Monday, August 17, 2009

Michael Jackson to be buried on birthday, says father

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Michael Jackson's body will be laid to rest on August 29, the day the King of Pop would have turned 51, his father told AFP.

Joe Jackson, 80, said the birthday burial at Los Angeles' Forest Lawn Cemetery would be a private event, although he could not say which family members would be present.

The singing star's interment is to be held more than two months after his June 25 death from heart failure.

Authorities are investigating whether prescription drugs played a role in death the death of Jackson, 50, and have focused on the role played by his personal physician Conrad Murray.

Murray was present at the time Jackson died and reportedly has admitted prescribing powerful anesthetics to his world-famous client.

Joe Jackson, who spoke to AFP in Las Vegas, said he plans to return to the city immediately after the burial service to attend a charity fundraiser in the famed Palms Casino Resort.

The event, "Las Vegas Celebrates The Music of Michael Jackson," is to showcase Las Vegas Strip entertainers singing hits made famous by the pop icon.

Later that day, the Jackson family patriarch is to receive a celebrity star in his late son's honor from the Brenden Theatres, a cinema at the Palms frequented by Jackson and his children.

The theater also has planned a charity screening of the 1988 film "Moonwalker," a feature film of Jackson concert footage and music video clips, with proceeds going to public school music education programs in Las Vegas.

Mike Huckabee bashes America on foreign soil

Glenn Greenwald

Mike Huckabee this week traveled to a foreign country and, speaking on foreign soil, is now bashing America in front of a foreign audience:

Former Arkansas governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee says the US has taken too harsh a stance against Israel on the issue of settlements.

Huckabee said Monday the US should not "be telling Jewish people in Israel where they should and should not live."

Huckabee made the comment Monday while visiting Jewish enclaves in east Jerusalem. Affiliated with the conservative wing of the Republican Party, Huckabee has been touted as a possible candidate in 2012.

According to Haaretz, Huckabee is joined on this trip by "prominent Jewish and Republican activists from the United States" and "is also planning to visit the Jewish section of Hebron, Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, and Ma'aleh Adumim, the largest settlement in the West Bank." One of Huckabee's traveling companions, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, says the purpose of the foreign trip is "to shine the spotlight on Obama's policy in Jerusalem, which has just been a horror."


Will there be an outcry from any precincts over Huckabee's conduct? Highly doubtful. Rules governing what one can and cannot do with regard to "foreign countries" tend to be waived very quickly when it comes to Israel -- and America's Right. Indeed, Israel-centric former Bush officials such as Elliot Abrams have been continuously attempting to undercut U.S. policy towards the Middle East, publicly justifying Israeli anger towards Obama and explicitly siding with Israel over their own country in a dispute over whether Israel has the "right" to expand West Bank settlements (apparently, Israel possesses this "right" because Elliot Abrams secretly told Israelis that it was OK to take more Palestinian land if they wanted to).

What has been most bizarre about the increased tensions and even hostilities between the U.S. and Israel is that it arises out of the most minimal shift in American policy: merely demanding that Israel comply with a small subset of what virtually the entire world, all U.S. past administrations, and U.N. resolutions all agree are its obligations. And the impetus for the Obama administration's focus on these demands is clear and obvious: Israel's continued settlement growth in land that is not theirs harms U.S. interests in multiple, substantial ways, even as the U.S. pours enormous resources into aiding Israel. Yet large swaths of the American Right side with that foreign country over their own, and in Huckabee's case, even travel to that foreign country in order to oppose American policy.

When "liberals" like Al Gore criticize U.S. foreign policy in Muslim countries, that is an act of virtual treason that spawns intense controversy. When leading members of the American Right do the same in and on behalf of Israel, the silence is deafening. Within that disparity lies many of the explanations for why America's foreign policy in the Middle East has wrought so much destruction......

Marion Barry and his 9 Lives on HBO

I watched the HBO program on the 9 lives of Marion Barry. As the HBO promo states, "To many, Marion Barry is remembered as the philandering drug-addled mayor of the nation's capital. To others, Marion Barry is a folk hero. Hailed as a civil rights champion and defender of the poor, his soaring achievements, catastrophic failures and phoenix-like rebirths have made him a symbol of mythic indestructibility. Today, to the dismay of some and the delight of others, Barry is once again in the political limelight."

