AP Top News at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Angry mobs attacked Western embassies and U.N. offices in Tripoli Sunday after NATO bombed Moammar Gadhafi's family compound in an attack officials said killed the leader's second-youngest son and three grandchildren. Russia accused the Western alliance of exceeding its U.N. mandate of protecting Libyan civilians with the strike. The vandalized embassies were empty and nobody was reported injured, but the attacks heightened tensions between the Libyan regime and Western powers, prompting the United Nations to pull its international staff out of the capital.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Macolee Muhammed accepted the prayer of a relief worker who stopped by what was left of her Birmingham home. It didn't matter that she was Muslim and he was a Southern Baptist. "If you came here to help, the only person who sent you was God," she said.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Some 1.5 million pilgrims flooded Rome Sunday to watch Pope John Paul II move a step closer to sainthood in one of the largest Vatican Masses in history, an outpouring of adoration for a beloved and historic figure after years marred by church scandal. The turnout for the beatification far exceeded even the most optimistic expectation of 1 million people, the number Rome city officials predicted. For Catholics filling St. Peter's Square and its surrounding streets, and for those watching around the world the beatification was a welcome hearkening back to the days when the pope was almost universally beloved.

CAIRO, Ill. (AP) — A legal fight over whether the Army Corps of Engineers should blast open a levee to relieve the rain-swollen Mississippi River went to the nation's highest court Sunday as the Illinois town the breach is meant to help during record flooding was cleared out. As Missouri asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the corps' plan, struggling Cairo near the confluence of Ohio and Mississippi rivers resembled a ghost town as Illinois National Guard troops went door to door with law enforcers to enforce the mayor's "mandatory" evacuation order the previous night.

BRUSSELS (AP) — After two airstrikes in a week on targets close to Moammar Gadhafi, NATO was on the defensive Sunday over accusations that it was overstepping its mandate by trying to kill the Libyan leader. Russia said Sunday that the bombing of the home of Gadhafi's youngest son raised "serious doubts" about NATO's assertions that it is not targeting the Libyan strongman or his relatives.

TOKYO (AP) — Nearly 10 years after Japan's top utility first assured the government that its Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was safe from any tsunami, regulators were just getting around to checking out the claim. The move was too little, too late. But even if there had been scrutiny years before the fury of an earthquake-powered wave swamped the six atomic reactors at Fukushima on March 11, it is almost certain the government wouldn't have challenged the unrealistictype:italic; analysis that Tokyo Electric Power Co. had submitted in 2001. An Associated Press review of Japan's approach to nuclear plant safety shows how closely intertwined relationships between government regulators and industry have allowed a culture of complacency to prevail.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's space shuttles are dragging their tails toward retirement. The high-profile voyage of Endeavour — the next-to-last space shuttle flight led by the husband of wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — is off until at least next Sunday because of a technical problem. The latest culprit, believed to be a bad fuse box, illustrates just how complex these space machines are and why NASA's goodbye to the 30-year shuttle program may be a long one.

The images are striking: Overweight boys and girls staring somberly from billboards and online videos, real-life embodiments of the blunt messages alongside. "Chubby kids may not outlive their parents," for example. Or: "Big bones didn't make me this way. Big meals did."

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of workers and immigrant laborers took to the streets on Sunday to celebrate May Day, demanding rights for those "who toil in the sun" while others pocket the profits. The message in Manhattan — delivered with bullhorns and drums — was echoed by millions of workers around the world, from Havana to Berlin and Istanbul.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Fast Five" has left the competition in the dust with an $83.6 million debut to grab the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office, according to studio estimates Sunday. Universal Pictures' fifth movie in "The Fast and the Furious" franchise was by far this year's biggest opening. Its take was more than double the previous best of $39.2 million for "Rio," the 20th Century Fox animated hit that slipped to No. 2 with $14.4 million.

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  • ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February
    ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February

    Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sustains its strong sales in its February performance. Toyota’s strong performance last month was due to the  high demand of the Vios, with sales of 2,012 units and of course the rest of Toyota’s line up such as the Fortuner, Innova, Wigo, Hilux, Avanza and Corolla Altis. Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, recorded 60 units last month. …

  • No apology, but Noy seeks understanding
    No apology, but Noy seeks understanding

    There was no apology, but President Aquino yesterday expressed regret, took “full responsibility” and appealed to the nation for “deepest understanding” for the Jan. 25 Mamasapano raid in which dozens died, including 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos. “To every Filipino who has felt failure or has been hurt because of the events related to this operation, it is with abiding humility that I ask for your deepest understanding,” Aquino said in a speech before the 246 new graduates of …

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    MVP on endorsement: Thanks, I’m no politician

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    No Lenten break in operations vs lawless groups – AFP

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    Probe harassment vs human rights lawyer, CA orders AFP

    The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to investigate a human rights lawyer’s claim of harassment, including surveillance, by several military officers. In a 22-page decision, the former Special Sixth Division of the appellate court granted the petition for writ of amparo and habeas data of Maria Catherine Dannug-Salucon. The CA ordered the AFP to identify the officers behind the surveillance and file charges against them. The CA ruling said …

  • Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP
    Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP

    President Aquino vowed yesterday to dismantle the culture of factionalism or the bata-bata system within the Philippine National Police as he continued the search for the next PNP chief. Speaking at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) commencement exercises here, the President said the country needed solidarity among leaders and members of the police force so that the policemen would be effective protectors of Filipinos. “Our challenge to the next chief of our national police force: …

  • Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl
    Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl

    Retire and invest in real estate in the Philippines, especially now that the country has made it to the top 10 retirement destinations in the world. This is the message being spread by the Philippine embassy in Washington, with Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. leading the refrain in meetings with various Filipino-American communities in the US. In his talks, Cuisia said that an affordable cost of living as well as warm climate and people are just some of the things that make the Philippines a top …

  • PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson
    PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson

    The stigma of being a namesake of the principal suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre did not prevent Cadet First Class Andal Ampatuan III from entering and graduating from the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA). Ampatuan III, now with a rank of police inspector, is a grandson of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. The younger Ampatuan was among the 246 graduates of the PNPA “Lakandula” Class of 2015. Ampatuan III’s mother is Bai Rebecca Ampatuan, a daughter of the …

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