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NATIONAL BRIEFS


THE NORTHEAST: Storms tainted water supply

Nasty floodwaters from the remnants of storms Lee and Irene, tainted with sewage and other toxins, threaten public health in parts of the Northeast. "We face a public health emergency because sewage treatment plants are underwater and no longer working," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said as central and eastern Pennsylvania were inundated. A dozen Vermont towns flooded by Irene were still on boil-water orders 12 days later. When floodwaters cause water tables to rise, septic tanks can become inundated, their contents floating to the surface. New York City officials said any threat from Irene's backwash had passed, but upstate, 23 municipal water systems had boil-water orders for varying lengths of time. As some communities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania were taking similar precautions after Irene, the unrelenting rains of Lee were expected to trigger more.


WASHINGTON: New date for MLK memorial

Organizers have set an October date to dedicate the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall after Hurricane Irene forced postponing the event in August. The memorial's executive architect, Ed Jackson Jr., told The Associated Press on Sunday it will now be dedicated Oct. 16. The dedication Aug. 28, the 48th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, was postponed because of safety concerns. President Barack Obama is now scheduled for the new date, Jackson said in an email. Oct. 16 will be the 16th anniversary of the Million Man March on the National Mall.


CALIFORNIA: Ban on shark fins voted

The California Senate has passed legislation to ban the trade, sale and possession of shark fins, rejecting arguments that the conservation measure discriminates against Asians who consume shark's fin soup. If Gov. Jerry Brown signs the measure, California will be the fourth state to ban shark fin imports. Hawaii, Oregon and Washington already have done so.

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