Sword-wielding robber killed at Vegas Dairy Queen

Posted Aug. 19, 2012, at 9:17 p.m.

LAS VEGAS — Police say a clerk at a Las Vegas Dairy Queen shot and killed a sword-wielding, masked man who tried to rob the restaurant.

Detectives say the suspect was shot twice and was lying just outside the doors when officers arrived around 12:15 p.m. Sunday.

The suspect died at a hospital.

Metro Police Lt. Les Lane tells the Las Vegas-Journal the sword was at least three-feet long.

Authorities say the shooting appears to have been in self-defense but that detectives were investigating whether the gun used was properly registered.

They say only two employees and no customers were present at the time of the shooting.

Arctic sea ice heads for record low

LONDON — The Arctic Ocean’s ice cover is shrinking at a record pace this year after higher-than-average temperatures hastened the annual break-up of the sea ice.

The area of ocean covered by ice shrank to 4.93 million square kilometers (1.9 million square miles) on average for the five days through Wednesday, according to the latest data from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. With as many as five weeks of the annual melt season left, it’s already the fourth-lowest annual minimum ever measured.

“Unless the melting really, really slows down, there’s a very real chance of a record,” Walt Meier, a research scientist at the NSIDC, said in a telephone interview. “In the last week or so it’s dropped precipitously. There’s definitely a chance it’ll dip below 4 million square kilometers.”

The shrinkage is the most visible sign of global warming according to Meier, and raises the prospect that the Arctic Ocean may become largely ice free in the summer. That opens up new shipping routes and is sparking a race for resources that’s led to Cairn Energy Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc exploring waters off Greenland for oil and gas.

Assange asks US to stop ‘witch hunt against Wikileaks’

LONDON — In his first public appearance since seeking diplomatic refuge, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Sunday called on the U.S. to end its “war on whistle-blowers” and to release Bradley Manning, the American soldier accused of passing thousands of classified documents to Assange’s secret-spilling website.

Assange issued his demands from the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy here in London, where he has been holed up since June 19 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault.

Assange, 41, urged the U.S. to “renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks,” which angered Washington by releasing a cache of State Department and Pentagon files last year. He described Manning as “a hero” and “one of the world’s foremost political prisoners.”

Assange, who is Australian, thanked Ecuador for granting him political asylum Thursday. He called it a courageous act by President Rafael Correa, who has been criticized for cracking down on journalists at home.

Man in Afghan uniform kills NATO service member

KABUL, Afghanistan — A man in an Afghan police uniform shot and killed a U.S. service member on Sunday, a U.S. Defense Department official said, raising the death toll to 10 in such attacks in the space of just two weeks.

The surge in violence by Afghan allies against their international partners has raised doubts about the ability of the two forces to work together at a key transition time.

On the other side, a coalition airstrike killed dozens of Taliban militants, including one of their leaders, officials said.

Few details were immediately available about Sunday’s killing of a coalition member in southern Afghanistan. Once an anomaly, such attacks have been climbing in recent months. There have been 30 such turncoat attacks so far this year, up from 11 in 2011.

Also, three New Zealand soldiers were killed Sunday by a roadside bomb in central Afghanistan.

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