News Briefs 9/9/2019

Coast Guard crews and port partners respond to an overturned cargo vessel with a fire on board on Sunday in St. Simons Sound, Georgia.

Search on for 4 missing after cargo ship overturned

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. | Rescuers scoured the Georgia coast on Sunday for four missing crew members of a cargo ship that overturned and caught fire, but the efforts ran into trouble amid the flames and instability of the ship, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Golden Ray cargo ship’s problems began early Sunday morning when it listed heavily and rolled on its side in St. Simons Sound near the Port of Brunswick with 23 crew members and one pilot on board.

Coast Guard Capt. John Reed said 20 were safely evacuated from the ship before rescuers determined the situation, as smoke and flames appeared, was too risky to go further inside the vessel. The vessel was just offshore in view of beachgoers on the shoreline.

Reed said rescue teams Sunday were trying to stabilize the 656-foot vehicle carrier to continue their search for the missing crew, but they have been unable to determine if the fire has been extinguished. The Coast Guard tweeted later Sunday afternoon that one of its groups, called the Atlantic Strike Team, was preparing to depart to the site to assess what it called a complex situation.

“Once salvage professionals have determined the vessel to be stable, we will identify the best option to continue our rescue efforts for the four crew remembers who remain on board,” Reed said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.

Moscow votes in

protest-shadowed election

MOSCOW | Residents of Russia’s capital voted Sunday in a city council election shadowed by a wave of protests that saw the biggest demonstrator turnout in seven years and a notably violent police response.

City council elections are normally low-profile, but the vote grabbed wide attention after several opposition and independent candidates were denied places on the ballot.

The elections commission said there were signature irregularities in the candidates’ nominating petitions. But the candidates and their supporters rejected that claim.

The ensuing protests tapped widespread dissatisfaction with Russia’s tightly controlled political process, in which opposition figures are marginalized or ignored.

‘The whole system is rotten. We want to tear it down’: Hong Kong protests blaze

HONG KONG | It took Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam 13 weeks to withdraw the extradition bill that sparked the city’s summer of unrest. But her announcement failed to stop the protests for even one night.

Demonstrators have continued to rally, march, clash with police and, on Sunday, wave American flags while singing the U.S. national anthem in an appeal for help from Washington.

“Resist Beijing, liberate Hong Kong! Sanction China, now or never! Pray for U.S., pray for us!” chanted tens of thousands of protesters who marched to the U.S. Consulate on Sunday afternoon in a call for Congress to pass legislation that would strengthen U.S. support for democratization and human rights in Hong Kong.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday that the people of Hong Kong deserved “justice, real autonomy and freedom of fear,” and that Congress looked forward to “swiftly advancing” legislation.

Trial to begin in 9-year-old’s

killing that shocked a city

CHICAGO | It stands as one of Chicago’s most horrific crimes, in large part because of small details that are impossible to shake: The promise of a juice box that lured the 9-year-old boy off a playground and into an alley, and the basketball he dropped when he was shot and killed there.

Jury selection will begin Friday in the murder trial of two of three men charged with carrying out the November 2015 attack on Tyshawn Lee, a fourth-grader who prosecutors say was killed by gang members to send a message to his father, a purported member of a rival gang.

“It was one of the most evil things I’ve ever seen,” said the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Roman Catholic priest who presided over the boy’s funeral Mass. “I was over there and to see a young boy laying in an alley next to a garbage can with his basketball a few feet away, this assassination of a 9-year-old child took violence in Chicago to a new low.”

— From AP reports

Dwright Boone-Doty, who will represent himself, and Corey Morgan will be tried together but before separate juries, each of which will only consider the evidence as it pertains to one of the defendants. The third man accused in the attack, the alleged getaway driver Kevin Edwards, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence.

The story that prosecutors will tell at the trial is at once unimaginable and all too familiar in pockets of Chicago that have been plagued by gang warfare for years: The shooting was the result of a feud between the defendants’ Bang Bang Gang/Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones and the Killa Ward faction of the Black Gangster Disciples, which the slain boy’s father, Pierre Stokes, allegedly belonged to.