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Today's News

  • Anxiety in Japan over radiation in tap water

    TOKYO (AP) — Shops across Tokyo began rationing goods — milk, toilet paper, rice and water — as a run on bottled water coupled with delivery disruptions left shelves bare Thursday nearly two weeks after a devastating earthquake and tsunami.

    Anxiety over food and water remained high a day after Tokyo officials reported that radioactive iodine in the city's tap water measured more than twice the level considered safe for babies.

    Radiation has been leaking from a nuclear plant 140 miles (220 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo since it was struck by the March 11 quake and engulfed by the ensuing tsunami. Feverish efforts to get the plant's crucial cooling system back in operation have been beset by explosions, fire and radiation scares.

  • Japan disaster set to be world's costliest

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan's government said the cost of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeast could reach $309 billion, making it the world's costliest natural disaster on record.

    The extensive damage to housing, roads, utilities and businesses across seven prefectures (states) has resulted in losses of between 16 trillion yen ($198 billion) and 25 trillion yen ($309 billion), according to a Cabinet Office estimate Wednesday. That could drag the economic growth rate down by 0.5 percent this year.

    The losses figure is considerably higher than other estimates. The World Bank on Monday said damage might reach $235 billion. Investment bank Goldman Sachs had estimated quake damage of as much as $200 billion.

  • Libya mission gaining, as US to cede control--see video

    WASHINGTON (AP) — As the air war in Libya achieves some of its early objectives, such as grounding Moammar Gadhafi's air force, the Obama administration is looking for a quick exit — at least from a front-line role in an international operation that has yet to gain the robust participation of Arab nations that Washington wanted.

    Civilians in major cities like Misrata are still bearing the burden of clashes with pro-Gadhafi forces that are showing little sign of heeding international demands that they retreat for peace. That is raising the prospect of stalemate and doubt about whether the Libyan leader can be defeated outright.

  • Obama touts Central America ties, cuts short trip

    SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Under the shadow of the Libyan war to the end, President Barack Obama sped to the finish of his Latin American journey on Tuesday, promising a better U.S. fight against the violent drug trade that plagues Central America and undermines the security of an entire region.

    In tiny El Salvador, Obama again found his time diverted and his agenda eclipsed by the U.S.-led military campaign against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. He was scuttling a trip to Mayan ruins here Wednesday morning in favor of a national security meeting on Libya.

    The president is returning to Washington on Wednesday a couple of hours earlier than scheduled.

  • FBI eyes cross-burning in prosperous Calif town

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — An 11-foot cross was stolen from a church and set on fire next to the home of a black family, igniting anger and disbelief in a prosperous, mostly white Central California community that hasn't seen a hate crime in nearly a decade.

    Police assigned extra patrols to the neighborhood in Arroyo Grande and rewards were offered for information leading to an arrest. Church leaders were urged to mention the family in their prayers.

    "I was horrified," said the Rev. Stephanie Raphael, president of the San Luis Obispo Ministerial Association. "We live in a paradise, and I think the first thought was, this can't really be real."

  • Power lines up in progress at Japan nuclear plant--see video

    FUKUSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Workers at a leaking nuclear complex hooked up power lines to all six of its reactor units, but other repercussions from a massive earthquake and tsunami still rippled across Japan as economic losses mounted at three flagship companies.

    The progress on the electrical lines at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was a welcome and significant advance Tuesday after days of setbacks. With the power lines connected, officials hope to start up the overheated plant's crucial cooling system that was knocked out during the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan's northeast coast.

  • Snipers, shells, tanks terrorize key Libyan city--video

    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi's snipers and tanks are terrorizing civilians in Libya's third-largest city, and the U.S. military said Tuesday it was "considering all options" in response to dire conditions that have left people cowering in darkened homes and scrounging for food and rainwater.

  • National Fingerstyle Champion to perform in LA

    National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion, Michael Chapdelaine will play a solo concert at 7 p.m. Thursday at Fuller Lodge, as part of the Guitars at the Lodge Series.
    Chapdelaine has won top honors in five international guitar competitions, including first prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, the world’s most prestigious classical guitar competition. He has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowships and holds a master’s degree from Florida State University. He studied with Spanish maestro Andres Segovia and has been professor of guitar at the University of New Mexico since 1985.

  • Summit Garden Club celebrates 50 years

    At a luncheon in White Rock recently, members and friends of Summit Garden Club celebrated the club’s first 50 years and looked to future events.
    Chartered in 1961, Summit began with eight members whose goal was to learn various aspects of gardening and flower arranging, starting with the basics of floral design. Four members, Dorothy Crawford, Margaret Hanson, Bunnie Newman and Kathleen Hoverson, were honored for 50 years of service.

  • Barranca students show that MathCounts

    A team of four sixth graders from Barranca Mesa Elementary placed second in the MathCounts chapter competition, on Feb.12 at Pojoaque Valley High School. MathCounts is a nationwide coaching and competition program for students in grades six through eight. The MathCounts program encourages excellence, confidence and curiosity through fun and challenging math programs. With their second-place finish, the Barranca students advanced to the state competition in Albuquerque on Saturday.