Baton Rouge, La.
Damage from flood is at least $8.7B, governor says
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says his state had more than $8.7 billion in damage from catastrophic flooding in August, and the figure will increase as officials finish assessing damage to roads and other public infrastructure. The governor's office Saturday released a letter Edwards sent Friday to President Barack Obama. In it, the Democratic governor asked that Congress this month approve $2 billion in federal aid for Louisiana for housing, economic development and infrastructure. He said it's a "very reasonable request," adding to other programs assisting in Louisiana's flood recovery, such as aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "While short-term relief for immediate needs available through FEMA … are greatly needed and greatly appreciated, our full recovery will not be realized without additional help," Edwards wrote.
Shooting at county jail wounds 2 employees
A Fresno, Calif., man was taken into custody Saturday after shooting two correctional officers in the lobby of the Fresno County Jail. Thong Vang, 37, entered the jail lobby shortly after 8:30 a.m. Saturday, saying he wanted to visit someone and trying to get to the front of the line, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told reporters. When he was ordered to wait his turn, Vang began to exhibit "bizarre behavior," pacing back and forth around the lobby, Mims said. During the confrontation that ensued, Vang pulled out a gun and shot correctional Officers Juanita Davila and Toamalama Scanlan, neither of whom were armed, Mims said. Another correctional officer fired several shots at Vang, who then retreated into a hallway before ultimately dropping his weapon and saying that he wanted to be arrested, Mims said. Vang, who had been previously convicted of rape, was held at gunpoint while the two injured officers were taken to ambulances outside.
Giant female panda delivers twins, again
Atlanta's zoo said a 19-year-old giant panda gave birth to a set of twins Saturday. Zoo Atlanta said giant panda Lun Lun delivered the twin cubs at 7:20 a.m. and 8:07 a.m. It's Lun Lun's second pair of twins. Officials said Lun Lun was artificially inseminated in March. Lun Lun and 18-year-old male panda Yang Yang have seven offspring together, all resulting from artificial insemination.
Islamist party leader is executed for role in 1971 war
A senior Islamist party politician was hanged Saturday for crimes committed during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence against Pakistan, an official said. The execution of Mir Quasem Ali, 64, a leader of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party, was carried out three days after the Supreme Court dismissed his plea for a review of his death sentence. Jail officer Prashanta Kumar Bhoumik said Ali was hanged at Kashimpur jail in central Bangladesh. Ali, also a business tycoon and financier of the party, was sentenced to death in November 2014 by a tribunal set up to prosecute people who worked with the Pakistani military during the war. Both the Pakistan army and its local agents were responsible for atrocities on unarmed civilians during the nine-month conflict in what was then the eastern wing of Pakistan. The defendant received the death sentence for crimes including abductions and killings.
Turkish forces expand intervention in Syria
Turkey launched a new incursion into Syria on Saturday, dispatching additional tanks and troops across the border to support Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State, expanding the scope and reach of its 10-day old military intervention. The private Dogan news agency reported at least 20 tanks and five armored personnel carriers crossed at the Turkish border town of Elbeyli, across from the Syrian rebel-held town of al-Rai. The incursion is unfolding about 35 miles west of Jarablus, where Turkish forces first crossed into Syria last month.
Voting gets under way in a crucial election
Hong Kong voters headed to the polls today for the specially administered Chinese city's most crucial election since the handover from Britain in 1997. The vote for lawmakers in the Legislative Council is the first since 2014 pro-democracy street protests rocked the Asian financial hub, and the outcome could lead to a fresh round of political confrontations over Beijing's control of the city.