BEIRUT

Turkish leader compares Syrian president to Gadhafi

Turkey’s prime minister compared Syria’s president to Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi on Wednesday, as Damascus defied international calls to end the crackdown on a 5-month-old uprising.

President Bashar Assad has unleashed tanks, ground troops and snipers in an attempt to retake control in rebellious areas. The military assault has escalated dramatically since the start of the holy month of Ramadan in August, killing hundreds and detaining thousands.

“We made our calls (to Gadhafi) but unfortunately we got no result,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday. “The same thing is happening with Syria at the moment.”

Erdogan said he personally spoke to Assad and sent his foreign minister to Damascus, but “despite all of this, they are continuing to strike civilians.”

LONDON

Police say more than 1,000 people charged over unrest

London police force say more than 1,000 people have now been charged in the unrest that rocked the capital for four days, as human rights groups reiterated concerns that the sentences being handed out nationwide are disproportionate.

Acting chief Tim Godwin issued a statement Wednesday that said while hitting the 1,000-charged milestone is significant, the investigation is ongoing. He urged the public to turn in anyone involved in the disorder. “Don’t let them get away with it,” he said.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.

Well-wishers flood forward for man who rescued girl

People across the country are offering to help the family of the New Mexico man who rescued a 6-year-old girl who was snatched off the street and thrown into a van.

Police and reporters have received calls from people requesting an address to send gift cards, money and even donations for a college savings fund for the two children of Antonio Diaz Chacon, who jumped in his truck and chased the van Monday. He rescued the girl after the van crashed and her abductor ran away.

Diaz Chacon, 24, had no idea his quick reaction would result in such an outpouring of appreciation and an online flood of high-fives for his heroic actions. “He just says, ‘You know what, it was something I had to do,’” said his wife, Martha Diaz.

JACKSON, Miss.

FBI opens civil rights investigation in murder case

The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the death of a black man who Mississippi authorities say was intentionally run down by a white teenager in a pickup truck.

Deborah Madden, an FBI spokeswoman in Mississippi, said Wednesday that the bureau is investigating the June 26 death of James Craig Anderson.

Anderson’s death flamed anger across the country when a surveillance video was made public of him being run over near a hotel in Jackson.

Deryl Dedmon, who authorities say was driving the green 1998 Ford F-250, is charged with murder. John Aaron Rice is charged with simple assault for allegedly assaulting Anderson before he was killed.

Their attorneys deny they were involved in a racially motivated attack.

ATLANTA

Brain-eating amoeba kills three people

Two children and a young man have died this summer from a brain-eating amoeba that lives in water, health officials say.

This month, the rare infection killed a 16-year-old Florida girl, who fell ill after swimming, and a 9-year-old Virginia boy, who died a week after he went to a fishing day camp. The boy had been dunked the first day of camp, his mother told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Those cases are consistent with past cases, which are usually kids — often boys — who get exposed to the bug while swimming or doing water sports in warm ponds or lakes.

—From news service reports