US gas prices drop
The average national price of a regular gallon of gasoline has dropped 4 cents in the last two weeks to $2.50.
Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that falling oil prices and strong production at U.S. refineries led to lower numbers at the pump.
Trains derail in Texas, Colorado
VALLEY MILLS, Texas
While a crew worked Sunday to clean up the scene in Central Texas where the derailment of about a dozen train cars resulted in an industrial solvent leaking from one tanker, a train jumped its tracks in northern Colorado, dumping coal from more than two dozen cars.
Spokesmen with BNSF Railway said Sunday it wasn’t yet known what caused either derailment. No injuries were reported.
In Texas, the cars derailed Saturday evening near Valley Mills, a town about 25 miles northwest of Waco.
BNSF Railway spokesman Joe Sloan didn’t provide an estimate on how much coal was dumped in the accident near Hudson, Colo. At least 27 freight cars derailed and lost their cargo.
Singapore founder Lee Kuan Yew dies
Lee Kuan Yew, who founded modern Singapore and was both feared for his authoritarian tactics and admired for turning the city-state into one of the world’s richest nations, died today, the government said. He was 91.
Lee was admitted to Singapore General Hospital on Feb. 5 for severe pneumonia and was put on life support.
The country’s first and longest-serving prime minister, Lee guided Singapore through a traumatic split with Malaysia in 1965 and helped transform what was then a sleepy port city into a global trade and finance center. Although he could have remained in office for much longer, he stepped aside and handed over leadership of the ruling party, and the country, to a younger generation in 1990.
Vote blunts rise of National Front
France’s governing Socialists never expected to do well in Sunday’s first-round local elections, and their strategy worked just as planned: Their conservative rivals took first place.
Before the elections for 2,000 local councils, the Socialists urged people to vote, hoping that turnout would blunt the rise of Marine Le Pen’s far right National Front, even if it meant Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative UMP would be the victor.
Initial projections from polling agencies gave the UMP party 31 percent of the vote compared with 24.5 percent for the National Front and 19.7 percent for the Socialists and their allies. Turnout was 51 percent, compared with about 45 percent in similar elections in 2011.
Sen. Cruz plans to jump into 2016 race
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz will become the first major candidate for president when he launches his campaign today, kicking off what’s expected to be a rush over the next few weeks of more than a dozen White House hopefuls into the 2016 campaign.
Cruz will formally get into the race during a morning speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., choosing to begin his campaign at the Christian college founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell rather than his home state of Texas or the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
While Cruz may be the first Republican to declare his candidacy, he is all but certain to be followed by several big names in the GOP, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and two Senate colleagues, Kentucky’s Rand Paul and Florida’s Marco Rubio.