AAPP says: "It's a great program that gives a better insight into the man who was Mayor of Washington for 4 terms. It's a must see for all you political junkies."

Check it out and let Today's News NJ know what you think about the program.

Black politician in Germany suffers racial slurs

BERLIN -- A black politician in Germany vowed Thursday to continue campaigning for Chancellor Angela Merkel's party despite suffering racial abuse from far-right opponents.

Zeca Schall, a 45-year-old Angolan who settled in Germany in 1988 and is a German citizen, said he is receiving police protection after suffering threats from the anti-immigrant National Democratic Party, or NPD.

Election posters that picture Schall alongside other officials of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union in the eastern state of Thuringia have been defaced with the message, "Have a good trip home Zeca!"

The National Democrats also abused Schall with racial slurs in press statements.

"In all the years I have lived in Thuringia, I have never experienced anything like this," Schall told N24 television.

But he said Thuringia's governor, Dieter Althaus - one of those appearing with Schall in the posters for the Aug. 30 state elections - had offered assurances that "nothing would happen to me."

State prosecutors said they had launched a preliminary investigation into whether the National Democratic Party action constituted racial incitement. Merkel's party has filed a complaint against the party.

Schall, who trained as a metal worker and is a volunteer firefighter, has been a Christian Democrat member since he gained German citizenship in 2004.

Schall is not himself running for any office in the Thuringia state election. He did run for a seat on his local council earlier this year, but lost.

While only a fringe force at national level, with no seats in the federal parliament, the National Democratic Party has caused alarm in recent years by winning seats in the legislatures of two other eastern states.

In 2003, a three-year government effort to ban the party was thrown out of the constitutional court over the government's use of evidence from paid informants.

Proposals to attempt another ban have failed to garner support.

Justice Dept. Vows to Continue Probing 1964 KKK Killings of Civil Rights Workers

Good to know the statute of limitations does not apply to murder. Good to know the Justice Department hasn’t given up on this case. But it better step it up if it wants to eventually file charges before everyone dies off like Bill Wayne Posey.

By Jerry Mitchell

JACKSON, Miss. — Billy Wayne Posey, a key suspect in the Ku Klux Klan’s killings of three civil rights workers in 1964 in Mississippi, has died, but Justice Department officials say they’re continuing their investigation of the remaining suspects.

The 73-year-old Posey died Thursday of natural causes, according to friends. That leaves four living suspects in the June 21, 1964, killings of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in the Justice Department’s investigation.

Posey’s funeral is set for 3 p.m. today at Stephens Chapel in Philadelphia, with burial to follow in Henry’s Chapel Cemetery.

Alvin Sykes of Kansas City, architect of the bill authorizing the Justice Department’s new cold-case unit, emerged from a recent meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, saying Posey was their key suspect in the federal reinvestigation into the trio’s killings.

Fed Prosecutors Write Final Plea in Barry Bonds Perjury Case

Could this be strike three for prosecutors trying to put baseball slugger Barry Bonds behind bars for perjury? Frustrated federal prosecutors hope not.

By Bob Egelko
San Francisco Chronicle
SAN FRANCISCO – Federal prosecutors in the perjury case against former Giants star Barry Bonds have made their final written plea to a federal appeals court to allow potentially crucial evidence tying Bonds to drug tests that allegedly showed he used steroids.

In papers filed late Friday with the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, prosecutors challenged a judge’s decision to bar evidence of three private drug tests in 2000 and 2001, so-called doping calendars and other records because Bonds’ trainer, who allegedly arranged the tests and kept the records, has refused to testify about them.

Unless Greg Anderson agrees to testify that the test samples came from Bonds and the records referred to him, the documents are inadmissible hearsay, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled in February. That means prosecutors can’t use them to prove Bonds lied when he testified to a federal grand jury in 2003 that he had never knowingly used steroids.

