Warnings dropped as storm veers away

Warnings dropped as storm veers away


Hawaii emerged Saturday from the threat of a potentially devastating hurricane after flooding forced evacuations on some islands but damage appeared less than feared despite historic amounts of rain.

Tropical Storm Lane, once known as Hurricane Lane, began to break apart as it veered west into the open Pacific, leaving behind sighs of relief and plenty of clean-up, especially on the Big Island where rainfall totals approached 4 feet.

No storm-related deaths have been reported, though Big Island authorities said they plucked families from floodwaters and landslides had closed roads.

The National Weather Service canceled all storm warnings for the state.

Lethal injection or gas? Alabama’s death row gets to choose


Some say inhaling nitrogen gas would be like dying on a plane that depressurizes in flight, swiftly killing all aboard. Now more than a quarter of Alabama’s death-row inmates have signed statements saying they would prefer that gas over lethal injection or the electric chair when facing execution.

No inmate in the U.S. has been put to death with nitrogen gas before, and critics suspect at least some inmates are simply hoping to delay a date with the death chamber through the inevitable legal challenges ahead.

State corrections officials say 51 of Alabama’s 180 inmates have chosen nitrogen hypoxia, allowed a choice after Alabama lawmakers voted this year to authorize that alternative execution method. With difficulties obtaining execution drugs and litigation arising over claims of botched and horribly painful chemical injections this decade, Alabama is not alone as it joins Oklahoma and Mississippi in exploring that as a potential alternative.

Tourist bus crashes in Bulgaria; 16 reported killed

SOFIA, Bulgaria

Bulgarian authorities say a tourist bus flipped over on a highway near Sofia, the capital, killing at least 16 people and leaving 26 others injured.

Police said a bus carrying tourists on a weekend trip to a nearby resort overturned and then fell down a side road 66 feet below the highway. The accident happened at 5:10 p.m. Saturday about 12 miles north of Sofia.

Ambulances rushed to the scene and took the injured to Sofia hospitals. Doctors said some of them were in critical condition.

Health Minister Kiril Ananiev gave an initial death toll of 15, but doctors from Sofia’s emergency hospital said another bus victim died Saturday night.

The major of Bozhurishte, north of Sofia, told reporters that all the passengers were from his village.

China criticizes Trump comment

SEOUL, South Korea

China on Saturday lashed out at President Donald Trump for accusing Beijing of not being supportive in efforts to denuclearize North Korea, while South Korea called the U.S. decision to call off a trip to the North by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “unfortunate.”

The reaction in Seoul and Beijing came hours after Trump directed Pompeo to delay his trip because of what he saw as a lack of progress on nuclear disarmament talks with the North. Trump also said the nuclear negotiations with North Korea have been hampered by a lack of support from China, which is the North’s only major ally and is engaged in an intensifying trade dispute with the U.S.

The Chinese foreign ministry blasted Trump’s comments. “The U.S. statement violates basic facts and is irresponsible,” the ministry said on its website. “We are seriously concerned about it and have made solemn representations to the U.S. side.”

Associated Press

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