More Muscle Mass Reduces Diabetes Risk?

LOS ANGELES, July 29 (UPI) — Increasing muscle mass may reduce the odds of developing diabetes, a new U.S. study suggests.

While previous research has focused on reducing body fat, a study by researchers at UCLA suggests a link between higher muscle mass and a lower risk of diabetes, USA Today reported Thursday.

“Our findings suggest that beyond focusing on losing weight to improve metabolic health, there may be a role for maintaining fitness and building muscle mass,” Preethi Srikanthan, a professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, said.

To see if there was a correlation between higher levels of muscle mass and lower levels of insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes, the study analyzed data from 13,644 adults taking part in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The researchers found each 10 percent increase in the skeletal muscle index — the ratio of muscle mass to total body weight — corresponded to an 11 reduction in insulin resistance.

“Extra fat has bad effects, but more muscle has good effects,” Daniel Rubin, a professor of medicine at Temple University School of Medicine, says.

“These data are also consistent with data we see on exercise, that it helps decrease diabetes risk, and that a lack of exercise and weight gain increase risk.”

Almagro Wins Twice, Moves To Swiss Semis

GSTAAD, Switzerland, July 29 (UPI) — Top-seeded and defending champion Nicolas Almagro won two matches Friday in claiming a semifinal berth at the Swiss Open tennis tournament.

Almagro’s second-round match Thursday was suspended because of rain after five games so he led off Friday’s play with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 win over Jarkko Nieminen to earn the right to play a quarterfinals match.

He went against fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, seeded fifth this week, in the quarterfinals, winning 6-4, 7-5 while showing little sign of fatigue. He won 80 percent of the points on serve, losing 12 points over 11 service games and not dropping serve.

Eighth-seeded Marcel Granollers needed just 70 minutes to oust local favorite and No. 2-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-2. Granollers faced only one break point and piled up five breaks in nine receiving games.

He’ll next go against third-seeded Mikhail Youzhny, who was pushed to a third set before getting past Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. Youzhny won just one more point (34-33) than Haider-Maurer in the third set but had the set’s only break.

No. 4-seeded Fernando Verdasco also went the distance before topping Julien Benneteau 6-4, 5-7 6-1. He won 63 percent of the points in the third set.

Verdasco draws Almagro in Saturday’s semifinals.

Plans Advance For British Nuclear Plant

WILLITON, England, July 29 (UPI) — Preliminary work on Britain’s first new nuclear power plant in 20 years has gotten the go-ahead despite strong opposition.

The West Somerset District Council in southwestern England approved EDF Energy’s site preparation work for Hinkley Point C Thursday.

The area has had nuclear power stations for more than 50 years. The nearby Hinkley Point A is now closed, and Hinkley Point B is scheduled to shut down in 2016.

EDF says the power station will help secure Britain’s power supply and has supporters like Rupert Cox, head of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, who told The Guardian: “It’s an opportunity to kickstart the local economy.”

Crispin Aubrey of the Stop Hinkley campaign told the council the plant will leave a “devastated wasteland,” and the work EDF has been given permission for is more than “preparatory.”

“The extent of the activity … means it is effectively the beginning of construction of the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power station,” he said.

“The real purpose of this application is not to significantly advance the timing of the new plant, it is to destroy all that is precious about the site so that when the main application for the power station is made … it will meet with less opposition.”

Boehner Plan Tied To Budget Amendment

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — A plan to join U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s debt reduction bill to a balanced budget amendment won the backing Friday of some key Republicans.

The House was expected to vote on the measure later in the day, The Hill reported. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said he would vote for it, and the Club for Growth, Grover Norquist’s anti-tax group, gave it some support.

A vote had been expected Thursday on a bill sponsored by Boehner, R-Ohio, to raise the debt ceiling. But Republican leaders in the House did not bring it to the floor, instead spending the evening trying to bring more of their representatives on board. That gave the House another option.

Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., introduced a deficit reduction plan late Thursday that is similar to the one Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., put forward in the upper house.

President Obama, warning “We are almost out of time,” called on congressional leaders Friday to reach agreement to resolve the crisis.