(Practice) Drama Breaks Out in Washington Area for Agencies Like Secret Service, FBI and U.S. Marshals

The drama around around Washington, thanks goodness, in these instances is not real. It’s just practice for the different federal agencies. You can never be too ready. You can never practice too much.

By Laura Blumenfeld
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Five minutes before his job interview, John Fisher parks at Ace Fire Extinguisher Services in College Park, his window open and his stomach jumpy. He is nibbling on spoonfuls of cottage cheese when shouts erupt from the car next to his.

“Gun! He has a gun!” a man with a Secret Service earpiece yells, riffling through the glove compartment.

“It’s my brother’s gun!” a man in a black ski cap growls. “I didn’t know I had a gun!”

Fisher’s eyes pop. He slides down in his seat, cranking his window closed.

“Hands behind your back,” says the man from the Secret Service, ratcheting his handcuffs.

“Man,” says Fisher, wiping a spray of white flecks from his chin. He crosses the street to his job interview. “Did I pull up to the wrong spot.”

Unwittingly, Fisher had driven into the climactic scene in a secret world of shadow theatrics. The man in the ski cap is a stage actor; the agent with the earpiece is a Secret Service recruit.

Every day, as Washingtonians go about their overt lives, the FBI, CIA, Capitol Police, Secret Service and U.S. Marshals Service stage covert dramas in and around the capital where they train.

Michael Jackson body in freezer

Michael Jackson’s body has been moved to a “secret freezer”.

The singer’s mother Katherine has ordered his embalmed remains be taken somewhere she can “visit him privately”.

Before it was relocated, the body had been temporarily interred in the family crypt of Motown records founder Berry Gordy Jr. at Hollywood’s Forest Lawn cemetery.

Last week, cemetery staff moved the corpse to a “cold room” in the basement of the nearby Freedom Mausoleum.

Once the body was secure, the gold casket was encased in Perspex to protect it from frost.

Katherine has visited Michael’s body several times since it was moved, staying with her son until she is shaking with cold.

A source said: “She cries and says that she’s sorry and that she loves him.”

It is unclear when Michael’s body will be permanently laid to rest.

Katherine is said to be refusing to bury her son - who died on June 25 - because she is scared crazed fans will desecrate or steal his body.

A family friend said: “She just can’t bear to let Michael go. By keeping him in the freezer room Katherine feels like she can still talk to him and keep him close. The thought of burying him still fills her with dread.”

Meanwhile, prosecutors are reportedly “having a difficult time” building a manslaughter case against Michael’s personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray.

The star’s autopsy report allegedly reveals the singer was taking a number of “potent drugs” at the time of his death.

This means that even if Murray admitted to administering the powerful anaesthetic Propofol - which was initially believed to have killed Michael - he may not be found responsible for the star’s death if he could prove other doctors had prescribed other powerful drugs.

One Los Angeles deputy district attorney said: “You have to show that the doctor knew about all of these other doctors prescribing these other drugs. It’s a classic problem.”

Murray has yet to be charged with any crime, though his offices have been searched by police.

Supreme Court gives Troy Davis an Evidentiary Hearing

Breaking News. The Supreme Court has just called for an evidentiary hearing in the case of Troy Davis. This is a highly unusual deviation from legal business as usual. As I have explained elsewhere, American courts are remarkably adverse to re-opening cases once a jury has ruled, a defendant has been sentenced, and the appeals process has upheld the conviction. In Tulia, Texas, we didn’t get an evidentiary hearing until Bob Herbert of the New York Times had written six columns on the case, politicians like Hillary Clinton were appealing to the Department of Justice, and the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP and a legal dream team had entered the fight. In the Troy Davis case, it took the support of folks like Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Pope to shift the legal balances.

Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia’s reaction (see below) typifies the legal community’s default response to this sort of case.

Supreme Court Orders Hearing for Georgia Man

Published: August 17, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a new hearing for death row inmate Troy Davis, whose supporters say is innocent and should be spared from execution for killing a police officer 20 years ago.

Davis has spent 18 years on death row for the 1989 slaying of Savannah, Ga., police officer Mark MacPhail. Davis’ attorneys insist that he is innocent and deserves a new trial because several witnesses at his trial have recanted their testimony.

