SPOTLIGHT BRIEFS

Effort to recall Wis. governor kicks off Tuesday

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to the media at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis., recently.
Andy Manis | AP
Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to the media at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis., recently.
Posted Nov. 13, 2011, at 9:45 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. — The effort to recall Wisconsin’s controversial Republican governor is expected to begin Tuesday, although his opponents have yet to come up with a candidate to replace him.

The recall effort comes in response to a Wisconsin law passed earlier this year that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers. Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal sparked weeks of protests that drew tens of thousands of people to the state Capitol, and two Republican state senators who supported it were ousted in recalls last summer. Seven other lawmakers targeted for the ir support or opposition of the law survived recall elections.

Walker, who was elected last fall, isn’t eligible for recall until he has been in office for one year. Democrats have been working closely with union leaders on the effort, and they plan to kick off their petition drive Tuesday. They must gather more than 540,000 signatures by Jan. 17 to force a recall election.

The governor has already started raising money to fight the recall thanks to a donor who filed paperwork on Nov. 4 for a fake recall effort. The maneuver allowed Walker to begin accepting unlimited donations.

522 million people could have diabetes by 2030

GENEVA — The International Diabetes Federation predicts that one in 10 adults could have diabetes by 2030, according to their latest statistics.

In a report issued on Monday, the advocacy group estimated that 522 million people would have diabetes in the next two decades, based on things like aging and demographic changes.

The figure includes both types of diabetes. The group expects the number of cases to jump by 90 percent even in Africa, where infectious diseases have previously been the top killer. Without including the impact of increasing obesity, the International Diabetes Federation said its figures were conservative.

According to the World Health Organization, there are about 346 million people worldwide with diabetes, with more than 80 percent of deaths occurring in developing countries. The agency projects diabetes deaths will double by 2030 and said the International Diabetes Federation’s prediction was possible.

Embassies in Damascus attached after Arab League vote to suspend Syria

BEIRUT — The Arab League’s vote to suspend Syria continued to send shock waves through the region Sunday, as Turkey decided to evacuate diplomatic families from Damascus, Saudi Arabia and Qatar condemned attacks on their embassies, and the official Syrian media claimed that millions of people demonstrated in support of President Bashar Assad.

Pro-Assad crowds attacked the Turkish embassy in Damascus after Saturday’s Arab League decision. The protesters chanted anti-Turkey slogans, hurled rocks and tried to force their way into the compound, Turkey’s semi-official Anatolian news agency reported. Also attacked were Turkish missions in the Syrian cities of Aleppo and Latakia.

The attacks prompted Ankara to evacuate the families of embassy personnel in Damascus, Turkish media reported.

Turkey, which has a border of more than 500 miles with Syria, is not an Arabic nation, but supports protesters in Syria who call for Assad’s ouster. Turkey also has provided refuge for Syrian dissidents, including army defectors operating along the border.

The Saudi Arabian and Qatari embassies in Damascus also were attacked, the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional union, said in a written statement.

Rival Libyan militias clash near military base

WARSHEFANA, Libya — Rival militias clashed on the outskirts of the Libyan capital for a fourth day Sunday in the deadliest and most sustained violence since the capture and killing of Moammar Gadhafi last month.

Fighters attacked each other with rockets, mortars and machine guns, witnesses said. The fighting raised new concerns about the ability of Libya’s transitional government to disarm thousands of gunmen and restore order after an eight-month civil war.

At one point, the two sides were battling for control of a major military camp of the ousted regime, said a fighter from Tripoli. The camp, once a base of elite forces commanded by one of Gadhafi’s sons, Khamis, is located on a highway midway between Tripoli and Zawiya.

Russian craft set to blast off on delayed mission

MOSCOW — A Russian cosmonaut says the three-man U.S.-Russian crew are thinking positively as they prepare to blast off on a delayed mission to the International Space Station.

The mission had been delayed for two months after the failed launch of an unmanned Progress cargo ship in August. The failure was blamed on a manufacturing flaw and cast doubt on the future of manned flights because the upper stage of the Soyuz booster rocket that carries the cargo ships into orbit is similar to that used to launch astronauts.

The way was cleared after another Progress lifted off successfully on Oct. 30.

Their Soyuz craft was set to lift off early Monday and dock at the International Space Station two days later.

They are to arrive just in time to keep the orbiting station manned. The three crew members there are returning to Earth on Nov. 21 and if the new crew had not launched in time the station would have had to have been abandoned temporarily for the first time in nearly 11 years.

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