“A lot of crises we can’t predict or avoid. … This isn’t one of those crises,” Obama said in a 6-minute speech in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House, warning again the deadline is Tuesday for avoiding default on some bills and losing the U.S. triple-A credit rating.

Calls to the House spiked dramatically in the morning after the president urged listeners to get in touch with their representatives and demand action, The Hill said.

Obama said doing nothing actually would result in “a tax increase on everyone” because if the U.S. credit rating takes a hit, interest rates will go up on everything from car and business loans to mortgages and credit card rates.

He said both Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have come up with acceptable solutions that just need minor tweaks to win approval.

Reid said he is ready to move forward.

“No matter how long Republicans delay, the deadline will not move. We have hours — I repeat, hours — to act,” Reid said.

“That is why, by the end of the day today, I must take action on the Senate’s compromise legislation. … This is likely our last chance to save this nation from default.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., have urged members of their party to come to their senses.

Obama urged Democrats and Republicans to find “common ground … that can get support from both parties in the House.”

The president said he’s even willing to accept some sort of “enforcement mechanism” to keep spending under control as debate over a more comprehensive reform package continues in coming months.

“We are almost out of time,” Obama warned.

“The time for compromise is now.”

Two GOP House members from South Carolina — Jeff Duncan and Mick Mulvaney — told reporters Thursday night they were going to a nearby chapel to pray over the matter and for their leadership.

The House impasse appeared to hand the initiative to Reid pushing an alternative version of the debt bill, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Lawmakers who had said they’d oppose the Boehner plan were summoned to the speaker’s office where he tried to persuade them to change their minds, they said.

Most emerged saying they were still “no” votes, the Journal reported.

“He’s asking for my vote. I’m still where I was,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. “The speaker was very respectful.”

Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., said, “I’m still a no.”

Boehner’s plan would immediately raise the debt ceiling $900 billion, accompanied by $917 billion in spending cuts. A special lawmaker committee would then recommend further cuts of $1.8 trillion in the next decade. If the cuts are adopted, the debt ceiling could go up another $1.6 trillion.

Reid wants to raise the debt ceiling at least $2.4 trillion so it wouldn’t have to be raised again until after next year’s election. It would also cut spending $2.2 trillion over 10 years.

Like Boehner’s plan, Reid’s calls for a lawmaker committee to find ways of reaching his deficit-reduction goal.

Senate leaders say Boehner’s bill would be dead on arrival in the Senate even if it did pass the House. They planned to hold an initial vote Saturday on Reid’s plan.

But Reid’s plan also faced a challenge of winning the 60 votes needed to shut down a possible filibuster, some officials said.

City May Improve Zoo’s Bison Pen

ELGIN, Ill., July 29 (UPI) — Officials in Elgin, Ill., have taken steps to improve the fencing for the city zoo’s bison pen and may add more bison to the exhibit.

The Elgin City Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to soliciting bids to improve the fencing at Lords Park Zoo, but no funding for the project has yet been approved, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

The improvement project is being spearheaded by Friends of Lords Park Zoo, which has been pushing for officials to improve the facility. The zoo’s exhibits include bison, deer, elk and farm animals.

The zoo has only one remaining bison, Pokey, after the animal’s companion, Cahoya, died recently at the age of 24. Officials said they have been considering offers of bison donations.

British Military Cuts More Civilian Posts

LONDON, July 29 (UPI) — The British Ministry of Defense is cutting 7,000 more civilian jobs, a top official says.

The cuts are laid out in a letter from Permanent Undersecretary Ursula Brennan, The Guardian reported Friday.

With 25,000 previously announced reductions, the defense civil service, whose tasks include making sure contracts do not go over budget, will now be slashed by a third within nine years.

Defense Secretary Liam Fox announced plans last week to reduce the army by 7,000 military positions but did not mention further civilian cuts.

The Brennan letter states the department needs to “bear down further on non-frontline costs. … For civilians, we will be extending the earlier planned reductions, coming down to a total of 53,000 civilians by 2020.”

Union leaders said the announcement reflected “what the MoD can afford, not what it needs.”

Despite major cutbacks announced in last year’s strategic defense and security review, the military budget was still more than 1 billion pounds ($1.64 billion) higher than projections.

