Saturday, August 29
UPDATE: Sheriff's deputy fatally shot in Houston while pumping gas
HOUSTON (AP) — Law enforcement officials are turning over every rock this morning in an intense manhunt for the man they say gunned down a sheriff's deputy in suburban Houston.
Officials say 47-year-old Deputy Darren Goforth was pumping gas into his patrol vehicle when he was shot multiple times and killed by a man who approached him from behind.
Police said they have a description of the male suspect, who was driving a red or maroon Ford Ranger truck, and have begun an intensive search.
Dominica prime minister says 20 dead following 'Erika'
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Dominica's prime minister says 20 people have died and the island has been set back 20 years in the damage inflicted by Tropical Storm Erika.
Roosevelt Skerrit said in a televised address late Friday that hundreds of homes, bridges and roads have been destroyed.
He said authorities still have not been able to reach some communities cut off by landslides, mudslides and flooding.
Tropical Storm Erika dumped 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain on the mountainous island and unleashed destructive flooding.
Florida, South Carolina, Georgia prepare as storm nears
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Officials in at least three states are making preparations for Tropical Storm Erika.
South Carolina has partially activated its emergency center. In Savannah, Georgia, city employees are pulling storm shutters out of storage. Florida Gov. Rick Scott is declaring an emergency, saying Erika "poses a severe threat to the entire state." A forecaster says all three states could see heavy rain in the coming days.
The storm is expected to approach Florida on Monday.
Forecasters say there is still much uncertainty with the storm's forecast. Current projections have Erika making landfall on the southwest coast of Florida and moving inland toward South Carolina.
Residents across Gulf remember Katrina's might, recovery
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — People across the Gulf Coast are planning to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with somber remembrances of those lost and uplifting celebrations of the region's recovery.
Ten years ago today Katrina made landfall.
The hurricane's force and flooding ultimately caused more than 1,800 deaths across the region and roughly $151 billion in damage.
In Mississippi, churches will ring their bells to remember when the storm made landfall. And Biloxi's MGM Park will hold a memorial service and concert.
In New Orleans officials will lay wreaths at the hurricane memorial and at the levee that ruptured in the Lower 9th Ward.
Former president Bill Clinton is one of the dignitaries expected to speak at an event honoring those who helped the city recover.
Survivor's husband recounts story before gunfire erupted
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The chamber of commerce official who was answering questions about her community on live TV when gunfire erupted said she never saw the gunman walk up to the group.
Vicki Gardner, who is executive director of the resort area's chamber of commerce, says the camera's bright light blinded her. She was wounded as she fell to the ground after hearing the first shots, her husband said Friday.
The gunman, Vester Flanagan, ambushed WDBJ-TV cameraman Adam Ward and reporter Alison Parker during the interview Wednesday at the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center.
The first four shots were aimed at Parker, and two more were aimed at Ward, Gardner's husband Tim said in a telephone interview from the hospital where she is recovering. Then he fired at Gardner, though his first couple of shots missed her.
Afghan official: Taliban kill 8 police officers in attacks
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says at least eight police officers have been killed in separate attacks by Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan.
Col. Asadullah Ensafi, the deputy police chief in Ghazni province, said Saturday another 15 police officers were wounded in the attacks on police checkpoints in the province's Andar and Qarabagh districts.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks, carried out on Friday. Insurgents have targeted police checkpoints targeted in recent months, resulting in high casualties.
Separately, Ensafi says an Afghan airstrike killed 16 insurgents and wounded 17 late Friday in Ghazni's capital.
The war with the Taliban has been particularly tough this year for Afghan forces, who are fighting without international troops backing them up following the U.S. and NATO ending their combat mission last year.
Europe rethinks train security after Americans thwart attack
PARIS (AP) — European security and transport chiefs are urgently reconsidering train security after American passengers thwarted an Islamic extremist attack on a high-speed trip from Amsterdam to Paris.
Baggage scans, identity checks and more armed guards are among measures being considered at an emergency meeting Saturday in Paris of interior ministers and transport ministers from nine countries, according to French security officials.
However, they said the ministers are not planning to call into question the principles of Europe's border-free travel, known as the Schengen zone. That means any new measures taken in the wake of the Aug. 21 train attack are likely to remain relatively modest.
The security officials said there's no way to monitor each passenger and bag without choking the continental train system, which Europeans rely upon heavily.
Barge tips, vehicles fall into Victoria harbor
VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) — British Columbia's Ministry of Environment says a barge has tipped in Victoria's harbor, dumping as many as 20 vehicles into the water.
The ministry says the barge was being loaded by metal recycling company Schnitzer Steel in an area of the harbor just north of the city's downtown core.
Booms are in the water to contain any pollution and the ministry says the coast guard, Transport Canada, police, fire and harbor master are on scene.
The ministry says Transport Canada has indicated that the vehicles were cleaned of fuel before being loaded onto the barge.
Seaspan is the barge owner, and the ministry says it will be responsible for all cleanup costs.
7 killed, 2 injured in China paper mill accident
BEIJING (AP) — Authorities in central China authorities say seven workers were killed and two injured after exposure to poisonous gasses at a paper mill.
A statement from the Anxiang county government in Hunan province say the accident occurred Friday after an employee fell into a pool filled with poisonous waste paper pulp during a cleaning operation. It says his co-workers rushed to help him but were overcome by the noxious gasses.
The incident comes amid a spate of industrial accidents in China, the worst being an explosion at a warehouse storing toxic chemicals in Tianjin port that killed at least 145.
Police have arrested 11 local officials and company executives in that incident along with 10 employees of the firm involved. Nationwide safety checks were ordered after the Aug. 12 disaster.
Firefighters worry about stronger winds
CHELAN, Wash. (AP) — The largest wildfire ever recorded in Washington state has grown by more than 22 square miles. And firefighters may see tougher conditions over the weekend, with high winds in the forecast.
The flames have burned more than 470 square miles. They're just 12 percent contained.
Officials say at least 45 homes have been destroyed along with dozens of other structures. Three firefighters have died battling the fires.
In Oregon, crews are working to protect homes from a fire covering 135 square miles. It's destroyed more than three dozen homes. National Guard and other fire crews are working to reinforce lines against winds that are forecast to be gusting up to 40 miles an hour.
Some evacuations have been ordered in west-central Idaho because of a wildfire that has expanded to 40 square miles.
And officials say residents of the Essex area in northwestern Montana could be out of their homes for up to a week because of a fire that is within a half mile of the town on the southern edge of Glacier National Park.