Posted Monday, August 27, 2012 --- 7:35 a.m.
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.
1. TROPICAL WEATHER
UPDATE: Getting ready for Isaac
KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -- Tropical Storm Isaac is forecast to become a hurricane today and take aim at the Gulf Coast, with New Orleans a potential target a day shy of the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Oil rigs have been evacuated in the Gulf of Mexico while Louisiana and Mississippi have declared emergencies ahead of the storm.
2. PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
UPDATE: All eyes on Isaac as GOP gathers in Tampa
KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -- The gavel comes down today on the Republican National Convention without the pomp, ceremony and rallying cries that usually accompany such events, thanks to Tropical Storm Isaac.
Tampa is expected to get a good drenching and GOP officials have compressed a scheduled four-day convention into three.
3. EL SALVADOR QUAKE
Strong earthquake hits off El Salvador coast
GOLDEN, Colorado (AP) -- Authorities say there've been no reports of damage or injuries after a strong magnitude-7.3 earthquake and a second, magnitude-5.4 temblor struck off the coast of El Salvador.
A tsunami warning had been put into effect shortly after the first tremor struck at 10:37 p.m. Sunday, but it was later rescinded.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was located 86 miles south-southwest of San Miguel, El Salvador. The second quake hit about an hour later.
Also on Sunday, dozens of small to moderate earthquakes struck southeastern California, knocking trailer homes off their foundations and shattering windows in a small farming town east of San Diego.
The USGS says the largest quake registered at a magnitude 5.5 and was centered about three miles northwest of the town of Brawley.
No injuries were reported.
UPDATE: 2 more US soldiers killed in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Military officials say 12 American soldiers have been killed by their Afghan colleagues this month.
But local officials say the latest incident that happened today in Laghman province is a separate case from the rash of recent insider attacks, because it appears to have been an accidental shooting.
A spokesman for the Afghan army corps in eastern Afghanistan says when a group of U.S. and Afghan soldiers came under attack, they returned fire and ran to take up fighting positions. But an Afghan soldier fell and accidentally discharged his weapon, killing two American soldiers with the errant rounds.
The spokesman says when the commander of the unit started shouting at the Afghan soldier, he ran and was killed by air support.
NEW: Iraq officials: Gunmen with silencers kill general
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi officials say gunmen with silenced weapons killed an army Brigadier General just outside Baghdad, while two civilians died in separate attacks elsewhere in the country.
Police and medical officials say the gunmen shot dead Brig. Gen. Abdul-Muhsen Khazal in the Sunni town of Taji, just north of the capital.
In Haditha, a roadside bomb went off near an army patrol, killing one civilian and wounding four soldiers, said Mohammed Fathi, a provincial spokesman in Iraq's western Anbar province.
Another bomb exploded in the northwest city of Mosul, killing one civilian and wounding another, police said.
Health officials confirmed the casualties. Unnamed officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters. Security forces are a top target for insurgents seeking to destabilize the country.
Gunmen kill 8 in Pakistan's troubled Baluchistan
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) -- A Pakistani official says two gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on a car carrying Shiite Muslims in southwestern Pakistan, killing three of them.
Senior police officer Wazir Khan Nasir says two Shiites were also wounded in Monday's attack in Quetta, the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province.
No one claimed responsibility.
In a separate incident late Sunday, government official Pervez Ahmed said gunmen killed five Sunni Muslims in the town of Mach in Baluchistan.
Baluchistan is the site of a long-running insurgency by rebels who want a greater share of the region's resources and more autonomy. It's also home to Islamic militants who frequently target Shiites.
Shiites make up a sizeable minority in Pakistan, but many Sunni extremists do not view them as true Muslims.
7. AMERICAN TALIBAN-PRISON PRAYER
American Taliban seeks group prayer in Ind. prison
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- American-born Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh is headed to court in hopes of convincing a federal judge that the government is trampling on his religious rights by barring him from praying in a group every day while he's in prison.
Most of the inmates in the restricted unit at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., are Muslim, like Lindh. They're only allowed group prayers once a week. Lindh says their religion requires them to pray together daily.
Lindh's lawyers say the government is violating a federal law barring it from restricting religious activities without showing a compelling need.
The government says daily prayer in groups would pose a security risk.
The 31-year-old Lindh is expected to be in court today for the first day of the trial in Indianapolis.
8. THAILAND-SPEED BOAT
NEW: Tourists saved after boat capsizes off Thai island
BANGKOK (AP) -- Officials say 41 people, mostly foreign tourists, have been rescued after a speed boat capsized in rough seas near Thailand's popular Phi Phi island.
Police say the boat was carrying 37 Asian and European tourists and four Thai crew members when it overturned today in the Andaman Sea.
Police say navy vessels, fishing boats and other nearby vessels were able to rescue everyone on board.
The speed boat was traveling from Phi Phi island to Phuket island, another popular tourist destination.
The Meteorological Department predicted strong rain and high waves in the area today.
9. HERTZ-DOLLAR THRIFTY
NEW: Hertz buying Dollar Thrifty for about $2.3 billion
NEW YORK (AP) -- Rental car company Hertz is buying its rival Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. for approximately $2.3 billion.
Dollar Thrifty's stock jumped more than 5 percent in premarket trading today.
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. said late Sunday that it will pay $87.50 for each Dollar Thrifty share. That's an 8 percent premium to the company's Friday closing price of $81 per share.
On Thursday media reports said Hertz of Park Ridge, N.J., was considering a new bid for Dollar Thrifty, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company it had pursued for two years.
Hertz is also selling its Advantage business to rental car company Franchise Services of North America and Macquarie Capital. The Advantage closing is conditioned upon Hertz completing the Dollar Thrifty buyout.
Both Hertz and Dollar Thrifty's boards have unanimously approved the deal, which still needs antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission.
10. BRITAIN-LION ON THE LOOSE?
NEW: British police deploy in force after lion sighting
LONDON (AP) -- Somewhere in England, there may be a lion on the loose.
Police in the English county of Essex say they've deployed armed officers, heat-seeking helicopters, and tranquilizer-armed experts from the local zoo a hunt for a lion after a member of the public reported spotting a big cat ambling through a field.
Where the beast might have come from is a mystery. The zoo's animals have been accounted for and police say that a local circus is not missing any such animals.
But officers say they don't believe the sighting is a hoax and have advised residents to be on their guard.
The sighting prompted a media frenzy in Britain, with the Daily Mail tabloid splashing a picture of a snarling lion across its front page.
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.