Combined briefs

*****

AP brief:

MUST RUN in AJC and Ohio

AVOID in AAS

CHECK the pages in PBP (it’s budgeted as a filler story)

Walters brief:

AVOID in AJC, PBP

Should run in Ohio

Brothers brief:

MUST RUN in AJC

AVOID in PBP

CHECK pages in AAS (budgeted as a filler)

Thank you for your patience.

*****

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Government obtains AP’s phone records

The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news. The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012, including general office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.

NEW YORK

Walters announces her retirement on ‘The View’

Barbara Walters said Monday that retirement from her epochal television career is near, but it’s not happening right away. Walters, who began in television news as a “Today” girl in 1961, became the medium’s best-known interviewer and invented a daytime talk show at an age many people would be going fishing, said on “The View” that she will step away from the camera next summer. Before that, her retirement tour will include TV specials looking back at her work. The announcement brought the 83-year-old Walters to tears.

CALIFORNIA

Popular psychologist Joyce Brothers dead

Joyce Brothers, the pop psychologist who pioneered the television advice show in the 1950s and enjoyed a long and prolific career as a syndicated columnist, author, and television and film personality, has died. She was 85. Brothers died Monday in New York City, according to her longtime publicist, Sanford Brokaw. The cause of death was not immediately made public. Brothers first gained fame on a game show and went on to publish 15 books and make cameo appearances on popular TV shows. She visited Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show” nearly 100 times.

NEVADA

OJ returns to court in bid for new trial

A weary-looking O.J. Simpson weighed down by shackles and four years in prison shuffled into a Las Vegas courtroom Monday hoping to eventually walk out a free man. The once glamorous sports hero, in court to ask for a new trial in the armed robbery-kidnapping case that sent him to prison in 2008 for up to 33 years, was subdued as the hearing began. Grayer and heavier, he flashed a smile and tried to mouth a greeting to people he recognized before being stopped by a bailiff who had cautioned against any communications. Simpson’s lawyers are trying to make the case that he had poor legal representation in the trial involving the gunpoint robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.

PAKISTAN

Sharif sends mixed message to U.S.

Pakistan’s presumptive prime minister said Monday that he wants good relations with the United States but criticized American drone strikes on militants as a violation of the country’s sovereignty — perhaps hinting the government’s grudging compliance may change. A devout Muslim and a populist, Nawaz Sharif is expected to supplant President Asif Ali Zardari as the international face of Pakistan after his party’s resounding victory in Saturday’s election. “I think we have good relations with the United States of America. We certainly have to listen to each other,” Sharif said. “If there are any concerns on any side, I think we should address those concerns.”

MEXICO

Two arrested in Malcolm X grandson’s death

Two waiters at a Mexico City bar will face homicide and robbery charges in the beating death of Malcolm X’s grandson Malcolm Shabazz, authorities said Monday. Prosecutors said police were seeking at least two other people believed to have participated in the attack on Shabazz, who was beaten early Thursday in a dispute over a $1,200 bar bill. Prosecutor Rodolfo Fernando Rios said bar employees David Hernandez Cruz and Manuel Alejandro Perez de Jesus would be charged with aggravated robbery and homicide. Rios said there was no indication of a racial motivation in the attack on Shabazz, 28.

BELIZE

Builders bulldoze big Mayan pyramid

A construction company has essentially destroyed one of Belize’s largest Mayan pyramids with backhoes and bulldozers to extract crushed rock for a road-building project, authorities announced Monday. The head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, Jaime Awe, said the destruction at the Nohmul complex in northern Belize was detected late last week. The ceremonial center dates back at least 2,300 years and is the most important site in northern Belize, near the border with Mexico. “It’s a feeling of incredible disbelief because of the ignorance and the insensitivity. … They were using this for road fill,” Awe said.

CHINA

Party warns against ‘dangerous’ Western values

The Chinese Communist Party has warned officials to combat “dangerous” Western values and other perceived ideological threats, according to accounts Monday of a directive that analysts said reflects the top leader Xi Jinping’s determination to preserve top-down political control even as he considers economic liberalization. The warning emerged when Chinese news websites carried accounts from local party committees describing a directive from the Central Committee General Office. Officials must “cut off at the source channels for disseminating erroneous currents of thought,” according to a summary of a party meeting last week in Chongqing.

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