Funding For New Space Telescope In Danger

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — U.S. politicians say they may pull the funding plug on the James Webb Space Telescope, the intended successor to the Hubble telescope with 100 times the power.

As part of the overall U.S. budget debate, a House appropriations committee vote this month proposed killing the telescope, whose $6.8 billion cost is already up 50 percent over a 2005 estimate and could go even higher, USA Today reported Friday.

A committee report said the step “will ultimately benefit NASA by setting a cost discipline example for other projects.”

A report last year headed by John Casani of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory showed the telescope’s cost had increased about $1.5 billion since 2008.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., head of the House science spending committee, said he supports the telescope’s mission but only if NASA commits to making fundamental changes in its budget process.

The budget-busting Webb telescope threatened NASA’s other science missions, he said.

Supporters of the telescope have mobilized to try and save it.

“It will be a game-changer, revolutionary,” University of Chicago astrophysicist Michael Turner said.

“Losing the telescope would be a huge blow to U.S. science and prestige,” Turner said. “We would basically be telling the world we can’t do great things anymore.”

U.S. Issues Alert For CAR

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — Armed bandits and militia groups pose a danger to U.S. nationals traveling in the Central African Republic, the U.S. State Department warned.

U.S. citizens in the Central African Republic are advised by the State Department to avoid all but necessary travel outside the capital city Bangui.

The State Department warns the crime rate is high in the country and military and civilian security forces are known to harass international residents and foreign visitors.

The warning adds that bandits and poachers pose a threat to foreigners, with some poachers threatening game hunters on the region. The Lord’s Resistance Army also poses a threat in the eastern part of the country, the warning states.

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for LRA leader Joseph Kony and five other top commanders in 2006.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs last week accused the LRA of killing at least 26 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in June.

Pemex Now 4th Place As Global Oil Producer

MEXICO CITY, July 29 (UPI) — After almost 13 years as the third largest producer in the world, Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos has dropped into fourth place.

Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., more commonly referred to by its acronym PDVSA, claimed third place. Petroleos Mexicanos — Pemex — was regulated to the No. 4 spot.

The Statistical and Information Energy Intelligence Group’s “PIW Ranking 2011Global Report” said Pemex in 2010 produced 3 million barrels per day, while PDVSA managed to increase production over Pemex’s output by 170,000 more barrels per day, Mexico’s informador.com reported Friday.

Mexico has ranked eighth in the world in terms of proven reserves. Venezuela however, has established itself as having the world’s second largest reserves of crude oil in the world, only exceeded by Saudi Arabia.

The Oil and Gas Journal listed Venezuelan oil reserves at 20.2 times greater than those of Mexico.

Pemex reported Thursday that its net profit for the January-June period this year was $1.14 billion, its biggest profit since June 2008. The company cited surging crude prices and the fact that Mexican oil traded with a premium over the U.S. crude benchmark as key reasons for the strong financial showing.

Pemex revenues underwrite nearly one-third of Mexico’s federal budget and its investment budget is determined by Mexican authorities and legislators, while also accounting for 10 percent of Mexico’s export earnings.

For the last seven years however Mexico’s Pemex’s crude oil output has showed a steady decline, falling from about 3.4 million barrels a day in 2004 to just less than 2.6 million barrels a day currently.

The United States imports approximately one-half of Pemex’s output. U.S. Energy Administration statistics indicate, the United States total crude oil imports average about 9 billion barrels a day. The top four exporting countries are Canada (2.7 billion barrels per day), Mexico (1.3 bbpd) and Saudi Arabia (1.1 bbpd), with Venezuela in fourth place at 930 million barrels per day.

Worldwide demand for crude rose about 3.2 percent from a year earlier in the three months that ended June 30.

Pemex is trying to reverse its drop in oil output as the cost of the company’s benefit programs soar, leaving the company to face a possible $115 billion pension shortfall by 2019 as benefits owed to tens of thousands of retiring workers have greatly exceeded the funds set aside thus far to pay for retirement benefits.

Complicating the Pemex revenue picture is corruption. Transparency International recently rated Mexico 3.1 for corruption on a scale of 0-10, with 0 being very corrupt and 10 being very clean.

