Homeowners raise concerns after Wash. landslide

Owners of about two dozen homes that have been cut off or threatened by a massive landslide in Washington state are worried about their property. More than 60 people attended a Thursday night community meeting with officials to discuss some of the effects of the landslide Wednesday on Whidbey Island that displaced 200,000 cubic yards of earth, or about 40,000 dump truck loads. A spokesman for Island County, Christopher Schwarzen, says residents want to know when they can get back into their homes. They’re also worried about looters. The sheriff’s office plans extra patrols. Continue Reading

China: Landslide traps dozens in Tibetan mine area

A large landslide trapped dozens of workers in a gold mining area in China’s Tibetan region on Friday, state media reported. The landslide covered around 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles) in the Maizhokunggar county of Lhasa, the regional capital, China Central Television said. Rescue efforts were under way. The official Xinhua News Agency said the exact number of people trapped was unclear but that dozens of workers from a subsidiary of the China National Gold Group Corp. were believed to be buried. Continue Reading

40th anniversary of Vietnam withdrawal stirs memories

The last U.S. combat troops left Vietnam 40 years ago Friday, and the date holds great meaning for many who fought the war, protested it or otherwise lived it. While the fall of Saigon two years later is remembered as the final day of the Vietnam War, many had already seen their involvement in the war finished — and their lives altered — by March 29, 1973. U.S. soldiers leaving the country feared angry protesters at home. North Vietnamese soldiers took heart from their foes’ departure, and South Vietnamese who had helped the Americans feared for the future. Many veterans are encouraged by changes they see. Continue Reading

North Korean Leader Says Rockets are Ready to Settle U-S Accounts

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — There are renewed threats today from North Korea, after U.S. stealth bombers took part yesterday in joint military drills with South Korea.  

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is warning that his rockets are ready to “settle accounts with the U.S.” State media reported that he convened an “urgent operation meeting” of senior generals, and ordered his forces to be on standby. North Korea even released a photo of Kim and his senior generals in front of a map that read, “U.S. Mainland Strike Plan.” But the rhetoric is mostly seen as an attempt by the North to coerce South Korea into softening its policies. Continue Reading

Jerusalem’s Old City Hosts Traditional Good Friday Observance

JERUSALEM (AP) — A Good Friday tradition has played out again today in Jerusalem’s Old City.  

Hundreds of Christians hoisted wooden crosses and chanted prayers as they walked through the cobblestone alleyways, retracing Jesus’ steps on the way to crucifixion. Later today, a service is scheduled in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. Continue Reading

We Earned More, Spent More, Last Month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers earned more and spent more in February, helped by a stronger job market that has offset some of the drag from higher taxes.  

The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.7 percent in February compared with January. It was the biggest gain in five months and followed a 0.4 percent rise in January, which was revised up from an initial 0.2 percent estimate. Income rose 1.1 percent last month. That followed January’s 3.7 percent plunge and December’s 2.6 percent surge. Continue Reading

Just as Much Corn but Fewer Soybeans for Iowa this Year

The U-S-D-A spring planting survey shows farmers across the country intend to plant a little more corn and slightly less soybeans in the upcoming growing season.  

 

Iowa goes slightly against that trend. The state was the top corn producer in the nation last year and estimates show farmers will plant the same 14-point-two-million acres in corn planted last year.   Iowa soybean acres are expected to increase by one-percent to nine-point-four-million acres. Overall, the report says 97-point-three million acres will be planted to corn this year compared to 97-point-two million last year. Bean acreage is projected at 77-point-one-million acres, compared to 77-point-two million in 2012. Continue Reading

California Chick-fil-A gives free food to gay marriage supporters at rally

A California Chick-fil-A surprised gay marriage supportersat a rally by passing out free meals coupons, despite the fast food chain’s COO’s outspoken stance against same-sex marriage. The Los Angeles Daily News reports Corey Braun, the owner and operator of a franchise in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., says he felt the gathering was an opportunity to show hospitality to members of his community, regardless of their beliefs. “I wanted to show that Chick-fil-A doesn’t discriminate against anybody,” Braun told the Los Angeles Daily News. “We serve everyone. We’re happy to serve the community and this was an opportunity to have this group come in and show them our hospitality regardless of their beliefs, sexual orientation, or whatever.” Continue Reading

Calif. border patrol officer allowed illegal immigrants into US for bribes

A California border patrol agentpled guilty Thursday to taking bribes in exchange for letting illegal immigrants into the U.S.

According to court records, Hector Rodriguez confessed that from 2010 until his arrest on July 13, 2012 he received bribes such as cash, luxury vehicles and the use of an apartment for allowing illegal immigrants to pass through his inspected lane at the San Ysidro Port-of-Entry. Rodriguez confessed to receiving the bribes from Gerardo Rodriguez and Maria Guerrero, his co-defendants in the case. Records state that in one instance, Gerardo Rodriguez drove a vehicle containing 8 illegal aliens and codefendant Vanessa Moya drove a vehicle containing 6 illegal aliens through Hector Rodriguez’s inspection lane. To conceal the smuggling, Rodriguez would enter false information about who was driving the vehicle and the number of occupants into the government database. Hector Rodriguez was charged with conspiracy to bring illegal aliens in for financial gain and to receive bribes, bringing in aliens for financial gain, and bribery. Continue Reading