Sunday, August 30
Man charged with murder in ambush of Houston area deputy
HOUSTON (AP) — Texas prosecutors are charging a 30-year-old man with capital murder in the killing of a uniformed sheriff's deputy who was gunned down from behind while filling his patrol car with gas in what officials described as a "senseless and cowardly act."
The arrest of Shannon J. Miles — who has a criminal history that includes convictions for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct with a firearm — came less than 24 hours after authorities said he ambushed 47-year-old Darren Goforth, a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Office, at a suburban Houston Chevron station.
Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman says the motive for the killing has not been determined but investigators would look at whether Miles, who is black, was motivated by anger over recent killings elsewhere of black men by police that have spawned the "Black Lives Matter" protest movement. Goforth was white.
Hickman says investigators are working on the assumption that Goforth was a target "because he wore a uniform."
ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) — Rescue crews are trudging through mud, rocks and uprooted trees to reach communities cut off by a tropical storm that killed at least 20 people and left nearly 50 missing in the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica.
Volunteers are helping to carry food, water and clothes for dozens of Dominicans who have been isolated for up to three days after Tropical Storm Erika dumped some 15 inches of rain this week on the mountainous island.
As Dominicans continue to dig out, Erika has dissipated after drenching Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
The remnants of Erika are drifting near the coast of eastern and central Cuba and are expected to move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. The Hurricane Center says that heavy rains and gusty winds are still possible across southern and central Florida on Sunday.
Ignacio strengthens into Category 4 hurricane near Hawaii
HONOLULU (AP) — The Big Island of Hawaii is bracing for high winds, heavy rain and ocean swells of up to 20 feet as strengthening Hurricane Ignacio approaches the state.
Ignacio has grown to a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of up to 135 mph. Forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center say conditions are right for it to continue strengthening, but upper-level winds will eventually weaken the storm.
That won't be enough to prevent high winds and battering surf from hitting Hawaii. A tropical storm watch was issued for the Big Island, and forecasters warn that sustained winds there could potentially reach tropical storm force of 39 mph as early as Monday morning.
Forecasters say swells generated by Ignacio along east and southeast facing shores of the Big Island will increase to 15 to 20 feet Sunday through Monday, creating potentially life-threatening surf conditions.
Some low-lying areas along the coast could flood. Two to 4 inches of rain is expected, with as much as 6 inches in higher elevations.
Clinton: Celebrate progress but continue work
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton says New Orleans should celebrate progress after Katrina but also work on recovery for all.
Clinton spoke Saturday night at an event to remember those who died in the storm, thank volunteers and commemorate how far the city has progressed since Aug. 29, 10 years ago.
Katrina killed more than 1,800 people across the Gulf Coast and cost billions of dollars in damage in one of the most deadly storms in the country's history.
Clinton said New Orleans should be happy and celebrate but that "our job is always to form a more perfect union."
His comments spoke to the uneven recovery across the city. Some areas are booming while other neighborhoods still suffer from deep poverty.
Strong winds blamed for 2 deaths in Seattle area
SEATTLE (AP) — Strong winds are being blamed for two deaths in the Seattle area and nearly a half-million power outages in the Seattle area.
The News Tribune reports that a 36-year-old man was killed Saturday when a tree fell on his car in Gig Harbor. His 3-year-old girl was in the car but was not hurt.
A 10-year-old girl playing outside at a friend's birthday party was struck and killed by a falling tree limb.
Puget Sound Energy estimated 224,000 customers without power. Three other Seattle area utilities had 240,000 outages between them.
The National Weather Service reported 20 to 35 mph winds, with gusts as high as 50 mph.
CALIFORNIA PRISONS-LEGIONNAIRES' DISEASE
Dozens under observation as Legionnaires' hits prison
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say dozens of San Quentin prisoners are under observation after an inmate was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.
Weekend visits have been curtailed, and drinking water is being trucked in to the prison. Portable shower units arrived Saturday for inmate use.
