Last updated: April 18. 2013 11:46PM - 423 Views

Storms spawn sinking feelingPolice officer Shannon Vandenheuvel helps Barbara Jones from her partially submerged car Thursday in Grand Rapids, Mich. Middle America was getting everything nature has to throw at it on Thursday, from snow in the north to tornadoes in the Plains, and with torrential rains causing floods and transportation chaos in several states.
Storms spawn sinking feelingPolice officer Shannon Vandenheuvel helps Barbara Jones from her partially submerged car Thursday in Grand Rapids, Mich. Middle America was getting everything nature has to throw at it on Thursday, from snow in the north to tornadoes in the Plains, and with torrential rains causing floods and transportation chaos in several states.
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ISLAMABAD


Musharraf flees court


Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf fled court in a speeding vehicle Thursday to avoid arrest after his bail was revoked in a case involving his decision to fire senior judges while in power more than five years ago.


The harried escape broadcast live on Pakistani TV marked a new low in Musharraf’s troubled return from exile last month to seek a political comeback in the May 11 parliamentary election.


Musharraf made his exit with the help of bodyguards, who pushed him past policemen and paramilitary soldiers and helped him into a black SUV that sped off with a member of his security team hanging on the side of the vehicle.


The car carrying the former military strongman dashed to his luxury farmhouse. None of the security forces protecting the compound made any move to arrest Musharraf, likely because they were awaiting orders from senior officials trying to figure out how to deal with a delicate situation. Musharraf’s legal team said they would appeal the arrest warrant in the Supreme Court.


PHILADELPHIA


Clinic testimony graphic


A former abortion clinic worker capped the five-week murder trial of her former boss with powerful testimony that she saw more than 10 babies breathe before they were killed.


“I thought they were breathing,” Kareema Cross testified Thursday, explaining that she saw their chests go up and down. “He would say they’re not really breathing.”


Cross, 28, is the final prosecution witness in the capital murder case against Dr. Kermit Gosnell. He is charged in the deaths of a patient and seven babies allegedly born alive.


Cross, who worked at the clinic from 2005 to 2009, was so disturbed by its operation that she took photos and called authorities, although she gave a relative’s name.


GRAND ISLAND, Neb.


XL oil pipeline opposed


Opponents of a massive Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline converged on a snowy Nebraska town Thursday for a critical hearing on the project, but they already were preparing possible acts of civil disobedience should President Barack Obama ultimately approve it.


Despite a spring storm that brought sleet and snow to Nebraska, the U.S. State Department hearing in Grand Island drew more than 1,000 people from the around state, as well as activists from outside the region who consider Nebraska a key battleground over the Keystone XL pipeline.


As they waited in line for an opportunity to speak, many activists outlined plans for civil disobedience and state-court lawsuits designed to keep the project from moving forward. Project foes have promised to block workers, lie down in front of equipment and do whatever it takes to stop the pipeline from connecting Canada’s tar sands region to Texas refineries.


BEIRUT


Syrian rebels capture base


Syrian rebels captured a military base in the strategic Homs province on Thursday as opposition fighters fought to expand territory under their control near the Lebanese border, activists said.


The central region is important to President Bashar Assad because it links Damascus, his seat of power, with one of his main allies, the militant Hezbollah group in neighboring Lebanon.


The latest rebel gains came during a government counteroffensive that has scored successes in the central and northern regions in recent days. The alternate gains highlight the shifting nature of the conflict in Syria, where victories in one area are often followed by reverses in another.


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