House postpones vote on Boehner’s bill (again)

Late last night, after many delays, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) finally decided to postpone the vote on his proposal to raise the debt limit and cut the deficit at least until today. He is expected to regroup with House Republicans this morning, in the hope that he can overcome the resistance in his own party to the Budget Control Act of 2011.

“The Senate, meanwhile, is continuing to wait for the House to act before it takes up any legislation to lift the debt ceiling. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he will hold a vote to table, or discard, the House bill immediately after — and if — the House passes the bill,” read an article for C-SPAN.org.

However, it is likely that Boehner’s bill could become a vehicle for compromise, as Reid’s own bill is just as unlikely to pass in the Republican-controlled House. The longstanding impasse seems to be grating on the nerves of even the highest-ranking members of Congress.

“Republicans have taken us to the brink of economic chaos,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, according to an article for Reuters. “The delay must end now so we can focus on the American people’s top priority: creating jobs and growing the economy.”

Some members have even given up all hope of a deal being reached before the Aug. 2 deadline.

“I felt for some time that a default was likely,” Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, told POLITICO. “Now, it’s more likely than not.”

Court Rules Canada Out Of Tobacco Suits

OTTAWA, July 29 (UPI) — The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday the federal government cannot be a defendant in a class action lawsuit over smoking-related illnesses and deaths.

The nine judges were unanimous in their decision that tobacco companies alone could be named in lawsuits filed by the four provincial governments of British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Ontario. Four other provinces have announced they are drafting similar lawsuits, Postmedia News reported.

British Columbia was the first to sue the country’s largest cigarette maker, Imperial Tobacco, 13 years ago to try to recover as much as $10 billion in healthcare costs, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said. Ontario is seeking $50 billion, the reports said.

The federal government provides some funding for universal medical care, but provinces and territories administer their own medical systems.

The high court rejected tobacco companies’ arguments the federal government had been negligent in protecting citizens and should therefore be included as defendants, the CBC said.

Flat-screen TVs Improve Their Energy Use

LONDON, July 29 (UPI) — Flat-screen TVs are greener than the cathode ray tubes they replaced and have cut their electricity consumption by more than half, U.K. energy campaigners say.

Technology advances have allowed flat-screen TVs, long criticized by environmentalists for their power consumption, to cut their average energy use by 60 percent since 2006, The Guardian reported Friday.

The energy efficiency site Sust-it, which compiled the data by examining 1,800 models, said new lighting developments were largely responsible for the improvement.

“The main thing that’s driving it is the LED technology to backlight the TV,” Sust-it founder Ross Lammas said. “There has been a surge in the past 18 months, with LED TVs really picking up. They were very expensive at first, but are now equivalent in price to LCDs.”

Martyn Hocking, editor of Which? Magazine, said the magazine’s own research confirmed Sust-it’s findings.

“Flat-screen TVs are significantly more energy efficient these days,” he said. “Forty-inch TV’s would often use up to 300 watts three years ago, but some now use as little as 70 watts. We’re seeing similar results with other white goods, such as fridges, freezers and washing machines.”

Sust-it said modern flat-screens now use less energy than the boxy tube televisions they replaced.

A new 32-inch LED TV uses about 75 percent less energy than a 32-inch CRT, costing $13 a year to run rather than $52, it said.

Body Matches Description Of Missing Mariha Smith

DETROIT, July 29 (UPI) — Detroit investigators say they’re awaiting DNA test results to determine whether a young girl’s body is that of a 5-year-old missing since Sunday.

The family of Mariha Trenice Smith has been searching her west side neighborhood, posting fliers, asking about her whereabouts and yelling her name, the Detroit News reported.

The body, found in a burned vacant house about a mile from where Mariha went missing between 3 a.m. and noon Sunday, matched her description, Wayne County spokesman Dennis Niemiec said. The girl had been suffocated, her skull was crushed and she was set on fire, an autopsy showed.

Mariha was staying at the home of her aunt, Quanita Smith, when a kidnapper apparently opened a window screen, moved a fan, climbed over Smith, who was asleep on a couch from being drunk, and took Mariha, the News reported.

Family members said the girl’s mother, Konesha Smith, passed a lie detector test, but Quanita did not. Quanita was being held on outstanding traffic violations, police said.

Police were interviewing Quanita Smith’s boyfriend, relatives said.

