hHurricane Emily causesmany to flee to shelters
CANCUN, Mexico -- Holding his pillow, 7-year-old Harvey Farrow from Hull, England, waits to be evacuated to a shelter outside of the hotel where he and his family were staying in Cancun. They were waiting to leave Sunday.
Hurricane Emily weakened slightly as it began lashing the beaches of the Yucatan peninsula on Sunday, hours after thousands of jittery tourists streamed out of their waterfront hotels and fled inland to shelter at schools and gymnasiums. The Category 4 storm caused heavy flooding that swept four people to their deaths in Jamaica on Saturday. In Mexico, it downed signs, toppled trees and whipped white sands from the beaches in Cancun. Two people also were killed in a helicopter crash in the Gulf of Mexico as more than 15,500 workers were evacuated from offshore oil platforms.
Israel threatens invasionif attacks aren't stopped
JERUSALEM -- Israel threatened Sunday to invade Gaza if Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas does not control militants who have stepped up rocket and mortar attacks ahead of Israel's planned pullout from the coastal strip next month. Abbas pledged to do his utmost to stop the barrages but warned that an invasion of Gaza would "sabotage everything." Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said all restraints are off and thousands of Israeli troops have massed along the Gaza border. The sudden escalation is the most serious threat yet to a 5-month-old truce that had drastically reduced Palestinian-Israeli violence after more than four years of bloodshed. More than 100 rockets and mortars have rained down on Gaza settlements and Israeli villages just outside the territory in the last four days. Hamas leaders say they are retaliating for Israeli violations of the truce.
Authorities find bodiesof 2 siblings in car wreck
HOOVER, Ala. -- Authorities recovered the bodies of two siblings Sunday who were inside their mother's car when the vehicle went off a highway and into a river. Golfers at a nearby country club rescued the mother Saturday but could not find the children -- 5-year-old Ashlyn Skinner and her 18-month-old brother, Bryson. Search teams located the submerged BMW about 300 feet from where it went into the rain-swollen Cahaba River. The children's bodies were found later in the day. Police declined to say whether they were in safety restraints inside the car. The mother, Brandee Skinner, 30, was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and released. Authorities said the cause of the accident remained under investigation. Rescuers said the river was deeper and murkier than normal because of recent rains from Hurricane Dennis.
Pope delivers blessingfrom mountain retreat
LES COMBES, Italy -- Pope Benedict XVI has found a few surprises during his first papal vacation, relishing in the seclusion of the Italian Alps and finding that a piano had been installed in his house for him to play, his spokesman said Sunday. Benedict made his first public appearance Sunday since he arrived in Les Combes a week ago, blessing some 7,000 people who wound their way up a single lane mountain road to reach the retreat in the shadow of Mount Blanc on Italy's northwest border with France. Maintaining his traditional Sunday blessing, the 78-year-old pope told the crowd gathered in a field beneath his house that contact with nature helps people rediscover their identity as God's creatures. Later Sunday, the pope made an unannounced visit to the museum dedicated to the late Pope John Paul II in the town of Inrod, down the mountain from Les Combes, the ANSA news agency reported.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A 13-year federal study has found that people living near a site that supplied the nation's nuclear arsenal with plutonium for decades did not receive major doses of radiation during the Cold War. The report said few people living near the Savannah River Site had a substantially higher cancer risk from pollution between the early 1950s and 1992, when atomic weapons production reactors shut down. Scientists used 50,000 boxes of records to reconstruct chemical and radiation releases during the Cold War. The study began in 1992.