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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Suspected gas explosion damages Urbana building

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 09:47 Published in Local News
URBANA, Ill. (AP) - No injuries were reported after a suspected natural gas explosion in an unoccupied building on the University of Illinois campus.
 
The Champaign News-Gazette reports Tuesday morning's fire in Urbana was reported around 6 a.m.
 
The building was once a doctor's office and the former University Faculty Assistance Building.
 
Urbana Fire Chief Brian Nightlinger told the newspaper that authorities believe a natural gas leak sparked the explosion and subsequent fire that shot flames into the sky.
 
He says investigators will plan to disassemble the rest of the building to reach debris that's burning inside.

Pope Francis shares Birthday breakfast with homeless

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 09:45 Published in National News
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Four homeless people have helped Pope Francis celebrate his 77th birthday at the Vatican.
 
They live nearby and were invited to attend the morning Mass which Francis celebrates daily at the Vatican hotel where he lives. One of the men held his dog as he was presented to Francis after Mass. The Vatican said Francis invited his household help to join him in a "family-like" atmosphere, and he spoke of them one by one during his homily.
 
After Mass, all ate breakfast with Francis at the hotel.
 
Francis already blew out the candles on his birthday cake, presented to him on Saturday by children at the Vatican.
 
Another present awaits him. His favorite Argentine soccer team, San Lorenzo, will give him a replica of their championship trophy.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - After months of legal wrangling and false starts in a battle to resume domestic horse slaughter, plants in New Mexico and Missouri are working to begin processing equine for human consumption.
 
   The efforts come on the heels of an order late Friday by a federal appeals court that lifted an emergency stay on the companies' plans.
 
   Blair Dunn, an Albuquerque who represents Valley Meat Co. of Roswell and Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Mo., says the plants Monday "are pushing full steam ahead to be ready to go as soon as possible."
 
   Rains Natural Meats, he says, even has horses on site. But it's unclear if the plants will open before Christmas or wait until after the holidays.
 
   The Humane Society vows "the fight for America's horses is not over."

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