By Ernest Scheyder WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) - North Dakota's oil industry is pushing to change the state's radioactive waste disposal laws as part of a broad effort to conserve cash as oil prices tumble. The waste, which becomes slightly radioactive as part of the hydraulic fracturing process that churns up isotopes locked underground, must be trucked out of state. The most common form of radioactive waste is a filter sock, a mesh tube resembling a sandbag through which fracking water is pumped before it's injected back into the earth.
Nissan Motor Co is recalling about 768,000 vehicles, including its popular Rogue crossover and Pathfinder SUV, for separate problems, the company and U.S. regulators said on Wednesday. Some 552,135 Rogues from model years 2008 and 2013 will be recalled because moisture could seep through the driver side floor and cause an electrical short to wiring that could lead to a fire, Nissan and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said. No crashes or injuries have been reported due to the wiring issue, a Nissan spokesman said on Wednesday morning. Also, 215,789 Pathfinder SUVs from the 2013 and 2014 model years and 2013 Infiniti JX35 vehicles will be recalled for problems related to a secondary hood latch, Nissan and NHTSA said.
An attack overnight in northern Mali by a pro-government armed group including suicide bombers killed a dozen people, security sources said Wednesday. "GATIA fighters, accompanied by suicide bombers, attacked a rebel Tuareg and anti-government Arab position in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday near the town of Tabankort. A security source in MINUSMA -- the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali -- confirmed the deaths, adding that two fighters blew themselves up while a third was killed before he was able to detonate his explosives. GATIA is the commonly-used name for the pro-government Imghad and Allies Tuareg Self-Defence Group.
Lebanese Hezbollah militants killed and wounded a number of Israeli soldiers in a "big operation" on Wednesday targeting an Israeli military convoy in a frontier area, a Lebanese political source said. The attack in the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms area was in response to an Israeli rocket attack in Syria, the source, who is familiar with details of the operation, said.
By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - In a public high school in a working-class neighborhood of Chicago, opera singer Eric Owens recently talked with a music class about stage fright, proper breathing and making words matter. The news for U.S. opera has been gloomy in recent years with big opera companies like the New York City Opera and the Baltimore Opera Company shutting down. "There's a concern that if we see a lot of senior citizens, what happens when they pass away and who will fill those seats?" said Cayenne Harris, manager of Chicago's "Lyric Unlimited" outreach program at the city's 61-year-old Lyric Opera.
By Aruna Viswanatha and Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama's pick for his next attorney general faces a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday that will likely highlight tensions between the Obama administration and the new Republican Congress. Loretta Lynch, nominated to the post in November, has stirred little controversy in her 16 years with the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn and is expected to win confirmation.
(Reuters) - New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will be replaced next week by a state lawmaker as he fights federal corruption charges, the New York Times newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing Democratic lawmakers. Rochester-area Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, the majority leader and a top pick to succeed Silver on a permanent basis, is to take over as interim speaker on Monday, the newspaper said. I believe very deeply in the institution," Silver told reporters as he exited the capitol in Albany late on Tuesday, a spokesman said. The replacement was announced after a meeting of Democrats in Albany, the Times said.
By Ellen Wulfhorst and Scott Malone BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - A powerful blizzard struck Boston and surrounding New England on Tuesday, leaving some 4.5 million people grappling with as much as three feet of snow and coastal flooding but sparing New York City residents who had braced for a significant blast. Snow was forecast to keep falling into early Wednesday in eastern New England, possibly setting a record snowfall in Boston. At Logan International Airport, 23.3 inches (59.2 cm) of snow was on the ground early evening, swept higher in parts by strong winds. "There are drifts now of four, five and six feet in some places," Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said.
An employee of a U.S. spy agency has confessed to operating a small drone that crashed on the grounds of the White House, the agency said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of incidents that raised questions about the president's security. A spokesman for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) said that an off-duty employee had told the U.S. Secret Service, which guards the presidential mansion, that he had been flying the four-propellor drone when it crashed on Monday. The NGA is a Defense Department agency whose principal job is to analyze photographs taken by spy planes and satellites. The spokesman said that the Secret Service was investigating and at this point the man was not facing disciplinary action.
President Barack Obama has dropped a controversial proposal to tax "529" college savings plans, a White House official said on Tuesday, calling it a "distraction" from administration efforts to provide middle-class tax relief. The proposal had aroused opposition from Republicans and Democrats in Congress. A source familiar with the situation said House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi had pressed senior administration officials to drop the proposal as she flew with Obama on Air Force One from India to Saudi Arabia. "Given it has become such a distraction, we’re not going to ask Congress to pass the 529 provision so that they can instead focus on delivering a larger package of education tax relief that has bipartisan support," the White House official said.