WASHINGTON: More border agents OKd
The House approved $600 million Tuesday to pay for more unmanned surveillance drones and about 1,500 more agents along the troubled Mexican border. The Senate passed an identical bill last week, but must act again, for technical reasons, before sending the bill to President Barack Obama for his signature.
GULF OF MEXICO: Storms delay plugging well
Approaching storms forced crews to suspend drilling the final stretch of a relief well aimed at shooting a permanent underground plug into BP's broken oil well, the government's point man for the disaster said Tuesday. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said the suspension could mean a delay of two or three days in completing the relief well. Crews will pop in a temporary plug to keep what they've drilled so far safe, but they won't send workers back to land. They have about 30 to 50 feet left to drill. National Hurricane Center forecasters said thunderstorms off southern Florida had strengthened into a tropical depression headed over the Gulf.
CALIFORNIA: Collision kills 3 from schools
A university and a high school mourned Tuesday after a fiery crash involving its cross-country teams killed three people and left 16 injured, many of them student-athletes, near the eastern Sierra Nevada. Four people remained hospitalized. Cheerleading coach Wendy Rice, 35, of California Baptist University in Riverside died when an out-of-control sport utility vehicle struck the van she was driving. Amanda Post and Natalie Nield, recent graduates of San Diego's Cathedral Catholic High School, were also killed. In Utah, meanwhile, a tour bus careened off a highway and rolled over, killing three Japanese tourists and injuring 11 others after the driver lost control of the vehicle. The bus driver, who received minor injuries, was distracted or drowsy when he lost control of the bus Monday evening outside Cedar City, the highway patrol said. Half of the 14 passengers in the Japanese tour group were flown in critical condition to Salt Lake City hospitals, 250 miles away.