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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  • Filipino, Vietnamese troops play games on Spratly island

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Filipino and Vietnamese troops played football and tug-of-war Wednesday to foster camaraderie at a Philippine-held island in the South China Sea, where territorial rifts have escalated following China's island-building activities. …

  • Philippine, Vietnamese troops play soccer and sing on disputed island

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - Vietnamese and Philippine troops played soccer and sang karaoke on a South China Sea island on Wednesday in a sign of the growing security ties between the two Southeast Asian nations most at odds with Beijing over the contested waterway. Cooperation has blossomed between Hanoi and Manila since they shelved decades of enmity over their competing claims in the Spratly archipelago to try to counter China, whose creation of artificial islands in the region …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Fall on renewed U.S. rate hike concerns

    BANGKOK, May 27 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets tumbled on Wednesday as investors resumed selling on expectations of an interest rate hike in the U.S. sooner rather than later, derailing Philippine ... …

  • Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute
    Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute

    As US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Regan began its journey to Asian waters amid China’s power flexing in the region, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin would try to hear directly from his US counterpart how far America is willing to go to aid its long-time ally against China’s threatening moves in disputed waters. Gazmin flew to Hawaii last Monday to attend ceremonies for the turnover of leadership of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) from Admiral Samuel Locklear to Admiral Harry …

  • Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level
    Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level

    The water level of Angat Dam in Bulacan yesterday fell below the 180-meter critical level for irrigation, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said. PAGASA said the dam’s water level further dropped to 179.98 meters as of 6 a.m. yesterday from 180.2 meters on Monday. The priority is the domestic consumption in Metro Manila, according to PAGASA. …

  • PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid
    PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid

    The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) reported yesterday that an estimated P3-billion charity fund has been allocated by Congress to the agency to provide medical assistance to indigent patients and also give funds to other government offices including the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Crop Insurance Program. …

  • Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila
    Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a demolition crew begins to tear down a squatters' community at suburban Caloocan city, north of Manila, Philippines. Population growth and the lack of economic opportunities in rural areas have driven millions of Filipinos into the squatters' colonies that dot the sprawling metropolitan area in and around Manila. Most of the land they occupy is privately owned, and clearing the dwellings often results in violence. The landowner had offered about $1,344 in …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Mostly down; Thai shares near 2-week low

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most sharemarkets in Southeast Asia fell on Tuesday with the Thai index ending at a near two-week low and the Philippines touching a near four-week low after trade data while ... …

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