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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Budget deal may signal era of tiny achievements

Sunday, 15 December 2013 08:54 Published in National News

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislative leaders are calling the modest budget deal a bipartisan breakthrough even as they agree it does little.

But several Washington insiders warn against assuming that it will be followed by progress on other issues such as immigration.

Here's what Republican Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas says: "I don't think that's what this was about."

House approval of the budget deal marked a rare cease-fire between Democrats and Republicans. But the main purpose was to prevent a repeat of last fall's government shutdown.

Some activists say there's no obvious follow-up to what the White House calls a "good first step."

Some Republicans say the budget deal will just make it easier for them to focus criticism on their favorite target — President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Coast Guard wants barges to ship fracking water

Sunday, 15 December 2013 08:53 Published in National News

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard wants to allow barges filled with fracking wastewater to ply the nation's rivers on their way toward disposal. Many environmentalists are horrified, but industry groups say barge transport has its advantages.

Critics of the plan say that if there was an accident, it could threaten the drinking water supply of millions of people. They also cite the uncertainty around what's in that toxic mix.

The Coast Guard is proposing to address that by requiring chemical testing of each barge load before shipment.

The wastewater now is usually disposed of by truck or rail. A government report notes that poses more risk for accidents than shipping by barge.

The industry says far greater amounts of toxic chemicals are already being moved by barge, including oil drilling waste.

Prison bus crashes, forces closure of I-64

Sunday, 15 December 2013 08:42 Published in Local News

Interstate 64 was shutdown near Scott Air Force Base after a prison bus crash. The accident happened on the eastbound side of the highway near Route 158.

 

Police say the bus was traveling in the westbound lanes when it crossed over the center median and crashed on the eastbound side. Thirteen people--nine inmates and four guards--were taken to the hospital. As many as fifteen inmates were injured, but the extent of the injuries is unknown.

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