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

washington

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.

thailand

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.

moscow

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.

california

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.

washington

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.

Elsewhere

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. Half of Florida lawmakers fail or nearly fail review of support for public records

    State Roundup

    WEST PALM BEACH — Half of Florida's legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year's legislative sessions.

    State Senator Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton (left) and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran ranked on opposite sides of the spectrum in an analysis of support for open records. Galvano scored a B-minus and Corcoran scored a D-plus.
[Times file photo]
  2. Yale dean on leave over offensive Yelp reviews leaves post

    Bizarre News

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Yale University dean who was placed on leave over offensive reviews she posted on Yelp has left her position at the Ivy League institution, school officials said Tuesday.

  3. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  4. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane

    Bucs

    OJ Howard (far right) is seen in a photo from his adolescent years at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Howard served as an usher in addition to attending regular services at this church.