The high court ordered a federal judge in Georgia to determine whether there is evidence ”that could not have been obtained at the time of trial (that) clearly establishes petitioner’s innocence.”

Defense lawyers had appealed to the Supreme Court after a federal court denied a new trial request in April.

”The substantial risk of putting an innocent man to death clearly provides an adequate justification for holding an evidentiary hearing,” said Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the court. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer concurred with Stevens.

MacPhail was slain 20 years ago while working off-duty as a security guard at a bus station. He had rushed to help a homeless man who had been pistol-whipped at a nearby parking lot, and was shot twice when he approached Davis and two other men. Witnesses identified Davis as the shooter at his 1991 trial.

But Davis’ lawyers say new evidence proves their client was a victim of mistaken identity. They say three people who did not testify at Davis’ trial have said another man confessed to the killing.

The case has attracted worldwide attention, with calls to stop Davis’ execution from former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Desmond Tutu.

But state and federal courts have rejected Davis’ request for a new trial, and state officials have rejected calls for clemency.

Davis was scheduled to be executed on Sept. 23, but it was postponed after the Supreme Court agreed to consider whether he should get a new trial.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented from the decision to order an evidentiary hearing, with Scalia saying that ”every judicial and executive body that has examined petitioner’s claim has been unpersuaded.”

Davis’ ”claim is a sure loser,” Scalia said. ”Transferring his petition to the District Court is a confusing exercise that can serve no purpose except to delay the state’s execution of its lawful criminal judgment.”

Scalia said the Supreme Court was sending the District Court for the Southern District of Georgia ”on a fool’s errand.”

”That court is directed to consider evidence of actual innocence which has been reviewed and rejected at least three times,” he said.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was just confirmed as a new justice earlier this month, did not take part in the consideration of Davis’ motion, the court said.

Milwaukee Mayor In Hospital After Pipe Attack During State Fair

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is recovering in a hospital from wounds he received over the weekend while trying to pacify a man arguing with a woman reportedly over the custody of a child.

“I visited Mayor Barrett in the hospital this morning and found him to be in good spirits and looking good considering what happened,” Gov. Jim Doyle said of his former rival. “The Mayor’s heroic actions clearly saved a woman and others from harm. Jessica and I, along with all the people of Wisconsin, are wishing him speedy recovery.”

Barrett was at the Wisconsin State Fair Saturday night when he tried to help a woman who was arguing with a man who was said to have been drunk. The mayor was calling 911 when the man hit him with a metal pipe.

The suspect was arrested on Sunday, and the mayor is expected to fully recover from his injuries.

The 55-year-old Barrett is a former member of the state Assembly and state Senate who served five terms in the U.S. House. A Democrat, he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2002 and was elected mayor in 2004. He won a second term last year with 79 percent, the largest percentage of the vote in four decades.

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Human Rights Group Documents Widespread Torture and Murder of Iraqi Gays

Jim Burroway
August 17th, 2009
Human Rights Watch this morning issued a detailed report documenting the hundreds of gay men who have been tortured and murdered, some by members of Iraq’s security forces, and others by members of the Mehdi Army, the Shi’ite militia operating around Baghdad. Based on interviews with doctors, family members, and other surviving gay men, They Want Us Exterminated: Mirder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq indicates that hundreds of men have been killed in Baghdad, with authorities doing little to address the situation.

The interviews given in the report indicate the kind of reign of terror Iraqi gays are living through:

He was very public, everybody knew he was gay. His family said his killers made a CD of how he was killed-they filmed it. They slaughtered him; they cut his throat. His family did not want to talk about it. And now they are killing people right and left in Shaab and al-Thawra. We heard 11 men were burned alive in al-Thawra. Everyone is talking about the numbers of people killed. And they just keep rising.

I think those two were tortured into giving my name, because two days after I learned they were killed I got this threat. … I spoke by phone to a friend of mine yesterday night: he is also gay but he’s very masculine and no one knows about him. He said, “Get out if you can and save yourself. They are killing gays left and right.”

