Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 11:45 pm
The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.
"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.
Phil Everly, who with his brother Don formed an influential harmony duo that touched the hearts and sparked the imaginations of rock 'n' roll singers for decades, including the Beatles and Bob Dylan, died Friday. He was 74.
Everly died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at a Burbank hospital, said his son Jason Everly.
Jay Z easily led Grammy Award nominations announced Friday with nine, but left-of-center rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar were among a group of new stars who took many of the major nominations.
Macklemore and Lewis' gay marriage anthem "Same Love" was among song of the year nominees and the Seattle rap crew joined Los Angeles rapper Lamar with seven nominations apiece, including best album and best new artist of the year. Pharrell Williams had four major nominations among his seven and Justin Timberlake also had seven.
An immense, powerful cyclone that lashed the Indian coast, forcing 500,000 people to evacuate and causing widespread damage, weakened Sunday after making landfall.
Five people died in the rains that fell ahead of the storm, most killed by falling branches, Indian media reported, but the situation on the ground in many areas was still unclear after Cyclone Phailin slammed into the coast Saturday evening in Orissa state, where power and communications lines were down along much of the coastline.
Strong winds and heavy rains pounded India's eastern coastline Saturday, as hundreds of thousands of people took shelter from a massive, powerful cyclone that was expected to reach land in a few hours.
The skies were dark — almost black — at midmorning in Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa state and about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the coast. Roaring winds made palm trees sway wildly, and to the south, seawater was pushing inland.
Tropical Storm Karen continued losing strength Saturday as it headed toward the central Gulf Coast, but forecasters were still expecting it to bring significant rain and potential flooding to low-lying areas.
The National Hurricane Center reported at 2 a.m. Saturday that Karen's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 40 mph, making it a weak tropical storm. The storm was moving west-northwest at 10 mph to 15 mph.
Forecasters expect the center of Karen to be near the southeast Louisiana coast on Saturday night, when they say there is a slight chance of strengthening.