Police, who said they were seeking a person of interest in the arson, released a videotape of a man they say bought 41 cents worth of gasoline at a nearby station about 10 minutes before the fire started.

EU Worried About ‘ghosts’ In Kosovo

BRUSSELS, July 29 (UPI) — The “ghosts of the past” are trying to rekindle the violence between Kosovo and Serbia and it must stop, the president of the European Parliament said.

Fighting broke out Monday after the government in Pristina ordered troops to set up border check points in the mostly Serb populated regions in the north to enforce a recent trade embargo with Serbia.

NATO’s peacekeeping force for Kosovo said some of its forces came under attack along the border by unknown gunmen in the area.

European leaders called on both sides to exercise restraint and NATO peacekeepers closed some border crossings.

European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek called on both sides two show restraint.

“I have learned with great regret that ghosts of the past are trying to disturb the peace in northern Kosovo,” he said. “Recent violence is unacceptable and must stop.”

International courts are busy prosecuting crimes against humanity committed during conflict involving both sides during the 1980s and 1990s.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and his German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in a statement expressed serious concern over the violence.

Both leaders said they supported mediated dialogue under the auspices of the European Union.

“The dialogue provides a crucial opportunity to find peaceful solutions to outstanding issues between Belgrade and Pristina, and to move both Serbia and Kosovo toward a secure future in the EU,” they said.

Wage Cuts Imposed On Detroit School Staff

DETROIT, July 29 (UPI) — Detroit public school employees will have their wages and benefits cut by $81 million in August, the district’s emergency manager said Friday.

Roy Roberts announced that all 10,000 workers in the district, including those in unions, will take a 10 percent pay cut starting Aug. 23 and will be charged for 20 percent of their medical costs from Sept. 1, The Detroit Free Press reported.

It will be first invocation of Michigan’s new emergency manager law, which lets the state-appointed manager modify or terminate a union contract after meeting and conferring with union representatives.

The cutbacks are needed to close the district’s $327 million deficit, Roberts said.

“We are in an extremely difficult financial period for Detroit public schools, requiring extreme measures,” he said.

“I’m not taking this lying down,” Keith Johnson, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, said Friday.

The 2011-2012 budget calls for closing 11 schools, cutting $231 million in expenses, eliminating 796 jobs and issuing $200 million in long-term bonds.

Panel Makes Nuclear Waste Recommendations

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — A commission studying alternatives to plans for a nuclear waste repository in Nevada will recommend at least one new site, sources told The Washington Post.

The commission, set up by President Obama in January 2010, will urge setting up a new site to store waste from U.S. nuclear power plants, the Post reported Thursday.

The commission is not suggesting where that site should be located, the Post said.

Many commission members reportedly believe New Mexico, already the site of a nuclear waste storage facility, might be more willing than Nevada to accept a federal waste facility.

An interim storage site for waste now being stored from 10 closed reactors at nine different sites should be found, the commission said.

The 15-member commission, chaired by former Democratic Congressman Lee Hamilton and Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush, was created by Obama after his administration decided not to pursue long-delayed plans to create a national nuclear waste storage site at Yucca Mountain.

Opponents of the Yucca site have cited possible corrosion concerns, water contamination and earthquake hazards.

Al-Shabaab Can Hit U.S., Panel Finds

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab has an active recruitment network in the United States, posing a significant threat to the country, a U.S. panel determined.

The FBI this month announced a Minnesota man admitted to having a role in a plan to recruit Somali men to travel to the country and fight against Ethiopian forces.

Al-Shabaab is attempting to create an Islamic state in Somalia, which hasn’t had a functioning government since the 1990s. The al-Qaida-affiliated group has declared war on the peacekeeping force in the war-torn country.

A report from the House Committee on Homeland Security concluded there was a “looming danger” of U.S. nationals who have pledged loyalty to al-Shabaab returning to the United States to strike or help al-Qaida and its affiliates attack the United States.

U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House committee, said U.S. intelligence agencies have underestimated the threat posed by the Taliban and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and can’t afford the same mistake with al-Shabaab.

King’s committee found that federal indictments tied to al-Shabaab account for the largest number of domestic terrorism cases filed by the U.S. Justice Department during the last two years.

