Nation & world briefs, Aug. 17
Hezbollah chief blames Sunnis for car bomb
Hezbollah’s leader blamed Sunni extremists yesterday for a car bombing that killed 22 people in a Shiite neighborhood south of Beirut, heightening fears that Lebanon will be dragged further into sectarian fallout from the war in neighboring Syria.
In a defiant speech to his supporters, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said he was prepared to double the number of his fighters in Syria if Thursday’s bombing turned out to be retaliation for Hezbollah’s intervention against Syrian rebels.
Nasrallah said preliminary investigations showed Takfiri groups – a term for Sunni radicals – were likely behind the bombing in a predominantly Shiite suburb of Beirut, as well as other recent attacks.
School year begins in tornado-ravaged town
After an anguish-filled summer, students returned to classes yesterday at two elementary schools in Moore, Okla., destroyed last spring by a deadly tornado that ripped a 17-mile path of devastation through the Oklahoma City suburb.
The children were eager to reunite with classmates, but many were still haunted by fears of the weather and memories of young friends lost to the monstrous EF5 twister that killed 24 people.
Zack Lewis, who narrowly escaped the storm that took the lives of seven schoolmates, seemed to express the anxiety on everyone’s mind when he asked his parents a simple, plaintive question: Who will come get him if another tornado approaches?
“He’s a little anxious. He didn’t want to eat,” Julie Lewis said, wiping tears from her cheeks after escorting her son to his first day of fourth grade.
16-year-old welcomed home after abduction
A 16-year-old girl got a warm welcome home reception five days after FBI agents killed a longtime family friend suspected of torturing and killing her mother and brother and escaping with her to the Idaho wilderness.
Hannah Anderson was mobbed by reporters as she entered and left a restaurant that hosted an all-day fundraiser. News crews were told to wait outside while Hannah and her father stayed for hours. She did not make a statement.
Brett Anderson said his daughter was taking things one day at a time. He said he spoke with the horseback riders who saw the pair in the Idaho wilderness and alerted authorities, thanking them for saving Hannah’s life.
The Associated Press