Flooding from Hermine kills 2
ARLINGTON, Texas — Authorities said flooding from the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine killed a second person.
Johnson County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Mike Gilbert said a 49-year-old man drowned Wednesday after being swept away from his truck on a road near a flooded creek in an area between Alvarado and Lillian.
The National Weather Service said at least one person died in a vehicle submerged by water from a swollen creek.
Detroit mayor: Fire a disaster
DETROIT — Detroit Mayor Dave Bing defended the fire department Wednesday for its response to what he described as ‘‘a natural disaster’’ after wind-whipped flames destroyed dozens of homes across the city.
Asked at a news conference whether the department was adequately staffed, Bing said it was important to point out that nobody was killed.
Fire Commissioner James Mack said the department is budgeted for about 500 firefighters, about 20 fewer positions than last year. He said the 236 on duty Tuesday is typical.
Eight missing in Colorado wildfire
BOULDER, Colo. — Firefighters encountered a tangle of rattlesnakes, downed power lines and combustible propane tanks Wednesday as authorities looked for eight people missing in a wildfire that has destroyed dozens of homes.
Some residents have refused to leave the area and stayed behind, risking their lives to try to save their homes. Authorities are following up with family members and checking homes in the area to find the missing.
About 3,500 people have been evacuated from about 1,000 homes since the fire broke out in a drought-ravaged area north of Boulder on Monday. The reports about the eight missing residents surfaced Wednesday, adding to complaints from locals about a lack of information from authorities about the blaze.
Minister still to burn Qurans
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The leader of a small Florida church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy says he is going forward with his plans to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11 despite pressure from the White House, religious leaders and others to call it off.
Pastor Terry Jones told a press conference Wednesday in Gainesville that he has no intention of canceling.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan and several Christian leaders have asked Jones to reconsider his plans to burn the Qurans outside his Gainesville church Saturday. They say his actions will endanger U.S. soldiers and provide a strong recruitment tool for Islamic extremists.
BP report blames itself and others
NEW ORLEANS — BP took some of the blame for the Gulf oil disaster in an internal report issued Wednesday, acknowledging among other things that it misinterpreted a key pressure test of the well. But in a possible preview of its legal strategy, it also pointed the finger at its partners on the doomed rig.
The highly technical, 193-page report attributes the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history and the rig explosion that set it off to a complex chain of failures both human and mechanical. Some of those problems have been made public over the past 41⁄2 months, such as the failure of the blowout preventer to clamp the well shut.
Xbox blocks gamer over name
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Microsoft Corp. and the chief rules enforcer for Xbox Live are apologizing to a small West Virginia town and a 26-year-old gamer accused of violating the online gaming service’s code of conduct by publicly declaring he’s from Fort Gay — a name the company considered offensive.
The town’s name is real. But when Josh Moore tried to tell Seattle-based Microsoft and the enforcement team at Xbox Live, they wouldn’t take his word for it. Or Google it. Or check the U.S. Postal Service website for a ZIP code.
Mayor David Thompson also tried to intervene, but with little success. He told television station WSAZ, which first reported the dispute, that he was informed the city’s name didn’t matter. The word ‘‘gay,’’ he was told, was inappropriate in any context.
‘‘It was so inappropriate for them, they wouldn’t even say the word,’’ Thompson said.
Stephen Toulouse, director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live blamed miscommunication.