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Rising Missouri River prompts evacuations

DakotaS

rising River prompts evacuations

An unusually heavy Rocky Mountain snowmelt coupled with spring rains have swelled the Missouri River to dangerously high levels, prompting thousands of North and South Dakota residents to evacuate and prepare for flooding.

The rising river flowing through the Dakotas has strained infrastructure designed to protect communities in the Missouri River basin, said Michael Fowle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Aberdeen, S.D.

As many as 12,000 people were forced to evacuate in the North Dakota city of Minot, and 1,000 homes in the state capitol of Bismarck were under voluntary evacuations, said Cecily Fong, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

In South Dakota, the evacuation of hundreds of homes in Pierre, Fort Pierre and Dakota Dunes was expected to continue into Friday night.



TUNISIA

Bodies of dozens of migrants recovered

Tunisian authorities have recovered the bodies of 150 refugees, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, who drowned after their boat foundered this week in the Mediterranean Sea, a U.N. official said Friday. Up to 120 refugees were still missing.

The clandestine migrants, aboard a 100-foot fishing vessel, had been fleeing Libya for Europe. Rescuers from the Tunisian coast guard and navy saved 578 men, women and children from the vessel, which was crowded with as many as 850 passengers when it ran aground Tuesday near the Kerkennah Islands, said Col. Lotfi Baili of the coast guard, who helped coordinate the operation.

sudan

U.N. report warns of 'ethnic cleansing'

A confidential United Nations report warns that the invasion by Sudan's military of the contested north-south region of Abyei could lead to "ethnic cleansing" if the tens of thousands of residents who fled are not able to return.

The U.N. human rights report — dated May 29 and marked "Not For Public Citation or Distribution" — said the north's Khartoum government may have carried out a premeditated military plan to invade Abyei.

Elsewhere

OKLAHOMA CITY: A suspicious and noisy package that caused evacuations at Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City turned out to be a bullhorn that played Christmas music, some wiring and part of a cell phone, officials said. The FBI said the box's owner was apologetic.

BOWLING GREEN, Va.: Bus driver Kin Yiu Cheung, 37, of Flushing, N.Y., was charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter Friday following a brief court appearance on another charge stemming from this week's crash in Virginia of a bus that killed four passengers and injured dozens more.

NEW HAVEN, Conn.: Raymond Clark III, 26, a former animal research technician, was sentenced Friday to 44 years in prison for killing Yale graduate student Annie Le, 24, in 2009.

TUCSON, Ariz.: The U.S. Forest Service said Friday that four summer rental cabins burned in a wildfire, which was consuming dead and dry trees and brush in the White Mountains near the New Mexico border.

WASHINGTON: First lady Michelle Obama, her mother and daughters will travel to South Africa and Botswana on an official visit June 21-26, she announced Friday.

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, both avid golfers, will play a round together on June 18, a White House official said Friday.

Times wires

Rising Missouri River prompts evacuations

06/04/11 [Last modified: Saturday, June 4, 2011 12:31am]

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