Special envoy is named to Muslim group
President Barack Obama on Saturday named a White House lawyer as his special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, part of his continuing effort to repair strained U.S. relations with the world's Muslims. Obama announced Rashad Hussain's appointment during a video address to the 7th U.S.-Islamic World Forum meeting in Doha, Qatar. As his liaison to the OIC, the president said, Hussain will continue working to repair U.S.-Islamic relations and develop the types of partnerships Obama called for when he addressed the Muslim world during a speech last year in Cairo.
Wet winter blamed for border deaths
An unusually wet winter in Arizona this year has been lethal for illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico into the United States, with nine people dying from hypothermia since November. Despite an estimated slowdown in illegal crossings, that is same number of immigrants who died of hypothermia during the previous three winters combined. The 60 bodies found from Nov. 1-Feb. 12 mark a 58 percent increase from the same period last year and are more than in any of the previous five years.
Amtrak service resumes after fire
Amtrak service between Philadelphia and Trenton, N.J., resumed on two of four tracks while crews continue to investigate a fire that damaged an overhead wire. Amtrak suspended service on the four tracks that serve the two cities after a New Jersey Transit locomotive engine caught fire Saturday. New Jersey Transit spokeswoman Courtney Carroll said all 62 passengers were safely evacuated, although one was taken to a hospital for possible smoke inhalation.
E. coli fear leads to recall of meat
A Southern California meatpacking firm has expanded its recall of ground beef and veal that might be contaminated with E. coli. The recall includes about 4.9 million additional pounds of products by Huntington Meat Packing Inc. under the Huntington, Imperial Meat Co. and El Rancho brands, the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said. The original recall was announced Jan. 18 and was for 864,000 pounds of meat. The products were not sold in Florida.
Officer shot during traffic stop
The Washington State Patrol and other police agencies launched a massive hunt for an unidentified man who shot a Washington state trooper early Saturday. Although a small-caliber bullet lodged in the back of Trooper Scott Johnson's head, his injury is not believed to be life-threatening, according to the State Patrol.