They came to my parents’ house a day later. I was out of the house when it happened. The neighbor’s son has the same given name and so they kidnapped the wrong guy. When they found out they let the boy go, but they beat him severely-they wanted to kill him. They tortured him with electricity, they beat him with cables. He looked like a roast chicken when he came home. … When I came back everyone was yelling and screaming that Majid, this boy Majid, had been taken. When he was released, he staggered home and said, “They didn’t want me, they wanted the other Majid. They said he was gay.” I had to leave. My parents threw me out. I cannot face them anymore.

Human Rights Watch calls on the Iraqi government to put an end to the tortures and slayings, but the government appears unphased by the report. U.S. representatives, including U.S. Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) have complained to the Iraqi government to no avail.

Howard Dean: There is no health care reform without the public option

by John Aravosis (DC) on 8/17/2009 10:28:00 AM
Amid indications that the Obama administration plans to drop the public option (did it ever really embrace the public option?), Howard Dean is now saying that you can't have actual health care "reform" without it. Health Care reform groups may soon find themselves in a very interesting situation. While everyone has been worrying that the Republicans will rally their forces over the recess to kill health care reform, who exactly on our side is going to spend August advocating for the detritus of what was once Obama's biggest campaign promise?

UPDATE: Actually, the scary part is quite the opposite. What Democratic organization or member of Congress actually has the backbone to stand up and call BS on all of this? I predict not many. They'll all support whatever garbage Obama, Baucus and Grassley eventually come up with. It is, after all, only another trillion dollars. Who cares if it actually doesn't do that much.

Justice Department Wants DOMA Repeal

Via the AP:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration filed court papers Monday claiming a federal marriage law discriminates against gays, even as government lawyers continue to defend the law.

Justice Department lawyers are seeking to dismiss a suit brought by a gay California couple challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The administration's response to the case has angered gay activists who see it as backtracking on campaign promises made by Barack Obama.

In the court papers, the administration urges the repeal of the law but says in the meantime, government lawyers will continue to defend it as a law on the books.

The government's previous filing in the case angered gay rights activists who supported Obama's candidacy in part because of his pledge to move forward on repealing the law and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gays from serving openly in the military.

"The administration believes the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, because it prevents equal rights and benefits.

New Jersey Mom Allegedly Kills Daughter, Injures Other ...

(Morristown, NJ) -- The investigation continues into why a New Jersey mother would allegedly kill her child and try to kill her other child as well.

Police were called to a home on Sunday where a four-year old girl was found unresponsive on her family's front lawn. The child later died at Morristown Memorial Hospital.

Morris County prosecutor Robert Bianchi says 33-year old Jenny Lizette Erazo Rodriquez has been charged with murder and is being held on one million dollars bail.

Bianchi says the four-year old was strangled and that Rodriquez also attacked her six-year-old daughter.

That child has been treated and released from the hospital.

While neighbors say Rodriquez was being treated for a "mental condition," Bianchi will not confirm that.


Usain Bolt's record by the numbers

Usain's Bolt's epic run on Sunday night to lower the 100m world record to its current mark of 9.58 seconds is even more impressive when you look further into the statistics.

Bolt covered the course - from a standing start - at 23.35 miles per hour. However, he dashed from the 60m to the 80m mark in 1.61 seconds - 27.79 mph.

If he could maintain that speed over the whole 100m, with a flying start, he would record a time of 8.05 sec.

Britain's Bradley Wiggins was only travelling 7.03mph faster than Bolt when he won Olympic track cycling gold in the men's 4km individual pursuit in Beijing.


Bolt has lowered the 100m world record by 1.64% over the last two years. If an athlete were to do that in other events:

>> It would be like running 400m in 42.47 sec, taking 0.71 sec off Michael Johnson's 1999 record, or finishing approximately 6.58m ahead of Johnson when he set the mark.

>> It is the equivalent of lowering the world mile mark to 3 min 39.49 sec - 3.66 sec faster than current record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco and almost 8 sec faster than London 2012 boss Sebastian Coe.

>> It would be like getting to the finish of the marathon 2 min 2 sec ahead of Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie when he set his world best of 2:03:59 in Berlin last year.

