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December 1, 2008

Condoleezza Rice Heading to India in Aftermath of Terrorist Attacks

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was dispatched to New Delhi Sunday by President Bush in order to demonstrate the United States' support of India in its dealing with the aftermath of terrorist attacks that resulted in the death of almost 200 people, six of whom were Americans. (AOL News)

Rice's new itinerary calls for her to travel to New Delhi Wednesday after a NATO meeting in Brussels. It is not determined as to whether Rice's new planned visit to India will cancel or only postpone her original travel plans. Rice's original plans were to attend the NATO meeting Tuesday and Wednesday and from there travel to Rome, Helsinki, and Copenhagen.

Space Shuttle Endeavor Returns from Mission

The space shuttle Endeavor returned Sunday after a 16-day trip to the Inernational Space Station, landing in California. (AOL News) The aircraft was supposed to land in Florida, but was detoured due to weather complications. The space shuttle had aboard seven astronauts, all of whom returned safely.

The mission included remodeling the space station as well as repairing a solar wing rotary joint. Remodeling the space station included a new bathroom facility, a new kitchenette, an exercise machine, two sleeping quarters, and a new invention used to recycle sweat and urine so that it may be used for drinking water.

Repairing the solar wing rotary joint entailed four space walks in order to remove metal shavings that have caused the joint to be jammed for over a year, which has been detrimental to its energy production.

November 10, 2008

2 Accused in Threat to Obama Kept on Lockdown

Two white supremacists in Little Rock, Arkansas facing accusations of planning to assassinate Obama are being kept on lockdown in their Tennessee jail cell. (AOLNews)

"20-year-old Daniel Cowart of Tennessee and 18-year-old Paul Schlesselman of Arkansas are under the lockdown for their protection," according to The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The two are only allowed to leave their cell for one hour to watch television or use the phone, but are reported to have caused no problems since arriving to the jail about two weeks ago. They have pleaded not guilty to charges but could face 50 years in prison if convicted.

November 3, 2008

Seven Injured after Drive-by Shooting in Chicago

A drive-by shooting outside a club on Chicago's West Side left three people hospitalized in critical condition and four others wounded but listed in good condition early Sunday morning, according to Chicago police and police spokesman Dan O'Brien. (AOLNews.com)

A van passing by opened fire around 4:45 a.m. on the seven victims as they were leaving a social club. It is unknown how many people were inside the van.

There is no known motive for the shooting, nor is anyone in custody, say police.

Investigators were attempting to discern whether there is surveillance camera footage available from the club.

October 27, 2008

Search for 2 Remaining Fishing Boat Crew Members is Ended

After searching almost 5,000 square miles around the Aleutian Islands, the Coast Guard announced Sunday the suspension of its search for the two remaining crew members of 11 who were aboard a fishing boat as it sank Tuesday. (AOL News)

The two remaining are thirty-year-old Carlos Zabala and 49-year-old Robert Davis. Four crew members were rescued from a life raft, five were found dead in the water.

According to Coast Guard Petty Officer Richard Brahm, the search can be reopened if needed. When in the surrounding vicinity of the sinking incident, fishing vessels are expected to keep a lookout.

Monday, testimony by surviving crew members is to begin in Anchorage at an investigative hearing.

October 13, 2008

Wildfire Damages Area North of Los Angeles

A wildfire approximately 20 miles north of downtown Los Angeles destroyed two homes and forced about 1,200 people to evacuate Sunday. (AOL News) According to Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Ron Harralson, the flames affected up to 750 acres.

Two people reported minor breathing problems, with no serious injuries suffered as a result of the fire.

Though Harralson said firefighters were "getting a really good handle" on the flames, evening winds were expected to arrive that could potentially intensify and enlarge the fire.

About 450 homes and an animal sanctuary and rehabilitation center were evacuated Sunday as the wildfire approached neighborhoods and the nonprofit agency.

The cause of the fire is currently being investigated.

October 6, 2008

"Texas Bus Crash Survivors Honor Emergency Helpers"

Survivors of and relatives of those who died in a bus crash returned to the location of their crash Sunday in order to celebrate Mass and pay gratitude to the city officials who helped them.

A tourbus had been carrying members of a Houston-area Vietnamese Catholic group on Aug. 8 when a tire blew and the bus broke through a guardrail, coming to rest down an embankment. About 50 people gathered at the point where the bus came to rest. A semi-circle of vases, one for each of the 17 victims, was created around a 6-foot wooden cross.

Thai Pham, president of a victim's group, expressed the group's gratitude toward the city officials who had helped, saying, "We're thankful that our loved ones found somewhere humane and dignified during their last moments of life."

September 29, 2008

Four Killed in Helicopter Crash

A medical helicopter crashed in Maryland Sunday, killing four of its five passengers. (AOL News) The helicopter was in the process of transporting two vehicle crash victims to a hospital when the pilot reported having trouble viewing his landing via radio, and the helicopter ended up landing three miles from the Air Force Base where it intended to land as an alternative to the hospital.

Those killed were the pilot, a flight paramedic, an emergency medical technician, and one of the traffic accident victims. The one other traffic accident victim in the helicopter survived the crash and was in critical condition at a hospital.

The number of medical aircraft accidents and deaths due to such accidents has been so large over the past few years that the safety board has decided to hold a public hearing, the date of which is undecided. The number of fatal aircraft ambulance accidents has been growing since the 1990s. Approximately 30 people have died as a result of such accidents in the past year, this crash being the past year's eighth fatal medical helicopter crash nationwide. It was the deadliest medevac helicopter accident in Maryland in all the 40 years the State Police have been flying such missions.

Bodies have been removed from the crash site, but wreckage remained Sunday night, which officials hope to clean up within a couple of days.

September 22, 2008

Predictions that High Black Turnout could Help Gay Marriage Ban

California supporters of the freedom of same-sex marriage are worried that record numbers of black voters, who traditionally vote conservatively on gay issues, will vote in favor of a ban on gay marriage. The ban on same-sex marriage would be a result of an amendment being made to the state Constitution.

September 15, 2008

Rail Crash in Los Angeles

A rail crash in Los Angeles resulted in 25 deaths and 135 injuries Sunday. The dispatcher warning the conductors of the train reached the conductors too late for the train to stop before colliding with a freight train.

Among those killed is the engineer of the train. Injuries included partially severed limbs, according to Dr. Marc Eckstein, medical director for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

"It was the deadliest passenger train crash since Sept. 22, 1993, when Amtrak's Sunset Limited plunged off a trestle into a bayou near Mobile, Ala., moments after the trestle was damaged by a towboat; 47 people were killed," according to AOL News.