DULUTH, Minn. – Residents of Duluth began Thursday to assess the damage from flooding caused by historic rainfall, even as areas farther south continued to fight rising waters.
While touring the flood-ravaged northeast Minnesota city Thursday morning, Gov. Mark Dayton said state aid was a certainty and federal aid likely. Duluths mayor, Don Ness, estimated $50 million to $80 million in damage to public infrastructure alone.
Despite the extent of damage, no deaths or injuries were reported in Minnesota – a fact Dayton called remarkable. Three people did die in crashes in central Wisconsin early Thursday after heavy rain washed away a 50-foot stretch of highway.
Commerce secretary resigns after seizure
Commerce Secretary John Bryson resigned Thursday less than two weeks after suffering a seizure and multiple car accidents in the Los Angeles area, saying he didnt want his health to be a distraction from his job.
Bryson, a 68-year-old former California utility executive, was a member of President Obamas economic team and advised the president on energy issues. He made his resignation official in a letter to Obama dated Wednesday, saying it was a consequence of a recent seizure and a medical leave of absence.
U of Va. president could be rehired
The University of Virginias governing board will consider reinstating President Teresa Sullivan at a meeting next week, even as the leader of the embattled board defended the unpopular ouster that threw the flagship university into turmoil.
The board has announced plans to vote Tuesday on whether to retain Sullivan, the first female president of the prestigious public university founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson.
Ten of the universitys 11 school deans, as well as the Faculty Senate, have demanded Sullivans reinstatement amid wide condemnations of the boards abrupt firing of the popular Sullivan.
Despite challenges, Senate OKs farm bill
The Senate on Thursday completed a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that cuts farm subsidies and land conservation spending by about $2 billion a year but largely protects sugar growers and about 46 million food stamp beneficiaries.
The 64-35 vote for passage defied political odds. Many inside and outside of Congress had predicted that legislation so expensive and so complicated would have little chance of advancing in an election year.
The bipartisanship seen in the Senate may be less evident in the House, where conservatives are certain to resist the bills costs, particularly for food stamps.
Combat pay system inequalities decried
A Pentagon review recommends ridding the combat pay system of inequities that have allowed officers thousands of miles from battle to get better benefits proportionally than troops on the front lines in Afghanistan.
The recommendations in a review released Thursday are likely to anger service members. But the director of the review said theyre aimed at paying more to troops who are in the gravest danger and giving the best tax benefits to those who are paid the least.
Toilet flushing setup recalled for dangers
The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Thursday that the maker of a high-pressure toilet flushing system sold at Home Depot and Lowes stores nationwide was recalling the product in the U.S. and Canada.
The Flushmate III Pressure-Assist Flushing Systems use air pressure to help reduce water use. The agency says the products can burst near a seam and the force can lift the toilet tanks lid and shatter the tank. Flushmate received 304 reports of systems bursting and 14 related injuries.
Cancer survivor gets OK for topless swim
A Seattle breast cancer survivor whose breasts were surgically removed has gained the permission to swim topless at a city pool.
Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Christopher Williams announced Wednesday that he was giving Jodi Jaecks an exception to the departments clothing policy. Williams plans to create a committee made up of cancer survivors, parks staff, King County health representatives and others to come up with a new policy.
Asylum seekers’ boat capsizes
A search continued today for scores of men missing after a boat carrying about 200 suspected asylum seekers bound for Australia capsized south of Indonesia.
Indonesian and Australian navies and civilian ships and aircraft had joined the search for around 90 people still missing. All aboard the vessel were male, Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said Friday.
Be our watchdog, Suu Kyi asks Britain
Myanmars opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, warned Thursday that her countrys people need Britain and other allies to act as watchdogs, and not cheerleaders, to ensure its rulers deliver on their promises of reform.
Making an historic address in London to a joint session of both Houses of Parliament, Suu Kyi said Myanmar – which she referred to by its British colonial name of Burma – would need sometimes critical support to fully embrace democracy after 49 years of military rule that ended only last year.
Suu Kyi is the only woman other than Queen Elizabeth II to deliver a speech to a joint session of Parliament at Westminster Hall, and follows dignitaries such as South African President Nelson Mandela, Pope Benedict XVI and President Obama.