Nation briefs 6/30/16

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Military seeks delay of transgender regs

WASHINGTON -- U.S. officials said senior military leaders are expressing concerns the launch of new Pentagon rules allowing transgender service members to serve openly in the military is moving too quickly. The Pentagon plans to unveil the new regulations in the next day or two. Under those rules, transgender people will be allowed to serve and no longer can be forced to leave based on their gender identity. Officials said military leaders have asked the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, to relay their concerns to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. The military leaders said many details over implementation of the plan still must be resolved.

3 train workers presumed dead

PANHANDLE, Texas -- Three missing crew members from the two freight trains that collided head-on in the Texas Panhandle are presumed dead, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Wednesday. Emergency personnel at the scene of Tuesday's collision about 25 miles northeast of Amarillo have moved to a recovery operation, DPS Sgt. Dan Buesing said. Each train had a two-member crew. One man jumped moments before the crash and remained hospitalized Wednesday with injuries that are not considered life-threatening. The two BNSF Railway freight trains were on the same track when they collided, triggering a fireball and causing containers and cars to tumble onto one another in a pileup.

Nanny-cam attacker gets life in prison

NEWARK, N.J. -- A judge sentenced a career criminal to life in prison Wednesday for a home-invasion beating caught on a nanny cam after listening to the victim describe how the attack left her with physical and psychological scars. Shawn Custis said nothing during the hearing and held a folder of papers in front of his face to block photographers from taking his picture. The woman, who testified against Custis during the trial, gasped and sobbed in the gallery after state Superior Court Judge Ronald Wigler pronounced the sentence and referred to the 45-year-old man as "vicious, depraved and evil." The 2013 attack lasted several minutes and began while the woman was sitting with her daughter, watching television, with her infant son sleeping upstairs. The woman was punched and kicked repeatedly and thrown down a flight of stairs. The children weren't injured.

5 injured by blast at aluminum plant

NEWNAN, Ga. -- Five workers were injured in an explosion at an aluminum plant about 35 miles southwest of Atlanta, authorities said. The blast at Bonnell Aluminum in Newnan on Wednesday morning shook downtown buildings nearly a mile away. Images from television helicopters showed a gaping hole in the plant's roof, surrounded by pieces of crumpled metal. One of the injured employees was flown to Atlanta Medical Center, and two others were taken to a hospital, the company said in a statement. The other two employees were treated at the scene, the statement said. Their injuries ranged from "life-threatening to walking wounded," Coweta County fire marshal Craig Sherrer said.

-- From wire reports

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