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U.S. may be ready to cut its losses on invisible fence along Mexico border


U.S. is ready to cut losses on invisible fence

The Department of Homeland Security, apparently ready to cut its losses on a so-called invisible fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, has decided not to exercise a one-year option for Boeing to continue work on the troubled plan involving high-tech cameras, radar and vibration sensors. The result, after an investment of more than $1 billion, may be a system with only 53 miles of unreliable coverage along the nearly 2,000-mile border. The fence was intended to link advanced monitoring technologies to command centers for the Border Patrol to identify and thwart human trafficking and drug smuggling but has been plagued by missed deadlines and limitations of existing electronics in rugged areas where winds and a tumbleweed can be enough to trigger an alarm.


Flooding called the worst in decades

Floods spreading from northeastern Thailand have left 17 people dead over the past two weeks as heavy rainfall has put entire villages underwater, destroyed crops and disrupted transportation and commerce. Officials describe the flooding, which follows deadly inundations in Vietnam and other nearby countries, as the worst in half a century. Damage is estimated at more than $650 million.


Putin's chief of staff is now mayor

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's chief of staff was named mayor, cementing the Russian leader's control over the capital and its sizable chunk of the nation's wealth. Sergei Sobyanin, 52, replaces Yuri Luzhkov, who was fired by President Dmitry Medvedev last month after 18 years in office.


Tony mall burns after standoff

A high-end regional mall that is one of the main retail centers in a broad swath of Northern California was set ablaze after police arrested a man who had barricaded himself inside. Police said Alexander Corney Pigee, 23, holed up in a video game store at the Roseville Galleria and started a small fire, which erupted into a larger blaze that damaged an entire arm of the mall. The 1.3 million-square-foot Galleria was evacuated by the time the fire erupted.


HIV drug combo warning issued

The Food and Drug Administration warned doctors and HIV patients that two antiviral drugs can cause dangerous heart rhythms when they are combined. The agency says the combination of Roche's Invirase and Abbott Laboratories' Norvir can trigger irregular heartbeats, leading to fainting, light-headedness and even death.


Mexico: Federal police arrested Fernando Contreras, a gang member who detonated the first successful car bomb by Mexican drug cartels on June 15, an attack that killed three in the border city of Ciudad Juarez.

St. Marc, Haiti: An outbreak of severe diarrhea in rural central Haiti has killed at least 135 people and sickened hundreds more.

Taiwan: Typhoon Megi's heavy rains in the northeast triggered massive rockslides on a coastal highway, trapping as many 400.

Texas: James Wooten, 51, convicted for the 1996 murders of an elderly couple, became the 17th inmate executed this year in the nation's most active death penalty state.

Times wires

U.S. may be ready to cut its losses on invisible fence along Mexico border 10/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 21, 2010 11:14pm]
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  1. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer


    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  2. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry


    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.
  3. Told not to look, Donald Trump looks at the solar eclipse


    Of course he looked.

    Monday's solar eclipse — life-giving, eye-threatening, ostensibly apolitical — summoned the nation's First Viewer to the Truman Balcony of the White House around 2:38 p.m. Eastern time.

    The executive metaphor came quickly.

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump view the solar eclipse from the Truman balcony of the White House, in Washington, Aug. 21, 2017. [Al Drago | New York Times]
  4. Secret Service says it will run out of money to protect Trump and his family Sept. 30


    WASHINGTON — The Secret Service said Monday that it has enough money to cover the cost of protecting President Donald Trump and his family through the end of September, but after that the agency will hit a federally mandated cap on salaries and overtime unless Congress intervenes.

    Secret service agents walk with President Donald Trump after a ceremony to welcome the 2016 NCAA Football National Champions the Clemson Tigers on the South Lawn of the White House on June 12, 2017. [Olivier Douliery | Sipa USA via TNS]
  5. After fraught debate, Trump to disclose new Afghanistan plan


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will unveil his updated Afghanistan policy Monday night in a rare, prime-time address to a nation that broadly shares his pessimism about American involvement in the 16-year conflict. Although he may send a few thousand more troops, there are no signs of a major shift in …

    U.S. soldiers patrol the perimeter of a weapons cache near the U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan in 2003. Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents as strong as ever and the nation's future precarious. Facing a quagmire, President Donald Trump on Monday will outline his strategy for a country that has historically snared great powers and defied easy solutions.  [Associated Press (2003)]