A gas explosion and fire that ripped off the facade of a three-story building in New York on Saturday, killing one person and injuring three, might have been caused by a tenant moving out a stove, fire officials said. More than 200 firefighters battled the four-alarm blaze in the borough of Brooklyn after it was reported to the New York Fire Department at 1:05 p.m., Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told a news conference. Although severe structural damage had prevented fire officials from entering the building, Nigro said he thought the fire originated on the second floor.
By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - U.S. Coast Guard pilots found a life ring from the cargo ship El Faro on Saturday, the first trace of the vessel since it went missing two days earlier with 33 mostly American crew members on board, as powerful Hurricane Joaquin moved toward Bermuda. A search-and-rescue crew found the life ring in waters to the northeast of Crooked Island in the Bahamas, about 75 miles (120 km) from the ship's last known position before it went missing on Thursday morning, the Coast Guard said. "Because we found a life ring, the assumption can be made that we are searching in the right area," said Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios.
US President Barack Obama offered his "deepest condolences" over a suspected US airstrike on a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz that killed 19 people, and promised a thorough probe of the incident. "On behalf of the American people, I extend my deepest condolences to the medical professionals and other civilians killed and injured in the tragic incident at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz," he said in a statement released by the White House. "The Department of Defense has launched a full investigation, and we will await the results of that inquiry before making a definitive judgment as to the circumstances of this tragedy," Obama said.
By Sofia Menchu SANTA CATARINA PINULA, Guatemala (Reuters) - Rescue workers scrabbled through earth and rubble on Saturday in search of survivors of a massive landslide in Guatemala that killed at least 48 people, even as hopes began to fade for hundreds of others still missing. Diggers plowed into the mounds of earth that destroyed homes in Santa Catarina Pinula on the southeastern flank of Guatemala City, after authorities said on Friday that as many as 600 people were unaccounted for after Thursday night's disaster. Loosened by rain, tons of earth, rock and trees cascaded onto part of the town from the hillside above, flattening houses and trapping residents who had gone home for the night.
The United Auto Workers union and Ford Motor Co. have averted a strike at a factory in Kansas City, Mo. that builds the company's best-selling F-150 pickup trucks, the union said in a Facebook post late on Friday. Settles said last week the Union local in Kansas City, representing about 7,000 workers, had been unable to resolve differences over seniority, staffing and safety issues. Ford has made about $1.1 billion investments in the Kansas City facility to expand production of pickups and commercial vans.
A suspected US air strike on a hospital killed 19 people Saturday in the Afghan city of Kunduz, medical charity MSF said, a bombardment that the UN condemned as "inexcusable, and possibly even criminal". Dozens more were seriously wounded at the facility, a key lifeline that has been running "beyond capacity" during fighting that saw the Taliban seize control of the northern provincial capital for several days. The strike early Saturday left the building engulfed in flames, with photos posted by Doctors Without Borders showing their staff shocked and dazed.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The international charity Doctors Without Borders said nine local staffers were killed when its clinic came under "sustained bombing" Saturday in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, where Afghan officials said helicopter gunships had returned fire from Taliban sheltering in the facility.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina has spent the last two weeks repeating an erroneous description of videos secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists. That seems bound to continue as she makes her opposition to Planned Parenthood a centerpiece of her 2016 campaign.
A heavily armed gunman who shot to death an English professor and eight others in an Oregon community college classroom was identified on Friday as a student in the class who previously had been turned away from a private firearms training academy. A day after a rampage at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg that ended with 10 dead, including the gunman, and nine wounded, authorities sought a motive for the bloodiest U.S. mass shooting among the dozens reported over the past two years. As further details of the Roseburg shooting emerged, a former girlfriend of one of the wounded survivors, a U.S. military veteran, revealed that his heroism in confronting the shooter may have saved others from being killed.
President Barack Obama said on Friday that he has asked his team to look for new ways to enforce existing regulations to keep guns away from criminals in the wake of the mass shooting in Oregon. "The main thing I'm going to do is I'm going to talk about this on a regular basis," Obama said at a news conference. Obama started by mocking Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush who earlier on Friday had said "stuff happens" in the course of an answer to a question about gun violence.
By Neil Hartnell NASSAU (Reuters) - The fate of more than 30 crew aboard a cargo ship missing off the Bahamas in heavy seas whipped up by Hurricane Joaquin was unknown on Friday as the storm battered the island chain for a second day. News the vessel had lost contact with shore came as forecasters shifted the likely track of the potentially catastrophic storm further away from the U.S. East Coast, but there were still warnings about the possibility of severe flooding in the Carolinas from unrelated heavy rains. Late Friday afternoon, the U.S. National Hurricane Center downgraded Joaquin, the third hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic season, to a Category 3 hurricane on a scale of 1 to 5, down from its previous Category 4 ranking.
By Julia Edwards and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday that he has asked his team to look for new ways to enforce existing regulations to keep guns away from criminals in the wake of the mass shooting in Oregon. "The main thing I'm going to do is I'm going to talk about this on a regular basis," Obama said at a news conference. "I will politicize it, because our inaction is a political decision that we are making." Obama started by mocking Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush who earlier on Friday had said "stuff happens" in the course of an answer to a question about gun violence.
The nine people killed after a gunman opened fire on an Oregon community college campus Thursday took different paths to the small rural college, ranging from teens starting college for the first time to adults who were seeking a second career. One was an assistant professor of English at the college.
President Obama warned that Russia's military engagement in Syria in support of strongman Bashar al-Assad is a "recipe for disaster," though Washington could still work with Moscow on reducing tensions. Russian President Vladimir Putin "doesn't distinguish between ISIL and a moderate Sunni opposition that wants to see Mr Assad go," Obama told reporters, referring to the self-proclaimed Islamic State group.
President Barack Obama on Friday urged the U.S. Congress to approve a bill to fund the government for the current fiscal year to avoid doing damage to the economy at a time global growth is slowing. "I will not sign another short-sighted spending bill," Obama told a White House news conference. On Wednesday, just hours before a midnight deadline when government agency funds were due to run out, Congress approved extending existing spending through Dec. 11.