Meanwhile, an inmate who was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease on Wednesday is hospitalized in stable condition.
California Corrections Department spokeswoman Dana Simas says three other inmates also are hospitalized after displaying pneumonia-like symptoms, but they haven't been diagnosed with the disease.
In addition, the prison has about 45 inmates under observation for respiratory illness.
The prison has about 3,700 inmates and 1,800 employees. No employees have fallen ill.
TURNER FIELD-FAN FALLS
Fan dies after fall from upper deck at Atlanta Braves game
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police say a fan has died after falling from the upper deck into the lower-level stands at Turner Field on Saturday night during a game between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees.
Lt. Charles Hampton of the Atlanta Police Department homicide unit says it happened in the seventh inning.
Hampton says the man was in his early 60s and was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital. There's no immediate word on his identity pending notification of his next of kin.
Hampton says police don't suspect foul play at this point.
The man fell close to the area where players' wives and families sit.
Stadium medical personnel treated him for about 10 minutes, applying CPR. As they worked in a circle around the man, security officers cleared the area. The fan was taken from the seating area on a backboard.
Hammerhead shark sighting prompts California beach closure
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A shark that was seen circling kayakers has led lifeguards to close a San Diego County beach.
A 1 1/2-mile stretch of beach from La Jolla Cove to Scripps Pier was closed Saturday afternoon after a confirmed sighting of the 8- to 10-foot hammerhead shark.
San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesman Lee Swanson said the shark appeared to be acting aggressively toward a group of kayakers and followed them into shore.
Lifeguards reviewed a video taken by a kayaker of the shark and ordered the beach closed. A marine biologist at the nearby Scripps Institution of Oceanography confirmed that the size, species and behavior of the shark warranted the closure.
Swanson said there have been no additional sightings. Lifeguards will reassess the water Sunday morning to decide whether to reopen the beach.
European countries to increase checks on trains
PARIS (AP) — France's interior minister says European countries will increase ID checks and baggage checks on trains after American passengers thwarted an attack on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris.
Bernard Cazeneuve said the checks would be carried out "everywhere it is necessary" but did not give other details. He spoke after an emergency meeting Saturday in Paris with top security and transport officials from nine countries and the European Union in the wake of last week's attack attempt.
He also called for better coordination on intelligence and security across Europe's border-free travel zone.
The suspect in last week's attempted attack had been on the radar of European surveillance but bought his ticket in cash and showed no ID before bringing an automatic rifle and a handgun onboard the train unnoticed.
Egypt sentences 3 Al-Jazeera reporters to 3 years in prison
CAIRO (AP) — Three Al-Jazeera English journalists who were sentenced to three years in and Egyptian prison on Saturday for broadcasting "false news" are now seeking a pardon from President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
The decision by the Egyptian court has sparked an international outcry and underlines how authorities are trampling over free speech just over a year into el-Sissi's presidency.
El-Sissi has personally expressed regret over the long-running trial and the damage it has done to Egypt's international reputation, saying it would have been better to simply deport the journalists. Al Jazeera says it will also appeal the verdict, once the court releases its full ruling in the next 30 days.
The work of Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed was embroiled into the wider political conflict between Egypt and Qatar, where Al-Jazeera is based, following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
El Salvador officials deactivate powerful car bomb
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — It's still not clear who left a powerful bomb in a car parked near El Salvador's security ministry. But experts were able to deactivate it.
The country's defense minister says the bomb contained plastic explosives and would have sprayed glass shards if it had exploded.
The Justice and Security Ministry earlier issued a statement saying that agents found the bomb Friday in a car that had been reported stolen. They were apparently acting on an anonymous tip.
A crackdown on gangs, and battles among the gangs themselves, have led to hundreds of deaths this year in the country of 6 million people.
The U.S. Embassy has issued a warning that the discovery "is evidence of a further escalation in the level of violence" in El Salvador, though it says it is not aware of any threats aimed directly at U.S. citizens.