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Amtrak crash blamed on bad truck brakes

Reno, Nev.

Amtrak crash blamed on bad truck brakes

An inattentive trucker with a history of speeding violations driving a tractor-trailer with faulty brakes was the probable cause of a fatal collision with an Amtrak train that left six people dead in northern Nevada last year, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded Tuesday. On a 5-0 vote, the panel also agreed that the weakness of passenger car walls likely contributed to the number of deaths and more than a dozen injuries after the truck skidded 300 feet into the train at a rural crossing on June 24, 2011. It recommended new strength standards be developed. The truck driver, Larry Valli, 43, was killed along with the train's conductor and four passengers.

CHICAGO

Jackson's wife won't run for seat

The wife of Jesse Jackson Jr. said Tuesday that she's not interested in running for the U.S. House seat her husband held for nearly 17 years, ending talk that she was eying the Chicago-area district. "No. I am not a candidate for Congress," Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson told reporters. "I intend to remain an alderman." Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned last month citing his health and acknowledging that he's under federal investigation, reportedly over the use of campaign funds.

South Sudan

Soldiers blamed in civilian deaths

South Sudan soldiers are being blamed for the deaths of more than 20 civilians in two separate regions in the world's newest country. A South Sudanese official said Tuesday that the first incident took place in Jonglei state last week. The official said soldiers rounded up civilians and fired on the group, killing 13. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. Separately, SPLA troops were reported to have opened fire on civilians in Western Equatoria state on Saturday and Sunday. A U.N. spokesman said that nine people were killed.

New York

Chemical thrown in rabbi's face

An advocate for child sexual abuse victims in the Satmar Hasidic community was injured by a chemical he believed to be bleach that was thrown in his face as he walked down the street in his Williamsburg, Brooklyn, neighborhood on Tuesday. Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg said a man came up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. "He has a cup of bleach," Rosenberg said, adding that he recognized the man. "And then he says 'whoops' and throws it in my face and walks off." Rosenberg is expected to fully recover, a relative said.

Elsewhere

JOHANNESBURG: Heavy rains in South Africa have caused a bridge to collapse, killing 14 people, the South African Press Association reported Tuesday.

CHICAGO: A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down a ban on carrying concealed weapons in Illinois and gave lawmakers 180 days to write a law that legalizes it.

Times wires

Amtrak crash blamed on bad truck brakes 12/11/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:25pm]
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  1. Offense gets some juggling

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The night after scoring six runs to emerge from what had been a historically fallow offensive stretch seemed like an odd time to make changes to the lineup, but that was exactly what the Rays did for Wednesday's late game against the Blue Jays.

    Associated Press
  2. Dunedin man accused of possessing child pornography

    Crime

    DUNEDIN — A 57-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of intentionally downloading child pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Richard Beal Anger, 57, of Dunedin faces 11 counts of possession of child pornography. [Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Pence cuts short Latin America trip and pressures Chile to sever all ties to North Korea

    Politics

    SANTIAGO, Chile — Vice President Mike Pence is cutting short his Latin America trip by one day to return to Washington for a strategy meeting Friday at Camp David with President Donald Trump and the national security team.

    Vice President Mike Pence urged Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to take a tougher stand against North Korea on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile.
  4. Big Ben backlash: Plan to silence beloved bell under review

    World

    LONDON — British Parliament officials said Wednesday they will review plans to silence Big Ben during four years of repairs after senior politicians criticized the lengthy muting of the beloved bell.

  5. UF's move to deny white nationalist Richard Spencer a venue sets up a First Amendment court fight

    College

    In denying a notorious white nationalist his request to speak on campus, the University of Florida has brought a thorny legal battle to Gainesville in the name of keeping its students safe.

    Legal experts say the University of Florida will have an uphill battle in court proving that fears of violence from an appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer will override the First Amendment. "There's a fine line between inciting lawlessness and engendering a situation where lawlessness arises," said Peter Lake, higher education law professor at Stetson University College of Law. [Getting Images]