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Boeing 787 suffers two bruising days of problems
By Alwyn Scott and Karen Jacobs
Airlines flying Boeing Co's (BA.N) new 787 Dreamliners need to take extra steps to ensure the planes don't have engine failures or fires because of a manufacturing fault in the fuel line, a U.S. regulator said Wednesday.
Improperly assembled parts in Boeing's newest jet could cause the planes to run out of fuel, experience "engine power loss or shutdown, or leaks on hot engine parts that could lead to a fire," the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said in issuing a formal rule requiring U.S. carriers to inspect the fuel systems.
The fuel issue first emerged Tuesday, the same day a United Airlines 787 flight with 184 people aboard had to make an emergency landing due to an electrical problem.
Nearly five months after Iowa cousins Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins disappeared, the girls' families have been told two bodies were found by hunters in a wooded area, though the identities of the bodies have not been confirmed, authorities said.
Capt. Rick Abben of the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office said at a press conference this afternoon that the bodies are being transported to the state's medical office in Ankeny, Iowa, for positive identification.
"It's definitely not the outcome that we wanted, obviously," Abben said. "This is a difficult thing for us to go through."
Americans may be forgiven for calling their lawmakers "lunatics" given the partisanship that has consumed Washington, but that term will no longer be allowed in laws promulgated by Congress.
The House of Representatives voted 398-1 on Wednesday to strike the word "lunatic" from all federal legislation.
With the Senate having approved the measure earlier this year, the bill now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature
Why did America change its mind about legal marijuana?
By Patrik Jonsson,
One month after Colorado and Washington State voters approved legalized marijuana for recreational use, a new poll suggests that a majority of Americans back the move.
According to a Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday, 51 percent of voters support legalizing pot for recreational use, with 44 percent opposed. The poll continues an upward trend of acceptance, with legal pot breaking the 50 percent threshold in a Gallup poll last year. In 1969, support was only 12 percent....
NASA Releases Stunning Animation of Earth at Night
This incredibly detailed 360-degree view of Earth at night was unveiled during a December 5 presentation at the American Geophysical Union conference. NASA stitched together two months of imagery taken by the new Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) satellite to create a completely cloud-free view of the nighttime planet.
The resolution of VIIRS is six times finer than any previous light-sensing satellite. VIIRS can discern not just city lights but also light from industrial sites, fires, gas flares and boats at sea. NASA and NOAA have begun testing a long list of applications that the satellite will make possible. The observatory will help to improve weather forecasts by mapping nighttime cloud cover; track the movement of wildfires at night; and chart ice, snow and clouds across the Arctic during the long dark winter.
SEC accuses Wells Fargo banker, 9 others of insider trading
By E. Scott Reckar
Federal regulators have accused a Wells Fargo investment banker of passing tips about pending mergers to nine others in an insider-trading ring.
A federal civil lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission said John Femenia and his nine associates, also named as defendants, made more than $11 million by trading on the non-public information.
The SEC obtained a court order freezing the assets of the defendants and two companies associated with them, according to William P. Hicks, the associate director for enforcement at the SEC in Atlanta.
Younger girls forced into prostitution in economic crisis: conference
By Belinda Goldsmith
Younger and younger girls are being dragged into prostitution because of the global economic crisis, a conference on women's rights was told on Wednesday.
About 21 million people - or three out of 1,000 people globally - are in forced labor, meaning they have been coerced or deceived into jobs which they cannot leave, figures released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) this year showed.
The ILO said about 4.5 million of these, mainly women and girls, were victims of sexual exploitation and overall the human trafficking trade was estimated to be worth $32 billion a year.
The early winter storms that soaked northern California, Oregon, and Washington over the past week are expected to taper off Wednesday evening. That’s welcome news to areas across the region that have seen swollen rivers and saturated ground with some local flooding.
Still, forecasters emphasize that winter weather advisories remain in effect for the Cascade Mountains in Washington and the Sierra Nevadas in California, and flood watches continue for western Washington and Oregon as well as northern California.
“After almost a week of heavy rain, the West will finally get a break from the deluge as this last Pacific frontal system has now pushed far enough inland in the northern Rockies,” the National Weather Service’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center reported Wednesday morning. “The exception to this is northern California, where moderate rain is still possible as the southern portion of this system pushes through.”
Anderson Cooper, Andy Court
The following is a script from "Three Generations of Punishment" which aired on Dec. 2, 2012. Anderson Cooper is the correspondent. Andy Court, producer…
Tonight we're going to tell you about a place so brutal and horrific it's hard to believe it exists. It is, by all accounts, a modern-day concentration camp, a secret prison hidden in the mountains, 50 miles from North Korea's capital, Pyongyang. It's called Camp 14, and according to human right rights groups, it's part of the largest network of political prisons in the world today. Some 150,000 people are believed to be doing hard labor on the brink of starvation in these hidden gulags. But it's not just those who have been accused of political crimes; it's their entire families -- grandparents, parents, and children. A practice called "three generations of punishment."
Very little was known about Camp 14 until a young man showed up in South Korea with an extraordinary tale to tell. His name is Shin Dong-hyuk and he said he had not only escaped from Camp 14, but he was born there. He's believed to be the only person born and raised in the camps who's ever escaped and lived to tell about it.
More Than 100 Injured, As Protests In Egypt Escalate
By Eyder Peralta
The standoff between Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his critics escalated today, when more than 100 people were injured in clashes between supporters and detractors.
NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo that the opposition accused Mori's Islamist government of escalating the situation and they dismissed calls to find a consensus.