Radio problems cited in deaths of 19 firefighters
A three-month investigation into the June deaths of 19 Arizona firefighters found that the men ceased radio communication for a half hour before they were killed in a wildfire blaze. The report did not assign blame, and some family members say that reluctance could put other lives in danger.
The 120-page report released Saturday found that proper procedure was followed in the worst firefighting tragedy since Sept. 11, 2001. Investigators suggested that the state of Arizona should possibly update its guidelines and look into better tracking technology.
Syrian rebels capture post near Jordan border
Syrian rebels including members of an al-Qaida-linked group on Saturday captured a military post on the border with Jordan after four days of fighting, an activist group said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 26 soldiers were killed in the battle as well as a number of rebels, including seven foreign fighters. The post served in the past as the customs office on the border with Jordan. It was turned into an army post years ago.
The post is on the outskirts of the southern city of Daraa, where the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime began in March 2011. The uprising later turned into a civil war that killed more than 100,000 people, according to the U.N.
hMiss Philippines wins Miss World
Miss Philippines, Megan Young, was crowned Miss World on Saturday amid tight security on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali, where the contest’s final round was moved after protests by Muslim hardliner groups.
“I promise to be the best Miss World ever,” Young, 23, said after winning the 63rd annual event, as a large number of Filipino fans who traveled with her celebrated by jumping and waving the country’s flag.
Despite threats from the Islamic Defenders Front to disrupt the contest, police said no rallies were staged Saturday. The group has demonstrated for weeks, calling for the government to cancel the pageant because members say it shows too much skin and goes against Islamic teachings.
Pastor killed during La. church service
LAKE CHARLES, La.
A Louisiana pastor was fatally shot as he preached to a crowd of more than 60 during a revival service, and a suspect has been arrested, law-enforcement officials said Saturday.
The shooting about 8:20 p.m. Friday was at Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kim Myers said Saturday. Sixty-five people were inside at the time, including the victim’s wife, said Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory.
Deputies have no information on a motive or on whether the preacher and suspect knew each other, Myers said.
Myers said Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. was shot twice by the gunman.