Costas recalls Israel athletes killed in '72
NEW YORK – NBC's Bob Costas noted a controversy over honoring Israeli athletes killed at the Olympics 40 years ago during his coverage of the opening ceremony but stopped short of offering his own protest.
The International Olympic Committee had declined a request to hold a moment of silence during the ceremony to acknowledge the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian gunmen in Munich in 1972. Costas called that decision insensitive during an interview this month and indicated he would call for his own moment of silence when Israeli athletes marched into the Olympic Stadium on Friday.
Costas' comments took his bosses by surprise. Jim Bell, executive producer of the NBC's telecast, said this week that Costas hadn't brought it up with him before the interview.
Arms treaty must wait after UN accord fails
UNITED NATIONS – A U.N. treaty to regulate the multibillion-dollar global arms trade will have to wait after member states failed to an reach agreement, and some diplomats and supporters blamed the United States for the unraveling of the monthlong negotiating conference.
Hopes had been raised that agreement could be reached on a revised treaty text that closed some major loopholes by Friday's deadline for action. But the U.S. announced Friday that it needed more time to consider the proposed treaty — and Russia and China then asked for more time.
Seattle, fed. officials agree to police reforms
SEATTLE – Seattle officials agreed to an independent monitor and court oversight of the city's police department as part of an agreement announced Friday with the Justice Department following a damning report that found officers routinely used excessive force.
City and federal negotiators were involved in tense talks over the scope of a deal for months, and Justice Department lawyers had threatened to sue the city if a deal was not reached by July 31.
The Justice Department began its civil rights investigation early last year after the fatal shooting of a homeless Native American woodcarver and other incidents involving force used against minority suspects. In December, a DOJ report found officers were too quick to reach for weapons, such as flashlights and batons, even when arresting people for minor offenses.
The deal also calls for a special commission, appointed by the mayor, to concentrate on use of force issues.
Activists: Syrian helicopters strike city
BEIRUT – Syrian forces pounded the country's largest city, Aleppo, with military helicopters Saturday to flush out rebel forces in one of the most important battles of the 17-month-old uprising, activists said.
International concern has been mounting over what activists said could be a looming massacre as Syrian troops bombarded the city for the past week, unleashing artillery and strafing it with aircraft. With a population of about 3 million, Aleppo is Syria's commercial hub, a key pillar of support for President Bashar Assad's regime.
Both Koreas mark armistice date
PANMUNJOM, Korea – Elderly North Korean veterans pledged loyalty to their 20-something leader in Pyongyang during Korean War armistice commemorations Friday that were being closely watched after Kim Jong Un reshuffled the military and revealed he's married.
Over the last two weeks, Kim has taken on the title of marshal and replaced his army chief – once a key mentor.
North Korea also revealed Wednesday that the stylish woman at Kim's side in some public appearances this month is his wife. Images of her walking with Kim were choreographed to show the leader as modern, mature and down-to-earth, analysts said, and contrast sharply to his intensely private father, Kim Jong Il, who ruled for 17 years before his death in December.
While South Korea and the U.S.-led U.N. forces that fought in the Korean War call Friday the 59th anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-1953 conflict, North Korea calls it a celebration of “victory in the Fatherland Liberation War” and veterans streamed into the capital.