AP U.S. NewsBrief at 5:54 p.m. EDT
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Explosions shake Ill. village after train derailsTISKILWA, Ill. (AP) _ With flames shooting to the predawn sky from a train derailment just blocks from her home, a 17-year-old girl refused to evacuate until she helped a paralyzed young neighbor with cancer get to safety. She then banged on the doors of seven houses to make sure other neighbors were awake and out of harm's way. "In small communities, you know everybody," Cynnandra Luttrell said. "It means more."
California governor signs ban on shark fin tradeSACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ California's governor announced Friday that he signed a bill banning the sale, trade and possession of shark fins to protect the world's dwindling shark population. Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB376 over objections that the fins are used in a soup considered a delicacy in some Asian cultures.
New prostate cancer test advice overturns dogmaWASHINGTON (AP) _ Men finally may be getting a clearer message about undergoing PSA screening for prostate cancer: Don't do it. They may not listen. After all, the vast majority of men over 50 already get tested.
AG Holder answers critics on gun-smuggling issueWASHINGTON (AP) _ Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that his testimony to Congress about a controversial gun-smuggling probe was truthful and accurate and that Republicans are engaging in political posturing when they say otherwise. In his most forceful criticism of Republicans during his time as attorney general, Holder said that he had said little so far about the gun-smuggling probe because the Justice Department inspector general is investigating it but that he could not sit idly by while a Republican congressman suggested that law enforcement and government employees be considered accessories to murder.
Pain of job crisis goes well beyond the unemployedWASHINGTON (AP) _ Unemployment has been stuck near 9 percent since the recession ended more than two years ago. The jobs report for September on Friday sent the clearest signal to date that the crisis will last through next year's elections. The pain isn't confined to the 14 million officially unemployed Americans. Among those hurt by today's 9.1 percent jobless rate are people forced to work only part-time and those who've given up looking for work in frustration.
Jurors hear Jackson doctor detailing treatmentsLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Jurors who have sat facing Dr. Conrad Murray for two weeks heard his voice for the first time Friday on a recorded interview he had with detectives two days after his patient, Michael Jackson, died under his care. The more-than two hour recording two days after Jackson's death has never been played in public before.
Shooter blocked door, screamed before rampageCUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) _ As his colleagues cowered in terror underneath tables in a meeting room at a Silicon Valley cement plant, a gunman with his face contorted in an enraged grimace crouched down to look at each of them before firing. One of the survivors, 49-year-old Jose Rivas, tells The Associated Press that Shareef Allman arrived at a security meeting early Wednesday at the Lehigh Southwest Cement plant, grabbed a cup of coffee, then left.
Wall Street protest functions like a small cityNEW YORK (AP) _ It looks like a rock festival the morning after, a tangle of tattered sleeping bags. But the demonstrators taking part in the three-week-old protest against Wall Street have created a functioning city within the city, a small, working democracy. There are task forces in charge of food, security, first aid, sanitation, legal help and Internet access. There's even a library. A generator supplies power for laptops and cellphone chargers.
State Department promises fair process on pipelineWASHINGTON (AP) _ With noisy protestors demonstrating nearby, a top State Department official insisted on Friday that a decision on whether a Canadian company can go forward with a plan to pipe oil from tar sands in western Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast will be fair and above board. Assistant Secretary of State Kerri-Ann Jones, of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, brushed back allegations from critics that the decision on the plan is tainted by a previous relationship between TransCanada executive Paul Elliott and Secretary of State Hilllary Rodham Clinton. Elliott was an aide on Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.
Obama fundraiser pushed Solyndra loanWASHINGTON (AP) _ An Energy Department adviser and former fundraiser for President Barack Obama pushed to make sure that a California solar company got a half-billion federal loan, despite pledging to recuse himself because his wife's law firm represented the company. Newly released emails show that Steve Spinner, a former Obama fundraiser who helped monitor a clean energy loan guarantee program, was more actively involved in a loan for Solyndra LLC than administration officials have acknowledged.
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