Nation/World Briefs

Queen Elizabeth hospitalized Sunday

LONDON – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was hospitalized Sunday over an apparent stomach infection that has ailed her for days, a rare instance of ill health sidelining the long-reigning monarch. Elizabeth will have to cancel a visit to Rome and other engagements as she recovers, and outside experts said she may have to be rehydrated intravenously.

Buckingham Palace said the 86-year-old queen had experienced symptoms of gastroenteritis and was being examined at London’s King Edward VII Hospital – the first time in a decade that Elizabeth has been hospitalized.

Syrian rebel leader visits northern areas

BEIRUT – After rebel gains, the leader of the Syrian opposition made his first visit Sunday to areas near the embattled northern city of Aleppo as fighters trying to oust President Bashar Assad captured a police academy and a border crossing along the frontier with Iraq.

Assad, meanwhile, lashed out at the West for helping his opponents in the civil war, delivering a blistering rebuke to Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement that the United States will for the first time provide medical supplies and other non-lethal aid directly to the rebels in addition to $60 million in assistance to Syria’s political opposition.

Aleppo, the nation’s largest city, has been a major front in the nearly 2-year-old uprising. Government forces and rebels have been locked in a stalemate there since July.

Mouaz al-Khatib met Sunday with Syrians in the two rebel-held Aleppo suburbs of Manbah and Jarablus, a statement said.

Bobby Rogers, founder of The Miracles, dies

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Bobby Rogers, a founding member of Motown group The Miracles and a songwriting collaborator with Smokey Robinson, died Sunday at his suburban Detroit home. He was 73.

Motown Museum board member Allen Rawls said Rogers died about 6 a.m. in Southfield. Rogers had been ill for several years.

Rogers formed the group in 1956 with cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White and Robinson. Their hits included “Shop Around,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “Going to a Go-Go,” “I Second That Emotion” and “The Tears of a Clown.”

“Another soldier in my life has fallen. Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend,” Robinson said Sunday in a statement. “He and I were born on the exact same day in the same hospital in Detroit. I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much.”

Biden retraces voting-rights march

SELMA, Ala. – The vice president and black leaders commemorating a famous civil-rights march Sunday said efforts to diminish the impact of African-Americans’ votes haven’t stopped in the years since the 1965 Voting Rights Act added millions to Southern voter rolls.

More than 5,000 people followed Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma’s annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

The event commemorates the “Bloody Sunday” beating of voting rights marchers – including a young Lewis – by state troopers as they began a march to Montgomery in March 1965. The 50-mile march prompted Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act that struck down impediments to voting by African-Americans and ended all-white rule in the South.

Biden, the first sitting vice president to participate in the annual re-enactment, said nothing shaped his consciousness more than watching TV footage of the beatings. “We saw in stark relief the rank hatred, discrimination and violence that still existed in large parts of the nation,” he said.

Kerry: U.S. releasing millions in aid to Egypt

CAIRO – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday rewarded Egypt for President Mohammed Morsi’s pledges of political and economic reforms by releasing $250 million in American aid to support the country’s “future as a democracy.”

Yet Kerry also served notice that the Obama administration will keep close watch on how Morsi, who came to power in June as Egypt’s first freely elected president, honors his commitment and that additional U.S. assistance would depend on it.

Egypt is trying to meet conditions to close on a $4.8 billion loan package from the International Monetary Fund. An agreement would unlock more of the $1 billion in U.S. assistance promised by President Barack Obama last year and set to begin flowing with Kerry’s announcement.

Obama to tap Walmart’s Burwell for budget chief

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama will nominate Walmart’s Sylvia Mathews Burwell as his next budget director today, a senior administration official said.

If confirmed by the Senate, Burwell would take the helm at the Office of Management and Budget at a time of heated budget battles between the White House and congressional Republicans. She would also bring more diversity to Obama’s second-term Cabinet following criticism that many top jobs were going to white men.

The president will announce Burwell’s nomination during a White House ceremony this morning, said the official, who requested anonymity in order to confirm the nomination ahead of Obama.

Burwell is a Washington veteran, having served as OMB’s deputy director in the Clinton administration and chief of staff to former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

Associated Press