AP News


'Significant' oil spill closes U.S. ship channel PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press   
Monday, 24 March 2014 06:16

TEXAS CITY, Texas (AP) — No timetable has been set to reopen a major U.S. shipping channel after nearly 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil spilled into the Texas waterway, but more help was being called in Monday to contain the spill and protect important shorebird habitat.

A barge carrying about 900,000 gallons of the heavy oil collided with a ship Saturday in the busy Houston Ship Channel, spilling as much as a fifth of its cargo into one of the world's busiest waterways for moving petrochemicals, according to the Coast Guard.

Oil had been detected 12 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico by Sunday, and as many as 60 vessels were either waiting to get in or out. The Coast Guard — which called it a "significant spill" — said it expected to deploy more containment booms Monday, with 24 vessels working to skim the oil.

Environmental groups said the spill occurred at an especially sensitive time. The channel in Texas City, about 45 miles southeast of Houston, has important shorebird habitat on both sides, and tens of thousands of wintering birds are still in the area.

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Big climate report: Warming is big risk for people PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer   
Monday, 24 March 2014 06:14

If you think of climate change as a hazard for some far-off polar bears years from now, you're mistaken. That's the message from top climate scientists gathering in Japan this week to assess the impact of global warming.

In fact, they will say, the dangers of a warming Earth are immediate and very human.

"The polar bear is us," says Patricia Romero Lankao of the federally financed National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., referring to the first species to be listed as threatened by global warming due to melting sea ice.

She will be among the more than 60 scientists in Japan to finish writing a massive and authoritative report on the impacts of global warming. With representatives from about 100 governments at this week's meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, they'll wrap up a summary that tells world leaders how bad the problem is.

The key message from leaked drafts and interviews with the authors and other scientists: The big risks and overall effects of global warming are far more immediate and local than scientists once thought. It's not just about melting ice, threatened animals and plants. It's about the human problems of hunger, disease, drought, flooding, refugees and war, becoming worse.

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'Significant' oil spill closes U.S. ship channel PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press   
Monday, 24 March 2014 06:12

TEXAS CITY, Texas (AP) — No timetable has been set to reopen a major U.S. shipping channel after nearly 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil spilled into the Texas waterway, but more help was being called in Monday to contain the spill and protect important shorebird habitat.

A barge carrying about 900,000 gallons of the heavy oil collided with a ship Saturday in the busy Houston Ship Channel, spilling as much as a fifth of its cargo into one of the world's busiest waterways for moving petrochemicals, according to the Coast Guard.

Oil had been detected 12 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico by Sunday, and as many as 60 vessels were either waiting to get in or out. The Coast Guard — which called it a "significant spill" — said it expected to deploy more containment booms Monday, with 24 vessels working to skim the oil.

Environmental groups said the spill occurred at an especially sensitive time. The channel in Texas City, about 45 miles southeast of Houston, has important shorebird habitat on both sides, and tens of thousands of wintering birds are still in the area.

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Eight dead, many missing after Washington landslide PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP, Associated Press   
Monday, 24 March 2014 06:09

ARLINGTON, Wash. (AP) — Hopes of finding any more survivors from a massive mudslide that killed at least eight people waned as searchers pulled more bodies from the tangled debris field and crews worked through the night into Monday in rural Washington state.

Search and rescue teams took to the air in helicopters and the ground on foot on Sunday looking for anyone who might still be alive. Their spirits had been raised late Saturday night when they heard voices calling for help from the flotsam of trees, dirt and wreckage. Dangerous conditions forced them to turn back in the darkness, but they resumed their work at first light Sunday.

"We didn't see or hear any signs of life out there today," Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said. "It's very disappointing to all emergency responders on scene."

Snohomish County sheriff's Lt. Rob Palmer said four more bodies were discovered late Sunday. Earlier in the day, authorities said one body had been found on the debris field. Three people were already confirmed dead on Saturday.

More people remained missing, and authorities said the number was "fluid." Earlier Sunday, they said it was at least 18, but that count came before additional bodies were discovered.

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'Homeland' actor James Rebhorn dies at 65 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer   
Monday, 24 March 2014 06:07

NEW YORK (AP) — James Rebhorn, the prolific character actor whose credits included "Homeland," ''Scent of a Woman" and "My Cousin Vinny," has died. He was 65.

Rebhorn's agent, Dianne Busch, said Sunday that the actor died Friday at his home in South Orange, N.J, after a long battle with skin cancer.

Busch said Rebhorn was diagnosed with melanoma in 1992 but managed to work until the last month.

In five decades of television and film work, Rebhorn amassed more than 100 credits, ranging from a shipping magnate in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" to the prosecutor in the series finale of "Seinfeld," in which he famously sent the group to jail.

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