NATION IN BRIEF: Girl, 7, gunned down inside car on Miami street

Photo by John Flesher

Photo by John Flesher

MIAMI -- Police said a 7-year-old girl was killed in Miami when a gunman opened fire on the car she was riding in.

The shooting Friday night also critically injured a 24-year-old woman. A 3-year-old girl and another woman also in the car were not hurt.

Police said it's not clear who targeted the car or why.

The victims were not immediately identified, but police said the girl who was killed and the injured woman were not related.

Paramedics were at first able to revive the 7-year-old, but she died on the way to the hospital.

Stupak's district seeks federal aid over ideology

CHEBOYGAN, Mich. -- Even as tea party activists gloat over Rep. Bart Stupak's decision to retire after becoming one of their top targets for defeat, it's far from certain that his constituents will elect a successor who shares their antipathy to government spending.

Michigan's northernmost district has a history of electing moderates more concerned with getting federal money for local projects than with partisanship or ideology -- as long as they stay on the right side of hot-button issues such as protecting gun ownership.

Stupak, who said Friday he would not seek a 10th term, fit the mold so well that he repeatedly was re-elected by large margins -- sometimes over well-financed Republicans.

Wash. day care stayed open after E. coli found

SEATTLE -- Health officials didn't close down a Washington state day care even after four children were hospitalized with a deadly strain of E. coli because of concerns the infection would spread farther if parents took their children elsewhere.

A 4-year-old boy died after being infected at the Vancouver, Wash., center, and three other children were sickened. The first case was reported March 19; the child's death was reported Friday.

Clark County health officer Dr. Alan Melnick said he didn't close the center until April 2 because he worried parents would take their children to other day cares and risk exposing others.

Barbour calls Obama policies a ''man-made disaster''

NEW ORLEANS -- Evoking the memory of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is telling Republicans that the policies of President Barack Obama and other Democrats are a ''man-made disaster.''

Barbour on Saturday addressed the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, a so-called cattle call of potential 2012 presidential candidates.

He took the stage after a slick video paid homage to Barbour himself and his fellow GOP governors.

After recalling the 2005 hurricane, Barbour said, ''Today we're here because we know we have to deal with a man-made disaster.''

Startled elephant kills circus worker

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Authorities said a circus elephant that kicked a worker and killed him before a performance in northeastern Pennsylvania was shocked by an electrical wire.

Wilkes-Barre Sgt. Ken Lukasavage said the Irem Shrine Circus groomer was trying to get the animal away from the wire when he was injured shortly before 4:30 p.m. Friday. The circus wasn't open at the time.

Lukasavage said after the accident, the African elephant, Dumbo, was calm and responded to a trainer's commands. Police said the elephant was confined and did not participate in Friday night's performance.

Obama calls for accountability in W. Va. mine blast

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said Saturday that there must be a thorough investigation and accountability in America's worst mining disaster in 40 years.

Obama made the statement after learning that four missing miners did not survive an explosion in the Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, W.Va., operated by Massey Energy Co. that left 29 men dead.

''All Americans deserve to work in a place that is safe, and we must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that all our miners are as safe as possible so that a disaster like this doesn't happen again,'' Obama said.

Monday's blast was the worst U.S. coal mining disaster since a 1970 explosion killed 38 in Hyden, Ky.