Monthly Archives: August 2017

Top U.S. railroads resume limited operations in storm-hit Texas

Top U.S. railroads resume limited operations in storm-hit TexasUnion Pacific Corp and BNSF Railway are making progress restoring limited rail service and repairing facilities in parts of southeastern Texas hit by Hurricane Harvey, the two leading U.S. railroads said on Thursday. The closure of most rail lines in the energy and grain transport hub of Houston presents a costly headache for customers ranging from automakers to farmers who use the lines to send ethanol, cereals and auto parts to and from Mexico or to be loaded onto ships. Rail companies are among the many businesses trying to get back to normal after Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in a half-century, drenched the Gulf Coast, killing dozens of people and displacing more than a million others.

Texas law banning second-trimester abortion procedure delayed by federal judge

Texas law banning second-trimester abortion procedure delayed by federal judgeU.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Thursday granted a temporary restraining order against the ban on a procedure known as dilation and evacuation requested by Planned Parenthood and other organizations challenging the law. Abortion opponents call the procedure “fetal dismemberment” and it would be barred under the law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott. “Dismemberment abortions are gruesome and inhumane, which makes it troubling that a district court would block Texas’ lawful authority to protect the life of unborn children from such a barbaric practice,” a spokesman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.

Georgia officer quits amid probe of racial comments on video

Georgia officer quits amid probe of racial comments on videoThe dash cam video, which was aired by WSB-TV in Atlanta on Wednesday, shows the Cobb County police officer standing by a car pulled over alongside a road last year and instructing the woman in the front passenger seat to use the cellphone in her lap to make a call. Officials have identified the officer as Lieutenant Greg Abbott. The station, which obtained the video through public records laws, broadcast only a short excerpt of a longer encounter.

Activists decry Oregon court ruling to 'debark' dogs

Activists decry Oregon court ruling to 'debark' dogsDebra and Dale Krein sued in 2012 after enduring years of what they deemed incessant barking by several Tibetan Mastiff dogs owned by their neighbors, Karen Szewc and John Updegraff, court documents showed. A jury awarded the Kreins $238,000, and the presiding judge ordered all the dogs on the property to undergo “total devocalization” surgery. The dogs’ owners appealed that decision and the Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the judgment and surgery order.

Controversial Wisconsin sheriff who backed Trump resigns

Controversial Wisconsin sheriff who backed Trump resignsClarke, who spoke at the Republican National Convention last summer and campaigned for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, submitted his resignation Thursday and will step down at the end of the day, political consultant Craig Peterson said in a telephone interview. Although he ran as a Democrat, he moved steadily to the right, and currently supports Trump “a thousand percent,” Peterson said.

Thousands of Harvey survivors rescued in Texas, 38 dead

Thousands of Harvey survivors rescued in Texas, 38 deadBy Mica Rosenberg and Emily Flitter PORT ARTHUR, Texas (Reuters) – Soldiers and police in helicopters and high-water trucks rescued thousands of Texans stranded by floodwater from Hurricane Harvey on Thursday, which has killed dozens of people and displaced more than a million others as it drenches the Gulf Coast. Some 779,000 Texans have been ordered to evacuate their homes and another 980,000 fled voluntarily amid concerns that swollen reservoirs and rivers could bring new flooding, according to Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Elaine Duke. Harvey roared ashore late Friday as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in a half-century.

White House vows quick action as Harvey aid estimates soar

White House vows quick action as Harvey aid estimates soarBy Susan Cornwell and David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Estimates of the size of a Hurricane Harvey aid package for Texas and Louisiana rose on Thursday, with one proposal being drafted for $150 billion, while the White House promised to make a request for funding soon to Congress. The Trump administration will make a request to the U.S. Congress shortly for funds to help recovery efforts from Harvey, which caused devastating flooding, White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said.

BNSF says limited rail service restored in storm-crippled Texas

BNSF says limited rail service restored in storm-crippled TexasBNSF Railway Co said on Thursday it has made progress restoring rail service and facility operations in parts of the Houston area and other areas of southeastern Texas roiled by Hurricane Harvey. The carrier owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc said it had restored service on its line north out of Houston and a portion of its Galveston segment between Alvin, just south of Houston, and Temple, about 200 miles (320 km) to the north.

As Harvey gained fury, Home Depot raced to respond

As Harvey gained fury, Home Depot raced to respondAlmost three days before Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, hardware retailer Home Depot Inc received an alert from a weather service and activated its disaster-response plan to get supplies to those in the storm’s path, while turning a profit, too. Then, as Harvey gained power and made landfall late on Friday, the world’s largest home improvement retailer set up a temporary hurricane command center at its Atlanta headquarters. By Thursday, Home Depot had sent about 700 truckloads of supplies to its Texas stores in the path of the hurricane.

Florida Supreme Court sides with governor in squabble over death cases

Florida Supreme Court sides with governor in squabble over death casesThe Florida Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Governor Rick Scott had the authority to reassign a prosecutor’s death penalty cases after she refused to pursue capital punishment for any defendants. Aramis Ayala, a Democrat who took office in January, sued the Republican governor this spring over his decision to take her off two dozen murder cases.