia but the reality is the need will probably be there and probably until the end of the high season, probably August next year," a government official told immigration advocates in a recent confidential meeting.

The AP had access to a recording of the meeting with the official, whose name or position was not identified.

The detainees at the Artesia Family Residential Center, meanwhile, are growing increasingly frustrated that they are being held with no end in sight while earlier border-crossers were released with orders to contact immigration officials later.


Indonesia struggles with Islamic State recruiting, lacking the laws to stop supporters

CIANJUR, Indonesia (AP) — A businessman who proclaims himself leader of the Indonesian chapter of the Islamic State group says he has personally overseen the departure of scores of fighters from this Southeast Asian nation to Syria and Iraq. Police detained him for a night recently, but were unable to charge him with a crime.

Chep Hernawan reflects both the success IS has had in attracting support in the region, and the challenges Indonesia faces in responding.

The government, home to most of the up to 200 Southeast Asians believed to be fighting in Syria and Iraq, has forcefully spoken out against the Islamic State, as have mainstream Muslim organizations in the country. But Indonesia is limited in what it can do to stop suspected militants from traveling abroad.

The country lacks the sort of laws that neighboring Malaysia and Singapore have, allowing for detention without trial or criminal charges under limited, legally defined circumstances. It also does not ban speech that could incite hatred and intolerance.

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said his force could only monitor IS supporters.


Mexican prosecutor says 28 bodies found in clandestine grave, but too damaged for quick ID

IGUALA, Mexico (AP) — A clandestine grave on the outskirts of a Mexican city where police clashed with student protesters a week ago contained 28 bodies but the remains are too damaged for immediate identification, state officials said.

Guerrero State Prosecutor Inaky Blanco said he could not say whether any of the dead could be some of the 43 college students reported missing after the violent confrontation in Iguala, located about 120 miles (200 kilometers) south of Mexico City.

He said genetic testing of the remains could take two weeks to two months.

Blanco said one of the people detained in the case had told investigators that 17 students were taken to the grave site on the outskirts of the Iguala and killed there. But he stressed that investigators had not confirmed the person's story.

"As long as the identity of the cadavers has not been resolved we will continue the search" for the missing students, he said Sunday.


Once derided as domain of slackers, video game playing now scholarship worthy, school says

CHICAGO (AP) — As a teenager, holed up in his bedroom, illuminated by the glow of his laptop, Youngbin Chung became addicted to video games. Ten-hours-a-day addicted.

His grades tanked. His parents fretted.

A few years later, the 20-year-old from the San Francisco area leads a team of headset-wearing players into virtual battle in a darkened room at a small private university in Chicago. He's studying computer networking there on a nearly $15,000 a year athletic scholarship — for playing League of Legends, the video game that once jeopardized his high school diploma.

"I never thought in my life I'm going to get a scholarship playing a game," said Chung, one of 35 students attending Robert Morris University on the school's first-in-the-nation video game scholarship.

Once regarded as anti-social slackers or nerds in a basement, gamers have become megastars in what are now called esports. In professional leagues, they compete for millions of dollars in prizes and pull in six-figure incomes for vanquishing their enemies in what have become huge spectator events packing tens of thousands into sports stadiums around the world.


Wine-makers in Syria and Lebanon soldier on despite civil war, Islamic extremism

BEIRUT (AP) — In his high-rise office in Beirut, Sandro Saade carefully chews a merlot grape from a vineyard hundreds of miles away in war-ravaged Syria, trying to determine if it is ripe enough to order the start of the harvest.

It's too dangerous for him to travel to the vineyards of Domaine de Bargylus, which is nestled in verdant hills where wine has been produced since ancient times. But despite the bloody conflict and the threat of Islamic extremists, he is determined to produce world-class wines, and to help preserve a Levantine cosmopolitanism imperiled by decades of war.

In Syria and Lebanon, boutique wineries mainly run by Christians have endured despite decades of unrest and the fact that Islam — the majority faith in the region — forbids both the production and consumption of alcohol. The challenges have mounted since the eruption of Syria's conflict in 2011 and the rise of the Islamic State extremist group and other jihadist organizations.

For families like the Saades, the production of wine is not only a business but an affirmation of their roots in a region increasingly hostile to Christians and other minorities. Their winery's name derives from the classical Greek for the Syrian mountains overlooking the Mediterranean, and the tradition of wine-making stretches back to ancient times, when it flowed at bacchanalian festivals that would horrify today's dour jihadists.

"We are passionate about this, and we aren't stopping. We will continue as much as we can," Saade said. "The challenge is not just to make wine, but to maintain a high quality wine."

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10/22/2014 | Last Updated: 4:30 PM