At the Olympics in Beijing a year ago, Bolt set a new record in the 100m (9.69sec), before going on to record new marks in the 200m and as part of the Jamaica team in the 4x100m relay.

He has lowered his own 100m mark by 1.135%. If he - or his team - were to do the same in the other events:

He would lower his 200m record 0.22 sec to 19.08.

Jamaica would run a lap of Berlin's Olympic Stadium in 36.68 sec - 0.42 sec faster than they did in Beijing.

South Korean president phones Yang with congrats

JEJU, South Korea — Eyes glued to the TV, Y.E. Yang's family on the island of Jeju stayed up all night to watch the South Korean face off against world No. 1 Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship.

Yang, ranked 110th, made history Sunday by coming from behind to beat Woods and become the first Asian-born man to win a major tournament — a stunning rise for the self-taught son of a farmer who first picked up a golf club at age 19.

"I am so happy and proud of him. What else can I feel?" elder brother Yang Yong-hyuk said Monday. "Since he has finally reached the peak, I hope that he will work even harder to become better and defend his position."

Yang, 37, is known as "Son of the Wind" in his native South Korea for his consistency even on windy days. Now he deserves a new name, the Korea Professional Golfers' Association said: "Tiger Killer."

Though relatively unknown on the international circuit, Yang was named Rookie of the Year after going pro in 1996 and has twice beaten Woods — but never on such a big stage.

"Seeing Yang, ranked 110th in the world, win against Tiger Woods, the best player in the world, I felt so proud to be a Korean today," Kim Soo-mi, who like many South Koreans woke up at 4 a.m. to watch the final round, said at an indoor driving range outside Seoul.

"It's great! And as the first South Korean — and as the first Asian man to win a major — I expect this will have a positive influence on men's professional golf in South Korea," said Lee Sang-hun, 44, a Seoul businessman catching a flight to Jeju who said he woke up early to watch Yang play but hadn't expected him to win.

Golf is huge in South Korea, which in recent years has produced a number of top female players. But the top ranks had until now evaded Asia's men.

Even South Korea's president, Lee Myung-bak, watched the tournament live on TV. He later phoned Yang to offer his congratulations.

"I woke up at dawn today to watch the broadcast, and you played in a calm manner," Lee told Yang, according to the president's office. "First of all, you enhanced our people's morale by winning the major title for the first time as an Asian."

Lee also praised Yang for persevering despite personal difficulties, calling his win a "come-from-behind victory" that was all the more valuable because of his life story, his office said.

Yang, whose full name is Yang Yong-eun, calls himself an "average Joe" from a humble farming family who aspired to be a bodybuilder and once dreamed of owning his own gym. But a knee injury forced him to reconsider his athletic career, and at 19 he took a job collecting golf balls at a local driving range to make money.

After the last golfers left, Yang stayed late into the night at a training field, practicing his swing, said Kim Young-chan, executive director of the driving range at the Ora Country Club on Jeju, a tropical island popular among honeymooners and golfers. He recalled Yang as a late bloomer but a hard worker.

Banners at the country club read: "Congratulations to Yang Yong-eun for become the first Asian male to win the PGA Championship!"

"After the guests left the driving range, he practiced late into the night," Kim said, calling Yang's diligence a testament to how hard he worked to learn the game at such a late stage. "He certainly stood out from the rest of the students."

Hooked, Yang eventually went pro, winning his first title in 2002.

His father, Yang Han-joon, said Monday that he tried to pressure his son to join him in the fields.

"I had no idea what golf was — that's why I was opposed to golf," he told The Associated Press at his home in a Jeju farming village.

But he said Yang was determined to succeed at golf and to leave their life of poverty behind, insisting "I won't live like my father."

Golf coach Kim Won-jun, 43, said Yang's nerves of steel set him apart from other players.

"I personally know Yang and what distinguishes him from other players is his emotional stability," he said. "He is in total control during his game so when he has the chance, he's able to immediately seize it."

Unlike other players, Yang is not intimidated by Woods, said Shane Hahm, who covers sports for Seoul radio station TBS eFM.

"Yang is not fazed by all the media and all the size of the gallery that follows Tiger — that's really what gets into other players' heads," he said.

