US gas prices rise
The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline has risen 2 cents a gallon over the past two weeks, to $2.93.
Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says that’s 53 cents a gallon higher than at this time last year.
Lundberg said Sunday it appears unlikely prices will continue to rise in the weeks ahead, however, and could actually drop slightly. She says that’s because refiners have increased capacity and current demand is weak.
Orca back to feeding, frolicking after carrying dead calf
FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash.
Researchers say an endangered killer whale that drew international attention as she carried her dead calf on her head for more than two weeks is back to feeding and frolicking with her pod.
The Center for Whale Research in Washington state says it watched the orca, known as J35, chase a school of salmon in Haro Strait west of San Juan Island on Saturday afternoon.
The whales have been struggling because of a lack of salmon, and J35’s calf died soon after birth July 24. The mother carried the baby on her head for at least 17 days, in an image of grief that struck an emotional chord worldwide.
She finally abandoned the carcass as it decomposed.
Center for Whale Research founder Ken Balcomb says he is immensely relieved to see J35 returning to typical behavior.
Alaska hit by region’s strongest earthquake
KAVIK RIVER CAMP, Alaska
Alaska’s North Slope was hit Sunday by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the region, the state’s seismologist said.
At 6:58 a.m. Sunday, the magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck an area 42 miles east of Kavik River Camp and 343 miles northeast of Fairbanks, the state’s second-biggest city. The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake had a depth of about 6 miles.
State seismologist Mike West told the Anchorage Daily News that the earthquake was the biggest recorded in the North Slope by a substantial amount.
Vt. exec could be 1st transgender governor in the US
A former energy company executive from Vermont has a shot at becoming the nation’s first transgender governor – but she says that’s not the main reason she’s running.
Christine Hallquist says that in the run-up to Tuesday’s primary, people are finally beginning to pay attention to the race, but her status as a transgender woman isn’t what’s on their minds. Rather, she says, voters want to know what she can do to help them get higher-paying jobs, provide health care for their families and better educate their children.
She’s appealing to Vermonters with a progressive message that includes a livable wage, Medicare for all, free public college education and high-speed broadband access – even to those who live on remote back roads.
US advising Afghan forces in battle for city
The United States has sent military advisers to aid Afghan forces in Ghazni, where they were struggling Sunday to regain full control three days after the Taliban launched a massive assault on the eastern city.
The assault was a major show of force by the Taliban, who had infiltrated deep into the city and attacked from several directions. In recent years the insurgents have seized several districts across the country and staged near-daily attacks on Afghan security forces, but have been unable to capture and hold urban areas.
The U.S.-led NATO mission has carried out airstrikes in support of Afghan forces.