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Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment

Dec 1, 2012 9:08am

MIAMI AIRPORT-BUS CRASH

UPDATE: Official: Bus hits Miami airport overpass; 2 dead

MIAMI (AP) — Police say a second person has died after bus crash at Miami airport and three others were taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Airport officials say the large, white bus hit an overpass going into the airport's arrivals section this morning. The bus was going about 20 mph when it clipped the roof entrance.

Miami-Dade police say the bus is privately owned and typically used for tours. It's not immediately clear where the bus was headed, but police say the driver was unfamiliar with the area and did not intend to wind up in the airport arrivals area.

An airport spokesman says 32 people were on the bus, and all have some sort of injuries. T

TRAIN DERAILMENT-CHEMICALS

UPDATE: 100 still out of homes over NJ train derailment

PAULSBORO, N.J. (AP) — More than 100 people in southern New Jersey remain out of their homes as officials continue efforts to clear a hazardous gas that spewed from a ruptured freight train car.

The precautionary evacuations in Paulsboro were ordered late Friday, hours after the train derailment. They will likely remain in effect throughout the weekend and possibly longer.

The order came after readings showed higher levels of vinyl chloride in the air. The gas, used to make the common plastic PVC, can make people dizzy or sleepy.

Officials say 106 people were evacuated and placed in area hotels.

CALIFORNIA STORM

California braces for more stormy weather

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Forecasters say more wet weather is expected along the West Coast as moist air continues to stream inland from the Pacific Ocean.

Drenching rain and strong winds have knocked out power to thousands, delayed flights, tied up traffic and flooded some roadways in Northern California. The heaviest rain is expected to shift north from Northern California to Washington and Oregon today.

A flash flood watch remains in effect for most of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Santa Cruz Mountains. The National Weather Service says the storms could cause rock and mud slides in areas already saturated and affected by wildfires this summer.

After the second in a series of storms slammed the region yesterday, forecasters say scattered showers are expected today before a third storm strikes tomorrow morning.

OBAMA

Obama: Don't hold middle-class tax cuts hostage

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says it's unacceptable for some congressional Republicans to "hold middle-class tax cuts hostage" because they don't want tax rates to rise on the wealthy.

In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Obama says the average middle-class family of four could pay $2,200 more in taxes next year after the fiscal cliff. He says Republicans could give families "a sense of security going into the New Year" by extending tax cuts for the middle class.

In the Republican address, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch accuses Obama of a "classic bait-and-switch on the American people" amounting to a tax increase twice the size of what he campaigned on.

Hatch says Democrats are pushing what he calls a disastrous strategy.

FISCAL CLIFF-COMPETING VISIONS

House and Senate sit on tax bills the other passed

WASHINGTON (AP) — It may not sound like it from the rhetoric, but both the House and Senate have passed separate bills to delay big tax increases awaiting nearly every taxpayer next year if Congress and the White House can't agree on a plan to avert the "fiscal cliff."

The Democratic-controlled Senate passed a bill in July that would extend many of the expiring George W. Bush-era tax cuts for middle-income families, while letting tax cuts end for individuals who make more than $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000.

The Republican-led House passed a bill in August that would extend the tax cuts for just about everyone. Leaders from each party say their bill should be the starting point for finding a solution in the next few weeks.

PAKISTAN

Suspected US drone strike kills 3 in Pakistan

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani officials say a suspected U.S. missile strike has killed three militants in a Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border.

Senior government official Shahid Ali says two drone-fired missiles hit a vehicle Saturday near the Sheen Warsak area of South Waziristan, killing a Yemeni militant and two others.

The attack was second this week in the same area. On Thursday, a missile strike on a house killed three alleged militants. Two intelligence officials say another Yemeni was killed in that strike.

The intelligence officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief reporters.

Pakistan's tribal regions are considered key hideouts for Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.

SYRIA

UPDATE: Internet appears to be back on in Syrian capital

BEIRUT (AP) — Internet service appears to have been restored in the Syrian capital following a two-day, nationwide communications blackout.

An Associated Press reporter in the capital, Damascus, says service is back. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said access to the Internet had been restored, saying it was getting dispatches from Damascus, the central cities of Homs and Hama, the northern city of Aleppo and areas along the coast.

The communications blackout began Thursday, raising fears of a burst of fighting outside the public eye. The government and rebels have blamed each other for cutting the lines.

Activists say Syrian troops backed by helicopter gunships are on the offensive today against rebels in villages and town near the international airport in Damascus. The fighting over the past few weeks is the worst to hit the capital since July, when rebels captured several neighborhoods before a quick government counteroffensive swept out the opposition fighters.

Syrian troops are fighting a 20-month-old revolt against the President Bashar Assad's regime. Activists say some 40,000 people have been killed in the violence.

IRAQ-SYRIA

Iraq says it can't search all Syria-bound planes

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister says his country is unable to search all Syria-bound Iranian planes that fly through Iraqi airspace.

But Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that Iraq is committed to preventing weapons from being shipped through the country to Syria.

U.S. officials have accused Baghdad of allowing Damascus' close ally Iran to transport arms to Syrian government forces via Iraqi airspace.

Baghdad denies the allegations. Since October, the Iraqi government has forced two Iranian planes to land and be searched, but authorities say nothing illegal was found on either aircraft.

The Syrian crisis began in March 2011 with pro-democracy protests and morphed into a civil war that has killed, according to anti-government activists, more than 40,000 people.

EGYPT

Thousands support Egypt president in rival rally

CAIRO (AP) — Thousands of people waving Egyptian flags and hoisting large pictures of the president are demonstrating across Egypt in support of him.

The Muslim Brotherhood, from which President Mohammed Morsi hails, hopes the turnout at the Saturday rallies will counteract earlier opposition protests. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets twice this week opposing Morsi's decrees last week to grant himself sweeping powers.

Morsi says he acted to prevent courts led by former regime holdovers from dissolving the assembly and delaying a transition to democracy.

"The people support the president's decision!" chanted crowds outside Cairo University, where several thousand had gathered.

Saturday's rallies also aim to show support for a draft constitution passed by an Islamist-led assembly early Friday.

CONGO-FIGHTING

Congo rebels complete Goma pullout

GOMA, Congo (AP) — A military official says that the M23 rebels have left Congo's eastern provincial capital less than two weeks after they took the city of Goma.

Ugandan Brig. Jeffrey Muheesi, who is part of a mission sent by regional leaders to oversee the rebel retreat, said Saturday the pullout from Goma was complete. He spoke from the outskirts of the city.

Muheesi said government police were now controlling the bank, governor's office and the border post.

M23 rebels, believed to be backed by Rwanda, took the capital of North Kivu on Nov. 20, after battling the Congolese army for nearly a day. They had defied two earlier ultimatums to leave the city, set by a group of nations bordering Congo.

Trucks full of M23 soldiers started driving out of the city this morning.

CURACAO-GOLD HEIST

NEW: Curacao police have new leads in $11.5M gold heist

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao (AP) — Police in Curacao say they have several leads following a brazen heist in which gunmen pretending to be police stole 70 gold bars worth an estimated $11.5 million from a fishing boat.

Spokesman Reggie Huggins told The Associated Press Saturday that authorities have the license plate number of one of the three cars used in Friday's getaway. He said they also have received several tips from the public.

Police say at least six men were involved, but no one has been arrested.

Huggins said police are still interviewing the ship's captain and three crew members, one of whom said they brought the gold from Guyana.

Officials in Guyana said they are investigating whether the gold was indeed mined in the South American country.


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