In its report, King’s committee found that at least 15 U.S. citizens and three Canadians were killed fighting alongside al-Shabaab. The al-Qaida group has the capability to conduct attacks on the United States, the committee found.

“With al-Shabaab’s large cadre of American jihadis and unquestionable ties to al-Qaida, particularly its alliance with AQAP, we must face the reality that al-Shabaab is a growing threat to our homeland,” King said in a statement.

Default Could Spell Chaos For States, Too

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — As the U.S. heads for possible default within days, the effects on states would depend on which bills the Treasury pays, an analysis shows.

States rely on federal aid for one-third of their budgets — mostly funding for Medicaid, welfare, education and transportation, Stateline.org reports.

If the federal government runs out of borrowing authority next week, it could stop aid for these programs, plunging state budgets into crisis, the Bipartisan Policy Center predicts.

If military and federal employee pay and veterans benefits are halted instead, the disruption would be equally drastic but distributed more widely across the economy.

States also risk losing their own access to credit markets.

Moody’s has warned Maryland, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia that if the federal government loses its AAA bond rating, they likely will, too.

“About all we can do is wait and worry,” said Warren Deschenaux, head of Maryland’s Department of Legislative Services.

Feds Suspend Author Of Polar Bear Report

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — The U.S. government suspended a wildlife biologist whose sightings of dead polar bears became a rallying point for environmental campaigners, documents show.

Biologist Charles Monnett was notified July 18 by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement he had been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into “integrity issues,” The New York Times reported.

A copy of the bureau’s letter posted online by the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility indicates the investigation grew out of a 2006 report Monnett co-wrote regarding deaths of polar bears swimming in the Beaufort Sea.

Monnett’s report was taken up by environmental activists who used it to support their contention global warming and the retreat of sea ice were threatening the bears’ survival.

The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has filed a complaint accusing the ocean energy bureau, saying that in banning Monnett from conducting scientific work it had disrupted his research, including at least one continuing study of polar bears.

In a transcript of an interview of Monnett by two special agents for the bureau’s inspector general posted online by the public employees group, he is quoted as saying that “we got blasted, you know, really hard, by the agency” after the reports of the drowned bears circulated.

At another point in the interview he said of his superiors, “They don’t want any impediment to, you know, what they view as their mission, which is to, you know, drill wells up there” and “put areas into production.”

Turkish Military Heads Resign

ANKARA, Turkey, July 29 (UPI) — High-ranking members of the Turkish military resigned Friday over apparent controversy surrounding the appointment of generals, state media reports.

Turkish Chief of Staff Isik Kosaner and the top commanders in the Turkish air force, navy and army announced they have resigned, Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman reports.

The newspaper reports there is a controversy between members of the military and the ruling Justice and Development Party. The ruling party said it wouldn’t approve the promotions for some military officials suspected of being involved in a shadowy coup against the government.

There are 195 suspects in the military accused of plotting against the government.

Kosaner met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in recent days as the government considered promotions for top military officers.

The military last year tried to promote a number of high-ranking officers who were on trial for various criminal cases, the Turkish newspaper adds. The government blocked several appointments.

Erdogan is to meet with senior military officials Monday. He denied there were major tensions with the military.

“The laws regarding dismissals and promotions are obvious,” he was quoted as saying.

Chicago Dedicates Library To Daley

CHICAGO, July 29 (UPI) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined former Mayor Richard M. Daley and other city leaders for a ceremony renaming a library after Daley.

The library in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood became the first public building named after Daley, who had served 22 years, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Thursday ceremony marked the first time Emanuel and Daley have appeared together publicly since Emanuel became mayor in May.

But Emanuel said they had spoken privately several times and had dinner.

Emanuel called Daley “our mayor,” said introducing him was “the greatest of honors that I have ever had” and thanked his predecessor for his public service.

DePaul University named a building after Daley and his wife, Maggie, while the former mayor was in office.

After the ceremony, Daley posed with people in the library in front of a painting of him reading from the 1909 plan for Chicago co-authored by Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett.

The name of Daley’s father, Richard J. Daley, appears on a Loop building that’s part of the Cook County court system, a campus of the City Colleges of Chicago and an elementary school.