Still, this win will have historic impact, Hahm said.

"For the first Asian-born player to win, it's pretty historically significant," he said. "It's just unbelievable the way he did it, too, by beating the No. 1 player in the world."

Suh Gee-young, who woke up early to watch the tournament and take a few practice swings before work, called Yang an inspiration to other Asian-born players seeking to make it big.

"I think Yang's victory will give young Asian players a confidence that they can beat the odds in any situation," he said.

Lee Jong-hoon, 33, said chatter about Yang's victory filled the halls of the Seoul hospital where he is a physician.

"I'm a fan of Yang because he overcame many obstacles to become a golfer," he said. "I think what makes his victory especially meaningful is not only the fact that he's Asian but also the fact that he was a true underdog."

Associated Press Writers Jean H. Lee, Jae Hee Suh and Nicolai Hartvig in Seoul and AP National Writer Nancy Armour in Chaska, Minn., contributed to this report.

World stocks tumble amid worries about US consumer

HONG KONG — World stocks tumbled Monday as signs of weak U.S. consumer confidence aggravated doubts in the recovery's strength, overshadowing news that Japan's economy climbed out of its recession last quarter.

Shanghai's market led sharp declines across Asia, plummeting nearly 6 percent, as investors rushed to cash out following a recent run-up. European benchmarks were about 1 percent lower, while prices for crude and other commodities fell.

Worries about the pace of economy recovery in the U.S. were partly to blame after a key report showed Friday American consumer confidence was weaker than expected in early August. Coupled with disappointing retail sales data, the report gave investors more reason to fear growth in the world's largest economy will remain tepid for some time even once the recession technically ends.

Investors seemed little comforted by news that Japan joined Germany and France as developed economies broken free from recession. Japan, the world's second-largest economy, grew 0.9 percent in the second quarter compared to the prior quarter as export sales picked up after the country's deepest slump since World War II.

Winson Fong, managing director at SG Asset Management in Hong Kong, Asian markets — many of which have posted gains above 50 percent this year — were due for a correction. Friday's consumer report was just the excuse.

"People have been getting nervous about the markets. We're so overbought many people are moving to take profit," said Fong, who helps oversee about $2 billion in Asian equities. "We don't need to worry too much about the fundamentals for now, but in the next couple weeks we may see some more selling."

In Europe, Britain's FTSE-100 lost 1.7 percent, Germany's DAX was off nearly 2 percent and France's CAC-40 fell 1.6 percent. U.S. futures pointed to losses on Wall Street Monday.

Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average dropped 328.72 points, or 3.1 percent, to 10,268.61 0.

In China, Shanghai's benchmark tumbled 5.8 percent to 2,870.63 amid more jitters about lofty stock prices and a possible tightening of bank lending policies. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dived 3.6 percent to 20,137.65.

South Korea's Kospi dropped 2.8 percent in 1,565.49 and India's Sensex was down 3 percent. Markets in Taiwan, Australia and Singapore fell back over 1 percent.

Japan's return to growth — thanks to a 6.3 percent uptick in exports along with government stimulus measures — marked the end of a yearlong recession. But traders, counting on even stronger growth for the quarter, were underwhelmed.

"Investors have already expected a rise in Japan's GDP during the April-June quarter. In that sense, there were no surprisers, and investors were not impressed by the figure," said Naohiko Miyata, chief technical analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co. Ltd.

On Wall Street Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 76.79, or 0.8 percent, to 9,321.40 after falling as much as 165 points after the consumer sentiment survey was released. The S&P 500 index fell 8.64, or 0.9 percent, to 1,004.09, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 23.83, or 1.2 percent, to 1,985.52.

U.S. stock futures were down sharply. Dow futures were down 161 points, or 1.7 percent, to 9,160, while Nasdaq futures were down 2.1 percent at 1,581.

Oil fell, with benchmark crude for September delivery losing $1.59 to $65.92 a barrel on the New York Merchantile Exchange. The contract tanked $3.01 on Friday.

The dollar was lower at 94.50 yen from 94.78 yen. The euro traded down at $1.4152 compared to $1.4185 earlier.