Nation briefs 8/20/05

Saturday, August 20, 2005

White House OKs 11-hour shifts for truck drivers

WASHINGTON -- Truckers can still spend six days on the road during the week and drive for 11 hours at a time, thanks to a rule the Bush administration decided to leave intact even though truckers and safety advocates say it's unsafe. Annette Sandberg, chief of the truck-safety agency, said the rule requires drivers to take at least 10 hours off between shifts, two more than before, and reduces the maximum work day from 15 hours to 14. On Friday, the truck-safety agency announced that a revision to the rule would still allow the big rigs to roll for 11 hours, three hours more than safety advocates say they should.

Coretta Scott King mostly paralyzed after stroke

ATLANTA -- Coretta Scott King is mostly paralyzed on the right side of her body and faces a long, difficult recovery from a stroke, but she managed to say a few words Friday, her doctor said. Dr. Maggie Mermin, King's personal physician, said that the 78-year-old widow of Martin Luther King Jr. is unable to walk and has been mostly unable to speak since the stroke Tuesday in the left side of her brain.

BTK killer Rader begins serving life sentences

EL DORADO, Kan. -- As he was being driven to prison Friday to begin serving a life sentence, Dennis Rader chatted with officers about the weather -- noting how green the scenery looked. The killer was led into the El Dorado Correctional Facility prison at 7:28 a.m. He wore an orange jumpsuit and was chained at the wrists and ankles. Rader's arrival at El Dorado came after a two-day sentencing hearing in nearby Wichita. Rader, who wanted to be known as BTK for "bind, torture, kill," got the stiffest sentence the law allowed -- 10 consecutive life terms with no chance of parole for 175 years.

-- From wire reports

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