Texas flood losses estimated at $1 billion

Texas flood lossesestimated at $1 billion
SAN ANTONIO -- Gov. Rick Perry said losses from a week of severe flooding could add up to $1 billion, a bleak estimate that came as waters continued to rise in some areas.
"Once all these floodwaters recede, we'll see the impact," Perry said Monday after touring a flooded home in San Antonio. "It's going to be substantial. ... This is another major, major blow to the state of Texas."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency added 11 counties Monday to the list of 13 counties that President Bush last week proclaimed disaster areas.
Perry had requested that 17 more counties be given the disaster designation that will allow residents and businesses to qualify for federal aid. FEMA spokesman David Passey said the other six counties on the governor's list were still under federal consideration.
The flooding appears to be getting worse in some places. Waters rose near Corpus Christi as authorities released water from the brimming Lake Corpus Christi Reservoir, and forecasters said a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico could bring more rain to already water-logged areas.
Saddam's stepsondeported from U.S.
MIAMI -- Saddam Hussein's stepson has been deported to New Zealand after being detained on immigration violations when he arrived at a Florida flight school attended by one of the Sept. 11 hijackers.
Mohammed Nour al-Din Saffi, 36, will remain in federal custody until he arrives in New Zealand, where he is a naturalized citizen, said Rodney Germain, an Immigration and Naturalization Services spokesman in Miami.
No criminal charges are pending, Germain said today.
The deportation Monday was widely expected after Saffi was detained last week because he did not apply for a student visa that would have allowed him to take courses. Instead he traveled as a tourist under a visa waiver as a citizen of New Zealand.
Saffi was working for an airline in New Zealand and planned to attend classes at Aeroservice Aviation Center, a Miami-based flight school, according to the FBI.
Saffi is the eldest son of Samira al-Shahbandar, Saddam's second wife.
Two die, one woundedin Jerusalem gunbattle
JERUSALEM -- A Palestinian gunman opened fire on Israeli police officers just outside the walled Old City of Jerusalem today, wounding one, and a passer-by was killed in the ensuing gunbattle, police said.
The shooting came after a Palestinian militant died in the West Bank, apparently as a result of a clash with Israeli troops, and just before a second round of high-level meetings between Israeli and Palestinian officials aimed at easing tensions after 21 months of violent conflict.
The Jerusalem shooting occurred when a policeman spotted a Palestinian man who looked suspicious close to Herod's Gate, which leads into the Old City, and tried to check him, police spokesman Kobi Zrihen said. The gunman drew a pistol and shot the policeman. The wounded police officer was in moderate to serious condition, said Yael Bossem-Levy, spokeswoman for the Hadassah Hospital at Ein Karem.
The passer-by, whom police described as an Arab, was shot and killed in the fire. Earlier police said it was the gunman's fire that killed the passer-by, but police then said they weren't sure since officers also fired shots, trying to stop the fleeing gunman. A man's body, covered in black plastic, was seen under a tree.
Estrogen study ends
WASHINGTON -- Government scientists abruptly ended the nation's biggest study of a type of hormone replacement therapy, saying long-term use of estrogen and progestin significantly increased the women's risk of breast cancer, strokes and heart attacks.
Six million American women use this hormone combination, either for short-term relief of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms or because of doctors' longstanding assumptions that long-term use would prevent heart disease and brittle bones and generally keep women healthier longer.
Two of those assumptions are wrong, the National Institutes of Health announced today. In fact, yearslong use of estrogen and progestin increased otherwise healthy women's risk of a stroke by 41 percent, a heart attack by 29 percent and breast cancer by 24 percent.
On the good side, it cut by a third the risk of colon cancer and hip fractures -- but there are other ways to fend off those illnesses, doctors noted. Concluding the hormones' risks outweighed those benefits, the NIH stopped the 16,600-woman study three years early.
Associated Press

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