Nation briefs 8/20/07

Monday, August 20, 2007

Utah miners may be entombed in mountain

HUNTINGTON, Utah -- Six coal miners caught in a cave-in are probably dead and may forever be entombed in the still-quivering mountain, officials conceded Sunday, all but abandoning the unflinching optimism they've maintained publicly for nearly two weeks. Air readings from a fourth hole drilled more than 1,500 feet into the mountainside found insufficient oxygen to support life, said Rob Moore, vice president of Murray Energy Corp., co-owner of the Crandall Canyon Mine. "It's likely these miners may not be found," Moore said, expressing a marked shift in tone in his mine officials' assessments of the chances the men would be rescued, hopes they had maintained even after three rescuers were killed and six more hurt Thursday in another "bump" inside the mountain.

Flooding kills 4 people in southeastern Minnesota

WINONA, Minn. -- Severe storms deluged parts of the upper Midwest during the night with as much as a foot of rain, causing flooding that washed away bridges and roads and killed at least four people, authorities said Sunday. Part of Winona and smaller towns in southeastern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin were evacuated, officials reported. Rushing floods in Minnesota killed two people in their vehicle near Stockton and two others in vehicles near Witoka, said Bob Reinert, the Winona County administrator and spokesman for the county's emergency operations center. Parts of northern Iowa had minor flooding, with no reports of injuries or deaths, officials said Sunday morning.

Death toll from heat in Southeast, Midwest is 44

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- An oppressive two-week heat wave in the Southeast and Midwest has killed at least 44 people, many who were elderly and living in homes without air-conditioning. Authorities in Memphis reported 2 more heat-related deaths Saturday, bringing Tennessee's total to 13. The latest victims were a 74-year-old man found dead Saturday after working in his yard and a 60-year-old man found dead in his home late Friday. Medical Examiner Karen Chancellor warned that individuals with chronic respiratory or heart conditions should take special precautions during this heat wave.

Navy pulls YouTube video involving sailors

SAN DIEGO -- The Navy has removed a video from YouTube shot aboard the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan because it shows sailors using safety equipment inappropriately, a Navy spokesman said. The video, titled "Women of CVN76: 'That Don't Impress Me Much,"' was shot by an airman and not sanctioned by the ship's commanders or the Navy. It includes fleeting shots of the door to the ship's nuclear power plant and of a sailor dancing while wearing a full-body radiation suit. Both could alarm Navy nuclear-propulsion officials, who are sensitive about security. Under Pentagon rules, images of any part of a ship's nuclear plant cannot be shown to foreign nationals.

-- From wire reports

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